Locked Ralph Budd letter and report to the SEPC, July, 1941

George Eichelberger

From the SRHA Archives:

The attached letter from Ralph Budd to the Chairman of the “Southeastern Railroad Presidents’ Conference” may predate orders from the “Office of Defense Transportation” (ODT) telling railroads that had to eliminate certain passenger trains to make equipment available for wartime transportation and travel.

The letter, and attachment, was forwarded to “Member Roads” by Chairman Fitzgerald Hall of the NC&StL on July 12.

(There are extensive files on the SEPC in the SRHA archives. In today’s anti-trust environment, much of their work would probably be illegal but in the 1930s and 40s, the southeastern rail Presidents cooperated on many business decisions, an agreement to NOT air condition their passenger trains being one example. The SAL, in bankruptcy and run by trustees broke the agreement by asking the Pullman Co. to equip the “Orange Blossom Special”. That forced the ACL to adopt AC for their Florida trains…explained in an ACL letter to the SEPC.)


PS As always, membership in the Southern Railway Historical Association (www.srha.net) is open to anyone interested in the Southern Railway System. Donations to help organize and catalog archives material are needed and welsome.