WWII Freight Movements to the Charleston POE


George Eichelberger
 

I have located many pieces of correspondence in the SRHA Archives from the Southern Railway Charleston Div Superintendent’s office for a presentation on "Military Movements on the Southern Railway Charleston Division During WWII” I’ll be doing at the Cocoa Beach RPM meet in a couple of weeks.

Because of various orders from the Office of Defense Transportation (ODT), the concept of home or foreign road cars or more typical pre-war routings did not apply to Gov’t shipments during the war. As an example, War Department Release WF-350102-W was for 20 cars of oil moving from Port Arthur, Texas to the Charleston Port of Embarkation in August, 1944. Routing was KCS-L&A-MSC-Sou-CG-ACL. Although the shipment was oil, I assume these were all box cars with the oil in drums. Originated on KCS, note that there are no home road cars (?L&E) used in the movement. (Dates are when the cars left Port Arthur.) The final legs on CG and ACL do not seem like a very direct route given a lot of Charleston traffic moved through Atlanta and Augusta via GARR and Southern? (Were CP cars subject to ODT orders?)

NYC 121586 August 21
NYC 133975 August 21
Sou 162273 August 21
ACL 57242 August 21
PRR 98129 August 21
Milw 593139 August 21
NWP 2161 August 21
NKP 290 August 21
ATSF 44160 August 22
Sou 27145 August 22
CP 172768 August 22
ATSF 121587 August 22
RI 146433 August 24
SP 30583 August 24
PRR 92080 August 24
NYC 265107 August 24
TNO 50116 August 24
RI 157468 at POE
L&E 8122 at POE
IGN 14098 at POE

Release 19034 covered 15 car loads of beer moving from Newark, NJ to the Charleston POE in May, 1943. Only two cars are mentioned in the letter: RI 145297 and C&O 4461.

Ike


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Dec 29, 2013, at 7:57 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

I have located many pieces of correspondence in the SRHA Archives from the Southern Railway Charleston Div Superintendent’s office for a presentation on "Military Movements on the Southern Railway Charleston Division During WWII” I’ll be doing at the Cocoa Beach RPM meet in a couple of weeks.

Because of various orders from the Office of Defense Transportation (ODT), the concept of home or foreign road cars or more typical pre-war routings did not apply to Gov’t shipments during the war. As an example, War Department Release WF-350102-W was for 20 cars of oil moving from Port Arthur, Texas to the Charleston Port of Embarkation in August, 1944. Routing was KCS-L&A-MSC-Sou-CG-ACL. Although the shipment was oil, I assume these were all box cars with the oil in drums. Originated on KCS, note that there are no home road cars (?L&E) used in the movement. (Dates are when the cars left Port Arthur.) The final legs on CG and ACL do not seem like a very direct route given a lot of Charleston traffic moved through Atlanta and Augusta via GARR and Southern? (Were CP cars subject to ODT orders?)

NYC 121586 August 21
NYC 133975 August 21
Sou 162273 August 21
ACL 57242 August 21
PRR 98129 August 21
Milw 593139 August 21
NWP 2161 August 21
NKP 290 August 21
ATSF 44160 August 22
Sou 27145 August 22
CP 172768 August 22
ATSF 121587 August 22
RI 146433 August 24
SP 30583 August 24
PRR 92080 August 24
NYC 265107 August 24
TNO 50116 August 24
RI 157468 at POE
L&E 8122 at POE
IGN 14098 at POE

George, ATSF 44160 was a class Bx-W 36’ wood sheathed box car with truss rod underframe.  5000 of these cars wee built new in 1910 but, as you can imagine, only about 250 were still in revenue service in 1944, and most of those were retired as soon as the war ended.  ATSF 121587 was a Bx-9 class steel frame double wood sheathed box car built in 1927.  NWP 2161 was also an ancient 40’ car with wood body, and CP 172768 was a 36’ “Dominion” single-sheathed car.  It appears to me that the KCS rounded up every empty they could get their hands on, regardless of size or age.  And, as you say, car service rules were in abeyance during the war; Charleston is about as far away from the NWP as you can get.

Happy New Year, and I’ll see you at CB.

Richard Hendrickson



John Barry
 

Ike,

I know this is a very late reply, but I just found this thread and did not see a response to one of your questions. 

As far as I can tell, CP, NdeM and any other car sitting on US rails was subject to ODT orders.  They tried to stay out of the way as much as possible, but a significant portion of their work was to avoid congestion in the ports.  Hence the nationwide system of holding and reconsignment points like Lathrop for the SF POE.  The records I've seen at San Bruno deal mostly with special cases and exceptional movements like the consolidation of alcohol from various producers and the transfer of another batch from storage in Louisianna to Richmond for loading on several Soviet tankers.  

John Barry
Cameron Park, CA 


devansprr
 

Ike, John,
The Army's official WWII history "The Transportation Corps: Movements, Training and Supply" from the Technical Services series lists Montgomery, AL as one of the ten major Transit storage locations during WWII (as was Lathrop).  A storage depot was also established at Montgomery. So the routing may have made sense if the cars were routed through Montgomery. I think the Montgomery routing would occur if the ship out of Charleston had not yet been identified/scheduled when the oil left Port Arthur. I'm not knowledgeable on SE US rail routes during WWII, but once in Montgomery, moving the cargo over CofG and ACL to Charleston might make more sense (CofG from Montgomery to Savannah via Columbus and Macon, then ACL to Charleston)?

The other Army transit storage locations serving the southeast US were Richmond, VA and Shreveport, LA

This is most likely lubricants, so it would be in barrels or even something smaller (square metal cans?) - I do not think crude oil was shipped overseas, and once refined, I think the Army labeled fuel as fuel (at least for diesel and gasoline), not oil. Curious that at least two of the cars are 36 foot box cars - during WWII 36 foot box cars represented over 10% of the North American boxcar fleet.

BTW, the Army's book "Global Logistics and Strategy: 1940-1943" has a map that suggests nearly all cargo out of the Charleston POE was destined for the middle east via the Red Sea, Iran, Southwestern Russia via Iran, and the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater, all via the Indian Ocean. There were shipments of locomotives (including diesels) and rolling stock to Iran for a railroad that ran to the Caspian Sea operated by the Army's Military Railway Service (that railroad was standard gauge, unlike the Russian broad gauge.) That "line-of-communication" (Army for supply route) from Charleston to the Caspian Sea would have included US "lend-lease" shipments to Russia.

Dave Evans


---In STMFC@..., <northbaylines@...> wrote :

Ike,

I know this is a very late reply, but I just found this thread and did not see a response to one of your questions. 

As far as I can tell, CP, NdeM and any other car sitting on US rails was subject to ODT orders.  They tried to stay out of the way as much as possible, but a significant portion of their work was to avoid congestion in the ports.  Hence the nationwide system of holding and reconsignment points like Lathrop for the SF POE.  The records I've seen at San Bruno deal mostly with special cases and exceptional movements like the consolidation of alcohol from various producers and the transfer of another batch from storage in Louisianna to Richmond for loading on several Soviet tankers.  

John Barry
Cameron Park, CA 


jon miller <atsfus@...>
 

On 4/13/2014 10:00 AM, devans1@... wrote:
Curious that at least two of the cars are 36 foot box cars - during WWII 36 foot box cars represented over 10% of the North American boxcar fleet.

    This is interesting.  Does this mean we should have at least 10% of our fleet as 36' cars, assuming we are modeling prewar or during?  I'm not  hunting for a large discussion on this, maybe just a few reply's.

-- 

Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax--Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 13, 2014, at 10:39 AM, jon miller <atsfus@...> wrote:


On 4/13/2014 10:00 AM, devans1@... wrote:
Curious that at least two of the cars are 36 foot box cars - during WWII 36 foot box cars represented over 10% of the North American boxcar fleet.

    This is interesting.  Does this mean we should have at least 10% of our fleet as 36' cars, assuming we are modeling prewar or during?  I'm not  hunting for a large discussion on this, maybe just a few reply’s.

Jon, that 10% figure is a bit misleading, as many of the 36’ box cars that were still in service during WW II were older and/or second-hand cars owned by short lines and seldom or never went very far off line.  Among the class 1 railroads, those that were buying new 36’ box cars in the 1920s were mostly southeastern RRs:  Southern, L&N, C&O, etc. (the Southern was still taking delivery of new 36’ wood box cars with truss rod underframes as late as 1927).

Since you model the Santa Fe, however, it’s worth noting that the AT&SF still had almost 4,000 36’ box cars on its active roster in 10/41, and that was somewhat more than 10% of the box car  fleet - about one of every seven cars.  A few of those were cars acquired second hand with the purchase of the KCM&O and various short lines, but most were wood-bodied cars of classes Bx-O and Bx-W, -X, -Y, and -Z built in 1906-’15 and upgraded in the early ‘30s to become classes Bx-14 through Bx-17.  They tended to be used mostly in company and short-haul service, but I have a photo of one as far off line as Pensacola, FL.  Fortunately, Al Westerfield produced resin kits for models of those cars, and to model 1941 you should definitely have at least 2 or 3 of them.  Replacing those obsolete cars was the reason for the very large order for new 40’ steel box cars that was delivered in late 1941 and 1942, the 5,000+ cars of class Bx-37.

Richard Hendrickson


water.kresse@...
 

The C&Os 1910-blt 3250 and 3300 series box cars only made it into the late-30s I believe.

 

Al Kresse


From: "Richard Hendrickson" To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2014 2:34:04 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] WWII Freight Movements to the Charleston POE


On Apr 13, 2014, at 10:39 AM, jon miller wrote:

>
> On 4/13/2014 10:00 AM, devans1@... wrote:
>> Curious that at least two of the cars are 36 foot box cars - during WWII 36 foot box cars represented over 10% of the North American boxcar fleet.
>
>     This is interesting.  Does this mean we should have at least 10% of our fleet as 36' cars, assuming we are modeling prewar or during?  I'm not  hunting for a large discussion on this, maybe just a few reply’s.

Jon, that 10% figure is a bit misleading, as many of the 36’ box cars that were still in service during WW II were older and/or second-hand cars owned by short lines and seldom or never went very far off line.  Among the class 1 railroads, those that were buying new 36’ box cars in the 1920s were mostly southeastern RRs:  Southern, L&N, C&O, etc. (the Southern was still taking delivery of new 36’ wood box cars with truss rod underframes as late as 1927).

Since you model the Santa Fe, however, it’s worth noting that the AT&SF still had almost 4,000 36’ box cars on its active roster in 10/41, and that was somewhat more than 10% of the box car  fleet - about one of every seven cars.  A few of those were cars acquired second hand with the purchase of the KCM&O and various short lines, but most were wood-bodied cars of classes Bx-O and Bx-W, -X, -Y, and -Z built in 1906-’15 and upgraded in the early ‘30s to become classes Bx-14 through Bx-17.  They tended to be used mostly in company and short-haul service, but I have a photo of one as far off line as Pensacola, FL.  Fortunately, Al Westerfield produced resin kits for models of those cars, and to model 1941 you should definitely have at least 2 or 3 of them.  Replacing those obsolete cars was the reason for the very large order for new 40’ steel box cars that was delivered in late 1941 and 1942, the 5,000+ cars of class Bx-37.

Richard Hendrickson


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 13, 2014, at 12:10 PM, water.kresse@... wrote:

The C&Os 1910-blt 3250 and 3300 series box cars only made it into the late-30s I believe.
That may be true, Al, but most of the 84230-84729,84730-86499 box cars and the 86500-86999 series ventilated box cars, all 36’ wood-bodied cars with steel ends and underframes built in 1923, remained in revenue service through WW II and some lasted into the ‘50s.

Richard Hendrickson


Benjamin Hom
 

Al Kresse wrote:
"The C&Os 1910-blt 3250 and 3300 series box cars only made it into the late-30s I believe."

According to Appendix A of the C&OHS "Freight Car Equipment of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway August 1, 1937":
C&O 3250-3349, 2 cars remaining in May 1938, last cars retired in 1938.
C&O 3350-3749, 7 cars remaining in May 1938, last cars retired in 1938.


Ben Hom


Eric Neubauer <eaneubauer@...>
 

The Reading which was generally a very progressive railroad, still had 968 cars in the 1918-built 4000-4999 series in 1-45. Their classes built before XMp, the first class with steel reinforced ends, were pretty much gone by then despite many being rebuilt with steel ends, but class XMp and XMr were nearly intact. It appears that age and condition were more important factors than length when retiring cars.
 
Eric N.
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2014 8:22 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] WWII Freight Movements to the Charleston POE

 

On Apr 13, 2014, at 12:10 PM, water.kresse@... wrote:


The C&Os 1910-blt 3250 and 3300 series box cars only made it into the late-30s I believe.
That may be true, Al, but most of the 84230-84729,84730-86499 box cars and the 86500-86999 series ventilated box cars, all 36’ wood-bodied cars with steel ends and underframes built in 1923, remained in revenue service through WW II and some lasted into the ‘50s.

Richard Hendrickson


George Eichelberger
 

Re the Southern Railway’s huge number of 36’ box cars in 1938-42. Fairfax Harrison, President of the Southern 1914-1937 was very concerned about the railroad’s financial health during the depression and was opposed to buying new rolling stock. The first all-steel 40’ box cars were purchased in 1938, after he had left office and died three months later in Feb, 1938. An article in the Atlanta Journal of Labor in Dec ’38 complained that the Southern was buying new box cars when it had 15 - 20,000 (sic 36’) box cars out of service that could be repaired by its shop forces. That number seems high out of a total of around 24,000 cars but between the depression and bad ordered cars it was probably a large number.

The older cars remained in service throughout WWII and into the 1950s. Although quite a few still sported truss rods, virtually all had been built or given steel center sills (SCS) or underframes (SUF). Many were “vents” used for peach and watermelon traffic out of the south. So, 36’ box cars remained in service on the Southern through the War because of economics and lack of replacement equipment to handle the huge increase in wartime freight traffic.

Ike


Ray Breyer
 

----- Original Message -----
From: George Eichelberger <geichelberger@bellsouth.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Cc:
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 4:06 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: WWII Freight Movements to the Charleston POE
An article in the
Atlanta Journal of Labor in Dec ’38 complained that the Southern was buying new
box cars when it had 15 - 20,000 (sic 36’) box cars out of service that could be
repaired by its shop forces. That number seems high out of a total of around
24,000 cars but between the depression and bad ordered cars it was probably a
large number.
Ike

I can just about believe those numbers. One of the photos in the Barriger collection (SOU138) shows something like 75 deadlined SUs at Spencer.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/12224791176/

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL