Re: Freight car Distribution


Dave Nelson
 

laramielarry wrote:
(U.S. only) in the January 1938 ORER as follows:

Road: #cars; percentage
SP: 24,398; 3.2%
WP: 3,141; 0.4%
US: 764,080; 100%

So in this 1938 train book the SP had over 2.6 times as many box and
auto cars as it "should" have had, and the WP had 6 times its share.

Similar results are found in the Ferguson and Fraley train books, I
believe, but their analysis is hampered by the conductors' reporting
of the car type for less than half of their cars. The raw numbers
seem consistent with Fitz's data however:

Road, Conductor, # (all) cars
SP, Fitz, 64 (62 box/auto) (Sept-Oct, 1938) WP, Fitz, 18 Total, Fitz,
2362

SP, Ferguson, 101 (May-June, 1938)
WP, Ferguson, 25
Total, Ferguson, 2788

SP, Fraley, 45 (Sept-Oct, 1938)
WP, Fraley, 11
Total, Fraley, 2510

In each of the 1938 train books (all from the Laramie/Rawlins run on
the UP), the WP has about one-fourth as many cars as the SP, whereas
it "should" have only one-eighth. The SP is certainly
over-represented, but the WP is over-represented in spades!

The over-representation made indeed be part of a regional bias. But let's
not get too excited about this; The WP overage is the difference between 4
cars per thousand and 24 per thousand. Yes, it's different. Different
enough to note. But it isn't exactly massive numbers either. As for the
SP, here's a lengthy quote from Stuart Daggett as published in the
University of California's series _Economics_, vol XI, dated 1932-35 (and
yes, I own it). From pages 142-143 (and abbreviations and/or emphasis are
mine):

[Background: Dagget is discussing the issues of who shall control the
Central Pacific after it is split off from the UP in 1912 -- UP or SP?] ...
"The ICC decided in favor of the SP.... At the same time the Commission
attached conditions to its order that produced the effect of a compromise
between the parties. These conditions are reproduced in the following
paragrpahs:"

"First. The SP shall join with the UP in maintaining via the lines of the
said companies between Omaha NE, and San Francisco Bay points ***as parts of
one connected continous line*** through passenger, mail, express, and
freight train service between San Francsico or Oakland CA and Chicago IL, at
least equal in every respect to that afforded by either with it's
connections between Los Angeles CA or Portland OR, and Chicago IL."

"Second. The SP shall join with the UP inmaintaining via the lines of said
companies between Roseville CA and Omaha NE ***as parts of one connected
continous line***, perishible train service from Roseville, CA to Chicago IL
at least equal in every respect to that afforded by either with it's
connections between from San Bernadino CA or Colton CA, to Chicago IL."

"Third: The SP shall cooperate with the UP in the maintenance of train
schedules under which neither will discriminate as to time or service agains
the other in favor of any other connection through Ogdsen or Salt Lake City
UT".

"Fourth: The SP shall, at the request of the UP, provide for the publication
and maintenance of rates via the CP through Ogden UT between all SP and CP
points in California, west of Banning, and in Oregon on the the one hand,
and Colordao common points and points east thereof on the other, ***no
higher than apply concurrently between the same points via any other route
in which it participates***".

"Fifth: The SP shall cooperate with the UP to secure ***by active
solicitation the routing of the maximum of freight traffic*** via the UP and
CP lines through the Missouri River and Ogden, UT ***as parts of one
connected continous line***, between all points in California and Oregon
north of and including Caliente and Santa Margarita CA, and south of and
including Klamath Falls branch and Kirk OR on the one hand and points north
and west of a line along the northern boundaries of Oklahoma and Arkansas to
the Missisippi River, thence along the Mississipi and Ohio Rivers (but not
including intermediate cities on the Ohio River) to Wheeling WV, thence
north on a line drawn just east of Pittsburgh PA and Buffalo NY to Niagra
Falls NY."



When you boil out all of the bureaucratic out of the above, what's left is
the SP shall, by active solicitation the routing of the maximum of freight
traffic, at rates no higher [and service] at least equal in every respect
than apply concurrently between the same points via any other route in which
it participates, shall operate the Ogden gateway as parts of one connected
continous line, between all points in California and Oregon north of and
including Caliente and Santa Margarita CA, and south of and including
Klamath Falls branch and Kirk OR on the one hand and points north and west
of a line along the northern boundaries of Oklahoma and Arkansas to the
Missisippi River, thence along the Mississipi and Ohio Rivers (but not
including intermediate cities on the Ohio River) to Wheeling WV, thence
north on a line drawn just east of Pittsburgh PA and Buffalo NY to Niagra
Falls NY".

Meaning there should be no discernible difference in cost or service to a
shipper between described points as to which route should be selected. So
why would they not chose a CP:UP routing??? And SP would likely not risk
the ire of the ICC by filling in alternative routings when the shipper chose
not to pick one.

As for what it means to the hypothesis Tim and I constructed... I would
regard any SP boxcars reported in wheel reports at points immediately east
of Odgen UT exactly like UP boxcars... that is to say, to be excluded.
Because they're not free rolling (as they were legally required to hand over
to the UP anything they had picked up the cited regions) the large number of
home cars on SP tracks would be seen east of Ogden in similar large
numbers, perhaps just as high as UP boxcars. SP boxcars would probably also
be over represented on any C&NW wheel reports between Ohaha and Chicago, not
perhaps not as large a bias.

It's possible there were other such legal biases built into the movement of
ordinary boxcars but other than restrictions on Canadian cars, I'm not aware
of any.

Dave Nelson

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