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Re: Freight car Distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

&#92;Ross McLeod wrote:
Whose first rule?
Railroads look to saving every cent they can.
Yep. That's why truckers have been eating their lunch on the profitable traffic for decades. Sorry for implying that a railroader might want to serve the customer.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: was LCL - Stop Off traffic

Ross McLeod <cdnrailmarine@...>
 

"Stop off cars also handled thing like appliances, farm machinery, etc".
 
Correct, I believe with ag imps you could have up to three stop offs, baler twine as many as you wished. 
 
There was also stop offs to complete loading as well there were many transit arrangements such as treating in transit (poles etc), milling in transit (grain), storage in transit or one of my favourites furfural residue (corn cob hulls ex Memphis made into glue @ Oroville for wood built-up (plywood)).  
 
Ross McLeod Calgary 
 
 
 

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"Tar Paper " and "Mule Hyde" Roofs

reporterllc
 

Assuming that some wood freight cars and cabooses had roofs not unlike that on passenger cars, what techniques and materials are you all using to model that?

Victor Baird
Fort Wayne, Indiana


Re: Box/auto distribution 1938

Tim O'Connor
 

Larry, does 2,267 box cars on the UP mainline even represent the
traffic of a single typical day? So here we are looking at freight
trains spread over four months... or on any given day, less than
1% of the box cars on the main line are sampled.

What can be learned from this? Nothing, I believe.

Look at it another way -- suppose you had conductors books for the
same time period from three other conductors. Do you think that the
tallies would be the same? I don't -- not one chance in a thousand.
So then, which would be the representative sample? Answer: neither.

If you had ALL of the conductors books for every day for a full
week, now that would be interesting! That would smooth out a lot
of the daily fluctuations. Of course there's seasonal variations,
but that might actually be easy to discern in a large sample.

Tim O'Connor

Here is some info on the distribution of box and auto cars for trains on the U.P. mainline between Laramie and Rawlins in 1938. The data are compiled from three Freight Conductors' Train Books written by conductors Ferguson, Fraley, and Fitz. Ferguson's data are from May and June of 1938, while Fraley's and Fitz's are from September-October of the same year.

In the tables below the information from the train books is compared to national averages based on the January, 1938 ORER. The national values count only box, auto and ventilated cars in interchange service on Class I U.S. roads or their lessees.

The tables show the road initial, the number of box/auto cars in the conductors' books, the percentage these cars represent, and the national percentage. Only roads with 5 or more cars reported in the train books are listed.

Roads in which the percentage of cars tallied from the conductors' books exceeds the national percentage.
Road: Num; Book %; Nat %
SP: 201; 15.1%; 3.3%
CB&Q: 125; 9.4%; 3.0%
NYC: 99; 7.4%; 6.1%
MILW: 83; 6.2%; 4.7%
CNW: 64; 4.8%; 3.2%
WP: 54; 4.1%; 0.4%
GTW: 53; 4.0%; 1.3%
RI: 44; 3.3%; 3.1%
MP: 33; 2.5%; 2.3%
IC: 32; 2.4%; 2.3%
SLSF: 31; 2.3%; 2.0%
PM: 26; 2.0%; 1.5%
DT&I: 21; 1.6%; 0.3%
NKP: 15; 1.1%; 1.0%
T&P: 15; 1.1%; 0.5%
T&NO: 14; 1.1%; 1.0%
CGW: 8; 0.6%; 0.5%
CMO: 7; 0.5%; 0.5%
B&LE: 5; 0.4%; 0.0%

Roads in which the percentage of cars tallied from the conductors' books is less than the national percentage.
Road: Num; Book %; Nat %
PRR: 79; 5.9%; 10.4%
ATSF: 36; 2.7%; 4.9%
MC: 27; 2.0%; 2.5%
B&O: 24; 1.8%; 4.4%
NP: 24; 1.8%; 3.1%
SOUTHERN: 19; 1.4%; 3.6%
WABASH: 18; 1.4%; 1.6%
GN: 15; 1.1%; 3.5%
SOO: 15; 1.1%; 1.4%
ERIE: 13; 1.0%; 1.4%
L&N: 11; 0.8%; 2.2%
C&O: 9; 0.7%; 1.4%
CCC&STL: 7; 0.5%; 1.5%
N&W: 7; 0.5%; 1.0%
D&RGW: 6; 0.5%; 0.6%
M-K-T: 6; 0.5%; 0.6%
DL&W: 5; 0.4%; 1.3%

FWIW the percentage of box/auto cars that were UP is 41% - 935 cars of a total of 2,267. (1,332 cars were used to calculate the Book % in the tables.)

Best wishes,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming


Re: Freight car Distribution

Ross McLeod <cdnrailmarine@...>
 

"Sure, Ross, but the FIRST RULE is to "Protect the shipment." You
could not care less about car hire if a shipper needs that empty car.
Now of course you don't keep empties sitting around idle, and they
would certainly be moved homeward (or via reverse route) if not needed."


Whose first rule?
 
Railroads look to saving every cent they can.
 
Not all shipments are equal, there are lots that can wait until tomorrow when you have your own cars available.
 
Shipments are rated by profitability therefore the shipments that are seen to give the best rate of return will get cars today, the also rans get cars when available.
 
Of course this is a simplification but so is to say that any available car will be used.  
 
I would naive to say politics, neighbouring industries etc don't enter into the equation.
 
Ross McLeod Calgary 

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Re: Freight car Distribution

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Chuck Peck says:

The opposite way to go might be to walk into a hobby shop and just
buy everything that seems reasonable and appealing.
Well...maybe in years past. Now days one doesn't usually have as much choice. Hoever, the point is well taken. Just be sure you don't go too strongly in favor of a particular RR with the exception of the home road and Pennsy and NYC. Oh...don't forget Brock's Fifth Rule of frt cars. You'll need a few NP box cars.

There is little doubt that at least one of every class of box car went over Sherman Hill at one time. I assume that the same can be said for Santa Fe through Flagstaff. OTOH, in addition to one of every class of car, good ol' General Tojo apparently also traveled on either UP or Santa Fe to CA in the late 30's. I am not certain that the same can be said for the Rutland....[ Not Tojo. I mean...why? ], but Armand Premo's list of cars for the Rutland [ wherever that is ] doesn't seem to match the G-N. IOW, Chuck might be better off modeling a trunk line if he intends to simply roll the dice.

Mike Brock


Re: G-N versus Consist Data for train construction

Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Allen Rueter writes:

", and national pool rare cars(<1%)."

And Tony Thompson follows with:

"But I take your point, that we DO need rarities so that our
trains will exhibit those rarities."

Yes...my "small number" factor in order to achieve the FEC car. Besides, when I was a kid I saw KO&G trains...they had 9 box cars. Let's see. If I conduct an op session once per day, the Cubs will win their second World Series before I can use it. Meantime...

Allen adds:

"now you know why there is never enough staging space."

Staging hell. Storage space for the 4750 box cars...seems like that many anyhow.

Mike Brock


Re: G-N versus Consist Data for train construction

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Allen Rueter wrote:
It seems to me you might want four pools of cars . . . and you would want at least one standard deviation, if not two, extra cars in these pools to create variety .
Not a bad idea, Allen, but given the sort of data we have I would be entertained to see a calculation of the Standard deviation . . .
But I take your point, that we DO need rarities so that our trains will exhibit those rarities.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: was LCL - Stop Off traffic

Steve SANDIFER
 

Stop off cars also handled thing like appliances, farm machinery, etc.
______________
J. Stephen (Steve) Sandifer
mailto:steve.sandifer@sbcglobal.net
Home: 12027 Mulholland Drive, Meadows Place, TX 77477, 281-568-9918
Office: Southwest Central Church of Christ, 4011 W. Bellfort, Houston, TX 77025, 713-667-9417

----- Original Message -----
From: Ross McLeod
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 8:02 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] was LCL - Stop Off traffic




"The railroad term would "stop off to partially unload". Freight rate would
be for the entire weight of the commodity from origin to final destination,
with a stop off charge for each stop off point."


Plus out of line haul charges, if applicable.

Out of line would be the extra distance the car would have to travel to the stop off point versus being shipped direct to the destination.

Some railroads would waive OLH charges if the out of route mileage did not exceed 1/3 of their haul.

I understood it was the high cost of cedar lumber that fueled the demand for partial loads.

Ross McLeod Calgary.


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Re: G-N versus Consist Data for train construction

Allen Rueter
 

It seems to me you might want four pools of cars. home road pool, favored/connecting interchange pool, National pool common cars , and national pool rare cars(<1%). you would want at least one standard deviation, if not two, extra cars in these pools to create
variety .


now you know why there is never enough staging space.
--
Allen Rueter
StLouis MO


Re: Freight car Distribution

Greg Martin
 

In the past five year I have heard this kind of thinking only once when
cars were so short you prayed for an empty and it went like this, " sure the
government says we have to give you a car, but they never said when..."
Now that is about as stupid as it gets as in the short three years later the
railroads and TTX are storing cars on every short line that is willing to
take them at $25.00 a day... OUCH!

So I think the message here is a bit out of the realm of the real
transportation world. Not having a car because of a shortage in the harvest season
is a local agents nightmare, as Tony will attest to, but that is why they
were there and paid well. All shipments were equally as important to him
because his bonus depended on it.

There were foreign road agents in every area of the country at the time
hoping to get that load/loads of perishables to his receiver. As an example
that I once described to Bill Welch if your GN packing house in Minneapolis
MN wanted those winter Navels at the HEAD END of the harvest rush the local
WFE agent might have to work with an SP or ATSF agent in Bakersfield and be
willing to give up some WFE cars to the origin carrier to secure the
needed business. He might have to scour the Bakersfield yards to look for
empties or dispatch cars from eastern Washington to get the cars required if the
origin carrier was short of cars to cover the business. He, the WFE rep.,
would likely have to move the cars car hire free to do so. This was a car
accounting nightmare as it required a "reclaim" to cover the letter quote
but nonetheless it was done. This was a marketing decision not an operation
department decision. But it also meant a better relationship for the shipper
who had a chance for added revenue (read as a better price for the lading)
and a "whose your buddy" for the local SP or ATSF agent. It was how
business was done and still is.

Greg Martin

In a message dated 4/14/2010 8:44:09 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
cdnrailmarine@yahoo.ca writes:

Whose first rule?

Railroads look to saving every cent they can.

Not all shipments are equal, there are lots that can wait until tomorrow
when you have your own cars available.

Shipments are rated by profitability therefore the shipments that are seen
to give the best rate of return will get cars today, the also rans get
cars when available.

Of course this is a simplification but so is to say that any available car
will be used.

I would naive to say politics, neighbouring industries etc don't enter
into the equation.

Ross McLeod Calgary


Re: Freight car Distribution

lnnrr <lnnrr@...>
 

Folks,
Like Viv, I'm out of my league in all this. My only real acquaintance
with statistics is of the Mark Twain variety (i.e. lies). From what
I read, my view is that if I don't have and can't get the exact data
on the cars actually traveling on my chosen piece of prototype, the
G-N hypothesis gives me some level of practical guidance.
The opposite way to go might be to walk into a hobby shop and just
buy everything that seems reasonable and appealing. Thank all you
folks that care enough to think this stuff through and try to get it
all right. Even if you don't get it all perfected, it has to be
better than my random choices.
Chuck Peck

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Viv Brice" <viv.brice@...> wrote:

Guys,
I'm getting confused - I have no experience in this area and can only
comment on what I read, with great interest I might add, on this incredibly
knowledgeable list. I might also be totally out in left field!

However, to me, we often seem to be talking about traffic and freight cars
in the same breath implying that traffic originating on road X always uses
road X freight cars. Surely traffic was loaded into whatever MTY freight
cars were available, which may or may not be home road, may or may not be
cars being headed 'home' or even may be any car which just happens to be in
the yard and fits the requirement.

As I read it, the G-N 'method/concept/whatever we call it' is not concerned
with traffic, but only with freight cars. Thus Mike's large number of SP
freight cars would probably not represent all of the SP originated traffic,
which would also be being carried in other cars headed east, say PRR, NYC,
etc. Indeed, there is no reason to assume that all of the SP cars contain SP
originated freight (although this may be stretching things a bit - I bow
here to other with more knowledge of the area's traffic flow than I have).

My point is that, from what I've read on this list, traffic and the cars
included in G-N are not necessarily synonymous and we need to be very
careful about assuming that something that affects traffic automatically has
the same effect on freight car distribution.

Regards, Viv Brice
An SPF from 'Down Under'





Re: Freight car Distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Ross McLeod wrote:
What about car hire?
Not sure you would use any available car if your car hire account is out of balance.
Those foreign cars on your railroad are costing you money by the hour and by the mile, they should be rushed to the interchange before midnight if your car hire is out of balance.
Sure, Ross, but the FIRST RULE is to "Protect the shipment." You could not care less about car hire if a shipper needs that empty car. Now of course you don't keep empties sitting around idle, and they would certainly be moved homeward (or via reverse route) if not needed.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Freight car Distribution

Ross McLeod <cdnrailmarine@...>
 

"Exactly right, VIv, and that's in fact the entire basis of why
the G-N idea can be true: you used what you had if you were short of
cars, REGARDLESS of the AAR rules, and that available empty could be
almost anything."
 
What about car hire?
 
Not sure you would use any available car if your car hire account is out of balance.
 
Those foreign cars on your railroad are costing you money by the hour and by the mile,  they should be rushed to the interchange before midnight if your car hire is out of balance. 
 
Ross McLeod Calgary 

 

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Re: Freight car Distribution

Greg Martin
 

Ross and all,

Let's not forget that car hire was mostly a paper exchange unless you were
really out of balance and remember if you don't have a car to load you
don't have the revenue stream. The car hire was never as much of an issue as
the lost loading. The most important part to remember is the penalties that
the AAR imposed for ignoring the service rules and the possible embargo if
you let it go too far. Let's not forget the case of the SP&S and their
dilemma in the early 1950's and the reasons for the acquisition of 10' 2"IH
40-foot boxcars.

Greg Martin

In a message dated 4/14/2010 6:23:11 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
cdnrailmarine@yahoo.ca writes:

What about car hire?

Not sure you would use any available car if your car hire account is out
of balance.

Those foreign cars on your railroad are costing you money by the hour and
by the mile, they should be rushed to the interchange before midnight if
your car hire is out of balance.

Ross McLeod Calgary


Re: was LCL - Stop Off traffic

Ross McLeod <cdnrailmarine@...>
 

"The railroad term would "stop off to partially unload". Freight rate would
be for the entire weight of the commodity from origin to final destination,
with a stop off charge for each stop off point."

 
Plus out of line haul charges, if applicable.
 
Out of line would be the extra distance the car would have to travel to the stop off point versus being shipped direct to the destination. 
 
Some railroads would waive OLH charges if the out of route mileage did not exceed 1/3 of their haul.
 
I understood it was the high cost of cedar lumber that fueled the demand for partial loads.   
 
Ross McLeod Calgary.  
  

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Re: Freight car Distribution

Aley, Jeff A
 

Viv,

I think you might have missed out on the Car Service rules, published in the ORER. Those rules indicate what cars should be used for loading.

To simplify, they state that preference should always be given to foreign-road cars for shipments that will travel off-line. They also state that foreign cars should be loaded toward their home road (or to any point beyond if the home road is part of the route).

Anecdotal evidence shows that the rules were followed "most" of the time, but certainly not "all" of the time. This is because of the (unwritten) rule 0: PROTECT THE SHIPMENT.


Regards,

-Jeff


From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Viv Brice
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 4:25 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car Distribution



Guys,
I'm getting confused - I have no experience in this area and can only
comment on what I read, with great interest I might add, on this incredibly
knowledgeable list. I might also be totally out in left field!

However, to me, we often seem to be talking about traffic and freight cars
in the same breath implying that traffic originating on road X always uses
road X freight cars. Surely traffic was loaded into whatever MTY freight
cars were available, which may or may not be home road, may or may not be
cars being headed 'home' or even may be any car which just happens to be in
the yard and fits the requirement.

As I read it, the G-N 'method/concept/whatever we call it' is not concerned
with traffic, but only with freight cars. Thus Mike's large number of SP
freight cars would probably not represent all of the SP originated traffic,
which would also be being carried in other cars headed east, say PRR, NYC,
etc. Indeed, there is no reason to assume that all of the SP cars contain SP
originated freight (although this may be stretching things a bit - I bow
here to other with more knowledge of the area's traffic flow than I have).

My point is that, from what I've read on this list, traffic and the cars
included in G-N are not necessarily synonymous and we need to be very
careful about assuming that something that affects traffic automatically has
the same effect on freight car distribution.

Regards, Viv Brice
An SPF from 'Down Under'


Re: Freight car Distribution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Viv Brice wrote:
However, to me, we often seem to be talking about traffic and freight cars in the same breath implying that traffic originating on road X always uses road X freight cars. Surely traffic was loaded into whatever MTY freight cars were available, which may or may not be home road, may or may not be cars being headed 'home' or even may be any car which just happens to be in the yard and fits the requirement.
Exactly right, VIv, and that's in fact the entire basis of why the G-N idea can be true: you used what you had if you were short of cars, REGARDLESS of the AAR rules, and that available empty could be almost anything.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Re: Box/auto distribution 1938

Wendye Ware
 

Howdy

Here is an update on the distribution of box and auto cars on the UP between Laramie and Rawlins in 1938, with tables that show the cars classified by the ICC region of the owners. This analysis and my previous comparison of data for specific railroads (# 89886) lead me to conclude that the G-N hypothesis does not work very well for the UP in 1938.

The first table lists the names, abbreviations, and number of box/auto/ventilated cars of the ICC regions. The number of cars is for cars in interchange service on ICC Class 1 railroads and their lessees only and is based on the January 1938 ORER.

ICC Region: Abbrev; ORER N of cars
Central Eastern: CE; 130,863
Central Western: CW; 144,296
Great Lakes: GL; 156,429
New England: NE; 23,947
Northwestern: NW; 126,201
Pocahontas: POC; 18,694
Southern: S; 100,611
Southwestern: SW; 56,970
TOTAL: 758,011

The next table gives the number of cars listed in the three Freight Conductors' Train Books by Fitz, Ferguson, and Fraley, classified by region.

Abbrev: N of train book cars
CE: 145
CW: 1,408
GL: 269
NE: 3
NW: 218
POC: 16
S: 73
SW: 111
TOTAL: 2,243

In addition to the cars shown in the table above, the train books list 5 cars from the CN and 19 others whose reporting marks were illegible or could not be found in the ORER. There are thus a total of 2,243 + 5 + 19 = 2,267 box/auto cars reported in the train books.

Data from these tables may be combined to provide a test of the G-N hypothesis of freight car distribution. My understanding of this hypothesis is that it predicts that the proportions of cars observed in a sample of real trains should approximate the national proportions. However, the home road cars should be removed before comparing the proportions.

In this case, the home road is the UP, part of the CW region. There are 27,624 UP box/auto cars listed in the 1938 ORER and 935 in the conductors' train books, so these should be removed from the appropriate tables. This leaves 116,672 and 473 cars in the CW region for the ORER and train books respectively, with totals of 730,387 and 1,308 cars. Once this is done, the percentages of cars in the ORER and train books are as follows:

Region: ORER, Train books
CE: 17.9%, 11.1%
CW: 16.0%, 36.2%
GL: 21.4%, 20.6%
NE: 3.3%, 0.2%
NW: 17.3%, 16.7%
POC: 2.6%, 1.2%
S: 13.8%, 5.6%
SW: 7.8%, 8.5%
Total: 100.0%, 100.0%

Several of these percentages (GL, NW, and SW) appear very comparable. However, the CE, NE, and S regions are greatly underestimated in the train books while the CW has over twice the representation that it should have.

Another way of comparing the tables is to allocate the 1,308 box/auto cars (2,243-935 UP cars) from the train books according to the ORER distribution and compare the actual and predicted numbers of cars:

Region: Actual; Predicted
CE: 145; 234
CW: 473; 209
GL: 269; 280
NE: 3; 43
NW: 218; 226
POC: 16; 33
S: 73; 180
SW: 111; 102
TOTAL: 1,308; 1,307 (Predicted does not sum to 1,308 because of rounding errors.)

The CW region contains the SP as well as the UP and we have had many discussions over many years on this list about the well-known over-representation of its cars in trains across Wyoming. 201 of the train book cars belong to the SP, whereas it "should" have only 44. This leaves an "excess" of 201-44=157 cars, which arguably should be removed from the 473 train book cars in the CW region. If they were removed, then the CW region would be left with 473-157=316 cars which is still half again as many as the 209 it should have.

So does this data support the G-N hypothesis? In my opinion it doesn't, but I stress that this is just an opinion and nothing more – others may decide it provides fine support, or the data have so many flaws it should be ignored. One flaw, a small sample size, will be ameliorated in the months and years to come: I still have over 120 train books to transcribe for the Laramie-Rawlins run in the late 1930s. With an average of 2,300 cars per book, 450 of them foreign box/autos, eventually the sample size should exceed 50,000 foreign box/autos.

I think I recall Tim Gilbert writing that the G-N hypothesis fits the data well during economic prosperity but does less well during recessions and depressions. The year 1938 was during the Great Depression, of course. The high proportion of home cars (41%) is another indication that companies may be keeping their cars close by. It might be that modelers wishing to have a realistic mix of cars on their trains should pick an era first – or perhaps even a specific year and season, and then check what was happening in the national economy at that time. The choice of the G-N vs. a regional (or any other) model for an accurate freight car composition may well depend on such ephemera.

Best wishes,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming


Re: Freight car Distribution

Viv Brice
 

Guys,
I'm getting confused - I have no experience in this area and can only
comment on what I read, with great interest I might add, on this incredibly
knowledgeable list. I might also be totally out in left field!

However, to me, we often seem to be talking about traffic and freight cars
in the same breath implying that traffic originating on road X always uses
road X freight cars. Surely traffic was loaded into whatever MTY freight
cars were available, which may or may not be home road, may or may not be
cars being headed 'home' or even may be any car which just happens to be in
the yard and fits the requirement.

As I read it, the G-N 'method/concept/whatever we call it' is not concerned
with traffic, but only with freight cars. Thus Mike's large number of SP
freight cars would probably not represent all of the SP originated traffic,
which would also be being carried in other cars headed east, say PRR, NYC,
etc. Indeed, there is no reason to assume that all of the SP cars contain SP
originated freight (although this may be stretching things a bit - I bow
here to other with more knowledge of the area's traffic flow than I have).

My point is that, from what I've read on this list, traffic and the cars
included in G-N are not necessarily synonymous and we need to be very
careful about assuming that something that affects traffic automatically has
the same effect on freight car distribution.

Regards, Viv Brice
An SPF from 'Down Under'

98901 - 98920 of 188603