freight car distribution - rejecting the rejection of the equal distribution hypothesis.

Tim O'Connor

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: John Stokes <>
The very notion that box cars were distributed on all railroads across the
country in proportion to ownership is patently absurd on its face.
Really? So they were logically apportioned according to an exacting
formula that only yourself and Malcolm understand? Pray tell, let us
know what that could be! We're just dying to know.

All one has to do is look at some photos of rail yards and freight trains
from a good sample of the US and one would instantly recognize the
randomness, ...
Ummm, John, aren't you trying to prove that it's NOT random?

... and sometimes predictable,
But random IS predictable. It's what we've been saying all along.

The reason people get so excited about seeing a BAR red white and blue
box car in Dallas, Texas is because it is a rarity,
Yes, it was a rarity on the CB&Q, and the SAL, and the PRR, and the SP,
and just about everywhere except the BAR. BAR reefers however were not
at all rare on the SP in certain seasons. But that's a topic for another time.
I don't want to confuse you.

The Granger railroads kept a high percentage of their fleets on their home
This of course is patently nonsensical, since the grangers themselves were
perennially complaining that they could not get their cars back from other
railroads. Yes, the single sheathed cars probably did represent a higher
percentage on home rails than their share of the fleet as a whole -- this
reflected the tendency of other railroads to send back old equipment and
hold onto to the new stuff. Think that's a false claim? Just ask yourself why
railroads were so reluctant to buy cars with roller bearings even 20 years
after their safety, cost and performance advantages were well proven. Many
cars in the 1950's with roller bearings were restricted to home road use, to
avoid losing the cars for months or even years at a time.

Out here in the PNW during the BN days
BN, what the heck is that? Mike, have I missed out on an important railroad
that existed prior to 1960?

Tim O'