locked Re: Question on locomotive NON markings

Kevin Centers


I know you’re aware of this, but some others may not be. One of the primary reasons for equipment being allocated across the different subs was related to tax benefits. Many times those benefits were related to what we would now consider like kind exchange transactions where whole assets, or components, would be traded in rather than sold for scrap, which allowed the road to avoid some taxation. It should be noted that the roads had to remain consistent across the transactions. In other words AGS for example could only contribute exchangeable components for an AGS order.
In the 2010-2012 time frame I received a call from a group of Mechanical Department folks who wondered if it was still necessary to subletter locomotives and cars since this seemed like an easy area to realize some cost savings during painting. I explained that our asset records are identified by subsidiary and that sublettering equipment could come to an end since Accounting didn’t require assets in the field to be identified by sub. As far as I know that led to the end of that practice.


On Jan 25, 2021, at 11:49 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@bellsouth.net> wrote:

In pre NS days, subsidiary lettering DID reflect ownership. The CNO&TP, etc. had their own equipment trusts, or the cash to buy rolling stock, separate from the Southern proper. Although most equipment was used throughout the SRS, they tried to equalize revenues and expenses.

Here is a snippet from the (eventual) SRHA Southern Railway diesel book that gives an ownership example with SW-7 orders:

Multiple SW-7 orders to EMD in January and February, 1950 were the result of an August 30, 1949 memo to HA DeButts explaining that of the 523 diesels in operation and on order on the Southern Railway System, 439 (84%) were owned by the Southern Railway with the remaining 84 units (16%) owned by “Allied Lines”. That proportion did not provide enough power for the subsidiaries, so they had to rent power from the Southern. Power the Southern needed for its own operations and to complete the conversion from steam to diesel in road and yard services.

Specific recommendations included: twelve yard switchers for the NO&NE to release the same number of Southern units. For the AGS, five road and five yard switchers. The road switchers would be assigned to Chattanooga-Meridian locals, the yard units to the AGS 37th St. yard, releasing five company switchers. Eight units were proposed for the GS&F; four road switchers and four yard engines to release eight Southern road switcher units. The largest number of proposed units were to go to the CNO&TP; six road switchers to be assigned to Chattanooga-Cincinnati locals and fourteen yard switchers to be distributed: four to Citico Yard (releasing four Southern switchers), two to Oakdale Yard, one to Lexington and three to Danville, KY yards with the last four to Cincinnati’s Gest St. Yard.

The recommendation was for a total of fifty road and yard switchers. If accepted, twenty-eight Southern units would be released and the west end of the Birmingham and the St. Louis-Louisville Divisions would be completely dieselized. The other twenty-eight proposed units would completely dieselize yards at Birmingham, Chattanooga (Citico), Oakdale, Danville, KY, Lexington and Cincinnati.


On Jan 25, 2021, at 11:24 AM, Michael Shirey <pcrrhs6561@gmail.com> wrote:

Sam, it does help and thanks!

Michael Shirey
PCRRHS and SRHA Member

On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 8:30 AM Sam Smith via groups.io <sam_smith2004=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Yes, you are correct. If a locomotive, or any rolling stock does not have a subsidiary abbreviation displayed somewhere on it, then it belongs to the SOUTHERN proper. On freight cars and cabooses, these letters are usually on the upper right hand side.
Of course, all of this is primarily for financial and tax purposes, otherwise, it's all owned or operated by the Southern Railway Company.
Now, in "modern day" times, through paper mergers within mergers and such, you don't see these "sub-lettering" any more.

Hope this helps a little.
Samuel Smith
Moultrie, Ga.

On Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 8:41 PM, Michael Shirey
<pcrrhs6561@gmail.com> wrote:
Ok guys, I understand the check codes and reporting marks on the side of a locomotive cab. What if a locomotive does now have a reporting mark for ownership. Is it just assumed it belongs to SOU? I ask this because there seems to be a few GP38-2 with no marks. I have Athearn #40609 SOU 5025 GP38-2.

Michael Shirey
PCRRHS and SRHA Member

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