Re: Lumber Loading

Greg Martin

I'm stumped. Why would there be no lumber on flat cars in Oct-Dec of 1951? Was this the time period after the Streamliner accident (a piece of lumber shifted on a flat car, and broke the windows of a passing Streamliner, showering the passengers with broken glass) ??




You have to look at what generally shipped on flatcars during this era and understand the commodity as well as the industry. In all freight movements there is a correlation to the commodities. As Dennis said (and I agree and I am sure Tony will as well) that most cars loaded with dimensional lumber moved in boxcars (think weather protect and the weather of your snapshot period). The rule is timber moves on flatcars. Historically in the lumber business timber doesn't move much at all during late fall and winter, the inventory is run down to nearly nothing at the lumber yards, timber doesn't yard well. But if you were to move your snapshot forward the lumber industry does move in much higher volumes starting in late January through the last week of May, then it cycles down through the end of August, September is flat to down with a slight pick up about the 10th of October and if the market is good as well as the weather the market runs until the first week in December and then goes quiet. If the storms of November come early the market dies until late January again.

If the national economy has a recession as it did in the mid 50s all bets are off.

Greg Martin

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