Frt Car Distribution, diversions, routing et al


lstt100
 

After 35 years of railroading and sitting in clerks, yardmasters, car
distributors, trainmasters chairs I'll throw in my two cents.

Yardmasters did not supply cars to industries. Unless it was a large
industry with specific switching requirements most yardmasters did
not have time nor want to deal with the industry/customer. Empties
on hand at a given terminal were assigned to car orders placed by
customers within the terminal complex. Keep in mind that this might
also entail supplying cars to locals operating out of the terminal
over 100 to 150 miles of a division. Normally this activity was done
by industry service clerks or local car distribution folks. Yes we
did deviate from planning but attempted based on the destination
specified by the industry, to find an appropriate Rule 1 or Rule 2
empty. Lacking this we found, or looked for, an appropriate home
road car. Also local conductors had a habit of providing empties to
shippers at their disgression and not via the direction of the local
orders provided by the clerks. Yardmasters did appreciate the clerks
that went out of there way to make their switching easier by finding
cars in appropriate blocks to supply customers on car orders. Most
clerks new the short home routes for empties without looking at an
ORER. Usually this was specified in "tide" or "flow" instructions to
specific terminals to eliminate any confusion over "where" to send a
foreign empty. My early experience with the ORER was looking for
load limits and capacity on specific cars to fill car orders.

Shippers did specify routings but were not required to do so.
Shipper specified routings were more commonplace during the 40's and
50's and fell off during the 60's and 70's and shippers began to let
the railroads determine the best routing. In most cases the carrier
that originated the load tried to get the longest possible
routing "on-line" to get the largest division of revenue. However,
some customers liked to specify their routing to avoid either major
terminals or to pay back a marketing person.

Diversions were specified by the broker. However, a car could be
diverted once without cost to the broker providing the car was going
in a straight line movement between two end points. Example would be
diversion lumber moving from Pacific Northwest via MSTL to Peoria and
Peoria being the broker specified destination. It the car reached
Albert Lea, MN and was diverted to Indianpolis, IN for the final
customer the diversion was free. However, if the diversion was from
Albert Lea, MN to Sioux Falls, SD then, depending on era, was either
treated as a diversion with a specific charge, or as an entirely new
shipment because of the diversion being back in a westward movement.
Brokers made every attempt to sell their product enroute and in a
linear fashion.

Tim Gilbert and I talked a number of times over the years. His
conclusions were based on careful analysis of data and his own
personal background. We are lucky to have had his insight into car
distribution and breakdown of ownership and use.

Dan Holbrook


Greg Martin
 

Dan Holbrock writes:




"After 35 years of railroading and sitting in clerks, yardmasters, car
distributors, trainmasters chairs I'll throw in my two cents.

Yardmasters did not supply cars to industries. Unless it was a large
industry with specific switching requirements most yardmasters did
not have time nor want to deal with the industry/customer. Empties
on hand at a given terminal were assigned to car orders placed by
customers within the terminal complex. Keep in mind that this might
also entail supplying cars to locals operating out of the terminal
over 100 to 150 miles of a division. Normally this activity was done
by industry service clerks or local car distribution folks. Yes we
did deviate from planning but attempted based on the destination
specified by the industry, to find an appropriate Rule 1 or Rule 2
empty. Lacking this we found, or looked for, an appropriate home
road car. Also local conductors had a habit of providing empties to
shippers at their digression and not via the direction of the local
orders provided by the clerks. Yardmasters did appreciate the clerks
that went out of there way to make their switching easier by finding
cars in appropriate blocks to supply customers on car orders. Most
clerks new the short home routes for empties without looking at an
ORER. Usually this was specified in "tide" or "flow" instructions to
specific terminals to eliminate any confusion over "where" to send a
foreign empty. My early experience with the ORER was looking for
load limits and capacity on specific cars to fill car orders.

Shippers did specify routings but were not required to do so.
Shipper specified routings were more commonplace during the 40's and
50's and fell off during the 60's and 70's and shippers began to let
the railroads determine the best routing. In most cases the carrier
that originated the load tried to get the longest possible
routing "on-line" to get the largest division of revenue. However,
some customers liked to specify their routing to avoid either major
terminals or to pay back a marketing person.

Diversions were specified by the broker. However, a car could be
diverted once without cost to the broker providing the car was going
in a straight line movement between two end points. Example would be
diversion lumber moving from Pacific Northwest via MSTL to Peoria and
Peoria being the broker specified destination. It the car reached
Albert Lea, MN and was diverted to Indianapolis, IN for the final
customer the diversion was free. However, if the diversion was from
Albert Lea, MN to Sioux Falls, SD then, depending on era, was either
treated as a diversion with a specific charge, or as an entirely new
shipment because of the diversion being back in a westward movement.
Brokers made every attempt to sell their product en route and in a
linear fashion.

Tim Gilbert and I talked a number of times over the years. His
conclusions were based on careful analysis of data and his own
personal background. We are lucky to have had his insight into car
distribution and breakdown of ownership and use.

Dan Holbrook"

Dan,
I enjoyed your post as it seems to take a bit of the "random-ness" out of
Car application/distribution that I am certainly accustomed to and some sanity
and structure to the railroads, that some might think existed.
Local station clerks that I was familiar with (when there was such a thing
on the BN) were always acutely aware of the empty cars online (at least
locally) and never forgot to ask you the destination of the car. Whenever possible
they kept company cars online and looked for home road cars that were not
either assigned pool cars or special equipped/service cars. I was told by an
applicator that when cars are "long" we like to send our cars "long-east" and
when cars were "short" they stay online, the cars were your most valuable
asset, so they claimed, what good is a rate with no cars? If there were no cars
locally available then the clerk would call Fort Dirt and get in touch with
the applicator and have a car routed to the industry and apply a car order
number. You were expected to keep track of your car order number and the car
numbers assigned to that order. If a particular car didn't show you had to have
the car order number to identify it with. For some it seems a bit
complicated, but is became second nature. I don't believe it was much different 30 or 40
years prior.
Greg Martin






**************Looking for a car that's sporty, fun and fits in your budget?
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Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dan Holbrook wrote:
Yardmasters did not supply cars to industries. Unless it was a large industry with specific switching requirements most yardmasters did not have time nor want to deal with the industry/customer.
You are right, and I should not have implied that yardmasters themselves assigned any cars. I was thinking (obviously less clearly that I should) that yardmasters would have directed the work, but I'm well aware that the yard clerks would have been processing the empty car orders to hand over to the switch crews.
No one has said that the Car Service rules were NEVER followed, but quite a few former employees have said that no great effort was expended to follow them whenever cars were in short supply or time was tight. It sounds like you agree with that, Dan.

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


Larry Jackman <Ljack70117@...>
 

When I was a clerk on the Un Pac At Topeka and Salina Ks we never followed the rules. If a box car was not marked return to XXX when empty we used the empty cars as we wanted. The lead engine would put the empties in to a track. Then if 40 cars were needed for loading at various industries the house engine would pull the first 40 cars from which ever end of the track an spot them where ever they were ordered. Nobody cared who owned the car. To us it was an out bound load.
Once in a while there was a note about a car going the wrong the wrong direction. We would read the note and continue as we wanted. Nobody were ever singled out or reprimanded for it.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
ljack70117@comcast.net

On Aug 13, 2008, at 12:49 AM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Dan Holbrook wrote:
Yardmasters did not supply cars to industries. Unless it was a large
industry with specific switching requirements most yardmasters did not
have time nor want to deal with the industry/customer.
You are right, and I should not have implied that yardmasters
themselves assigned any cars. I was thinking (obviously less clearly
that I should) that yardmasters would have directed the work, but I'm
well aware that the yard clerks would have been processing the empty
car orders to hand over to the switch crews.
No one has said that the Car Service rules were NEVER followed,
but quite a few former employees have said that no great effort was
expended to follow them whenever cars were in short supply or time was
tight. It sounds like you agree with that, Dan.

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


------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Larry Jackman wrote:
When I was a clerk on the Un Pac At Topeka and Salina Ks we never followed the rules. If a box car was not marked return to XXX when empty we used the empty cars as we wanted. The lead engine would put the empties in to a track. Then if 40 cars were needed for loading at various industries the house engine would pull the first 40 cars from which ever end of the track an spot them where ever they were ordered. Nobody cared who owned the car. To us it was an out bound load. Once in a while there was a note about a car going the wrong direction. We would read the note and continue as we wanted. Nobody were ever singled out or reprimanded for it.
Dan Holbrook, care to comment on a comparison to more recent times?

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


Tim O'Connor
 

Greg, I have immense respect for Dan Holbrook -- but 2008-35 = 1973.
In other words Dan's experiences reflect the modern era and not so much
that of the steam era. I enjoyed Dan's mention of the conductor who
pretty much ignored the car orders. And of course, Larry Jackman's
comments sound like most others I've heard about the good old days.

Tim O'Connor

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: tgregmrtn@aol.com

Dan Holbrock writes:

"After 35 years of railroading and sitting in clerks, yardmasters, car
distributors, trainmasters chairs I'll throw in my two cents.


Larry Jackman <Ljack70117@...>
 

Yes I forgot to say this was in the late 40s and early 50s.
Thank you
Larry Jackman
ljack70117@comcast.net

On Aug 13, 2008, at 11:46 AM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Larry Jackman wrote:
When I was a clerk on the Un Pac At Topeka and Salina Ks we never
followed the rules. If a box car was not marked return to XXX when
empty we used the empty cars as we wanted. The lead engine would put
the empties in to a track. Then if 40 cars were needed for loading at
various industries the house engine would pull the first 40 cars from
which ever end of the track an spot them where ever they were ordered.
Nobody cared who owned the car. To us it was an out bound load. Once
in a while there was a note about a car going the wrong direction. We
would read the note and continue as we wanted. Nobody were ever
singled out or reprimanded for it.
Dan Holbrook, care to comment on a comparison to more recent times?

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


------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
Greg, I have immense respect for Dan Holbrook -- but 2008-35 = 1973. In other words Dan's experiences reflect the modern era and not so much that of the steam era. I enjoyed Dan's mention of the conductor who pretty much ignored the car orders. And of course, Larry Jackman's comments sound like most others I've heard about the good old days.
Yes, there were many changes with era. One memory I have from riding in the caboose as a teenager (at the crew's invitation) on SP's Burbank Local out of Taylor Yard, was that the conductor had two 40-foot empty boxes in the train, which were bound for industries. He was making out a wheel report as they switched each successive industry, and he had a bunch of waybills in pigeonholes at his desk. But those empties had no "empty car order" or other paperwork; he didn't even know their reporting marks. He was just going to make note of them when they were spotted. They were presumably interchangeable and entirely generic, as far as he was concerned. Wish I'd known enough to ask him about Car Service rules!

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


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, timboconnor@... wrote:


Greg, I have immense respect for Dan Holbrook -- but 2008-35 = 1973.
In other words Dan's experiences reflect the modern era and not so much
that of the steam era. I enjoyed Dan's mention of the conductor who
pretty much ignored the car orders. And of course, Larry Jackman's
comments sound like most others I've heard about the good old days.

Tim O'Connor

This looks like a good place to interject a comment that has been in
mind all day. Like everything else we attempt to model, car
distribution has changed over time. While the popular press keeps
wanting to tell us that, "the world has gotten smaller", in reality,
as far as car distribution goes, it has gotten much larger.

When a shipper orders a car today, he deals with a central car
distribution office that has access to ALL the empties on the entire
railroad. Now there may be some internal limitations as to how far
they will move an empty car, and some of this might even be coded into
the system software, but the fact remains that the railroad now has
the ability to select the proper empty from its entire inventory. It
also has the ability to go back months later and analyze those
selections, to make decisions concerning where they should be holding
empties, and how far they can economically move one to fill a car
order. The system then spits out written work orders to the trains
that will be involved in moving that empty car, and provided everyone
follows the instructions, and the shipper doesn't put the wrong load
in the wrong car (which I'm sure still happens) all cars will be
routed correctly according to today's version of the car service rules.

Back 35 years ago in 1973, Dan seems to be saying that the world
consisted of one yard. When a car distribution clerk needed an empty,
he'd look no further than the inventory in his own yard, and pick the
best possible match. The "world", so to speak, was a lot smaller.
Since there was very little record of what choices he had at the time
the decision was made, he could also pick the most convenient car to
use, safe in the knowledge that though it might be the wrong choice
according to the car service rules, no one was ever going to be able
to blame it on HIM. :-)

Go back another 35 years to 1938, and the world consisted of only the
local station. Each town had an agent, and each agent was responsible
for finding empty cars to fill orders from the shippers located at his
station. If he needed an empty boxcar, he just looked at the list of
cars at his station for what had been released the day before, and
picked the most suitable. There was no compelling reason to order an
empty boxcar from the yard that served his station if he already had
one in town. If he sent the empties away because they were somehow the
"wrong" cars, the one he ordered might never come, and then he'd have
to deal with an irate customer. All things considered, it was easier
to just mark up the switch list to have the local move an empty from
the elevator track to the pump factory than to risk not getting
another empty in a timely fashion.

Car routing could be entirely capricious. The ICC granted an
undisputed right of the shipper to specify the route, within the
routes established by published tariff, and his reasons were not the
concern of the railroad. A story to illustrate this point, from one
related on the SooLineHistory list:

The poster's father worked for the Soo, and in the fifties was the
1st. trick operator at the rather busy terminal at Manitowac, WI. When
the agent went on vacation (this office was big enough that these were
separate jobs) the operator moved up to acting agent and they filled
the operator job off the extra board. One of the things this gentleman
felt could be done better was soliciting traffic from the large Rahr
Malting Co. in town. Rahr was on the C&NW, but was open to reciprocal
switching, so he made an appointment to see the traffic manager.

Rahr's traffic manager told him bluntly, "Sure, I'll give the Soo Line
the business… just get me those new cars (some of the first large
capacity covered hoppers) that your railroad has." When our acting
agent told him that the Soo was restricting those cars to grain
loading and wouldn't supply them even if he put in the order, the TM
replied, "I like you, at least you're honest, not like that other SOB
(the agent). Tell you what I'll do, I'll give you fifty loads." And
sure enough, for the rest of the week the C&NW was dropping loads from
Rahr in the Soo Line yard, until there were fifty... and then the
traffic went away never came back.

Given that this sort of thing was repeated a thousand times every day
back in that era, it's foolish to determine how traffic was routed by
applying logic, because much of it was illogical in the first place.

Dennis


Greg Martin
 

I think that there was far more self discipline and professionalism at the
local level than is being given credit even in the steam and diesel transition
era. I think that Dan's post proves that and let's face it in when new guys
stepped into these jobs (even in the 1970's) they where generally taught
their job by an "old head".

I don't discount what Larry Jackman has offered by I am of the opinion his
generalization is the exception not the rule.

Greg Martin


------------ timboconnor@comcast.net
writes:--------------------------------------------





Greg, I have immense respect for Dan Holbrook -- but 2008-35 = 1973.
In other words Dan's experiences reflect the modern era and not so much
that of the steam era. I enjoyed Dan's mention of the conductor who
pretty much ignored the car orders. And of course, Larry Jackman's
comments sound like most others I've heard about the good old days.

Tim O'Connor

------------------------<WBR>-- Original message----------
From: _tgregmrtn@aol.tgr_ (mailto:tgregmrtn@aol.com)

Dan Holbrock writes:

"After 35 years of railroading and sitting in clerks, yardmasters, car
distributors, trainmasters chairs I'll throw in my two cents.







**************Looking for a car that's sporty, fun and fits in your budget?
Read reviews on AOL Autos.
(http://autos.aol.com/cars-BMW-128-2008/expert-review?ncid=aolaut00050000000017 )


tmolsen@...
 

Tony,

The business of a conductor spotting empties in an industry that needed a car without having paperwork other than what he made up to turn in at the end of his run reminded me of an article in the Pennsy Magazine back in the early 50s.

On many branches the conductor was the first line person who dealt with the traffic person at the various industries that his switching job worked. He knew what type of equipment that particular plant needed and if they were in need of a switch to keep the plant fluid or if they needed a car to load out, he provided it. The paper work was done by him and turned in at the end of the trick when the job returned to the yard. A lot of customer service was done by the people on the ground and in this case, the railroad had it written up to provide incentive to their employees.

Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292
tmolsen@udel.edu


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tom Olsen wrote:
On many branches the conductor was the first line person who dealt with the traffic person at the various industries that his switching job worked. He knew what type of equipment that particular plant needed and if they were in need of a switch to keep the plant fluid or if they needed a car to load out, he provided it. The paper work was done by him and turned in at the end of the trick when the job returned to the yard. A lot of customer service was done by the people on the ground and in this case, the railroad had it written up to provide incentive to their employees.
On that Burbank Local job, I remember the conductor going into the Burbank depot to collect a handful of waybills from the agent, I assume those were loads to pull. That's where I left them, as I had to bicycle home for dinner.

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


John Hile <john66h@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "lstt100" <lstt100@...> wrote:

Shippers did specify routings but were not required to do so.
Shipper specified routings were more commonplace during the 40's and
50's

Diversions were specified by the broker. Example would be
diversion lumber moving from Pacific Northwest





Following is from the "American Association of Railroad
Superintendents, Proceedings of the Fifty-Eighth Annual Meeting and
Committee Reports, 1954" and a discussion regarding efficient freight
car handling.

Among those in attendance at the Pacific Coast Post-Convention Meeting
were C. H. Grant, general superintendent of transportation, SP; L. P.
Hopkins, superintendent, SP; Grant S. Allen, superintendent, WP; Frank
Chase, superintendent, NYC; R. N. Whitman, superintendent, GN.


Part of their discussion regarding Rule 2...

MR. HOPKINS: We try to load them in the direction they belong, but we
have difficulty, and I imagine all other railroads have difficulty.
You put a car into an industry, he calls for a certain route, then
after he loads the car he changes his mind and sends it another route.
Rule 2 is out as far as he is concerned.

From an operating standpoint or competitive standpoint, you can't tell
this fellow you're not going to take that car, or you're going to
unload it, because he's going to send that car out in spite of
everything. I'm trying to make my statement as much from the facts as
we can. There isn't any sense in these railroad people who are
sitting here coming up and saying they literally comply with Rule 2,
because we know they don't. And we have much evidence of it in some
of our Northwest neighbors. I don't want to mention this fellow
Whitman (laughter), but we send automobiles up to Washington and the
automobile cars don't come back to us. They're loaded on a connecting
line and they don't move over our railroad. A car is ten days getting
back to our points in California where they would be back in three or
four days if they went by direct route.

MR. GRANT: I work out here and I think we have a condition in the
Pacific Northwest that is unlike anywhere else in the United States in
the handling of cars. We have up in this country what are known as
brokers in the handling of lumber. In some places they are referred
to as rollers. They buy cars of lumber without any market whatsoever
for them. They go out to a mill and buy a carload of green
two-by-fours or some particular kind of lumber, and they'll bill it to
some point - for instance, they'll go out and order a car for
Cleveland, Ohio. They know very well that they have no intention of
ever getting that car to Cleveland, Ohio, unless there's an unforeseen
act of God like and earthquake or something, but nevertheless they
bill the car to Cleveland, Ohio.

It isn't ten miles out of the terminal before they divert it, maybe to
Saskatchewan, or some other place. We have on our line many times 25,
30, 40 or 50 of these rollers running around and they lay in our
terminals for sometimes a month while waiting for diversion, or until
they get a sale. We're one of the worst offenders on violation of car
service rules, but it's due entirely to the lumber brokers.

We have it in Washington, we have it in Oregon, we have it in
California. We used to have 40 or 50 cars laying around at Gerber and
a lot of them in Sacramento, a lot in Bakersfield, and as far down as
Los Angeles. But I don't worry too much about it because we're really
not at fault.

The fellow comes in and puts in a firm car order, for a car for a
certain point. Naturally, we'll furnish a New York Central car.
Perhaps it's going to that point. But he's just as apt to turn around
and bill that car to Hollywood, Cal., and then we have to answer for
misuse of foreign equipment.

It's something we've fought for years and we just can't combat it, we
can't beat it. These fellows are just in the lumber market.

MR. ALLEN: You have the same thing with the hauling of other
commodities, canned goods and all that sort of thing.

MR. GRANT: It's not so bad.

MR. ALLEN: No, it's not so bad, lumber is the worst one.

MR. CHASE: We have the same situation in the East, and you have the
same situation on every railroad in the country. For instance, the
Reading right now has over six thousand cars of anthracite coal. It
is the same in all parts of the country, but it's a condition we live
with and do the best we can.




John Hile
Blacksburg, VA


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Greg Martin wrote:
I think that there was far more self discipline and professionalism at the local level than is being given credit even in the steam and diesel transition era. I think that Dan's post proves that . . .
I don't discount what Larry Jackman has offered by I am of the opinion his generalization is the exception not the rule.
Ah, got it. Dan's post proves your viewpoint, while Larry's is just an exception. Interesting.

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


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

John--

Again, this posting explains a lot. Being a recorded discussion
amongst railroad officals from 1954, it is very enlightening.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "John Hile" <john66h@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "lstt100" <lstt100@> wrote:

Shippers did specify routings but were not required to do so.
Shipper specified routings were more commonplace during the 40's
and
50's

Diversions were specified by the broker. Example would be
diversion lumber moving from Pacific Northwest





Following is from the "American Association of Railroad
Superintendents, Proceedings of the Fifty-Eighth Annual Meeting and
Committee Reports, 1954" and a discussion regarding efficient
freight
car handling.

Among those in attendance at the Pacific Coast Post-Convention
Meeting
were C. H. Grant, general superintendent of transportation, SP; L.
P.
Hopkins, superintendent, SP; Grant S. Allen, superintendent, WP;
Frank
Chase, superintendent, NYC; R. N. Whitman, superintendent, GN.


Part of their discussion regarding Rule 2...

MR. HOPKINS: We try to load them in the direction they belong, but
we
have difficulty, and I imagine all other railroads have difficulty.
You put a car into an industry, he calls for a certain route, then
after he loads the car he changes his mind and sends it another
route.
Rule 2 is out as far as he is concerned.

From an operating standpoint or competitive standpoint, you can't
tell
this fellow you're not going to take that car, or you're going to
unload it, because he's going to send that car out in spite of
everything. I'm trying to make my statement as much from the facts
as
we can. There isn't any sense in these railroad people who are
sitting here coming up and saying they literally comply with Rule 2,
because we know they don't. And we have much evidence of it in some
of our Northwest neighbors. I don't want to mention this fellow
Whitman (laughter), but we send automobiles up to Washington and the
automobile cars don't come back to us. They're loaded on a
connecting
line and they don't move over our railroad. A car is ten days
getting
back to our points in California where they would be back in three
or
four days if they went by direct route.

MR. GRANT: I work out here and I think we have a condition in the
Pacific Northwest that is unlike anywhere else in the United States
in
the handling of cars. We have up in this country what are known as
brokers in the handling of lumber. In some places they are referred
to as rollers. They buy cars of lumber without any market
whatsoever
for them. They go out to a mill and buy a carload of green
two-by-fours or some particular kind of lumber, and they'll bill it
to
some point - for instance, they'll go out and order a car for
Cleveland, Ohio. They know very well that they have no intention of
ever getting that car to Cleveland, Ohio, unless there's an
unforeseen
act of God like and earthquake or something, but nevertheless they
bill the car to Cleveland, Ohio.

It isn't ten miles out of the terminal before they divert it, maybe
to
Saskatchewan, or some other place. We have on our line many times
25,
30, 40 or 50 of these rollers running around and they lay in our
terminals for sometimes a month while waiting for diversion, or
until
they get a sale. We're one of the worst offenders on violation of
car
service rules, but it's due entirely to the lumber brokers.

We have it in Washington, we have it in Oregon, we have it in
California. We used to have 40 or 50 cars laying around at Gerber
and
a lot of them in Sacramento, a lot in Bakersfield, and as far down
as
Los Angeles. But I don't worry too much about it because we're
really
not at fault.

The fellow comes in and puts in a firm car order, for a car for a
certain point. Naturally, we'll furnish a New York Central car.
Perhaps it's going to that point. But he's just as apt to turn
around
and bill that car to Hollywood, Cal., and then we have to answer for
misuse of foreign equipment.

It's something we've fought for years and we just can't combat it,
we
can't beat it. These fellows are just in the lumber market.

MR. ALLEN: You have the same thing with the hauling of other
commodities, canned goods and all that sort of thing.

MR. GRANT: It's not so bad.

MR. ALLEN: No, it's not so bad, lumber is the worst one.

MR. CHASE: We have the same situation in the East, and you have the
same situation on every railroad in the country. For instance, the
Reading right now has over six thousand cars of anthracite coal. It
is the same in all parts of the country, but it's a condition we
live
with and do the best we can.




John Hile
Blacksburg, VA


Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

Greg, I have immense respect for Dan Holbrook -- but 2008-35 = 1973.
In other words Dan's experiences reflect the modern era and not so
much that of the steam era.
==========

I don't agree with this. I began nin operations in 1960. Given that for the next ten years we were trying to change what had been in effect for dozens of years, I can say that practices I observed were late steam era. Dan's omments fit that picture quite well , for some railroads.


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