Interesting car movements


Clark Propst
 

I’ve had a chance to see an M&StL train list from Oct. 21, 1952. The train, 196, ran from Ft Dodge to Des Moines Ia. had 19 loads 3 empties.
 
First two cars ahead of the caboose were NP 61143, 61101 listed as empty flats headed for Peoria. My first thought was why are these empty cars heading the wrong way? Are they an articulated set? Then I remembered there were large heavy equipment builders in Peoria. Were those cars assigned there? Next, why are these cars off on a secondary mainline? To get to Peoria they’ll travel from Ft Dodge to Des Moines, then on the Q (via trackage rights) to Oskaloosa Ia. before being added to a Peoria bound train. They must have delivered some heavy equipment up that way? Maybe to the Gypsum mines around Ft Dodge? Was there implement plants there? Cars could have been assigned to one and delivered implements to rural Iowa?
 
Second interesting move is three PFE reefers 90703, 2381, 6689 and one MDT 10441. 90703 has a load of melons and the other three carried grapes. These cars are from Ft Dodge (where train originated) bound for the Wabash in Des Moines. To me not knowing, or caring, much about western produce movements I’d think the eastern gateway would be Omaha - Council Bluffs? The IC run from CB to Ft Dodge. Maybe that’s how the M&StL got the cars? The RI ran from CB straight to Des Moines. Why weren’t the cars routed that way? The Wabash had a line into CB. Why weren’t the cars delivered to them there?
 
Fun stuff to ponder...
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


npin53
 

I'm not aware of any articulated flat cars on the NP.  My first thought was that they may have been routed to one of the implement or tractor factories in that area. 

Fun to ponder indeed.

Aaron Gjermundson


spsalso
 

Articulated cars that I know of have a single number for the whole set.  So I doubt that two NP flats with different numbers would be articulated.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Jim Betz
 

Clark,

Aren't those NP car numbers simple flat cars?
Why not simply lumber loads delivered to somewhere in
Iowa from the PNW (NP or otherwise)? Which is, after
all, the most common load on any PNW flat car ... and
after they've been unloaded ... well, Peoria seems as
likely a place to send them as any other place within
one to two hundred miles of Ft. Dodge, Iowa.

My understanding is that car movement rules ('back
towards their home road') were violated "any time there
was a load going somewhere/anywhere ... needing that
car type".
Yes, if they had a load going towards the home road
and another load (and car) that could go the other way
then they would (or just could?) route cars the way
the 'rules' recommended. But "need always trumped
the recommended". And the revenue for getting a car
loaded was always significantly greater than any
demurrage charge.

Especially on any given day. And it seems un-likely that
the M&StL had a lot of flat cars in their own fleet - so
any load/need would be much more likely to be satisfied
with a 'captured' car ...
- Jim Betz

________________________________________________________________________
1a. Interesting car movements
Posted by: cepropst@q.com rockroll50401
Date: Fri Apr 4, 2014 6:17 am ((PDT))

I’ve had a chance to see an M&StL train list from Oct. 21, 1952. The train, 196, ran from Ft Dodge to Des Moines Ia. had 19 loads 3 empties.

First two cars ahead of the caboose were NP 61143, 61101 listed as empty flats headed for Peoria. My first thought was why are these empty cars heading the wrong way? Are they an articulated set? Then I remembered there were large heavy equipment builders in Peoria. Were those cars assigned there? Next, why are these cars off on a secondary mainline? To get to Peoria they’ll travel from Ft Dodge to Des Moines, then on the Q (via trackage rights) to Oskaloosa Ia. before being added to a Peoria bound train. They must have delivered some heavy equipment up that way? Maybe to the Gypsum mines around Ft Dodge? Was there implement plants there? Cars could have been assigned to one and delivered implements to rural Iowa?

Second interesting move is three PFE reefers 90703, 2381, 6689 and one MDT 10441. 90703 has a load of melons and the other three carried grapes. These cars are from Ft Dodge (where train originated) bound for the Wabash in Des Moines. To me not knowing, or caring, much about western produce movements I’d think the eastern gateway would be Omaha - Council Bluffs? The IC run from CB to Ft Dodge. Maybe that’s how the M&StL got the cars? The RI ran from CB straight to Des Moines. Why weren’t the cars routed that way? The Wabash had a line into CB. Why weren’t the cars delivered to them there?

Fun stuff to ponder...
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


earlyrail
 

Second interesting move is three PFE reefers 90703, 2381, 6689 and one MDT 10441. 90703 has a load of melons and the other three carried grapes. These cars are from Ft Dodge (where train originated) bound for the Wabash in Des Moines. To me not knowing, or caring, much about western produce movements I’d think the eastern gateway would be Omaha - Council Bluffs? The IC run from CB to Ft Dodge. Maybe that’s how the M&StL got the cars? The RI ran from CB straight to Des Moines. Why weren’t the cars routed that way? The Wabash had a line into CB. Why weren’t the cars delivered to them there?
Not sure about the grapes, but melons could have originated in the upper mid west.

Howard Garner

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Douglas Harding
 

Jim, Fort Dodge to Peoria is about 350 miles. Your suggestion of lumber
loads on NP flats to Iowa is indeed a good one. Plus Iowa had a number of
farm implement factories in the State, so flat cars were a needed car.

As to M&StL flatcars, in 1953 the railroad had 347 steel 50' and 53'6"
flatcars, 9% of their entire freight car fleet. These cars can be modeled in
HO with the Chad Boaz flat car and/or the PK2 flatcar. The M&StL served the
Minneapolis-Moline plant in Minnesota, and other communities with farm
implement and heavy equipment manufacture, including John Deere in Des
Moines and Caterpillar and Letoureau in Peoria. Smaller implement
manufacturers could be found in many Iowa towns.

I've been pondering on the loads of grapes Clark mentions. There was a
Western Iowa Grape Growers association based in Council Bluffs, as Iowa as
at one time raised a lot of grapes. Now it is possible the cars were Iowa
grown grapes, but I don't believe Fort Dodge was an area with grape growers.
And why would they be in PFE reefers? So most likely they came from the
Omaha gateway or Council Bluffs on the IC to Fort Dodge, which is an odd
routing.

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


np328
 

Clark, of the NP flats.  I have found via research that in later years both the NP and GN had decided the Q should concentrate on having most of the flat cars of the three Hill Lines, and the most specialized ones also. The reasoning being was that the Q was closest to the heavy manufacturing center of Chicago which generated the greatest need for these cars. This would give the appearance of the NP and GN being flat car poor and the Q flat car heavy when in reality, this was a smart market driven decision.

I am thinking (and this is just conjecture) that this decision came about because there were movements such as you list with these two empty flats rolling away from home.

One other thing, the NP had sales offices well off line in places like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburg and so on. And if your check an Official Guide, you will find just about all other railroads had sales agents pounding the pavement out an office far from the home road.

It is possible these flats were on their way to bring a load home. If I can get copyright permission to post the monthly sales reports I'd found, I will.   

And I still need to transcribe some NP car movements. Brand new box cars which made one loaded movement on the NP before not returning home – for years. This was part of my past Cocoa Beach presentation on why everybody needs NP cars.           Jim Dick – St. Paul


Clark Propst
 

It’s possible the produce cars were not sold and moving in the longest route east possible?
 
I really didn’t think the NP cars were a set, but those things cross your mind. The M&StL interchanged with many RRs in Peoria, they could have been heading farther?
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Dave Nelson
 

WRT the mty NP flats… I’m of the opinion the Ft Dodge Yardmaster was following car service rules by routing them back to Peoria.  IIRC, the rules state IF you can a load that is in the general direction of a car’s home rails use it, else return the empty to the railroad from whom you received it when loaded.

 

And so if that is correct then it makes sense to return them to Peoria and let the other road to use them again… or send them on to whomever they got the loads from.  The fact that sending the empties to Minneapolis, which would have been the short route to NP tracks, makes good sense but I’m pretty sure that’s not what the rules call for. 

 

Dave Nelson