Re: Freight car Distribution

Dave Nelson

Anthony Thompson wrote:
Dave Nelson wrote:
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 continuous 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 . . .
Tony replies:
Not exactly, Dave. First of all, SP was required to SOLICIT
traffic via UP, but was NOT required to route all traffic to
UP. If a shipper specified D&RGW east of Ogden, that's how it would
go. Second, SP box cars from OUTSIDE the required solicitation zone
could and did move over the Overland Route, so SP cars are NOT
exactly equivalent to UP box cars; moreover, any foreigns SP had
loaded in the west and routed via UP certainly ARE part of that same
story though not marked SP or UP. Third, the "continuous line" story
is aimed at cooperative and coordinated scheduling, not necessarily
at 100 percent interchange, even though the SP and UP had a mutual
obligation, dating back to the Pacific Railroad Act, to interchange
with each other at Ogden "preferentially." Obviously that can only
apply if a shipper route specification does not provide otherwise. I
agree that the UP-SP situation at Ogden distorts the population of
cars interchanged there, primarily in favor of SP (which originated
more traffic than bridge line UP), but SP and UP cars cannot be seen
as equivalent, in my opinion.

ICC said that rates and service could not be less on alternative routes.
And the ICC did not allow the D&RGW to equalize their rates on anything
eastbound until the late 50's / early 60's. So yes, a shipper could specify
CP/DRGW/whatever to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland etc., but he'd pay more for
the choice and it would probably take longer. Would you, as the company
shipping manager, always make that choice? Would a large number of peers
also do that?

That asked, I will note that by far and away the most common commodity the
SP gave to the DRGW in Odgen was lumber. Rollers perhaps? Not knowing
where the destination was does give SP an out as far as a CP:UP routing was

Q: WRT the SP choosing to send a car from Oakland to Chicago via the Sunset
route, how would SP demonstrate they had first actively solicited the
traffic to go CP:UP before filling the blanks to head south instead? Agents
word for it? Check box on the bill of lading? Hoping UP wouldn't notice?
Or just sending it CP:UP and not getting into trouble?

... moreover, any foreigns SP had
loaded in the west and routed via UP certainly ARE part of that same
story though not marked SP or UP....
Yes, that is true, but if one assumes foreign cars on the SP were evenly
distributed, but that SP home road cars were present in numbers well in
excess of the SP's contribution to the national fleet, the appearance of
those foreign road cars would have no effect when seen in on Mike Brock's
layout. But as SP cars loaded at the same plant are done from a pool of
home road cars, a pool which may 4, 5, 6 times larger than SP's contribution
to the national fleet. If they were obligated to send them to Odgen -- or
even just biased towards sending them to Ogden, the SP home road pool would
then show up in wheel reports as more than expected, simply because their
pool was 4, 5, 6 times larger, and Mike would complain for several years
about seeing them in a video tape.

I it is safe to assume SP cars were seen in greter than expected numbers
east of Odgen because of the ICC ruling. But by how many is a question that
cannot be answered w/o (1) knowing to what extent did loadings originating
in Central California, destined to the regions outlined by the ICC, did not
go the Overland Route. Was it 5%? 30? 85%? And (2) were the number of
home road boxcars in Central Califonia roughly equal to any other SP region?
I dunno because I don't have any of that data.

Dave Nelson

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