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Stalking PFE Reefers


Bob Chaparro
 

Stalking PFE Reefers

The comment below was in response to a discussion about per diem rates on the CB&Q Group. I believe Tony Thompson has mentioned PFE's need to gather their reefers, also.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

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Thank you for the discussion of per diem rates and whether they were too low or too high.  I wonder what the home railroad was for refrigerator cars when the refrigerator car company was owned by more than one railroad, such as the PFE.  My dad was a traveling agent for PFE (out of Chicago) form 1945 to 1960 or so.  It seemed to me his main job was not checking on icings but rather visiting yard offices (making a circuit in an area over the ear) to find the PFE cars that were being held.  It did not seem a priority of the railroads anywhere, so far as I could tell, to return the cars.

Doug Hosler


anthony wagner
 

Its my understanding that reefers moved on mileage rates, not per diem, so when they were empty there was no rush to get them back to where they had come from. That is probably over simplified but I also know that empty reefer were often used for moving printed material such as magazines and catalogs to warehouses near where the cars had originated on reduced rates that allowed the carrier to pay the mileage charge but recoup that by charging for moving the printed material. When I worked for C&NW in Chicago W.F.Hall printing used to ship Playboy magazines and Sears, Montgomery Ward, and Spiegel cataloge in empty PFE cars moving to the west coast. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of this will respond. Tony Wagner

On Sunday, August 4, 2019, 1:57:04 PM CDT, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io <chiefbobbb@...> wrote:


Stalking PFE Reefers

The comment below was in response to a discussion about per diem rates on the CB&Q Group. I believe Tony Thompson has mentioned PFE's need to gather their reefers, also.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

++++

Thank you for the discussion of per diem rates and whether they were too low or too high.  I wonder what the home railroad was for refrigerator cars when the refrigerator car company was owned by more than one railroad, such as the PFE.  My dad was a traveling agent for PFE (out of Chicago) form 1945 to 1960 or so.  It seemed to me his main job was not checking on icings but rather visiting yard offices (making a circuit in an area over the ear) to find the PFE cars that were being held.  It did not seem a priority of the railroads anywhere, so far as I could tell, to return the cars.

Doug Hosler


Tony Thompson
 

Bob Chaparro sent a comment with this remark:

The comment below was in response to a discussion about per diem rates on the CB&Q Group. I believe Tony Thompson has mentioned PFE's need to gather their reefers, also.

Here's the common from Doug Hoslert:

Thank you for the discussion of per diem rates and whether they were too low or too high.  I wonder what the home railroad was for refrigerator cars when the refrigerator car company was owned by more than one railroad, such as the PFE.  My dad was a traveling agent for PFE (out of Chicago) form 1945 to 1960 or so.  It seemed to me his main job was not checking on icings but rather visiting yard offices (making a circuit in an area over the ear) to find the PFE cars that were being held.  It did not seem a priority of the railroads anywhere, so far as I could tell, to return the cars.

Following up was this comment from Tony Wagner:

Its my understanding that reefers moved on mileage rates, not per diem, so when they were empty there was no rush to get them back to where they had come from. 

    First, Tony is right, reefers operated for many years on a mileage basis, loaded or empty. That's the reason operators like PFE or FGEX or SFRD could not have cared less whether there were return loads or not -- to them, it was the exact same revenue loaded or empty.
     Second, Doug mentions something very important: PFE had agents all over the east who kept track of empty cars (these were normal junction reports), and would "remind" yardmasters and car distributors to get those cars moving west to where they could be reloaded.
      It's essential to remember that the primary job of an operator like PFE was to supply empty cars to be loaded, not to generate revenue (to the parent roads) with return loads, and certainly not to sit around in eastern yards. The message was, move them west! soonest!
       Home territory would have been the rails of SP, UP or WP.

Tony Thompson