Topics

"Dedicated" freight car service

Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Folks;

 

The more I dig into the PRR box car fleet, the more I see of cars in dedicated service, and not just auto and auto parts service.  These other cars do not always show up in ORERs (which still have a LOT), but in photo collections like the Hagley Museum.

 

PRR was in the habit of photographing cars when they were changed or re-fitted for a new service.  Like this one:

 

https://digital.hagley.org/PRR_12085?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=781f99ec63aeaca1d03e&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=6

 

For those with a lot of knowledge on particular roads, do you know if a lot of this was going on within their fleets?  What types of service were they dedicated to?  Was there evidence of this on the exterior of the car?  “When empty send to….” Stencils?  Which roads was this most in evidence?

 

The more I think I know, the less I do.

 

Thanks!

 

Elden Gatwood

Richard Wilkens
 

As to the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, they had bulkhead flat cars in dedicated service for plaster board to Kaiser Gypsum as well as most of their wood chip gondola cars were in dedicated service with the largest customer being Crown Zellerbach Paper. I have seen photos of some cars with "Return to..." stenciling.

Rich Wilkens

np328
 

     For the railroads I have studied and read up in company files, I'll make a generalization that: specialized cars are most likely to be found in dedicated service. 

The rational is that these costs of the (then) new designs had to be justified by a dependable ROI.

    When the NP ordered new 50' cars in the late 1920's, these new 6000 series were to be dedicated to auto service. The studies done by them indicated that shipments of autos at that time were most dependent on what empty cars were available in the local Detroit area yards, and who let cars sit around idle local to the auto plants waiting for the call. They wanted these cars yesterday if not sooner, so they bought 1000 of these based largely on an existing AT&StF design that a car builder was building and had the assy. jigs already in place.  As autos grew in length, the Evans loaders needed to be changed more or less yearly with each new auto development. Eventually for lack of several inches (3 - 4 inches) of interior roof height, the cars were no longer viable as auto carriers and were released into general service.  

      Later came covered hoppers, at a time when these were still uncommon on railroads, the NP bought a handful - for one shipper per the request of the sales dept. Then later bought the next handful for another shipper, again per the sales dept.  Both of these sets and many later purchases of covered hoppers went directly into dedicated service.  The SP&S and GN were the same early on in the development of covered hoppers from the exchange of letters found in corporate files. The Q had a bigger heavy industry market (the Chicago area) than the others and so was on an earlier timeline.

   More NP examples (covered gons) exist however they are beyond this lists 1960 end date. 

     And I will state that if it was a dedicated service car, accounting had already crunched the numbers on the sales department request for said cars to be dedicated. An AFE or reading the railroads Board of Directors budget request for the prior year that cars were ordered for Oliver Farm Equipment or others should shed light on things. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN

 

    

Charles Peck
 

GE's Appliance Park in Louisville KY got a dedicated group of high-cube cars, not all from just one road.  Park opened in 1951.
Chuck Peck


On Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 6:42 PM np328 <jcdworkingonthenp@...> wrote:
     For the railroads I have studied and read up in company files, I'll make a generalization that: specialized cars are most likely to be found in dedicated service. 

The rational is that these costs of the (then) new designs had to be justified by a dependable ROI.

    When the NP ordered new 50' cars in the late 1920's, these new 6000 series were to be dedicated to auto service. The studies done by them indicated that shipments of autos at that time were most dependent on what empty cars were available in the local Detroit area yards, and who let cars sit around idle local to the auto plants waiting for the call. They wanted these cars yesterday if not sooner, so they bought 1000 of these based largely on an existing AT&StF design that a car builder was building and had the assy. jigs already in place.  As autos grew in length, the Evans loaders needed to be changed more or less yearly with each new auto development. Eventually for lack of several inches (3 - 4 inches) of interior roof height, the cars were no longer viable as auto carriers and were released into general service.  

      Later came covered hoppers, at a time when these were still uncommon on railroads, the NP bought a handful - for one shipper per the request of the sales dept. Then later bought the next handful for another shipper, again per the sales dept.  Both of these sets and many later purchases of covered hoppers went directly into dedicated service.  The SP&S and GN were the same early on in the development of covered hoppers from the exchange of letters found in corporate files. The Q had a bigger heavy industry market (the Chicago area) than the others and so was on an earlier timeline.

   More NP examples (covered gons) exist however they are beyond this lists 1960 end date. 

     And I will state that if it was a dedicated service car, accounting had already crunched the numbers on the sales department request for said cars to be dedicated. An AFE or reading the railroads Board of Directors budget request for the prior year that cars were ordered for Oliver Farm Equipment or others should shed light on things. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN

 

    

Todd Sullivan
 

My experience clerking at the NPTCo in Portland in 1961-62 with NP and GN covered hoppers was that a small group was dedicated to bulk feed service from the large Albers mill across from Union Station.  There was nothing in the car lists or documentation I typically saw, but the same cars kept showing up for another outbound load.  These covered hoppers were build within the time-frame of this list.  Boxcars in bulk feed service (as opposed to bagged feed service) were also dedicated, and were so designated in track and industry switch lists with "FEED".  Ditto for hide cars which were marked "HIDES" on their switch list entries.  If you ever walked by either kind of car in a yard, you would know why unless you had a bad head cold. :-)

Todd Sullivan

Dave Parker
 

Elden:

On the B&M, at least "back in the day", the only examples I know of are (i) the 200 MDT-built reefers of 1923 that carried "BANANA SERVICE ONLY" stencils, and (ii) the 1929-30 ARA quad hoppers that said "FOR EXCLUSIVE USE ON HOME ROADS".  I'm not sure if the latter qualifies as the kind of "dedicated service" that you are curious about.  Its origin, I presume, was the age and condition of the B&M's other coal cars, and the need to move a lot of water-borne bituminous from Boston to the many re-coaling facilities scattered around northern New England.

I don't think either stencil persisted for very long, certainly not much after the war.  I think the some of the reefers might have ended up in dedicated ice service, but that's too far into the future for me.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

np328
 

  My earlier post needs to be amended. The cars, the 6000 series were based on an SP design, not Santa Fe. 

Also, could the powers that be here put out a reminder of the time frame this list covers? 
If I wanted to read of affairs post 1960, I would join the bbfcl.io 
(I would like to think that I am not the only one on this list that holds that POV)                                                              thanks,                    Jim Dick - Roseville, MN 

Donald B. Valentine
 

    Perhaps not as far into your future as you think Dave. I believe the first use of the B&M's MDT built reefers for 
ice cars began shortly after WW II ended if not a bit before. I agree with you on the hopper use in sort of dedicated 
service. Once they hoppers were repainted and given the Minuteman Herald after the war that stenciling disappeared.

My best, Don Valentine

Dave Parker
 

Don, I don't disagree about the ice service.  But, time stopped for me in 1935, so I'm afraid I don't keep very careful track of things that occurred later.  Actually, some days I can't keep track of  what happened leading up to 1934, when it really matters to me!

With regards.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Friends,

Though what I noticed was beyond our period, I remember that some WP 50' DD PS-1 (which were delivered within our period) ended their days carrying spent automobile batteries out of West Sacramento on the Sacramento Northern. The cars were marked "Lead Battery Loading Only" or some such wording. The cars were contaminated, much like a cars in hide or fish service, and were probably scrapped soon thereafter. The several cars I saw were 50', which might be odd for such service, but not if the management was trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of cars that were already destined for scrap.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆


On Thu, Mar 5, 2020 at 12:46 PM Dave Parker via Groups.Io <spottab=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Elden:

On the B&M, at least "back in the day", the only examples I know of are (i) the 200 MDT-built reefers of 1923 that carried "BANANA SERVICE ONLY" stencils, and (ii) the 1929-30 ARA quad hoppers that said "FOR EXCLUSIVE USE ON HOME ROADS".  I'm not sure if the latter qualifies as the kind of "dedicated service" that you are curious about.  Its origin, I presume, was the age and condition of the B&M's other coal cars, and the need to move a lot of water-borne bituminous from Boston to the many re-coaling facilities scattered around northern New England.

I don't think either stencil persisted for very long, certainly not much after the war.  I think the some of the reefers might have ended up in dedicated ice service, but that's too far into the future for me.

--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA