Topics

Hormel Meat Reefer traffic was Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

Bruce Smith
 

Doug,

I’m not surprised at all about the PRR. There is a lot of data, real data (as opposed to anecdotes), that supports a high amount of reefer traffic on the PRR. The PRR was the third highest conveyor of produce in the nation,  behind SP and UP (beating AT&SF) and the number one conveyer of loaded produce refrigerator cars east of the Mississippi. I don’t see why, with the PRR's routing and connections, that should be any different for meat ;)  Now, before the usual characters (you know who you are) jump in, I will note that loaded versus empty mileage is not differentiated and the relatively high mileage on the Erie probably does indicate a propensity to send loads in that direction and empties home via the PRR. However loads, and lots of them, are also moving via the PRR. And yes, I know, the PRR probably had the highest damage claims of any of the railroads listed. But enough of this silliness that perishables weren’t shipped via the PRR. They were, and typically in amounts greater than any other eastern railroad. So I’ll happily model large blocks on reefers on the PRR, thank you!

I’m also curious why you state what you do about Northern Pacific, given that the Milwaukee Road, being a western bridge route, had the second most miles (to the PRR’s #1) with 17,500 while the NP had a miniscule 3,800. I would have said that the CMStP&P was Hormel’s western route…

Regards

Bruce


Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."




On Nov 12, 2019, at 8:30 AM, Douglas Harding <doug.harding@...> wrote:
<SNIP>
I am surprised by the number of miles of the PPR as it was a road avoided by most meat packers until final destination. It appears the NP was Hormel’s choice for moving meat west.
<SNIP>

Tony Thompson
 

Bruce Smith wrote:

There is a lot of data, real data (as opposed to anecdotes), that supports a high amount of reefer traffic on the PRR. The PRR was the third highest conveyor of produce in the nation,  behind SP and UP (beating AT&SF) and the number one conveyer of loaded produce refrigerator cars east of the Mississippi. 

       I am not one who disputes these facts. What I always point out, which was pointed out to me by a retired PFE executive, is that PRR had the highest perishable damage claims, PER TON MILE, of any railroad. That isn't just a lot of claims because they were a big railroad, it's a lot of claims, period. And it's the reason that PFE agents advised shippers to route on railroads OTHER THAN the PRR as far as possible.
       But as Bruce says, the PRR was not entirely avoidable throughout much of the northeast and in the biggest cities of the day, New York and Philadelphia. Empty return was not as time critical, so PRR may have had a huge share in empty mileage, as Bruce mentions.

Tony Thompson



Donald B. Valentine
 

 Hi Tony,

     The short answer is that if the Pennsy had been in business, instead of pretending to be, the Alphabet Route
would not have been. The Erie was a hell of a railroad and I'm sorry it's gone. The time per ton mile always
seemed to be excellent and given the profile of their route from eastern Ohio further east one has to give them
credit for the excellent service they provided. If you look at those figure again It is not only the Erie that had
volume, it was the roads between them andthe four northern New England states. This is why the B&M numbers
were so much higher than the Penny's New Haven partner as well. Most of what the New Haven did carry came
via Maybrook, the Erie's New Haven connection, judging by most photos I've seen, rather then via car floats from
the Pennsy at Greenville, NJ. I know Bruce and others disagree with but to me the Pennsy was little more than
its reporting marks, all PR but not much service. I wish the figures included the Canadian roads as the CPR
carried a fair amount of meat traffic into Northern New England as well but I have no figures for the volume.

My best, Don Valentine

Tim O'Connor
 


Yawn. It's a ridiculous argument. The PRR served the industrial heartland and it was
an enormous and important corporation. It was also one of the many that suffered from
the postwar migration to the west and south - you can almost watch the ton-miles going
from the PRR to the SP for much of the postwar period. Weird routings existed because
railroads were COMPETITIVE (thanks to the ICC and tariff rules) and those routings were
not necessarily faster, shorter, or better. You never heard of the traffic manager
being taken out to eat by the railroads' sales reps? Business ain't charity, but it
also isn't entirely rational.




On 11/12/2019 4:54 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io wrote:
 Hi Tony,

     The short answer is that if the Pennsy had been in business, instead of pretending to be, the Alphabet Route
would not have been. The Erie was a hell of a railroad and I'm sorry it's gone. The time per ton mile always
seemed to be excellent and given the profile of their route from eastern Ohio further east one has to give them
credit for the excellent service they provided. If you look at those figure again It is not only the Erie that had
volume, it was the roads between them andthe four northern New England states. This is why the B&M numbers
were so much higher than the Penny's New Haven partner as well. Most of what the New Haven did carry came
via Maybrook, the Erie's New Haven connection, judging by most photos I've seen, rather then via car floats from
the Pennsy at Greenville, NJ. I know Bruce and others disagree with but to me the Pennsy was little more than
its reporting marks, all PR but not much service. I wish the figures included the Canadian roads as the CPR
carried a fair amount of meat traffic into Northern New England as well but I have no figures for the volume.

My best, Don Valentine


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Greg Martin
 


Empty milesge was huge especially if you weren't in the loaded revenue stream.

 I don't believe the issue of returning an empty car back to the home road happened as often as one might think. I think the local clerks did a stand up job to protect their crews. 

There was per diem to be paid on an empty car and a reefer was an expensive car to have stuck online.


Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Tony Thompson <tony@...>
Date: 11/12/19 9:09 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Hormel Meat Reefer traffic was Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

Bruce Smith wrote:

There is a lot of data, real data (as opposed to anecdotes), that supports a high amount of reefer traffic on the PRR. The PRR was the third highest conveyor of produce in the nation,  behind SP and UP (beating AT&SF) and the number one conveyer of loaded produce refrigerator cars east of the Mississippi. 

       I am not one who disputes these facts. What I always point out, which was pointed out to me by a retired PFE executive, is that PRR had the highest perishable damage claims, PER TON MILE, of any railroad. That isn't just a lot of claims because they were a big railroad, it's a lot of claims, period. And it's the reason that PFE agents advised shippers to route on railroads OTHER THAN the PRR as far as possible.
       But as Bruce says, the PRR was not entirely avoidable throughout much of the northeast and in the biggest cities of the day, New York and Philadelphia. Empty return was not as time critical, so PRR may have had a huge share in empty mileage, as Bruce mentions.

Tony Thompson




--
Hey Boss,


Somehow I got deleted from this group in late May. I guess someone didn't like me. Jail is a lonely place.

Greg Martin 

Tony Thompson
 

Greg Martin wrote:

There was per diem to be paid on an empty car and a reefer was an expensive car to have stuck online.

   Well, not really. Reefers were paid on mileage, loaded or empty, NOT on per diem. That's why Western reefer owners like SFRD and PFE had agents in every eastern city, to "encourage" the yardmasters to move empty reefers back west. With no per diem to pay, they would otherwise have been in no hurry.

Tony Thompson



Douglas Harding
 

Bruce I don’t dispute the PRR was a large railroad and thus moved a large number of freight car. Because of its size it did carry a high percentage of traffic of all kinds, close to 20% of the miles recorded by the Hormel cars were on the PPR. But that still does not excuse the fact that meat moving east out of Chicago was routed on the NKP, Erie, NYC and many other roads through or to areas also served by the PRR. Meat reefers were high priority loads. The IC even held passenger trains in sidings to allow meat traffic to keep moving eastward toward Chicago. Other roads simply moved the meat faster than the PRR, so they got the business from the meat packers.

 

As to the mileage in the document that started this, again we are dealing with Hormel reefers, coming from only two locations in 1935, Austin MN or Mitchell SD. (The Mitchell plant opened in 1931 and was also served by the MILW.) I think the MILW received the majority of the loads out of Hormel, and moved most of them to Chicago and eastern connections. The CGW got the rest of the loads, and took them south to Lyle MN to interchange with the IC or north to Hayfield MN to use their own tracks to Chicago. Again in the 30s most meat went east. The west had their own slaughter houses, so very little meat went west. Yes the MILW went west, but apparently did not serve the same destinations as the NP. I will speculated most of the MILW mileage was moving meat from Austin to Chicago.

 

The MILW had almost 19% of the mileage. The combined CGW/IC mileage is over 12%. Meaning 31% of the miles were mostly moves from Austin to Chicago, a distance of less than 400 miles, or Mitchel to Chicago, a distance of about 650 miles. Chicago to New York is about 800 miles. Chicago to Boston is almost 1000 miles. From Chicago eastward 35% of the miles were on PRR competitors. The PRR didn’t even get the Hormel cars until they had already traveled 400 miles or further. The cars made about 30 round trips to New York or Philly divided among the four cars over 13 months.

 

In 1935, Hormel had Branch Houses in Birmingham AL, San Francisco, and Seattle WA and perhaps a few other locations. They had a fleet of 225 reefers in 1937. Granted Hormel reefers could go anywhere in the country, and they did, but not always on the PRR.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 9:06 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Hormel Meat Reefer traffic was Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

 

Doug,

 

I’m not surprised at all about the PRR. There is a lot of data, real data (as opposed to anecdotes), that supports a high amount of reefer traffic on the PRR. The PRR was the third highest conveyor of produce in the nation,  behind SP and UP (beating AT&SF) and the number one conveyer of loaded produce refrigerator cars east of the Mississippi. I don’t see why, with the PRR's routing and connections, that should be any different for meat ;)  Now, before the usual characters (you know who you are) jump in, I will note that loaded versus empty mileage is not differentiated and the relatively high mileage on the Erie probably does indicate a propensity to send loads in that direction and empties home via the PRR. However loads, and lots of them, are also moving via the PRR. And yes, I know, the PRR probably had the highest damage claims of any of the railroads listed. But enough of this silliness that perishables weren’t shipped via the PRR. They were, and typically in amounts greater than any other eastern railroad. So I’ll happily model large blocks on reefers on the PRR, thank you!

 

I’m also curious why you state what you do about Northern Pacific, given that the Milwaukee Road, being a western bridge route, had the second most miles (to the PRR’s #1) with 17,500 while the NP had a miniscule 3,800. I would have said that the CMStP&P was Hormel’s western route…

 

Regards

Bruce

 

Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."

 

 



On Nov 12, 2019, at 8:30 AM, Douglas Harding <doug.harding@...> wrote:

<SNIP>

I am surprised by the number of miles of the PPR as it was a road avoided by most meat packers until final destination. It appears the NP was Hormel’s choice for moving meat west.

<SNIP>

William Hirt
 

Since we are discussing meat traffic, I dug into the 1959 CB&Q wheel reports that showed interchange cars going to IHB via Congress Park, Illinois, for forwarding. I have a couple of dates and list the meat traffic per day below. The NKP numbers are low because most of the eastbound CB&Q meat traffic for NKP went via Peoria (especially Morrell traffic). There was a blow up with Morrell and the Q several years later when the Q tried to change it (post Lou Menk) and get the longer haul to Chicago. They received the threat of Morrell pulling their traffic unless it was put back to Peoria. It was quickly changed to go back through Peoria.

April 5, 1959: May 1, 1959: July 19, 1959:
2 Meat B&O 4 Meat B&O 4 Meat B&O
3 Meat C&O 15 Meat C&O 3 Meat C&O
9 Meat ERIE 9 Meat ERIE 2 Meat C&EI
2 Meat GTW 2 Meat IC 4 Meat ERIE
2 Meat IC 1 Meat MON 3 Meat GTW
2 Meat MC (NYC) 11 Meat NKP 2 Meat IC
7 Meat NKP 62 Meat NYC 2 Meat MC (NYC)
34 Meat NYC 2 Meat PM (C&O) 3 Meat NKP
12 Meat PRR 24 Meat PRR 28 Meat NYC
    3 Meat PRR



Totals from sample:

B&O 10
C&EI 2
C&O 21
ERIE 22
GTW 5
IC 6
4 MC (NYC)
1 MON
21 NKP
124 NYC
39 PRR

Bill Hirt


On 11/13/2019 12:44 AM, Douglas Harding wrote:

Bruce I don’t dispute the PRR was a large railroad and thus moved a large number of freight car. Because of its size it did carry a high percentage of traffic of all kinds, close to 20% of the miles recorded by the Hormel cars were on the PPR. But that still does not excuse the fact that meat moving east out of Chicago was routed on the NKP, Erie, NYC and many other roads through or to areas also served by the PRR. Meat reefers were high priority loads. The IC even held passenger trains in sidings to allow meat traffic to keep moving eastward toward Chicago. Other roads simply moved the meat faster than the PRR, so they got the business from the meat packers.