Topics

Freight car distribution


armprem
 

I would like to reopen the dialogue on freight car distribution.I am
aware that to some, it may have been discussed ad nauseam.I firmly
believe that we tend see more freight cars within their own region
than by size.What is your opinion?Armand Premo


al_brown03
 

--- In STMFC@..., "armprem1" <armprem@...> wrote:

I would like to reopen the dialogue on freight car distribution.I am
aware that to some, it may have been discussed ad nauseam.I firmly
believe that we tend see more freight cars within their own region
than by size.What is your opinion?Armand Premo
On this topic, my opinion doesn't count for much, since I don't have
original data. With due respect, I turn the question back. In regard to
the freight-car distribution on (for example) the Rutland, what are the
numbers? I intend the question in a friendly spirit of inquiry. It's
conceivable that the answer could be different from one railroad to
another, or even from one location to another on a sufficiently large
railroad.

-- Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.


Bruce Smith
 

On Fri, August 8, 2008 7:44 pm, armprem1 wrote:
I would like to reopen the dialogue on freight car distribution.I am
aware that to some, it may have been discussed ad nauseam.I firmly
believe that we tend see more freight cars within their own region
than by size.What is your opinion?Armand Premo
Armand,

First, it is probably not really appropriate to make such a broad
statement. We know that car distributions varied by type. Thus hopper
cars were far more likely to be home road and regional, while gons were
more likely to be regional and boxcars and flat cars were national in
distribution for much of the steam era. Reefers and tank cars followed
ownership distributions for the most part for originating loads, but were
widely distributed for terminating loads, especially for reefers. For
example, lettuce was still going to come in PFE reefers, even if you were
on an FGE road but the vast majority of produce originating on that road
would be in FGE/BRE/WFE owned cars.

For roads like the Rutland, you have to ask what it means to see lots of
NYC and PRR boxcars? This should not be taken to necessarily mean a
regional bias, since these were two of the largest fleets in the nation.
The question has to be were these cars present in greater numbers than
indicated by their percentage in the national fleet because of the
Rutland's proximity to these roads? Almost of the data presented here
over the years by Tim Gilbert and others has indicated quite clearly that
boxcars were present (with the exception of home road) in percentages that
resemble the national percentages on just about every road in the country,
thus putting the concept of home road and regional preference in boxcars
firmly into the category of modeler's fantasy.

Note that this DOES NOT apply to individual trains, as our ertswhile list
owner will no doubt point out with his "SP Forwarder" example... They
apply to fleets.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


armprem
 

While I must admit that I am more familiar with roads in New England ,but by observing freight yard photos of other areas of the country I have concluded that there is the strong likelihood that I will not see as many Pennsy cars (of all types) in Los Angles as I will in Boston or moreUP cars in Omaha than in Baltimore.Armand Premo----- Original Message -----
From: "al_brown03" <abrown@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 9:12 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car distribution


--- In STMFC@..., "armprem1" <armprem@...> wrote:

I would like to reopen the dialogue on freight car distribution.I am
aware that to some, it may have been discussed ad nauseam.I firmly
believe that we tend see more freight cars within their own region
than by size.What is your opinion?Armand Premo
On this topic, my opinion doesn't count for much, since I don't have
original data. With due respect, I turn the question back. In regard to
the freight-car distribution on (for example) the Rutland, what are the
numbers? I intend the question in a friendly spirit of inquiry. It's
conceivable that the answer could be different from one railroad to
another, or even from one location to another on a sufficiently large
railroad.

-- Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.



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Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Bruce Smith writes:

"Almost of the data presented here
over the years by Tim Gilbert and others has indicated quite clearly that
boxcars were present (with the exception of home road) in percentages that
resemble the national percentages on just about every road in the country,
thus putting the concept of home road and regional preference in boxcars
firmly into the category of modeler's fantasy.

Note that this DOES NOT apply to individual trains, as our ertswhile list
owner will no doubt point out with his "SP Forwarder" example... They
apply to fleets."

Well, with regard to individual trains, I agree completely with Bruce. However, rather than risk disagreeing with the position I took on this subject two yrs ago, I'll reprint part of what I wrote on June 13, 2006:

"At
any rate, the
data from the '49 Fraley [ for whatever reason ] shows that SP box cars seem
to
exceed their national avg on UP tracks in Wyoming while those of WP seem to
be less than their avg.
My Fraley shows that there were 15 trains [ out of 34 ] with one or less SP
box cars. In fact, 9 had none at all.
Two trains had a total of 42.3% of the SP box cars...27 + 31 cars. I might
point out that "why" doesn't really matter. Two
others had 9 each. Thus 4 trains had 76 cars or 55.8%. 29 trains had 5 or
less SP box cars. Surely, this doesn't sound like a random process at work."

Tim Gilbert wrote:

But over time
- a week or a month - that distribution should average out except for
cases of obvious biases such as the home road, or in the case of Sherman
Hill, the SP's which can be considered as an extension of the home road
(UP) for, at least, lumber loading.
And I replied:

"Ah ha! I think I can agree with that. My point all along has been that
certain RRs probably have more of their box cars...and perhaps other
cars...on the tracks of a RR with a closely integrated operation...UP/SP.
Perhaps UP/C&NW. The cars of other RRs...with some exceptions...might well
follow the national %."

Mike Brock


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Hopper car distribution is hard to pinpoint. Some examples from
Ontario and Quebec. L&N, SOU, RDG, LV, CNJ/CRP, B&O, D&H, IC, PRR,
and NYC hoppers were common visitors, either carrying anthracite or
loco coal depending on the originating location of the load. CPR had
a "heavy financial interest" in the Cambridge Collieries of
Cambridge, OH for loco coal, which was largely shipped in PRR hoppers
to Ontario on a carfloat across Lake Erie from Ashtabula, OH to Port
Burwell, ON. Almost solid trains of IC hoppers carried loco coal to
CN engine terminals in Southern Ontario, running over GTW rails to
get to Canada.

The anthracite roads' hoppers were often found in both Southern
Ontario and Quebec. B&O hoppers carrried loco coal to CN terminals
in its Belleville Divison via a carfloat from a point near Rochester,
NY until 1950. More B&O hoppers appear in photos of CPR freight
trains in Southern Quebec in the 1950's.

Both CN and CPR had large fleets of hoppers, but not many of them
appear in steam-era photos taken in Southern Ontario and Quebec
compared to those of the eastern US roads. Yet, without knowing any
better, I'd have been led to believe that I should see CN and CPR
cars everywhere in Southern Ontario during the steam era. Tisn't so.

Steve Lucas.



--- In STMFC@..., "Bruce Smith" <smithbf@...> wrote:

On Fri, August 8, 2008 7:44 pm, armprem1 wrote:
I would like to reopen the dialogue on freight car distribution.I
am
aware that to some, it may have been discussed ad nauseam.I firmly
believe that we tend see more freight cars within their own
region
than by size.What is your opinion?Armand Premo
Armand,

First, it is probably not really appropriate to make such a broad
statement. We know that car distributions varied by type. Thus
hopper
cars were far more likely to be home road and regional, while gons
were
more likely to be regional and boxcars and flat cars were national
in
distribution for much of the steam era. Reefers and tank cars
followed
ownership distributions for the most part for originating loads,
but were
widely distributed for terminating loads, especially for reefers.
For
example, lettuce was still going to come in PFE reefers, even if
you were
on an FGE road but the vast majority of produce originating on that
road
would be in FGE/BRE/WFE owned cars.

For roads like the Rutland, you have to ask what it means to see
lots of
NYC and PRR boxcars? This should not be taken to necessarily mean a
regional bias, since these were two of the largest fleets in the
nation.
The question has to be were these cars present in greater numbers
than
indicated by their percentage in the national fleet because of the
Rutland's proximity to these roads? Almost of the data presented
here
over the years by Tim Gilbert and others has indicated quite
clearly that
boxcars were present (with the exception of home road) in
percentages that
resemble the national percentages on just about every road in the
country,
thus putting the concept of home road and regional preference in
boxcars
firmly into the category of modeler's fantasy.

Note that this DOES NOT apply to individual trains, as our
ertswhile list
owner will no doubt point out with his "SP Forwarder" example...
They
apply to fleets.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Armand Premo wrote:
While I must admit that I am more familiar with roads in New England, but by observing freight yard photos of other areas of the country I have concluded that there is the strong likelihood that I will not see as many Pennsy cars (of all types) in Los Angles as I will in Boston or more UP cars in Omaha than in Baltimore.
We have indeed discussed this at considerable length before, Armand, and possibly you were not on the list for that period. (You can consult list archives very usefully.) But Tim Gilbert, Dave Nelson and others analyzed data exhaustively from many sources, and all pointed to the same conclusion: the national (yes, national, not regional) distribution of free-running cars like box cars is that of the proportions of the car fleets. In other words your conclusion is wrong, on the average.
As Mike Brock correctly points out, this does not necessarily tell us anything about an individual TRAIN, nor about a specialized yard which might be serving a specific industry with assigned cars. But it does tell us about regional differences. In effect, it shows that the system of free-running cars nationally really DID have them running freely.

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


Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

"Ah ha! I think I can agree with that. My point all along has been that certain RRs probably have more of their box cars...and perhaps other cars...on the tracks of a RR with a closely integrated operation... UP/SP. Perhaps UP/C&NW. The cars of other RRs...with some exceptions.. .might well follow the national %."

===========

You would normally see a higher than the average number of home road cars of any general service car type for a few simple reason. When cars were not needed they were sent home. Most railroads did try to observe the Car Service Rules, with varying degrees of compliance. Many cars went thoruogh shop programs or were stored, usually on the owning road.

Personal recollections, on the NYC I did see many more box NYC cars and gons than I would have seen on the PRR. Opposite was true on PRR.

It is true that on most of the large class 1's you were going to see marks of all other class 1's. But the proportions would differ subtley as you moved away from the home road. You would see a lot of NYC cars on the SP, but not nearly the same proportion as on the Wabash. You'd see a few WP cars on the NYC, but a much higher proportion on the Rio Grande.

I would be very wary of any interptretation of statistics that varies far from common sense. The problem is that the samples that we see as model railroaders are rarely large enough to draw firm conclusions. Ther fallacy in designing an arithmetic algorithm to estmate distribution of cars from available data because you want a set of numbers is that the result doesn't have to be meaningful in any specific context. None of us can model the average railroad.

I'll offer as a suggestion to model railroaders a simple algorithm for calculating fleet proportions. Weight the percentage of ownership of each other railroad by its distance from you road. Give direct connections a weight of 1.0. Give the most distant other railroad a weight of 2 or 3 (this is arbitrary, play with it until you get a result you like). Then interpolate for other railroads based on distance.

Don't use the distance for the nearest junction, use the middle of the railroad - to avoid bias from extensions like SP to New Orleans or NYC to Cairo. Use a ruler on a mpa of the US and use distances in inches.

Precision doesn't matter. It's a waste of time to try for too much accuracy. The objective shouldn't so much as to have an average of the prototype as to have a flow of cars that gives a feeling of realism as the trains go by.








Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


armprem
 

A major problem we are facing with this issue is the lack of any uniform parameters.Do we include the Canadian roads to arrive at approximate percentages or are they being excluded?Are we just dealing with only box cars?Would this include all types?We may be looking at different things to come up with a reasonable result.The point I was trying to make is that connecting roads handle adjoining road cars twice,coming and going.Maybe this distorts the percentage.At any rate, I suspect this may be an exercise in futility unless and until ,we can agree on the parameters that we will use.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "Malcolm Laughlin" <mlaughlinnyc@...>
To: <stmfc@...>
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 9:13 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Fwd: Re: Freight car distribution


"Ah ha! I think I can agree with that. My point all along has been that certain RRs probably have more of their box cars...and perhaps other cars...on the tracks of a RR with a closely integrated operation... UP/SP. Perhaps UP/C&NW. The cars of other RRs...with some exceptions.. .might well follow the national %."

===========

You would normally see a higher than the average number of home road cars of any general service car type for a few simple reason. When cars were not needed they were sent home. Most railroads did try to observe the Car Service Rules, with varying degrees of compliance. Many cars went thoruogh shop programs or were stored, usually on the owning road.

Personal recollections, on the NYC I did see many more box NYC cars and gons than I would have seen on the PRR. Opposite was true on PRR.

It is true that on most of the large class 1's you were going to see marks of all other class 1's. But the proportions would differ subtley as you moved away from the home road. You would see a lot of NYC cars on the SP, but not nearly the same proportion as on the Wabash. You'd see a few WP cars on the NYC, but a much higher proportion on the Rio Grande.

I would be very wary of any interptretation of statistics that varies far from common sense. The problem is that the samples that we see as model railroaders are rarely large enough to draw firm conclusions. Ther fallacy in designing an arithmetic algorithm to estmate distribution of cars from available data because you want a set of numbers is that the result doesn't have to be meaningful in any specific context. None of us can model the average railroad.

I'll offer as a suggestion to model railroaders a simple algorithm for calculating fleet proportions. Weight the percentage of ownership of each other railroad by its distance from you road. Give direct connections a weight of 1.0. Give the most distant other railroad a weight of 2 or 3 (this is arbitrary, play with it until you get a result you like). Then interpolate for other railroads based on distance.

Don't use the distance for the nearest junction, use the middle of the railroad - to avoid bias from extensions like SP to New Orleans or NYC to Cairo. Use a ruler on a mpa of the US and use distances in inches.

Precision doesn't matter. It's a waste of time to try for too much accuracy. The objective shouldn't so much as to have an average of the prototype as to have a flow of cars that gives a feeling of realism as the trains go by.








Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478



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Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
I would be very wary of any interptretation of statistics that varies far from common sense.
If you haven't read Tim Gilbert's analyses, please do so in the archives before commenting further. I found his statistical approach entirely convincing, and would say, with all due respect, that in my opinion the burden of proof is on you to show why he was wrong.

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


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Becuase of a continuous North American rail system, common track
gauge, coupler height, and air brake compatibility, any North
American freight car could be found anywhere in North America from
the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to Husdon Bay. Or even Cuba and
Alaska (?) at different times, all within the mandate of STMFC. You
can't exclude any road in setting parameters for this very reason.

In trying to determine a representative freight car mix for any North
American location, we have a very daunting task. The best we can do
is to approximate the freight car mix for that area. Failing
straight checks of yard tracks from the location and date that we
interested in, or complete train journals/wheel reports, we
necessarily wind up engaging in what I describe as at best learned
conjecture.

I'd like to say that there is a method that works for every time and
location, but the fact is that with two million cars in the North
American rail system, just about any combination of railroads' cars
are possible at a specific time and location. It's very, very,
unlikely to have had NdeM box cars hauling export grain to Churchill,
Manitoba in 1956, but it wasn't totally impossible either. A Linn
Westcott photo printed in MR a few years back shows a new yellow TH&B
box car in Florida about 1953.

The best that we can do is to educate ourselves as to car
distribution at our specific locations and times that we are
interested in. There is no magic equation to help us out. All
formulae that I have seen so far to give car distribution at a
specific location and time, are at best approximations.

We have a lot of leeway as modellers. Just don't run that ONR car
too often on your LA switching layout. And I've yet to find
justification for a silver-painted D&RGW Cookie Box on a single-track
secondary line in Eastern Ontario. ;))

Steve Lucas.


--- In STMFC@..., "Armand Premo" <armprem@...>
wrote:

A major problem we are facing with this issue is the lack of
any
uniform parameters.Do we include the Canadian roads to arrive at
approximate
percentages or are they being excluded?Are we just dealing with
only box
cars?Would this include all types?We may be looking at different
things to
come up with a reasonable result.The point I was trying to make is
that
connecting roads handle adjoining road cars twice,coming and
going.Maybe
this distorts the percentage.At any rate, I suspect this may be an
exercise
in futility unless and until ,we can agree on the parameters that
we will
use.Armand Premo


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Steve Lucas wrote:
Becuase of a continuous North American rail system, common track gauge, coupler height, and air brake compatibility, any North American freight car could be found anywhere in North America from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to Husdon Bay. . .
Yes, COULD be, but Steve, there were tax and customs laws preventing free circulation of Canadian and Mexican freight cars in the U.S. So track gauge is far from all of the story.

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


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

I am not asserting that "track gauge" is the only issue here. In
fact, there are some very complex issues at play, maybe some not yet
addressed on this board.

Tax laws?? The CPR did purchase PS-1 boxcars from Pullman-Standard
for this very reason. Yet, those tax and customs laws did not
prevent US roads from keeping Canadian cars for their own use, simply
paying the demurrage on them. This was an issue that bedeviled the
Canadian roads from the 1950's until the 1970's. CN discouraged its
employees from placing newer CN cars at customer sidings for loading
to US destinations for this reason. (Canadian roads' older cars that
were equipped with K brakes were prohibited for loading to US
destinations and is a separate issue from this discussion.)

And when the grain was running, US cars were used by CN for loading
in the early-to-mid-1940's with export grain, yet, per AAR Car
Service rules, they should have been returned empty to the home
road.

Steve Lucas.

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

.

Yes, COULD be, but Steve, there were tax and customs laws
preventing free circulation of Canadian and Mexican freight cars in
the
U.S. So track gauge is far from all of the story.

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


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

On first read, Tim Gilbert's work seems to be extremely well thought
out, and gives very good statistical data on car distribution at
specific locations in the US as of 31 December, 1952.

Steve Lucas.

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

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
I would be very wary of any interptretation of statistics that
varies far from common sense.
If you haven't read Tim Gilbert's analyses, please do so in
the
archives before commenting further. I found his statistical
approach
entirely convincing, and would say, with all due respect, that in
my
opinion the burden of proof is on you to show why he was wrong.

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


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tony Thompson writes:

"Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
I would be very wary of any interptretation of statistics that
varies far from common sense.
If you haven't read Tim Gilbert's analyses, please do so in the
archives before commenting further."

Well...to be completely fair to all, Malcolm notified me that he wanted to comment on this issue. My response was a suggestion that he read through the many messages regarding this issue during the period 2003-2006 or so. He informed me that he would do that before reaching his conclusions. The point here is that this issue is not a closed subject...anymore than whether life exists on Mars or not. OTOH, it behooves us, I think, to not ignore previously analyzed and presented information...hence, my suggestion to read through the previous messages.

"I found his statistical approach
entirely convincing, and would say, with all due respect, that in my
opinion the burden of proof is on you to show why he was wrong."

Tony's point is well taken. The problem, of course, is that we have so little data. I will add to that that I, myself, have more data that has not been analyzed. My fault. In the case of my analyzed Fraley data, it consists of 34 frt trains in about a month and a half in the spring of '49. Given that UP was running about 35 frt trains [ if I remember correctly ] per day, that's a very tiny bit of data. If the distribution of the approximate number of frt cars moving through Wyoming on a given day, let's say 2800, was uniform, perhaps 80 in a single train is enough to generate a prediction model. Unfortunately, however, the data indicates quite a different sampling. As I pointed out back in June 2006 and repeated on 8-9-2008, the presence or lack thereof of SP box cars was VERY inconsistent. Thus, of the 34 frt trains, 15 trains contained one or less SP box cars and 9 had none at all. This in a population that contained 136 SP box cars. The model of SP box cars being 2.79% of the nation's box cars predicts 46 SP box cars. Not good, an error of 200%. Another significant interchange with UP was C&NW. The model predicted 41 C&NW box cars but the data shows 55...an error of 34%. CB&Q was predicted to be 38. The actual number was 75...an error of 100%. So, what does this mean? Well, consider that the UP Wyoming trunk line interchange with other RR's at Ogden [ SP and D&RGW/WP ], CB&Q [ C&S ] at Cheyenne and Grand Island, NE, and more RR's than I can count at Omaha. Note that the SP line from Sacramento essentially had no interchange between there and Ogden. We're talking about a rather lengthy system with very limited interchange with other RR's. If the UP Wyoming trunk line had numerous interchanges throughout its distance, perhaps like just about any midwestern RR, maybe the population of frt cars WOULD follow the model's predictions. Who knows.

Incidentally, it has been argued that the model predicts over a long period of time...say a yr...rather than just 34 trains in a month and a half. Perhaps, but that doesn't work for me. Every day is May 14, 1953. Do groundhogs live in Wyoming? At least I don't use a clock radio. And, unlike the weather guy, I like to watch big steam power working up the Hill every day...although I will admit to a certain amount of annoyance when the occasional turbine or diesel rolls by.

Mike Brock


al_brown03
 

To repeat an old story: my favorite weird example is described in
message #60611. I have no idea how it got there (apart from,
presumably, by rail).

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.


--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

I am not asserting that "track gauge" is the only issue here. In
fact, there are some very complex issues at play, maybe some not
yet
addressed on this board.

Tax laws?? The CPR did purchase PS-1 boxcars from Pullman-Standard
for this very reason. Yet, those tax and customs laws did not
prevent US roads from keeping Canadian cars for their own use,
simply
paying the demurrage on them. This was an issue that bedeviled the
Canadian roads from the 1950's until the 1970's. CN discouraged
its
employees from placing newer CN cars at customer sidings for
loading
to US destinations for this reason. (Canadian roads' older cars
that
were equipped with K brakes were prohibited for loading to US
destinations and is a separate issue from this discussion.)

And when the grain was running, US cars were used by CN for loading
in the early-to-mid-1940's with export grain, yet, per AAR Car
Service rules, they should have been returned empty to the home
road.

Steve Lucas.

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

.

Yes, COULD be, but Steve, there were tax and customs laws
preventing free circulation of Canadian and Mexican freight cars
in
the
U.S. So track gauge is far from all of the story.

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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Steve Lucas wrote:
Tax laws?? The CPR did purchase PS-1 boxcars from Pullman-Standard for this very reason. Yet, those tax and customs laws did not prevent US roads from keeping Canadian cars for their own use, simply paying the demurrage on them.
This is not an area of my own expertise, but we have been told by several people on this list in the past, that Canadian cars could only move in the U.S. to destinations to unload, then return empty, or else the Canadian owner would have to pay U.S. taxes on the cars if they remained in use in the U.S. (if I'm remembering the story correctly). So yes, Canadian cars brought newsprint to Los Angeles, for example, but went straight back. I don't know about Canadian rules regarding U.S. cars in Canada.
If this story is wrong, Steve, please enlighten us with the right story (or correct my wrong memory of what transpired previously).

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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Steve Lucas wrote:
I'd like to say that there is a method that works for every time and location, but the fact is that with two million cars in the North American rail system, just about any combination of railroads' cars are possible at a specific time and location.
I'm glad Tim Gilbert isn't with us any longer, to see his work ignored. The issue is not, and has not been, what is POSSIBLE. The issue is, what is reasonably typical, on the average. Tim's work addressed that in considerable detail, and I for one found it persuasive.

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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Mike Brock wrote:
The problem, of course, is that we have so little data.
Mike is, again, treating an entirely different problem--no less important, but different. Tim and those who worked with him, like Dave Nelson, NEVER tried to understand individual trains. Sure, as modelers we need to understand those trains if we can, and I have always enthusiastically agreed with Mike that we desperately need more data on train consists in each of our eras and locations of interest.
Tim was more interested in the global problem, that is, the average over all trains over some suitable time interval, if you will. Because his results were consistent and seemed to me robust, I think anyone wishing to state some other OPINION about the subject, is only expressing their own, possibly wandering, thoughts, unless they can counter what Tim did. That's what I meant by saying Malcolm has the burden to prove Tim wrong before suggesting contrary opinions--or provide equally extensive and consistent results as what Tim accomplished.

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


Dave Nelson
 

Tim and those who worked with him, like Dave Nelson, NEVER tried to
understand individual trains.

That is correct.

Here's a simple explanation of the issue:
---------
Safeway sells all sorts of things, one of which is Yoplait Yogurt.
Railroads move all sorts of freight cars, one of which is a SP 40', etc,
etc, etc boxcar.

On average, not every shopping cart has any Yoplait Yogurts.
On average, not every train has any SP boxcars.

When Yoplait yogurt is on sale, one of Dave Nelson's shopping carts once had
20+ Yoplait yogurts in it.
When UP is pulling empties across Sherman Hill one of UP's train once had
20+ SP boxcars in it.
---------
So which do you want to talk about -- one of my one-of shopping carts when
Yoplait is on sale or the overall average of what Safeway sees day in and
day out? IMO only the overall average has any informative value as you can
create from that any combination of items for the individual events as you
see fit. OTOH, following the one-of event **as-if** it had informative
value does nothing but create identical events, repeated ad-nauseum.

All the one-of events are good for is to example the extremes that might, on
occasion, occur: 20+ yogurts in one cart. Who-dda thought? It doesn't tell
you anything about the variety that will be found in many shopping
carts/trains, and is particularly useless when you want to understand what
happens in one day, multiple days, weeks, months, or longer.

Dave Nelson

P.S. I miss Tim. He'd have willingly stepped into this discussion a long
time ago. I don't much like to write about this anymore... it's a bit like
explaining that the world is indeed round. It was a startling discovery and
worthy of debate when first revealed but it has been explained for 10 years
now. Search the archives. It's all still there.