Re: Per Diem and The D&H


I don't have any specifics on this, i.e. number of cars, amount of money paid, but a classic example here in the northeast, of a railroad that did their best to pay-out as little in per diem as possible was the Delaware and Hudson (The D&H).
As a railroad, The D&H started life as an anthracite coal hauler, as did many of the roads in the northeast (Reading, Lackawanna, Lehigh Valley, etc.), and in the early years, had small-drivered locomotives that were designed for drag-freight service. In 1940, the company got their first order of 4-6-6-4 Challengers, and maintained one of the largest fleets of that type in the U.S., second only to the UP.
Moving from drag-freight to fast-fast freight was a real bane for the company. And shortly thereafter, the D&H billed themselves as "The Bridge Line to New England and Canada". Their system was relatively short, with one end of the line in Binghamton, NY and the other in Rouses Point, NY, on the NY/Canadian border. They also had trackage rights into Montreal.
Handling a lot of bridge-line traffic meant that at any time, there were a large number of foreign cars on the road, which could have resulted in a relatively large per diem pay-out. Using their 4-6-6-4's the D&H was able to successfully pick up EB interchange traffic in Binghamton, NY, from the Lackawanna, Erie, and Lehigh Valley, and could then forward that traffic, over the system in less than 24 hours, in most cases. Handing off cars to the New York Central and Boston and Albany @ Albany, the Boston and Main @ Mechanicville, NY, the Rutland @ Rutland, VT, and the Canadian Pacific @ Rouses Point, NY.  The entire process could also be repeated in the WB direction, which got the bulk of foreign cars off the road before the stroke of midnight. That allowed them to pay-out as little per diem as possible.
Matt Forsyth
Modeling Elmira, NY
in "O" Scale in 1951

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