Car destroyed in wrecks

Bill Welch

Recently I posted a message asking if the ARA/AAR kept records on
cars destroyed in wrecks and learned they did not. My memory is I was
working on some tables tracing car quantities in the various FGE/WFE/
BRE number series and wanted to better understand the numbers I was
seeing. Anyway, last night I was looking through some FGE Annual
Reports and found some figures for wreck losses for six years in the
1940's. There were over 14,000 cars in FGE's fleet the course of the
first three years.

1942 71 cars
1943 117 cars
1944 144 cars
1947 142 cars
1948 63 cars
1949 85 cars

Bill Welch
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727-470-9930
fgexbill@tampabay.rr.com

Robert kirkham

would it be fair to infer from that pattern that the railroads were somewhat more accident prone during the war? I suppose the trick is knowing not only the number of incidents, but the degree to which traffic was increased due to war conditions (i.e. both numerator and denominator).

Rob Kirkham

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Welch
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:48 PM
To: Steam Era Freight cars
Subject: [STMFC] Car destroyed in wrecks

Recently I posted a message asking if the ARA/AAR kept records on
cars destroyed in wrecks and learned they did not. My memory is I was
working on some tables tracing car quantities in the various FGE/WFE/
BRE number series and wanted to better understand the numbers I was
seeing. Anyway, last night I was looking through some FGE Annual
Reports and found some figures for wreck losses for six years in the
1940's. There were over 14,000 cars in FGE's fleet the course of the
first three years.

1942 71 cars
1943 117 cars
1944 144 cars
1947 142 cars
1948 63 cars
1949 85 cars

Bill Welch
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727-470-9930
fgexbill@tampabay.rr.com

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

George Eichelberger

I believe "wrecked" is a relative term. A newer car with a high book value would have to suffer a lot of damage before a railroad, or car company, would write it off as wrecked. There are many memos in the Southern Hayne Shop files that set repair cost limits on different car series. The older or less desirable the car, the lower the limit would be. Wrecked cars could become rebuild candidates, were converted to non-revenue uses or were cut up for scrap.

The number of cars in a series that were "retired condemned" during any period roughly corresponds to the age of that series. The proportion of "retired destroyed" cars seems to also increase in proportion to their age but often occurring earlier than they would be condemned.

Another factor appears to be where they were wrecked. Southern cars wrecked on the Southern may have a higher chance of being repaired, depending on those wreck repair cost limits. Because cars wrecked on foreign roads could either be returned to the home road to be repaired, or simply paid for based on agreed to valuation formulas, I expect some wrecks were simply paid for and written off because the payment was more than their book value, business conditions reduced the need for that type of car or it was damaged so much it was not worth the trouble to fix it. There were also cases where a wreck was shipped to Hayne or Coster Shops (Spartanburg or Knoxville) when the Southern wanted to do its own repair cost estimate. Although the system for determining wreck repair costs seems to work well (like car insurance body shop estimates), there are a number of back and forth letters in the files adjusting the repair cost estimates.

FGEX cars would be an interesting case because virtually all wrecks would be "off line". During WWII, I assume a car had to be really torn up to be scrapped.

I have noticed that cars in assigned service, particularly if they were specially equipped, appear to have had repair priority even if the costs to fix them were higher. Ford and GM knew how many cars in their assigned pools were bad ordered and were quick to ask the Southern when those cars would be returned to service.

Ike

ROGER HINMAN

Another variation to this is the car gets scrapped on the company's books meaning that a settlement was reached with the railroad involved in the wreck but the car never gets scrapped per se since the railroad who paid for it decided to use it for work equipment.That's how the PRR ended up owning an MDT car.

Yet another variation is when the cars are taken off the books based on "too expensive to repair" but then a secondary market buyer learns of this, and the car must be reacquisitioned so it can be sold. Needless to say errors end up in the car reporting logs.

The amount of cars scrapped each year was part of the report that railroad and private lines sent to the ICC

Roger Hinman

On Jun 12, 2013, at 9:24 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@bellsouth.net> wrote:

I believe "wrecked" is a relative term. A newer car with a high book value would have to suffer a lot of damage before a railroad, or car company, would write it off as wrecked. There are many memos in the Southern Hayne Shop files that set repair cost limits on different car series. The older or less desirable the car, the lower the limit would be. Wrecked cars could become rebuild candidates, were converted to non-revenue uses or were cut up for scrap.

The number of cars in a series that were "retired condemned" during any period roughly corresponds to the age of that series. The proportion of "retired destroyed" cars seems to also increase in proportion to their age but often occurring earlier than they would be condemned.

Another factor appears to be where they were wrecked. Southern cars wrecked on the Southern may have a higher chance of being repaired, depending on those wreck repair cost limits. Because cars wrecked on foreign roads could either be returned to the home road to be repaired, or simply paid for based on agreed to valuation formulas, I expect some wrecks were simply paid for and written off because the payment was more than their book value, business conditions reduced the need for that type of car or it was damaged so much it was not worth the trouble to fix it. There were also cases where a wreck was shipped to Hayne or Coster Shops (Spartanburg or Knoxville) when the Southern wanted to do its own repair cost estimate. Although the system for determining wreck repair costs seems to work well (like car insurance body shop estimates), there are a number of back and forth letters in the files adjusting the repair cost estimates.

FGEX cars would be an interesting case because virtually all wrecks would be "off line". During WWII, I assume a car had to be really torn up to be scrapped.

I have noticed that cars in assigned service, particularly if they were specially equipped, appear to have had repair priority even if the costs to fix them were higher. Ford and GM knew how many cars in their assigned pools were bad ordered and were quick to ask the Southern when those cars would be returned to service.

Ike

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

gary laakso

And another variation is that the car is under a trust and that the bank owner must be paid the amount specified under the lease of the equipment with the trustee unless the railroad provides a replacement of equal or greater value (and same type of car) that can be placed under the trust.

gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
and document drafter for substitution of cars destroyed on SP

-----Original Message-----
From: ROGER HINMAN
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 9:34 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Car destroyed in wrecks

Another variation to this is the car gets scrapped on the company's books meaning that a settlement was reached with the railroad involved in the wreck but the car never gets scrapped per se since the railroad who paid for it decided to use it for work equipment.That's how the PRR ended up owning an MDT car.

Yet another variation is when the cars are taken off the books based on "too expensive to repair" but then a secondary market buyer learns of this, and the car must be reacquisitioned so it can be sold. Needless to say errors end up in the car reporting logs.

The amount of cars scrapped each year was part of the report that railroad and private lines sent to the ICC

Roger Hinman

On Jun 12, 2013, at 9:24 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@bellsouth.net> wrote:

I believe "wrecked" is a relative term. A newer car with a high book value would have to suffer a lot of damage before a railroad, or car company, would write it off as wrecked. There are many memos in the Southern Hayne Shop files that set repair cost limits on different car series. The older or less desirable the car, the lower the limit would be. Wrecked cars could become rebuild candidates, were converted to non-revenue uses or were cut up for scrap.

The number of cars in a series that were "retired condemned" during any period roughly corresponds to the age of that series. The proportion of "retired destroyed" cars seems to also increase in proportion to their age but often occurring earlier than they would be condemned.

Another factor appears to be where they were wrecked. Southern cars wrecked on the Southern may have a higher chance of being repaired, depending on those wreck repair cost limits. Because cars wrecked on foreign roads could either be returned to the home road to be repaired, or simply paid for based on agreed to valuation formulas, I expect some wrecks were simply paid for and written off because the payment was more than their book value, business conditions reduced the need for that type of car or it was damaged so much it was not worth the trouble to fix it. There were also cases where a wreck was shipped to Hayne or Coster Shops (Spartanburg or Knoxville) when the Southern wanted to do its own repair cost estimate. Although the system for determining wreck repair costs seems to work well (like car insurance body shop estimates), there are a number of back and forth letters in the files adjusting the repair cost estimates.

FGEX cars would be an interesting case because virtually all wrecks would be "off line". During WWII, I assume a car had to be really torn up to be scrapped.

I have noticed that cars in assigned service, particularly if they were specially equipped, appear to have had repair priority even if the costs to fix them were higher. Ford and GM knew how many cars in their assigned pools were bad ordered and were quick to ask the Southern when those cars would be returned to service.

Ike

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

Chet

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Bill Welch <fgexbill@...> wrote:

Recently I posted a message asking if the ARA/AAR kept records on
cars destroyed in wrecks and learned they did not. My memory is I was
working on some tables tracing car quantities in the various FGE/WFE/
BRE number series and wanted to better understand the numbers I was
seeing. Anyway, last night I was looking through some FGE Annual
Reports and found some figures for wreck losses for six years in the
1940's. There were over 14,000 cars in FGE's fleet the course of the
first three years.

1942 71 cars
1943 117 cars
1944 144 cars
1947 142 cars
1948 63 cars
1949 85 cars

I have records of the cars the Wabash lost each year as a result
of wrecks, fire, and failing in switching for the years 1945
through 1960. I only included revenue cars.

For the year 1948, 47 cars were destroyed, 43 in wrecks and four by
fire. Twenty five railroads in the U.S, and Mexico were involved including the home road. The largest number of cars destroyed on one railroad was eight on the PRR.

In 1953, forty cars were destroyed, 32 in wrecks, 4 in fires, and
four that failed in switching. Seventeen railroads in the U.S. and
Mexico were involved. That year the Wabash led with nine cars
destroyed on home rails.

Chet French
Dixon, IL

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