Home Road Boxcars


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim Gilbert wrote:
You are no different from most modelers of freight operations - too many
home road boxcars. An attitude that I, Ben Hom and others are trying to
change.
This makes me wonder why, in the early 1950s, the Northwest lumber shippers repeatedly complained to the ICC (as liberally covered in Railway Age) that their local railroads, including SP, did not provide enough home-road box cars, but relied excessively on foreign box cars. Comment?

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
 

Anthony Thompson wrote:

This makes me wonder why, in the early 1950s, the Northwest
lumber shippers repeatedly complained to the ICC (as liberally covered
in Railway Age) that their local railroads, including SP, did not
provide enough home-road box cars, but relied excessively on foreign
box cars. Comment?
In the Fall of 1947 when the shortage of boxcars was increased even more by the demands of the seasonal grain rush, gons, auto cars and stock cars were used for eastbound lumber loads over Sherman Hill from the Northwest.

RAILWAY AGE would publish almost any shipper complaint. Was there a significant difference between SP or other Northwestern road boxcars and those owned by foreign roads?

Tim Gilbert


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim Gilbert wrote:
RAILWAY AGE would publish almost any shipper complaint. Was there a
significant difference between SP or other Northwestern road boxcars and
those owned by foreign roads?
It was, of course, before the ICC, so it wasn't just "any complaint." The ones I was recently reading were complaining that traffic had increased on all the roads serving the Northwest, but they had increased their car fleets much less, and the result, as they saw it, was increasing delays in car supply. I didn't read the statistics too carefully, but SP was typical of the numbers shown, with something like a 6% increase in cars over the time period quoted, and 30% increase in traffic. What interested me was that they wanted less reliance on foreign-road box cars, presumably only because the home road could control its cars and (in their minds) get them the cars they needed. (Possibly also a bit of the attitude PFE encountered, which was that most foreign reefers were in much poorer condition than PFE cars).

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@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

Perhaps SP just got caught in a postwar squeeze, where it had once
been able to rely on a supply of eastern cars for reloading to send
back east, after the war many types of cars (especially eastern cars)
were being scrapped faster than they were being replaced and maybe
SP had no anticipated this rate of change, so it took a while for
their own purchases (several thousand box cars a year for a number
of years) to catch up with the shortage?

Also as I have mentioned before, the GN annual reports in the 1950's
complained that the number of cars on-line was chronically less than
the number of cars they owned! Once GN cars went off-line evidently,
other railroads didn't bother to return them quickly... or snagged
them for other use. During the grain rush every year, GN and the
other grangers would hoard older home-road box cars (parking them
empty for weeks) to assure their shippers of a car supply. I'm sure
this made shortages even worse elsewhere!

Tim O'Connor

Anthony Thompson wrote:

This makes me wonder why, in the early 1950s, the Northwest
lumber shippers repeatedly complained to the ICC (as liberally covered
in Railway Age) that their local railroads, including SP, did not
provide enough home-road box cars, but relied excessively on foreign
box cars. Comment?
In the Fall of 1947 when the shortage of boxcars was increased even more
by the demands of the seasonal grain rush, gons, auto cars and stock
cars were used for eastbound lumber loads over Sherman Hill from the
Northwest.

RAILWAY AGE would publish almost any shipper complaint. Was there a
significant difference between SP or other Northwestern road boxcars and
those owned by foreign roads?

Tim Gilbert


WashyRailfan <mentze@...>
 

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

This makes me wonder why, in the early 1950s, the
Northwest
lumber shippers repeatedly complained to the ICC (as liberally
covered
in Railway Age) that their local railroads, including SP, did not
provide enough home-road box cars, but relied excessively on
foreign
box cars. Comment?
Regarding boxcar shortages, while researching some UP records
surprisingly stashed away
at a local museum, I came across the following, transcribed in part:
--------------------------
Albina, November 16, 1956

All U.P. Agents –

PART 95 – CAR SERVICE REVISED SERVICE ORDER NO. 915 SUBSTITUTION
OF
REFRIGERATION CARS FOR BOX CARS

At a session of the Interstate Commerce Commission . . . 31, October
1956.

It appearing, That the number of freight cars available for the
movement of box car freight
in the States of Oregon, California, Arizona, Idaho, Utah and Nevada,
has seriously
decreased recently; that at present the supply is insufficient to
move such freight traffic of
carriers serving those states; that there are certain SFRD, PFE and
WP refrigerator cars in
that territory not suitable for transporting commodities requiring
protective service and
that such cars are suitable for transporting other freight; in the
opinion of the Commission
an emergency exists requiring immediate action in [above named
states].
--------------------------
In summation, it was ordered that railroads could provide 2
refrigerator cars in place of a
40-foot boxcar, or 3 refrigerators in place of a 50-foot boxcar for
carload freight
originating AND terminiating within those same states. I assume this
must have been an
unusual occurence? Any speculation as to what commodities would be
transported
between those 6 states?

Marc Entze
Pullman, WA
mentze@...


SUVCWORR@...
 

In a message dated 9/24/2005 10:43:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
pwider@... writes:
Every month (I think), Railway Age published a table of statistics for just
about every
railroad that one can think of. Included in the tables were the number of
home and foreign
freight cars on line. While the tables don't break the data down further to
car type, it is
interesting to see the total numbers as well as the ratio between the two.
Ed and I have a
near complete collection of RA for the period of interest. Would these
numbers be of
interest to the subscribers? We could publish a summary in RP CYC by year
(we'll pick the
month). Besides, Ed really likes working with EXCEL!!!!
Pat,

Sounds like an excellent idea.

Rich Orr


Patrick Wider <pwider@...>
 

Every month (I think), Railway Age published a table of statistics for just about every
railroad that one can think of. Included in the tables were the number of home and foreign
freight cars on line. While the tables don't break the data down further to car type, it is
interesting to see the total numbers as well as the ratio between the two. Ed and I have a
near complete collection of RA for the period of interest. Would these numbers be of
interest to the subscribers? We could publish a summary in RP CYC by year (we'll pick the
month). Besides, Ed really likes working with EXCEL!!!!

Pat Wider


Richard White
 

On Sat, 24 Sep 2005 at 14:43:13, Pat Wider wrote:
"Every month (I think), Railway Age published a table of statistics for just
about every
railroad that one can think of. Included in the tables were the number of
home and foreign
freight cars on line. While the tables don't break the data down further to
car type, it is
interesting to see the total numbers as well as the ratio between the two.
Ed and I have a
near complete collection of RA for the period of interest. Would these
numbers be of
interest to the subscribers? We could publish a summary in RP CYC by year
(we'll pick the
month). Besides, Ed really likes working with EXCEL!!!!"

I would really enjoy seeing this - it would help me with my modelling too!

Richard White



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ehiser <ehiser@...>
 

Yes -- please put an Excel of the Railway Age statistics in the files
section.

Eric Hiser
Phoenix, AZ


Greg Bartek
 

Absolutely! Another request here for the stats. Eastern/Anthracite
roads info would be greatly appreciated.

Greg Bartek

--- In STMFC@..., "ehiser" <ehiser@c...> wrote:
Yes -- please put an Excel of the Railway Age statistics in the files
section.

Eric Hiser
Phoenix, AZ



estcbq@...
 

by all means--anything CBQ


Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>
 

estcbq@... wrote:

by all means--anything CBQ
Whoever you are, between 1940 and 1960, the percent of CB&Q-owned freight cars at home as a percent of Total Freight Cars on Line was above 50% in only six (1940-1942 & 1958-1960) of the 21 years. This percentage is a total. The percentage of CB&Q-owned boxcars on home rails as a percentage of total boxcars on the CB&Q was even less. Which means that that more foreign road boxcars were on the CB&Q than CB&Q's own boxcars.

Tim Gilbert


Tim O'Connor
 

Tim, I thought that was pretty much an established factoid -- on
railroad <fill-in-the-blank> the number of foreign box cars on line
exceeded the number of home road box cars on line.

The total home/foreign percentages are always distorted by lots
of home road cars that do less roaming -- like gondolas & hoppers.
And CB&Q had a lot of those. Photos that I've seen of CB&Q
"merchandise" trains usually show plenty of foreign cars.

I think 1958-1960 were major recession years, no? But why 1942
would have been such a year, I don't know. Contrary to what I'd
expect just based on rapidly rising traffic levels in 1942.

Tim O'Connor

Whoever you are, between 1940 and 1960, the percent of CB&Q-owned
freight cars at home as a percent of Total Freight Cars on Line was
above 50% in only six (1940-1942 & 1958-1960) of the 21 years. This
percentage is a total. The percentage of CB&Q-owned boxcars on home
rails as a percentage of total boxcars on the CB&Q was even less. Which
means that that more foreign road boxcars were on the CB&Q than CB&Q's
own boxcars.