Re: When is the grain rush?


--- In STMFC@..., "Douglas Harding" <dharding@...> wrote:

There was essentially no "grain rush" as we know it today, in the 30's. Farmers fed their livestock the grain, ie corn and oats,
they raised. It was only after WWII and the need to feed the world, along with the advent of hybrid seeds, that grain production
increased and exports were financially viable. That is when the "grain rush" became a part of railroading.

Doug Harding
Doug and Group,

I thought I have read, on this group or perhaps elsewhere, that there was a chronic shortage of box cars during the harvest season - I thought I have seen posts about double-door auto cars being used when the shortage was severe. Perhaps I have mistakenly attributed these situations to include the pre-war era?

There were many grain silos in eastern cities to support local food production (I toured one in Philly in the 60's, and I do not recall it being "new")- one needs to remember that freight movements during the winter months were not always reliable. I would assume that large eastern city bakery's would buy the grain when prices were low, and stockpile it while prices remained low, perhaps even carrying inventory into the following year's early harvest period in case prices went high during the initial harvest.

Bottom line - by definition, if there was a scramble for grain rated box cars, then there must have been a grain traffic surge somewhere. But I think Laramie is west of the bulk of America's "bread basket", so I would expect very different results as the UP main neared Chicago.

Dave Evans

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