locked Thread from Modern Freight Car List (MFCL)


George Eichelberger
 

All:

This copied from the MFCL list.

As I have said many times, the SRHA archives are full of this kind of (detailed) material. We need help scanning and organizing everything!

Ike



2a. 
Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: George Eichelberger
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 16:33:13 PST 

Although the information is very much in “raw” form and not well organized, the SRHA archives have many Mechanical Dept. and Hayne Shop files on car rebuild programs (Special Car Programs - SCPs), new car programs, (NCP and NEP) and automobile car programs, (ACPs). The files represent the “nuts and bolts” of the railroad’s rolling stock. Documents can run from orders for hardware to specifications and lists of equipment included in each project.


The following page is a good example of an internal SR document that provides a lot of information.

In 1977, the Southern had a disproportionate number of auto racks in various pools and Trailer Train wanted leased F89CH and DH flats returned for use as PB flats. The process began with GM releasing racks and Southern making arrangements to have them “deracked” and returned to TTX. Interesting items include a list of the GM assignments the cars were removed from, if the cars had shields and how they were equipped.

Ike




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2b. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: Dick Dawson
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 17:20:11 PST 

Ike,

This is interesting information but permit me to make a brief comment.  These cars were not “leased” from Trailer Train.  They were “assigned” to the Southern Railway and could be returned by the Southern at any time – providing that they were returned in the same condition as when they were provided, which is to say that the rack had been removed.  In practice this meant that the Southern was responsible for payment of per diem to Trailer Train so long as the rack remained on the car.  If the car was on the lines of another railroad, that road paid the combined per diem charge for both car and rack to Trailer Train, who passed on the per diem remittance for the rack to the Southern.  

Trailer Train’s title to the car may have been subject to a lease from a lessor, a conditional sales agreement, or an equipment trust.  

The F89CHs were apparently to be sent to Trailer Train’s shop at Hamburg, SC after deracking to be prepared for their next assignment while the F89DHs were to be sent to the Pullman-Standard shop in Hammond, IN (not Inc.).  It’s interesting that the Pullman-built F89CHs were to be sent to Trailer Train’s own shop while the ACF-built F89DHs were to be sent to a Pullman shop (which did a lot of car modification work for Trailer Train and other car owners).  

Dick Dawson

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2c. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: George Eichelberger
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 17:34:27 PST 

Dick:

I understand the cars were not "leased" in the TTX context. The Southern memos appear to use "leased" and "assigned" somewhat interchangeably. That may have been because the TTX cars, with Southern racks were said to be "assigned" to GM, Ford, etc. Saying "leased" may have been considered less confusing than a car appearing to have two assignments??

Ike

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2d. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: Dick Dawson
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 19:31:38 PST 

That makes sense, Ike.  

Dick

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2e. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: George Eichelberger
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 19:42:20 PST 

Dick:

Somewhere (?) in everything I've been scanning, I recall a reason given why the DH and CH racks were sent to specific shops but I cannot find that scan. Memory tells me it had something to do with repairs to the floors and one of the shops had experience with that work???

Re TTX "leases": As I mentioned in an earlier post, railroads sometime spoke in their own "language". Note the last paragraph of the attached...

Ike
PS For anyone really "hard core" on any of this, they are welcome to come to the SRHA archives at TVRM and help organize and publish what we have. PB flats and auto racks are well represented in the hard copy and microfilm aperture card drawing collection. Contact SRHA @ archives@....

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2f. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: Mark Rickert
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 21:49:41 PST 

So I have to ask was GM planning to build less cars going forward, too many cars in the pools or was the southern then on the hook to come up with replacement racked cars? The memo seems to be saying at least some cars are in active service opposed to spare cars parked someplace out of the way.

Mark Rickert 
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2g. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: George Eichelberger
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2022 06:06:50 PST 

Mark:

Memos in the file show some people at the Southern were confused by the "plan". Although GM was forecasting an increase in auto production, because the Southern had more auto racks in the GM pools than required, their (rental/lease?) payments to TTX (made as Dick Dawson mentioned) for cars and investment in racks that were not 100% used reduced Southern's "bottom line" for the business. The fact that some of the racks were 14 years old and TTX needed them added to the decision. (Yes, Southern was also acquiring new racks for GM service at the same time. The number of "ACPs" in progress at any one time makes it difficult to keep track of how many auto racks the railroad had at any one time. 

One of my projects has been a spreadsheet that records any event auto rack "event" I find in the SR records. It is full of inconsistencies/duplications/errors but if anyone is interested (and "truly hard core"), send me a off list email and I'll forward the 6,300+ entry SS.)

Note the 2-3-78 memo in my earlier post. The TTX flats cost Southern $11.40/day or $627/day for the group of 55 discussed in the memo.

Ike
PS The Southern was "big" in auto racks because of the GM and Ford plants in Atlanta and the long distances (per-mile revenue) to western, midwestern and northeastern connections and destinations. The number of racks in pools were determined by the proportion of the total number to be loaded and the mileage per railroad(s) they traveled on. I would be curious to know how many miles racks moved on roads that were not in a particular pool. They would simply pay the cars' per diem rates.

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2h. 
Re: Southern Automobile Car Pgm (ACP) 852, Deracking 149 auto racks in 1977 
From: mopacfirst
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2022 06:36:55 PST 

Inquiring minds want to know -- how was the deracking done?  I'm not that familiar with rack construction, so I don't even know if the racks are welded or bolted together.  Could the entire rack be lifted off and maintained in more-or-less one piece, to perhaps be re-mounted on a different car?  Or were they disassembled and the components stored?  I'm familiar with how structural steel is fabricated.

Ron Merrick

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