Freight car Distribution - Larry Kline


Ned Carey <nedspam@...>
 

Al Brown, wrote:
data presented . . . by Larry Kline, who has studied a Western Maryland main line. The WM is intertwined with the much larger B&O; the rival "proximity" hypothesis predicts that the WM would be flooded with B&O cars. IIRC, it isn't.
Going back to Larry Kline's Western Maryland study, IIRC some of the other "Alphabet Route" roads were somewhat over-represented. This might be attributed to either "friendly connections" or "known traffic patterns".
Larry Studied photos and videos of Mainline freights and recorded the cars. As I recall his results supported the Nelson Gilbert model. Contrary to Al's second comment above, I recall that Larry was surprised because he DIDN'T find higher representation of Alphabet roads. I distinctly remember he had only seen ONE photo of a P&WV car in WM territory and it was a gon on a siding.

I think my memory is correct as I am a WM modeler and had been thinking I needed more alphabet route cars.

Larry said he studied mainline through freights and said other trains may not match his research. This brings up something I don't think has been mentioned - The type of train. We've implied it by saying a branch may get skewed traffic, but wouldn't the type of train be as important as the location such as a branch? Would through freights being more likely to match the N-G model vs. peddler freights, turns and locals. - Even if that local was on the main line?

Ned Carey


Bruce Smith
 

On Apr 12, 2010, at 9:42 PM, Ned Carey wrote:
Larry said he studied mainline through freights and said other trains may not match his research. This brings up something I don't think has been mentioned - The type of train. We've implied it by saying a branch may get skewed traffic, but wouldn't the type of train be as important as the location such as a branch? Would through freights being more likely to match the N-G model vs. peddler freights, turns and locals. - Even if that local was on the main line?
Ned,

Excluding assigned service cars, I have to ask, why would you think so? Why should "peddler freights, turns and locals" be any different? The cars on through freights have to be going somewhere, and they will end up on precisely those trains...

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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soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

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

Ned,

Excluding assigned service cars, I have to ask, why would you think
so? Why should "peddler freights, turns and locals" be any
different? The cars on through freights have to be going somewhere,
and they will end up on precisely those trains...

Regards
Bruce
Because the cars on these trains are driven by the industries directly served. If there are no auto plants in the local's territory, then there are not likely to be any automobile cars, or cars in the auto parts pools, even though many of those cars may be going by in through freights as overhead traffic. Likewise, if there is a large newspaper's printing plant paper warehouse, Canadian boxcars may be present in the local all out of proportion to the general mix for the road.

Dennis


Bruce Smith
 

On Apr 13, 2010, at 10:10 AM, soolinehistory wrote:
--- In STMFC@..., Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Ned,

Excluding assigned service cars, I have to ask, why would you think
so? Why should "peddler freights, turns and locals" be any
different? The cars on through freights have to be going somewhere,
and they will end up on precisely those trains...

Regards
Bruce
Because the cars on these trains are driven by the industries directly served. If there are no auto plants in the local's territory, then there are not likely to be any automobile cars, or cars in the auto parts pools, even though many of those cars may be going by in through freights as overhead traffic. Likewise, if there is a large newspaper's printing plant paper warehouse, Canadian boxcars may be present in the local all out of proportion to the general mix for the road.
Dennis,

I said "excluding assigned service" <G> and aren't those all examples of that? I would also beg to differ about the lack of automobile cars if you have no auto plants. First, these cars could be present to provide delivery of autos to a local auto dealer via the team track. In addition, as you know, those automobile cars that were not in assigned service (and even some captured from that service) could be used for a variety of other cargos. Among those might be furniture and many other cargos that would benefit from a larger door opening, or simply stuff that was loaded in that car because it was available.

It is certainly a valid point that the frequency of automobile cars might be reduced in the "free rolling" general freight car population because a higher proportion of those cars than general service boxcars were in assigned service, but then, depending on the route, that might well be reflected in the mainline freights too. It is for that reason that, AFAIK, automobile cars were not part of the NG hypothesis. Note too that canadian cars are excluded from the NG hypothesis due to the special requirements for loading/routing.

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; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||
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Aley, Jeff A
 

Bruce,

OK, I'll give you (and Ned) another reason why peddler freights, turns, and locals may not seem to follow the N-G model.

The statistical sample size is much smaller (meaning you will therefore observe more variance).

The G-N model is a macroscopic model - it works well for large quantities of shipper - consignee pairs. But as Dennis points out, for a small quantity of shipper-consignee pairs, the "exceptions" may (will?) dominate.

Regards,

-Jeff


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 8:45 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight car Distribution - Larry Kline



On Apr 13, 2010, at 10:10 AM, soolinehistory wrote:
--- In STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:

Ned,

Excluding assigned service cars, I have to ask, why would you think
so? Why should "peddler freights, turns and locals" be any
different? The cars on through freights have to be going somewhere,
and they will end up on precisely those trains...

Regards
Bruce
Because the cars on these trains are driven by the industries
directly served. If there are no auto plants in the local's
territory, then there are not likely to be any automobile cars, or
cars in the auto parts pools, even though many of those cars may be
going by in through freights as overhead traffic. Likewise, if
there is a large newspaper's printing plant paper warehouse,
Canadian boxcars may be present in the local all out of proportion
to the general mix for the road.
Dennis,

I said "excluding assigned service" <G> and aren't those all examples
of that? I would also beg to differ about the lack of automobile cars
if you have no auto plants. First, these cars could be present to
provide delivery of autos to a local auto dealer via the team track.
In addition, as you know, those automobile cars that were not in
assigned service (and even some captured from that service) could be
used for a variety of other cargos. Among those might be furniture
and many other cargos that would benefit from a larger door opening,
or simply stuff that was loaded in that car because it was available.

It is certainly a valid point that the frequency of automobile cars
might be reduced in the "free rolling" general freight car population
because a higher proportion of those cars than general service
boxcars were in assigned service, but then, depending on the route,
that might well be reflected in the mainline freights too. It is for
that reason that, AFAIK, automobile cars were not part of the NG
hypothesis. Note too that canadian cars are excluded from the NG
hypothesis due to the special requirements for loading/routing.

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


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bruce Smith wrote:
In addition, as you know, those automobile cars that were not in assigned service (and even some captured from that service) could be used for a variety of other cargos. Among those might be furniture and many other cargos that would benefit from a larger door opening . . .
Finished (as opposed to rough) lumber was commonly shipped in double-door box cars, which until 1954 were defined by AAR as being "automobile" cars. SP typically bought around half of each order of double-door boxes in the transition era without loaders, for use in general service, primarily lumber. There exist SP memos on the need to capture empty double-door boxes throughout the system, including T&NO, for movement to Oregon to handle lumber traffic. So let's not view these as JUST auto and furniture cars.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Aley, Jeff A
 

Tony,

Well, they are furniture cars - they just haul "very rough" furniture :) :)


Regards,

-Jeff


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Anthony Thompson
Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 9:38 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car Distribution - Larry Kline



Bruce Smith wrote:
In addition, as you know, those automobile cars that were not in
assigned service (and even some captured from that service) could be
used for a variety of other cargos. Among those might be furniture
and many other cargos that would benefit from a larger door
opening . . .
Finished (as opposed to rough) lumber was commonly shipped in
double-door box cars, which until 1954 were defined by AAR as being
"automobile" cars. SP typically bought around half of each order of
double-door boxes in the transition era without loaders, for use in
general service, primarily lumber. There exist SP memos on the need to
capture empty double-door boxes throughout the system, including T&NO,
for movement to Oregon to handle lumber traffic. So let's not view
these as JUST auto and furniture cars.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...<mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com>
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

Naturally double door cars were desirable for lumber, but
lots of lumber was shipped in ordinary 40' single door cars
too. In the 1960's I enjoyed watching a crew of young guys
struggling to unload a 40' car load of "random" lumber (it
looked like an exploded pick-up-stix game). Those "lumber
doors" in 40' box cars weren't there for decoration -- when
the shipper couldn't get any more pieces through the doorway
he threw them in through the door in the end of the car! And
the unloading crew got to untangle the mess.

Speaking of lumber -- anyone know when the first "wrapped"
lumber loads began? I mean the neat stacks of same-length
pieces, all nicely wrapped up. I'm guessing it was sometime
in the 1950's, since that's when wrapped drywall loads on
flats appeared.

Tim O'Connor

At 4/13/2010 12:37 PM Tuesday, you wrote:
Bruce Smith wrote:
In addition, as you know, those automobile cars that were not in
assigned service (and even some captured from that service) could be
used for a variety of other cargos. Among those might be furniture
and many other cargos that would benefit from a larger door
opening . . .
Finished (as opposed to rough) lumber was commonly shipped in
double-door box cars, which until 1954 were defined by AAR as being
"automobile" cars. SP typically bought around half of each order of
double-door boxes in the transition era without loaders, for use in
general service, primarily lumber. There exist SP memos on the need to
capture empty double-door boxes throughout the system, including T&NO,
for movement to Oregon to handle lumber traffic. So let's not view
these as JUST auto and furniture cars.

Tony Thompson


Tim O'Connor
 

If the peddler served a rural farm area with grain elevators,
then in a lot of cases the mix of cars often would reflect the
mix of cars on mainline freights. There are a great many photos
of peddlers with very unexpected box cars -- like BAR, PRR, or
SAL on the NP in Montana or the UP in Nebraska.

On the other hand, if the main industries served by the peddler
required specialized cars, like insulated box cars for canned
goods, or extra-height box cars for airplane parts, well, the
mix of cars is going to be very different.

After WWII, the category of "specialized" box cars became so
large that it was listed separately in the CBC tallies. That
trend accelerated throughout the postwar era and that's one
reason the G-N model becomes less useful by 1960. Another reason
is massive changes in the RR industry, loss of LCL, steep declines
in traffic in the northeastern and midwestern US, mergers, etc.

Tim O'Connor

Larry said he studied mainline through freights and said other
trains may not match his research. This brings up something I don't
think has been mentioned - The type of train. We've implied it by
saying a branch may get skewed traffic, but wouldn't the type of
train be as important as the location such as a branch? Would
through freights being more likely to match the N-G model vs.
peddler freights, turns and locals. - Even if that local was on the
main line?
Ned,

Excluding assigned service cars, I have to ask, why would you think
so? Why should "peddler freights, turns and locals" be any
different? The cars on through freights have to be going somewhere,
and they will end up on precisely those trains...

Regards
Bruce


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


Naturally double door cars were desirable for lumber, but
lots of lumber was shipped in ordinary 40' single door cars
too. In the 1960's I enjoyed watching a crew of young guys
struggling to unload a 40' car load of "random" lumber (it
looked like an exploded pick-up-stix game). Those "lumber
doors" in 40' box cars weren't there for decoration -- when
the shipper couldn't get any more pieces through the doorway
he threw them in through the door in the end of the car! And
the unloading crew got to untangle the mess.
Tim,

I'm going to theorize that the "pick-up-stix" mess was caused by the rambunctious and inexperienced unloading crew, not the mill. If they left it that way overnight and all those boards developed a crook, they were likely looking for new jobs the next day.

Dad was a carpenter who augmented his income by doing a heck of a lot of weekend and evening "side jobs" when I was a kid, and I spent a lot of time in lumber yards during the fifties and sixties. Unlike the big box home centers of today, lumber was a commodity that was treated with respect, to preserve its value, none of that just throw it in the bin business. Lumber was moved by hand, several sticks at a time, from the boxcar to a truck; from the truck to a neat stack in the shed; from the stack onto the truck for delivery. If someone went to the lumber yard to pick up their own order, the "yard man" picked the order and wheeled it up front, or had the customer spot his truck and loaded it. Having "pickin' privileges" was an honor not to be abused, since it could save maybe maybe 7 - 8% of the cost of the material on a job. Leave the man's stacks jumbled, and you didn't get pickin' privileges again. Lumber yards managed their stock; when the yard man had nothing else to do he gathered up the "crooks", took them to the saw shed, and made them into something salable, like pre-cut concrete stakes.

Speaking of lumber -- anyone know when the first "wrapped"
lumber loads began? I mean the neat stacks of same-length
pieces, all nicely wrapped up. I'm guessing it was sometime
in the 1950's, since that's when wrapped drywall loads on
flats appeared.
I still remember lumber in boxcars in 1959 or '60, maybe a couple years later. Drywall also originally was shipped in boxcars, which must have been an absolutely miserable job to unload. Drywall lent itself to shipping on bulkhead flats, since it was large flat sheets and it didn't have to be piled very high to max out the car's capacity. Lumber was a different story; while large timbers could and were shipped on flatcars, the pile of dimensional lumber got awfully high and tippy before the car's load limit was reached. Greg Martin could likely tell us more, but I don't think dimensional lumber was ever shipped on standard flats, remember that the transitional car was the "Thrall-door" boxcar, which was introduced when, mid sixties? Those cars had a central structure, since they didn't have any sides, and it was only a short leap to the early center beam flats, but all this happened well after 1960.

Dennis


Ned Carey <nedspam@...>
 

Bruce Smith Wrote:
Why should "peddler freights, turns and locals" be any
different?

I am not saying this is so, I am simply asking, "Is this perhaps another exception to the G-N model?" I haven't seen it stated so clearly before but does the G-N model only apply to through freights?

It has often been said an exception to the G-N model is frequently a dead end branch line. The traffic on that line will be much less diverse than the national average as the industries may determine a more skewed mix. Couldn't that same be said about a local on the main - the mix is in part determined by the industries served by that particular train.

Rethinking the issue, one factor the dead end has that doesn't affect the local on the main - connections. Nobody chooses a car to go to an industry down the dead end branch because it is in the direction of the home road.

Ned Carey


Tim O'Connor
 

I'm going to theorize that the "pick-up-stix" mess was caused by the
rambunctious and inexperienced unloading crew, not the mill. If they
left it that way overnight and all those boards developed a crook,
they were likely looking for new jobs the next day.
Dennis, good theory, but I watched them open the door -- there was
an incredible pile of sticks of lumber jumbled together inside the
car, nearly to the roof. The unloading crew had to remove one stick
at a time, which they stacked neatly onto a flatbed truck. I recall
it was not studs, but dimension lumber, like 2x12's and such. Some
of them were quite long, I thought.

The lumber company was just a block away but had no spur of its own,
so this was done on the local team track. (In Moorestown NJ FYI).

It's possible the load was knocked around inside the car during its
trip, which probably was from the west coast somewhere. I remember
it was a western railroad's car but don't recall which one.

Tim