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gondolas - eastern empties in the west
tim gilbert <tgilbert@...>
Your idea that an SP agent would have grabbed an East Coast gon isAt the 1948 Railway Superintendents Convention, the proceedings noted
that, just as it was inefficient, and bad freight car utilization to
send an empty foreign boxcar westward, it was likewise to send an empty
foreign gondola eastward. The remark about gondolas was made in context
of the steel business.
Perhaps even the SP would rather earn revenue for an eastern road's gon
rather than to absorb all the costs of returning it empty back east. In
the Fall of 1947 between Rawlins & Laramie WY, the UP carried numerous
loaded eastern hoppers & gons loaded with "company material" destined
for points east on the UP in Wyoming and Nebraska in order to reduce the
empty car mileage going over Sherman Hill.
It was the First Rule of Interchange to give precedence to loading
foreign car empties when appropriate - this reduced empty car mileage,
lessened the demand upon track and yard capacity as it reduced the
number of cars on line.
Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
I don't even begin to understand freight car utilization rules, even though we discuss them here
frequently. As has often been pointed out here by those more in the know, agents frequently ... uh ...
bent those rules to simplify their work, to increase profits, or cut rival railroad's possible revenue.
Your point is well taken, and I now understand the error of my statement. That said, I am not about to
whip myself with a piece of flex track. :~)
The point I was trying to make, and probably muddied the issue with excess verbosity, was that the SP did
have a substantial fleet of mill and other long gons which were generally adequate to their needs, and
also that the SP did serve quite a number of steel mills.
Let's let it go at that.
Garth G. Groff
tim gilbert wrote:
To which Tim replied:
Charlie Tapper <chastap@...>
Re: Geneva, Pittsburg, Torrance, Pueblo et al. We know western roads did
acquire cars to serve these mills, D&RGW's 65' mill gons come to mind as do
WP's shorty coil-service cars. I sincerely doubt if much of the product from
these mills went far east, but I would venture that quite a bit of the
product from the much larger and more diversified mill complexes of the east
headed west. Just a guess, mind you, but it seems logical.
I expect that photos of the storage yards in these western, mostly wartime,
mills would contain a majority of "local" road's gondolas, some in captive
service perhaps. The difference here is you can virtually identify the exact
mill the road built the cars for, while an eastern road serving, say, the
Pittsburgh District (Pitts.-Youngstown) would have served dozens of major
integrated steel mills. For example, D&RGW serving Pueblo and Geneva.
Mike Brock <brockm@...>
Charlie Tapper writes:
I sincerely doubt if much of the product from
these mills went far east, but I would venture that quite a bit of theeast
headed west. Just a guess, mind you, but it seems logical.While I have not yet compiled meaningful data from the Big Boy tape, various
books or the Fraley frt conductor book, I have noticed a "significant"
number of eastern gons on UP tracks in Wy.
Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
At 10:17 AM 6/14/2002, you wrote:
Re: Geneva, Pittsburg, Torrance, Pueblo et al. We know western roads didNot all steel is the same, clearly. The SP* had at least two steel
gas pipe producers on line and unit trains of gas pipe were seen
on the SP in the 40's and 50's ... In most of the pictures I have
seen GS gons were used for most if not all of the loads. Gas pipe
often travels quite far, although I don't know about any particular
routings during our era.
Fabricated steel can come from anywhere and go almost anywhere. I
know there were many, many steel fabricators west of the Mississippi.
(And also other specialized metal fabricators -- a place in Idaho that
made parts for nuclear power plants and military projects comes to
Corrugated steel pipe tended to be produced locally as well. I suppose
that would require coil loads in, and pipe loads out.
And of course, steel & metal scrap was a major commodity. And pig iron
for foundries was produced and consumed in the west. And let's not neglect
the non-ferrous metals -- copper and aluminum were important sources for
traffic in the west.
Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
Charlie Tapper <chastap@...>
Not all steel is the same, clearly. The SP* had at least two steelFunny they would use GS gons instead of G-50-13 or G-50-14 gons. Must have
been short pipe. Did they must have a shortage of mill gons and were
pressing in to service what they could get?
often travels quite far, although I don't know about any particularI don't either, but it is my impression that the oil and gas pipeline
network expanded rapidly in that time frame. You'd have to research it but I
would guess they were destined for locations in the southwest.
Other items snipped:
And let's not neglect
the non-ferrous metals -- copper and aluminum were important sources forWhat was blister copper or anode copper shipped in? How about aluminum from
the Pacific Northwest (as slabs?)? During the transition era, that is.
Tim O'Connor said:
Not all steel is the same, clearly. The SP* had at least two steelThis is certainly true, and I do have photos showing what Tim describes,
large diameter pipe in GS gons. A photo of a whole train so loaded on
Tehachapi is in my volume on gondolas. But the great majority of photos
post-WW II show the pipe loads on flat cars (many of them F-70-7 class
cars). Soon we'll be able to model same...
Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history
The whole point about GS gondolas was that they could be used to shipNot all steel is the same, clearly. The SP* had at least two steelFunny they would use GS gons instead of G-50-13 or G-50-14 gons. Must have
anything that would fit into them. If the pipe loads would fit GS gons,
why not use those instead of the less numerous mill gons? That's not
"pressing into service what they could get," it's making use of their GS
gons just as was intended when they bought them. That versatility is
precisely why most western RRs preferred GS gondolas to hopper cars; they
could be used for pipe, steel, logs, etc. as well as for bulk mineral
Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520
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