Santa Fe & PFE's-Erie Citrus Traffic


Bob Chaparro <thecitrusbelt@...>
 

Anyone have some actual data on this?

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

===========================
RE: [citrusmodeling] Santa Fe-Erie Citrus Traffic

I think it's important to keep several things in mind regarding the
Erie. (In fact, I say this as an ELHS member.) It was the smallest
of the carriers that connected Chicago with the East Coast, and its
traffic reflected this. The Erie did not, in fact, have access to
all that many important East Coast cities – not Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, most of New Jersey, etc. which the
PRR certainly had. The Erie was probably most important as a
forwarder to Boston via Maybrook and the New Haven, in fact. Its
only real strong point was that it had a straight shot to Maybrook
and Jersey City that avoided any place bigger than Akron, OH! Good
for UPS in the EL's last years, bad for any other traffic. You also
can't evade the problem that the Erie was a financially weak and
often in its life, badly managed carrier – see the H. Roger Grant
book on the Erie Lackawanna. Having the SFRD or PFE somehow prefer
the Erie makes a good story, but I don't believe it's borne out by
the facts. The only possible competitive advantage they had was to
Boston and New York harbor – that can't outweigh all the cities the
Erie didn't even reach, and the PRR's traffic to New York far, far
outweighed the Erie's.

It's possible to say many bad things about the PRR (and I say this as
a PRRT&HS member). However, the PRR had by far the greatest traffic
between Chicago and the East Coast, and this would include produce.
Let's keep proportion in mind: during the early years of the 20th
century, just the PRR's annual INCREASE in traffic was more than the
total traffic of the Great Northern. While the messages you cite do
say that the ATSF interchanged produce traffic with the Erie – this
isn't at all in dispute – they don't seem to say much about the
proportions. But just look at this list of PRR icing stations
http://prrfreight.trainstuffllc.com/ICING_STATIONS.htm The PRR, I
would say, probably had a good many more emergency icing stations
than the Erie had icing stations of any sort.

The PRR likely had heavy damage claims because it had heavy reefer
traffic. This isn't to say the PRR did an excellent job, but it
really didn't need to do one.


Tim O'Connor
 

At 6/17/2007 11:40 PM Sunday, you wrote:
Anyone have some actual data on this?
Thanks.
Bob Chaparro
As someone who grew up near Philadelphia, I would agree the
PRR handled a lot of produce. In the 1960's it was common to
see mechanical reefers any day on one of the extremely minor
branchlines in my hometown area of NJ. They even delivered
RPL's to our local team track; I have a photo of one (PFE).
My home town probably represented about 1,000th of the whole
metro area population.

Also anecdotally, I've seen many pictures of NKP fast freights
with reefers, esp meat reefers. Where did they go after the NKP
brought them to Buffalo? Surely not all on the Erie, since you
also had LV, DL&W, NYC, PRR, B&O connections there.

Tim O'Connor


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:
Anyone have some actual data on this?
Having the SFRD or PFE somehow prefer the Erie makes a good story, but I don't believe it's borne out by the facts.
Bob doesn't tell us who wrote this. The information I have on PFE's preference for the Erie is from PFE's long-time Car Service Manager, Pete Holst, who I interviewed several times in writing the PFE book. He clearly stated that Erie was the most dependable service to New York and as a connection to Boston. I really doubt he was just telling a "good story." He had no reason to.

It's possible to say many bad things about the PRR (and I say this as a PRRT&HS member). However, the PRR had by far the greatest traffic between Chicago and the East Coast, and this would include produce.
Both Holst and PFE's Chief Mechanical Officer, Earl Hopkins, as well as Jim Segurson, Assistant General Manager (all retired when I spoke with them) said the identical thing in separate interviews: the PRR was the worst possible connection, in terms of performance. They would do anything to avoid routing over the Pennsy, but of course for a number of destinations it was unavoidable. Holst did say that they preferred the Erie as far as the New York area, then transfer to PRR for travel to, say, Philadelphia. And by the way, their opinion of New York Central perishable performance was only a hair better. Neither road especially seemed to care about timely perishable deliveries; the Erie evidently did.

The PRR likely had heavy damage claims because it had heavy reefer traffic. This isn't to say the PRR did an excellent job, but it really didn't need to do one.
No, this is a misunderstanding. The PRR had the highest perishable damage claims of any Class I in the U.S., on a PER TON MILE basis. Sorry, that just ain't an excellent job--more traffic just makes it worse. They may have done a great job moving coal, but their record with perishables speaks for itself.

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


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Regarding the message you have quoted below from an un-named member of the "citrusmodeling" group .
. .

Say WHAT???!!

No, I don't have actual data right on hand to put this poor person out of his misery, but others on
this list have provided it before. He is completely wrong. The ERIE was the largest carrier of
perishable traffic from the west via the Chicago gateway to the east coast. No, they didn't serve
Philly, Balto, DC or Pittsburgh, but they did have or link to the most populous parts of the east
coast, NYC, Northern NJ a good portion of upstate NY, and all of New England via Maybrook. The
ERIE's service to NYC was the fastest for this type of merchandise. Having a straight shot in to
"Maybrook and Jersey City that avoided any place bigger than Akron, OH" is a terrific advantage when
the NYC and the PRR had their trains yarded every 100 miles, causing huge delays. The ERIE operated
the perishable trains as hot trains with as little delay as possible.

The idea that the PRR's having a lot of icing stations meaning that they carried more is a great
example of deducing incorrect conclusions from documented information. A lot of icing stations, to
me, suggests, as has been pretty well documented here before by others, that they had a hard time
getting perishable freight over the line in a timely manner, and had to be prepared to re-ice it
frequently to avoid, as much as possible, losing it.

I am at a loss for words.

There is something I don't understand: There seems to be a prevailing attitude that the ERIE was
never a well-run railroad, that it never did things right. Let's understand something: in the 19th
century, the ERIE was saddled with a huge handicap by the financial shenanigans of the Commodore,
Fisk, and Gould. They issued stock offering after stock offering, bond issue after bond issue, and
by the time Gould was done, the ERIE was, I think (no definitive data here either) among, if not
the, most leveraged, most deeply in debt major railroad in the US. If not, darn close to it. The
road never had a chance to go about modernization properly, they had to keep ancient teakettles
taped together and running so that they could serve the traffic they could get. Not until the turn
of the last century did they begin to get their head above water enough to begin to buy some new
power. And it wasn't until the Van Sweringens began to really spend some money and put in an
advanced management team that the railroad really began to get somewhere. Even then, the debt
burden was so heavy that it was not easy to make things really work. The demise of the Van's
system, and of course, the brothers themselves, along with the Depression, really put the
revitalization of the ERIE on the back burner. So, we have a pretty good railroad with a huge debt
problem.

The ERIE was first in many things. First to use train orders is the first one that comes to mind,
but someplace I have a list of about two dozen "firsts." If/when I can find it, I'll post it.
First to use 3000v AC traction (No, NH fans, it wasn't you). Not by much, and a much smaller
installation, but first is first. ERIE engineers set many standards (sorry, PRR). Sorry, I'm a bit
exasperated right now, as you might be able to tell. Basically, let's cut the ERIE some respect.

Yeah, some of you will laugh, but I do not care.


SGL
La vita e breve, mangiate prima il dolce!

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On
Behalf Of Bob Chaparro
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2007 11:41 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Santa Fe & PFE's-Erie Citrus Traffic

Anyone have some actual data on this?

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

===========================
RE: [citrusmodeling] Santa Fe-Erie Citrus Traffic

I think it's important to keep several things in mind regarding the
Erie. (In fact, I say this as an ELHS member.) It was the smallest
of the carriers that connected Chicago with the East Coast, and its
traffic reflected this. The Erie did not, in fact, have access to
all that many important East Coast cities - not Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, most of New Jersey, etc. which the
PRR certainly had. The Erie was probably most important as a
forwarder to Boston via Maybrook and the New Haven, in fact. Its
only real strong point was that it had a straight shot to Maybrook
and Jersey City that avoided any place bigger than Akron, OH! Good
for UPS in the EL's last years, bad for any other traffic. You also
can't evade the problem that the Erie was a financially weak and
often in its life, badly managed carrier - see the H. Roger Grant
book on the Erie Lackawanna. Having the SFRD or PFE somehow prefer
the Erie makes a good story, but I don't believe it's borne out by
the facts. The only possible competitive advantage they had was to
Boston and New York harbor - that can't outweigh all the cities the
Erie didn't even reach, and the PRR's traffic to New York far, far
outweighed the Erie's.

It's possible to say many bad things about the PRR (and I say this as
a PRRT&HS member). However, the PRR had by far the greatest traffic
between Chicago and the East Coast, and this would include produce.
Let's keep proportion in mind: during the early years of the 20th
century, just the PRR's annual INCREASE in traffic was more than the
total traffic of the Great Northern. While the messages you cite do
say that the ATSF interchanged produce traffic with the Erie - this
isn't at all in dispute - they don't seem to say much about the
proportions. But just look at this list of PRR icing stations
http://prrfreight.trainstuffllc.com/ICING_STATIONS.htm
<http://prrfreight.trainstuffllc.com/ICING_STATIONS.htm> The PRR, I
would say, probably had a good many more emergency icing stations
than the Erie had icing stations of any sort.

The PRR likely had heavy damage claims because it had heavy reefer
traffic. This isn't to say the PRR did an excellent job, but it
really didn't need to do one.





Schuyler Larrabee
 

Also anecdotally, I've seen many pictures of NKP fast freights
with reefers, esp meat reefers. Where did they go after the NKP
brought them to Buffalo? Surely not all on the Erie, since you
also had LV, DL&W, NYC, PRR, B&O connections there.

Tim O'Connor
The discussion is about perishable fruit traffic (and not exclusively citrus as I pointed out
before) but the NKP and the DL&W had a tight working relationship for decades. Much of that traffic
headed to NYC went on the DL&W, but some went to the ERIE. Clearly, traffic for Rochester,
Syracuse, Utica (well, maybe not there), Albany etc, likely went NYC.

Most perishable fruit and vegetable traffic from the west went to Chicago via SF and was transferred
to the ERIE when headed to NYC or New England.

SGL


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Schuyler Larrabee wrote:
Most perishable fruit and vegetable traffic from the west went to Chicago via SF and was transferred to the ERIE when headed to NYC or New England.
Ahem. If you check, Schuyler, you will find that PFE's traffic through Chicago was more than 50% greater than SFRD, and in some years was double.

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


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Bob,

By actual data what do you mean? I have no idea what kind
of source could produce statistical data that broke down
perishable deliveries at Chicago and then further broke
them down into citrus or non-citrus.

What you have quoted below is reasonable. The Erie was one
of the smaller players in Eastbound perishable out of
Chicago. Why would anyone think differently?

They may have even been behind the GTW as far as citrus
goes. Why? Because there were large seasonal movements of
citrus from Southern California to Saint John NB for export
to Europe and the GTW got the bulk of that business.

Russ

----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Chaparro
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, 17 June, 2007 22:40
Subject: [STMFC] Santa Fe & PFE's-Erie Citrus Traffic


Anyone have some actual data on this?

Thanks.

Bob Chaparro

===========================
RE: [citrusmodeling] Santa Fe-Erie Citrus Traffic

I think it's important to keep several things in mind regarding
the
Erie. (In fact, I say this as an ELHS member.) It was the
smallest
of the carriers that connected Chicago with the East Coast, and
its
traffic reflected this. The Erie did not, in fact, have access
to
all that many important East Coast cities - not Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, most of New Jersey, etc.
which the
PRR certainly had. The Erie was probably most important as a
forwarder to Boston via Maybrook and the New Haven, in fact.
Its
only real strong point was that it had a straight shot to
Maybrook
and Jersey City that avoided any place bigger than Akron, OH!
Good
for UPS in the EL's last years, bad for any other traffic. You
also
can't evade the problem that the Erie was a financially weak and
often in its life, badly managed carrier - see the H. Roger
Grant
book on the Erie Lackawanna. Having the SFRD or PFE somehow
prefer
the Erie makes a good story, but I don't believe it's borne out
by
the facts. The only possible competitive advantage they had was
to
Boston and New York harbor - that can't outweigh all the cities
the
Erie didn't even reach, and the PRR's traffic to New York far,
far
outweighed the Erie's.

It's possible to say many bad things about the PRR (and I say
this as
a PRRT&HS member). However, the PRR had by far the greatest
traffic
between Chicago and the East Coast, and this would include
produce.
Let's keep proportion in mind: during the early years of the
20th
century, just the PRR's annual INCREASE in traffic was more than
the
total traffic of the Great Northern. While the messages you
cite do
say that the ATSF interchanged produce traffic with the Erie -
this
isn't at all in dispute - they don't seem to say much about the
proportions. But just look at this list of PRR icing stations
http://prrfreight.trainstuffllc.com/ICING_STATIONS.htm The
PRR, I
would say, probably had a good many more emergency icing
stations
than the Erie had icing stations of any sort.

The PRR likely had heavy damage claims because it had heavy
reefer
traffic. This isn't to say the PRR did an excellent job, but it
really didn't need to do one.


Bruce Smith
 

Schuyler Larrabee wrote:

Say WHAT???!!

No, I don't have actual data right on hand to put this poor person out of his misery, but others on
this list have provided it before. He is completely wrong. The ERIE was the largest carrier of
perishable traffic from the west via the Chicago gateway to the east coast.
Schuyler, Bob,

The actual data has been presented here before (spring 2006) as well as published in TKM. 1950 ICC data on perishable loads handled compiled by Jim Singer and Greg Martin indicate that while ERIE had a total of 45,105 loads, the PRR had a total of 145,712 loads, or more than three times the ERIE. In fact, PRR is THRID in the nation, behind UP and SP (248,072 and 190,755 respectively) and nearly 50% more than AT&SF (107,402).

Ah-ha! you say - these figure represent total loads in all directions, not just the eastward traffic you mention and so the numbers for this traffic could be closer. Good point, so lets look at the breakdowns and see what we find (I've put an * where ERIE beats PRR).

COMMODITY ERIE PRR
Apples 2503 2937
Bananas 1798 9504
Cantalope/Melons 6570* 6136
Grapes 5972* 2894
Lemons/Limes 1692* 1504
Oranges/Grapefruit 5370 22916
Peaches 614 1507
Pears 3409* 1324
Watermelons 279 9859
Other Fresh Fruit 2002* 1507

Cabbage 346 4481
Celery 699 9257
Lettuce 3439 10831
Onions 1368 5408
Potatoes 4371 26869
Tomatoes 824 9898
Other Fresh Vegatabes 3759 19183

Total handled 45105 145712

Frankly, this is fascinating. In traffic that would seem to clearly have come from PRR affiliated BREX and WFEX like apples, ERIE actually got a good chunk of traffic (or does the ERIE traffic reflect New York apples and therefore not west to east traffic?). ERIE and PRR are almost tied for lemons/limes, but PRR is miles ahead on oranges (note that this may reflect some Florida orange traffic). Bananas? The IC whips everyone with almost 30,000 loads, but those seem to be going to the PRR, not the ERIE to move east (ACL and SBD account for less than 2000 loading total by this time so the PRR numbers do not represent Atlantic Coast bananas). OK, what about something almost EXCLUSIVELY left coast? Celery and lettuce would be good bets, and there PRR dominates ERIE. And what's with the potato data?? If the ERIE is supposed to be the bridge line to New England, it seems like a lot of Maine spuds are moving on the PRR compared to the ERIE.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/index.pl/bruce_f._smith2

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
__
/ &#92;
__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________
|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |
| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
|/_____________________________&#92;|_|________________________________|
| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0


Tim O'Connor
 

Bruce

Good data. I recall from my reading years ago that GN
loaded about 18,000 car loads of apples in Washington
annually in the early 1960's. So clearly most of that
did not go to either PRR or ERIE. (Add UP, NP and MILW
to that total and you get a lot of apples.)

I wonder if the ERIE grape traffic reflects traffic to
Taylor in upstate New York to some extent? I only say
that because grapes are not especially perishable when
compared to other fruits, so expeditious handling would
not seem so important.

Note the huge disparity in cabbage, celery, watermelons.
Weird.

Tomatoes too -- this may reflect online PRR originations
in NJ or Delaware.

I know Santa Fe delivered thousands of carloads of onions
each year to Chicago. I recall a Trains article on the
expedited "onion trains" from California in the 1950's.
Back then the onions took 5 days to reach Chicago.

Tim O'Connor

COMMODITY ERIE PRR
-------------------------------------
Apples 2503 2937
Bananas 1798 9504
Cantalope/Melons 6570* 6136
Grapes 5972* 2894
Lemons/Limes 1692* 1504
Oranges/Grapefruit 5370 22916
Peaches 614 1507
Pears 3409* 1324
Watermelons 279 9859
Other Fresh Fruit 2002* 1507
Cabbage 346 4481
Celery 699 9257
Lettuce 3439 10831
Onions 1368 5408
Potatoes 4371 26869
Tomatoes 824 9898
Other Fresh Vegatabes 3759 19183
-------------------------------------
Total handled 45105 145712


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Schuyler Larrabee writes:

"The ERIE was first in many things."

Well. Certainly I would agree. I believe they were several months...maybe even a year...ahead of the Virginian in developing the Triplex. [ Is there any way to call long distance to get a 911 call to Schuyler's address?] <GG>. My guess is that Erie MAY have retained them longer than Virginian...the cost of scrapping perhaps being more of an issue for Erie's 3 than breaking Virginian's into two engines. I will admit that I really don't know if Erie scrapped theirs or broke them into smaller engines. Coincidentally, I have a model of Virginian's #610 in my display case [ although it's not mine ], a resulting 2-8-8-0 after being broken into it and a Mike. I will also admit that I like the Erie logo and their Alco diesel "A" units had classic paint jobs.

Mike Brock...now where did I put the key to the bunker? Ooops. Is that incoming?....


Richard Hendrickson
 

We've been over all of this ground before, to little purpose. Here are
some facts (i.e., based on hard evidence) that those of us who are more
interested in facts than in advocacy should be able to agree upon.

The PRR handled vast amounts of perishable traffic. Of course they
did, given the sheer size of the railroad and the fact that they got
almost all of the northbound citrus and other perishable traffic from
Florida and the southeast.

They handled much of it very badly. As Tony Thompson points out, their
record of perishable losses per ton mile was abysmal, much worse than
any other major RR.

PFE and SFRD, the major perishable shippers from the west to the east,
avoided routing traffic via PRR whenever they could (though often, of
course, it was unavoidable). Agents were strongly encouraged to route
traffic, when appropriate, to the New York Metro area and New England
via the Erie and to Canada via the Grand Trunk Western. In addition to
the anecdotal evidence cited by Tony Thompson, and similar evidence
from former Santa Fe employees, there are correspondence records which
leave no doubt that this was both PFE and SFRD policy in the steam era.
The Erie, GTW, and NKP went out of their way to provide fast and
effective perishable service. By contrast, the PRR management
apparently thought that fast freight was a contradiction in terms,
Anyone who doubts this should read Set Up Running by John W. Orr, an
account of his father's career as a PRR engineman which includes
descriptions of "fast freights" being held in sidings for hours to
clear coal trains. As for the NYC, they expedited perishable service
on MDT traffic that originated on-line but could have cared less about
interchange traffic.

There is no controversy about any of this among those of us who have
actually spent some time researching refrigerator car operations during
the steam era.

Richard Hendrickson


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jun 18, 2007, at 9:22 AM, Mike Brock wrote:

Schuyler Larrabee writes:

"The ERIE was first in many things."

Well. Certainly I would agree. I believe they were several
months...maybe
even a year...ahead of the Virginian in developing the Triplex. [ Is
there
any way to call long distance to get a 911 call to Schuyler's
address?]
<GG>. My guess is that Erie MAY have retained them longer than
Virginian...the cost of scrapping perhaps being more of an issue for
Erie's
3 than breaking Virginian's into two engines. I will admit that I
really
don't know if Erie scrapped theirs or broke them into smaller engines.
Coincidentally, I have a model of Virginian's #610 in my display case
[
although it's not mine ], a resulting 2-8-8-0 after being broken into
it and
a Mike. I will also admit that I like the Erie logo and their Alco
diesel
"A" units had classic paint jobs.

Mike Brock...now where did I put the key to the bunker? Ooops. Is that
incoming?....
Freight cars? Isn't this list about freight cars? Can Jeff Aley jail
the moderator for being totally off-topic?

Richard Hendrickson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
1950 ICC data on perishable loads handled compiled by Jim Singer and Greg Martin indicate that while ERIE had a total of 45,105 loads, the PRR had a total of 145,712 loads, or more than three times the ERIE. In fact, PRR is THRID in the nation, behind UP and SP (248,072 and 190,755 respectively) and nearly 50% more than AT&SF (107,402).
Nobody, certainly not me, has claimed that PRR did not have a LOT of perishable traffic, and I know of no one who claimed that Erie carried most of the perishables east of Chicago. My point from my knowledge of PFE attitudes, and Richard Hendrickson's knowledge of generally similar attitudes at SFRD, is that PRR did a poor job of it. Their many destinations served guaranteed a lot of volume. Let's just not pretend they were good at it.

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
 

Tony Thompson wrote

Nobody, certainly not me, has claimed that PRR did not have a
LOT of perishable traffic, and I know of no one who claimed that Erie
carried most of the perishables east of Chicago. My point from my
knowledge of PFE attitudes, and Richard Hendrickson's knowledge of
generally similar attitudes at SFRD, is that PRR did a poor job of it.
Their many destinations served guaranteed a lot of volume. Let's just
not pretend they were good at it.
The terminating road usually gets the blame for perishables (hence
the name). They tend to spoil fastest towards the end of their runs
and since most had been in transit for a week by the time PRR got
them from the west coast, what else would you expect?

Yes, Erie had lower claims per ton-mile. But they also had almost
no online destinations for it, of any great importance, between
Chicago and Jersey City. The Pennsylvania's traffic volumes just
dwarfed the Erie's and where there is congestion, there is delay.
(This happens today too.)

I always like to look at stats like average train speeds, and car
miles per car day. By these measurements, you would think that the
western roads travelling through sparsely populated areas over very
large distances would excel -- but their performance wasn't so much
better than the eastern roads, and most of it can simply be accounted
for by looking at car-miles-per-carload. (Since terminal delays or
"dwell time" are the major consumers of time regardless of distance.)

I have yet to read any post of ACTUAL per-ton-mile perishable damage
claim numbers for PRR vs ERIE vs national average for some number of
years. (A larger sample is better for comparison.) You guys say it's
true, so prove it.

Tim O'Connor


SUVCWORR@...
 

In a message dated 6/18/2007 2:45:09 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
bakert@... writes:

. My second question relates to where all the meat traffic off the CGW went
when it got to Chicago. Thursday nights were "meat nights" on the CGW with
trains heading out of all terminals and conv
erging at Oelwein for the haul to Chicago, sometimes in m
ultiple sections, at least in the days of steam. I am under the impression
that the PRR did not get very much of the CGW meat traffic. Any solid
information out there?



Tom:

If you look at the PRR consists for freight trains in 1952 most if not all
the dressed meat loads that the PRR carried came through ST. Louis.

Rich Orr



************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.


Schuyler Larrabee
 


Bruce Smith wrote:
1950 ICC data on perishable loads handled compiled by Jim
Singer and
Greg Martin indicate that while ERIE had a total of 45,105
loads, the
PRR had a total of 145,712 loads, or more than three times
the ERIE.
In fact, PRR is THRID in the nation, behind UP and SP (248,072 and
190,755 respectively) and nearly 50% more than AT&SF (107,402).
Nobody, certainly not me, has claimed that PRR did not have a
LOT of perishable traffic, and I know of no one who claimed that Erie
carried most of the perishables east of Chicago.
Well, I might be guilty, but what I wrote was that the ERIE was "the largest carrier of
perishable traffic from the west via the Chicago gateway to the east coast." That was carefully
worded, and may not be completely true, but the information you and Richard have provided (again) to
the list does give some creedence to that idea. A couple of notes: Apples were from the Pacific
NW, plus, no doubt, from western NYS. The consists I uploaded to the Files section include cars
with apples moving eastward in Ohio. Grapes were loaded on the Bath & Hammondsport, which was
captive to the ERIE (almost), so those did account for some of the grape loads, but they also came
from the far west for sales to immigrants who were making wine at home. Several people can provide
the stories of cars of grapes being sold retail right off the car.

My point from my
knowledge of PFE attitudes, and Richard Hendrickson's knowledge of
generally similar attitudes at SFRD, is that PRR did a poor job of it.
Their many destinations served guaranteed a lot of volume. Let's just
not pretend they were good at it.

Tony Thompson
Right. Let's not.

SGL


Bruce Smith
 

On Jun 18, 2007, at 11:22 AM, Richard Hendrickson wrote:
They handled much of it very badly. As Tony Thompson points out, their
record of perishable losses per ton mile was abysmal, much worse than
any other major RR.
Richard, Tony,

Thanks! Prior to your comments, I was able to place a little side wager that both of you would make exactly the comments you did. You see, I KNEW that neither of you could not resist adding comments about quality to a discussion of quantity <VBG>. To give the poor soul I was betting with a chance, I did allow that it would have to be BOTH of you AND I would have to pay 5 to 1 if I lost, but hey, that didn't seem to be too big a risk!

Now to collect my winnings from Brianna! ;^)

Regards,
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/index.pl/bruce_f._smith2

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Schuyler,

As for apples, California had some pretty important growing areas, particularly around Auburn. There used to be packing sheds around Auburn (largely closed by the 1950s, and these would have all gone by the Southern Pacific.

A LOT of apples came out of Virginia. The famous Byrd political dynasty got rich on apples from around Winchester. Winchester was served by the B&O, and there was also a PRR branch at one time (a PRR freight house still exists).

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Schuyler Larrabee wrote:

Bruce Smith wrote:

1950 ICC data on perishable loads handled compiled by Jim
Singer and
Greg Martin indicate that while ERIE had a total of 45,105
loads, the
PRR had a total of 145,712 loads, or more than three times
the ERIE.
In fact, PRR is THRID in the nation, behind UP and SP (248,072 and 190,755 respectively) and nearly 50% more than AT&SF (107,402).
Nobody, certainly not me, has claimed that PRR did not have a LOT of perishable traffic, and I know of no one who claimed that Erie carried most of the perishables east of Chicago.
Well, I might be guilty, but what I wrote was that the ERIE was "the largest carrier of
perishable traffic from the west via the Chicago gateway to the east coast." That was carefully
worded, and may not be completely true, but the information you and Richard have provided (again) to
the list does give some creedence to that idea. A couple of notes: Apples were from the Pacific
NW, plus, no doubt, from western NYS. The consists I uploaded to the Files section include cars
with apples moving eastward in Ohio. Grapes were loaded on the Bath & Hammondsport, which was
captive to the ERIE (almost), so those did account for some of the grape loads, but they also came
from the far west for sales to immigrants who were making wine at home. Several people can provide
the stories of cars of grapes being sold retail right off the car.

My point from my
knowledge of PFE attitudes, and Richard Hendrickson's knowledge of generally similar attitudes at SFRD, is that PRR did a poor job of it. Their many destinations served guaranteed a lot of volume. Let's just not pretend they were good at it.

Tony Thompson
Right. Let's not.

SGL



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Thomas Baker
 

The discussion here brings up some questions relating to the role of the Chicago Great Western and to who received most of its eastbound traffic in Chicago or at Bellwood, Illinois.

1. During the summer when we took the train from Minneapolis to Marshalltown and return, I can recall standing out on the platform of the depot waiting for the northbound passenger from Kansas City to Minneapolis. I think that almost every time we used the CGW, a freight was ahead of the passenger train. I distincly recall meat refrigerator cars and also quite a few SFRD cars. It does not make sense that the ATSF would shorthaul itself, although a CGW operating man once told me that when the Santa Fe had so many freight trains it didn't know what to do with them,it sent some of them over the CGW, which was a friendly connection for the Santa Fe. I assume though that the SFRD cars were headed north to the Twin Cities and not to Chicago. Anyone out there have an idea? By the way, the time period I refer to is 1950-1956)


2. My second question relates to where all the meat traffic off the CGW went when it got to Chicago. Thursday nights were "meat nights" on the CGW with trains heading out of all terminals and conv
erging at Oelwein for the haul to Chicago, sometimes in m
ultiple sections, at least in the days of steam. I am under the impression that the PRR did not get very much of the CGW meat traffic. Any solid information out there?

Tom


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
Thanks! Prior to your comments, I was able to place a little side wager that both of you would make exactly the comments you did. You see, I KNEW that neither of you could not resist adding comments about quality to a discussion of quantity <VBG>.
The only reason to raise the quality issue is to explain why PFE (and also SFRD, AFAIK) had a strong preference for the Erie. As I said, that obviously does not mean that nothing went via PRR, only that PRR's performance was not "admired."

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@...
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