3:1 Reefer to Reefers to Boxcar ratio


np328
 

I had mentioned earlier seeing a letter about the 3:1 ratio. Below it has been transcribed. This letter underscores Frank Peacocks post 98693 regarding the source of the order. It also expands the 3:1 into an additional 2:1 reefers for boxcars. The letter is to NP President C E Denny and dated June 7, 1950. Reference is made to April 1950 Freight Dept Reports regarding carloadings which came from each field agent monthly.
Dave Evans - sorry this provides no answers to your questions in post 98697.
............
Mr. Denney,

Referring to the attached April report wherein he states we lost six cars of magazines to the Pacific Coast from the Curtis Publishing Company.

This statement is somewhat misleading, in that Service Order 104 authorized the use of three refrigerators for one 50-foot boxcar under O.D.T. regulation which the Curtis people had been utilizing, and when the Ofiice of Defense Transportation terminated together with the service order, provision was made by tariff and revenue is for a 50-foot car under the multiple arrangement, whether three refrigerators for one 50-foot car or or two for one 40-foot, 6-inch car.

During April our loading showed two cars less than previous, and based on multiple loadings we lost the revenue of one car. In accepting the statement of Decker of the loss of six cars, under the multiple arrangment it could have been the loss of two or three (revenue) cars, as the case may be.

However we all know that the Curtis Publishing Company divides their business and Mr. Decker himself makes the statement that we should figure on a maximum division of 35 percent.

Joint tariff restricts the use of refrigerators as follows:

Via Northern Pacific - when loaded in BRE, FWD, NP, or NRC refrigerators.

Via Great Northern - when loaded in BRE, FGE, FWD, or WFE refrigerators.

Via Union Pacific - when loaded in PFE refrigerators.

....End....

Transcribed from letter found in NP Pres. Subject Files -
File 1477-131; Box 137.E.13.2f ; Minn. Hist. Society.
Jim Dick - Roseville, MN


lstt100
 

I thought list member might want the following information.

Total refrigerator carloads from 1940 thru 1948 and number loaded on 3:1 plan forwarded to West Coast. It should be noted that the verbage in the order stated "up" to 3 for 1 plan, sometimes as Jim indicated it was a 2 for 1 plan depending on the equipment needed.

1940 Total 1,526,900.
1941 Total 1,663,490.
1942 Total 1,865,014. Total loaded westbound in 1942 before ICC Service order 104 was put in place: 34,645
1943 Total 1,889,933. Total on 3:1 plan: 92,082
1944 Total 2,233,433. Total on 3:1 plan: 136,902
1945 Total 2,262,147. Total on 3:1 plan: 148,192
1946 Total 2,163,788. Total on 3:1 plan: 99,924
1947 Total 2.177,341. Total on 3:1 plan: 102,497
1948 Total 2,025,202. Total on 3:1 plan: 48,988

ICC Service Order 104 was effective January 19,1943 covering PFE and SFRD ownerships. Suspended from Jan 1946 and then reinstated in full effective April 10, 1946. This was done because of a shortage of refrigerator cars on the West Coast.

ICC Service Order 822 was issued on August 10, 1948 and was effective September 1, 1948 placing the 3:1 plan in effect from Eastern territory to Pacific Northwest Territory. This covered NP, WFEX, FGEX and BREX cars.

After the end of the war, there was a decrease in Service Order 104 loadings for the West Coast. Of the total refrigerator cars moving through Ogden, Salt Lake, El Paso, Belen and Albuquerque, the loaded cars increased from 12.2 percent in 1942 to approximately 50 percent in 1945. Keep in mind that the total vs the 3:1 plan will be skewed if compared account the total loaded does not isolate only the loads from the West Coast.

Office of Defense Transporation (ODT) was terminated on June 30, 1949. On the same date ICC Service Order 102 and 822 were allowed to expire. Prior to the expiration date they were issued in tariff form and the westbound loading of refrigerator cars continued under the tariff provisions.

Percentage of empty refrigerator car miles to total loaded:
1942 43.8
1943 38.1
1944 35.1
1945 34.0
1946 38.6
1947 38.8
1948 39.6

The increase in empty mileage in 1948 was brought about by the return to owners of their authority to direct movement of their cars.

Dan Holbrook


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Mar 27, 2011, at 2:27 PM, lstt100@... wrote:

I thought list member might want the following information.

Total refrigerator carloads from 1940 thru 1948 and number loaded
on 3:1 plan forwarded to West Coast. It should be noted that the
verbage in the order stated "up" to 3 for 1 plan, sometimes as Jim
indicated it was a 2 for 1 plan depending on the equipment needed.

1940 Total 1,526,900.
1941 Total 1,663,490.
1942 Total 1,865,014. Total loaded westbound in 1942 before ICC
Service order 104 was put in place: 34,645
1943 Total 1,889,933. Total on 3:1 plan: 92,082
1944 Total 2,233,433. Total on 3:1 plan: 136,902
1945 Total 2,262,147. Total on 3:1 plan: 148,192
1946 Total 2,163,788. Total on 3:1 plan: 99,924
1947 Total 2.177,341. Total on 3:1 plan: 102,497
1948 Total 2,025,202. Total on 3:1 plan: 48,988

ICC Service Order 104 was effective January 19,1943 covering PFE
and SFRD ownerships. Suspended from Jan 1946 and then reinstated
in full effective April 10, 1946. This was done because of a
shortage of refrigerator cars on the West Coast.

ICC Service Order 822 was issued on August 10, 1948 and was
effective September 1, 1948 placing the 3:1 plan in effect from
Eastern territory to Pacific Northwest Territory. This covered NP,
WFEX, FGEX and BREX cars.

After the end of the war, there was a decrease in Service Order 104
loadings for the West Coast. Of the total refrigerator cars moving
through Ogden, Salt Lake, El Paso, Belen and Albuquerque, the
loaded cars increased from 12.2 percent in 1942 to approximately 50
percent in 1945. Keep in mind that the total vs the 3:1 plan will
be skewed if compared account the total loaded does not isolate
only the loads from the West Coast.

Office of Defense Transporation (ODT) was terminated on June 30,
1949. On the same date ICC Service Order 102 and 822 were allowed
to expire. Prior to the expiration date they were issued in tariff
form and the westbound loading of refrigerator cars continued under
the tariff provisions.

Percentage of empty refrigerator car miles to total loaded:
1942 43.8
1943 38.1
1944 35.1
1945 34.0
1946 38.6
1947 38.8
1948 39.6

The increase in empty mileage in 1948 was brought about by the
return to owners of their authority to direct movement of their cars.

Dan Holbrook
Dan, thanks very much for sharing this information. After several
days of more or less speculation and guesswork on this topic by STMFC
listers, it is a relief to actually have some documentation.

Richard Hendrickson


Tim O'Connor
 

Dan Holbrook wrote

1948 Total 2,025,202. Total on 3:1 plan: 48,988
Percentage of empty refrigerator car miles to total loaded:
1948 39.6

Thanks for that great data, Dan!

So the 3:1 plan was 2.4% of total reefer carloadings -- or let's
express that as 4.8% of total "return" carloadings.

Another way of expressing the 39.6% ratio Dan cites, is to say that
reefers were empty 28.4% of the their total mileage. Since reefers
travelled empty 28.4% of the time, instead of 50.0% of the time, it
stands to reason to estimate that 43.2% of reefers were reloaded in
a "return" direction. (That's a lot more than I expected -- I wonder
how that number looked in the 1950's, and later.)

So comparing the 4.8% returns under the 3:1 rule vs 43.2% return loads,
it looks like the 3:1 rule was applied to 11% or about 1 in 9 returning
reefers. On the other hand, I think it's remarkable that perhaps 43.2%
of all reefers were reloaded on their return trips! I wonder how many
model layouts implement that reload rate.

Of course in the real world cars don't just ping-pong back and forth,
but they can travel in more complicated patterns, and they may explain
why the 3:1 rule only applied to a small percentage of cars.

Tim O'Connor


devansprr
 

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

I thought list member might want the following information.

Total refrigerator carloads from 1940 thru 1948 and number loaded on 3:1 plan forwarded to West Coast. It should be noted that the verbage in the order stated "up" to 3 for 1 plan, sometimes as Jim indicated it was a 2 for 1 plan depending on the equipment needed.
Snip

ICC Service Order 104 was effective January 19,1943 covering PFE and SFRD ownerships. Suspended from Jan 1946 and then reinstated in full effective April 10, 1946. This was done because of a shortage of refrigerator cars on the West Coast.

SNIP

Of the total refrigerator cars moving through Ogden, Salt Lake, El Paso, Belen and Albuquerque, the loaded cars increased from 12.2 percent in 1942 to approximately 50 percent in 1945. Keep in mind that the total vs the 3:1 plan will be skewed if compared account the total loaded does not isolate only the loads from the West Coast.

SNIP
Percentage of empty refrigerator car miles to total loaded:
1942 43.8
1943 38.1
1944 35.1
1945 34.0
SNIP

Dan Holbrook
Dan,

Fantastic data. For an eastern WWII modeler, it does raise a few questions:

1) You wrote "Of the total refrigerator cars moving through Ogden, Salt Lake, El Paso, Belen and Albuquerque, the loaded cars increased from 12.2 percent in 1942 to approximately 50 percent in 1945." Is this referring to WB reefer movements? I would think EB reefer movements would be nearly 100% loaded at these locations?

2) Is there a public or published source of the more detailed data necessary to derive these numbers?

3) Were any other reefers included in the car service orders in effect during WWII other than PFE and SFRD?

If the data in (1) is for WB reefers, and EB reefers were nearly 100% loaded through the same locations, then with only 25% of western reefer movements empty, and the fact that 35.1% of all reefer miles were empty, then eastern empty reefer miles must have remained close to the pre-service order, 1942 empty mileage percentage of 43.8%.

I know Richard is looking for hard facts - but I suspect that eastern 3:1 reefer loadings may not have been that common, for the simple reason that there were LOTS of available MTY XM's on the east coast during WWII, and from the east coast the percentage of merchandise loads destined to the specific locations defined in the car service order would be a low probability - better for an agent/yard master to just grab an MTY XM than to find the correct 2 or 3 MTY reefers to load for the specified destination.

I would also theorize that much of the 3:1 loading was occurring in the midwest, since that region had a significant imbalance of outbound loads compared to inbound loads.

If this theory holds up, then for a modeler of central PA in WWII, it looks like many WB reefers would still be empty, at least of merchandise, because there was still some produce from the southeast being moved WB out of Washington/Baltimore and Potomac yard.

For a WWII midwest modeler, it sounds like lots of reefers were being loaded with merchandise - 2 or 3 at a time - an interesting operational twist. And for the western WWII moldeler there would be lots of reefers to unload at non-food related industries. Alas, looks like a unique opportunity for operations not appropriate for eastern WWII modelers (although it may still have happened, just not that frequently in the east)

Now to find some data that would confirm or reject this.

Dave Evans


lstt100
 

Dan,

Fantastic data. For an eastern WWII modeler, it does raise a few questions:

1) You wrote "Of the total refrigerator cars moving through Ogden, Salt Lake, El Paso, Belen and Albuquerque, the loaded cars increased from 12.2 percent in 1942 to approximately 50 percent in 1945." Is this referring to WB reefer movements? I would think EB reefer movements would be nearly 100% loaded at these locations?
Yes this is referring to the westbound movement. The eastbound movement was heavily loaded, however, keep in mind, some perishable from the Southeast, East and Northeast was moving westbound. Thus using the "total" to determine total eastbound/westbound movement does not give a complete picture.


2) Is there a public or published source of the more detailed data necessary to derive these numbers?
No published source, yet. I've been spending a significant part of the past 10 years gathering the information about the ARA/ICC/AAR Car Service Division. I'm happy to quote specific information, but a complete rundown would exhaust the scope of the group. Much of the data has come from my years working in the industry and Car Service publications I saved while working.

3) Were any other reefers included in the car service orders in effect during WWII other than PFE and SFRD?
None, except on Service Order 822 covering the loading to the Pacific Northwest area and this only covered from Sept 1, 1948 until June 30, 1949. After that date, the movement was covered under tariff and statistics were not kept for "all" 3:1 or 2:1 movements.

If the data in (1) is for WB reefers, and EB reefers were nearly 100% loaded through the same locations, then with only 25% of western reefer movements empty, and the fact that 35.1% of all reefer miles were empty, then eastern empty reefer miles must have remained close to the pre-service order, 1942 empty mileage percentage of 43.8%.
The percentage quoted is the "total" for the US railroads. Thus some areas of the country could have had more loaded vs empty mileage, but the overall US average was as stated.

I know Richard is looking for hard facts - but I suspect that eastern 3:1 reefer loadings may not have been that common, for the simple reason that there were LOTS of available MTY XM's on the east coast during WWII, and from the east coast the percentage of merchandise loads destined to the specific locations defined in the car service order would be a low probability - better for an agent/yard master to just grab an MTY XM than to find the correct 2 or 3 MTY reefers to load for the specified destination.
There were NOT lots of available mty XM's on the east coast during WWII. ICC Service Orders, Quota Orders and Car Service Division Special Car Orders were redirecting freight cars on a daily basis and the use of the refrigerator cars was an effort to maximize car loading and minimize empty mileage. Prior to WWII much of the traffic in the US was moving west to east towards the population centers. During WWII traffic patterns changed.

I would also theorize that much of the 3:1 loading was occurring in the midwest, since that region had a significant imbalance of outbound loads compared to inbound loads.
A significant part of the 3:1 loading was being done in the Midwest, but not all. Much of the loading was magazines, phone books, printed material and thru LCL cars. I cannot quote a percentage.

Dan Holbrook


devansprr
 

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


2) Is there a public or published source of the more detailed data necessary to derive these numbers?
No published source, yet. I've been spending a significant part of the past 10 years gathering the information about the ARA/ICC/AAR Car Service Division. I'm happy to quote specific information, but a complete rundown would exhaust the scope of the group. Much of the data has come from my years working in the industry and Car Service publications I saved while working.

3) Were any other reefers included in the car service orders in effect during WWII other than PFE and SFRD?
None, except on Service Order 822 covering the loading to the Pacific Northwest area and this only covered from Sept 1, 1948 until June 30, 1949. After that date, the movement was covered under tariff and statistics were not kept for "all" 3:1 or 2:1 movements.

I know Richard is looking for hard facts - but I suspect that eastern 3:1 reefer loadings may not have been that common, for the simple reason that there were LOTS of available MTY XM's on the east coast during WWII, and from the east coast the percentage of merchandise loads destined to the specific locations defined in the car service order would be a low probability - better for an agent/yard master to just grab an MTY XM than to find the correct 2 or 3 MTY reefers to load for the specified destination.
There were NOT lots of available mty XM's on the east coast during WWII. ICC Service Orders, Quota Orders and Car Service Division Special Car Orders were redirecting freight cars on a daily basis and the use of the refrigerator cars was an effort to maximize car loading and minimize empty mileage. Prior to WWII much of the traffic in the US was moving west to east towards the population centers. During WWII traffic patterns changed.
Dan Holbrook
Dan,

PRR data suggests that WWII WB merchandise trains on the main line had significant quantities of MTY XM's. I know the cars were not left to sit around in the east, but XM's were available.

But there is more to the story, some of it is told in "American Wartime Transportation" by Rose, and "Civilian War Transport" by ODT/GPO. On some topics Rose seems to summarize the ODT report, although he adds some ICC detail (ICC and ODT often disagreed during the war - so I expect the ODT report may be biased towards ODT) - each book has a chapter on refrigerator car movement. The ODT report is available at the Hathi Trust digital library - but you have to access it one page at a time.

The fun starts with Service Order 95, which gave Warren Kendall of the AAR powers to distribute refrigerator cars as necessary - but there was NOT a formal reefer pool. Car owners sat on the AAR committee, so there was lots of owner input to the process. From the ODT report:

"These differences in adaptability to the widely varying needs of the different perishable products ordinarily transported in refrigerated cars made it impracticable to operate all refrigerator cars in railroad service as a single pool, but as far as possible cars of all ownership were used whenever and wherever needed and returned to their respective territories as circumstances permitted."

Rose indicates that several ICC car service orders addressed using reefers for non-perishable shipments heading towards their home territory:

89 - 10/19/42
104 - 1/19/43
148 - 8/15/43

Only 104 is discussed in detail.

Between order 95 and the end of 1945, the ODT report states that over 60 service orders were issued for refrigerator cars. There is an overview of the types of orders (Rose provides a few car service order numbers), and they seem to include icing restrictions (123 - 5/14/43, 132 - 7/5/43, 133 - 6/19/43), attempts to reduce diversions and reconsignments (77 -1/1/42, 134, 115 - 4/10/43), prohibiting commodity types, and demurrage charges (180 - 2/5/44), etc.

The ODT report states "Several orders were issued permitting or requiring the substitution of not more than three refrigerator cars in lieu of one boxcar for loading to certain areas. the most extensive.... was 104."

From here there is considerable discussion.

"As originally issued the order was permissive as applied to carriers and mandatory as applied to shippers. Subsequent amendments to the order made changes in the territorial application and made it mandatory for carriers to supply refrigerator cars, 'when freight to be transported is suitable and facilities are suitable for loading in refrigerator cars, and when PFE or SFRD refrigerator cars are reasonably available.'"

One amendment to rule 104 "..which directed substitution of two refrigerator cars in lieu of one boxcar ordered of a length 40 feet 7 inches or less, and three refrigerator cars in lieu of one boxcar (over 40'7" and under 50'7")"

"This amendment also appointed.....AAR....and authorized him to direct the use of refrigerator cars other than PFE and SFRD cars, and of either private or railroad ownership, for loading as provided in the order, if PFE and SFRD cars were not reasonably available."

The ODT report also says that the refrigerator cars were not to be used for loads, or their necessary bracing and dunnage, if they would damage the interior of the cars.

The ODT report states that while they sought to reduce total MTY car miles, another key objective was to reduce the flow of MTY XM's from the west coast towards the midwest by using reefers for west coast bound shipments (fewer empty XM's to ship back to the midwest). In Rose the entire discussion of this is preceded with a concern about freight rail capacity west of the Missouri river. Sounds like this was a major concern of ODT during the war. There does not appear to be a similar concern for eastern roads.

There is a limited amount of numeric data in the ODT report, and much of it Dan provided earlier (in many cases the exact same number, so I suspect the same ultimate source.)

Dave Evans