Re: conductor's reefer data


cliffprather
 

To add to what Tony wrote about PFE contracting for reefers to meet the demand for car, I have some information from the brief file by PFE in opposition to the application of the Santa Fe to control the WP on May 1 1962. The following is part of the testimony by BAR president W G Robertson.

. ...after World War II, the BAR (the text used B&A, but I will use there more familiar BAR) did not own any refrigerator cars, and had encountered car supply problems in handling the potato traffic. Outside consultants reported that it would not be economically feasible for BAR to acquire refrigerator cars unless some use could be found for them during the period May to October when they were not needed to move the Maine potatoes.

...BAR was able to finance purchase of 1200 refrigerator cars beginning in 1952, relying upon PFE's assurance that PFE would use the cars during the May-October period. In 1954 BAR and PFE entered into a contract which provides for the use by each party of refrigerator cars owned by the other.

Mr. Robertson made it abundantly clear that the mileage earned from the BAR refrigerator cars are of vital importance to the BAR. One-third of the BAR net income during the past 5 years (1956-1961) came from these mileage earnings....

This was from the brief file in the case and I have not attempted to check all the facts, such as, did BAR have any reefers at the end of WWII or did they just lease cars. This does show as Tony stated, PFE contracted with other reefer owners to supply cars. PFE in this brief stated that they maintain a fleet of cars that could handled only about 90% of the peak traffic demand.

Cliff Prather

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Tim O'Connor wrote:
Tony, it would be fascinating to know if you could correlate the
number of ART cars (which really surprises me!) with known traffic
patterns for ART, like the annual peach crop from western Colorado
or produce (watermelons and canteloupes) from south Texas. What I'm
driving at is, wondering why so many ART reefers would show up in
California?
Tim, it sounds like you're assuming they were all confiscated as
empties. I doubt many of them were in that category, same as the MDT
and BAR and FGEX cars. When I interviewed Pete Holst, PFE's Assistant
General Manager for Car Service (or if you will, Car Distribution) for
many years, he explained that PFE had NEVER owned enough cars to quite
cover peak harvest seasons, but instead had relied on agreements with
other car lines to supply empties at critical times. I feel sure that
the numerous reefers from far away which are in my statistics are
there by agreement, not by confiscation, and likely arrived on the SP
as empties so they could be loaded. After all, ART (or whoever)
received mileage payments both directions, and would have been happy
to keep the cars moving, unless of course they needed them for a
particular harvest season of their own.

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