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Railroaders' Nostalgia > A questions on freight agents


Date: 02/14/17 17:30
A questions on freight agents
Author: NGotwalt

I have a question about station agents, as my title implies. Let's say its sometime between 1948 and 1968. You're working as a station agent in some small town in Kansas. A freight train rolls into to work the local grain elevator and other industries, lets call it #16. While the train is working, you get a call from Joe over at Acme Co. He needs a 40' XM as soon as you can get it to him. Now Acme usually ships on a schedule and they already got their scheduled XM and they need another one, so this is an outside the normal request. You have a look over #16's papers and notice, they have an MTY 40' XM (your road) headed back to Kansas City where it will get assigned to a new job. Now it's a 40' XM, and it isn't like the things are in short supply, could the agent for lack of a better term "commandeer" that MTY 40' XM and tell #16 to spot it at Acme Co. or would they need to call up someone and say "hey can you send 40' XM post haste?" How would this work?

Cheers,
Nick



Date: 02/14/17 18:49
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: CCDeWeese

I would have asked the conductor to spot the car and he probably would have.



Date: 02/14/17 19:35
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: NGotwalt

I wasn't sure if there was anyone who would need to approve such things or what? Thanks for the reply.
Cheers,
Nick



Date: 02/14/17 19:56
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: LarryDoyle

The local clerk and switch crew could normally commondeer the car. But there were some guidelines.  If the ICC had an embargo on certain cars, it may be prohibited.  Generally, cars had to be reloaded for movement in the general direction of the cars home road.  However, the ICC may order that all 40 foot XMs be sent west. if its September and Denver needs 15,000 grain boxes.

The local agent would have a copy of such an order, and usually wrote such information on a chalkboad in his office.

-LD



Date: 02/15/17 01:02
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: bobwilcox

The AAR ran these programs, not the ICC.  If a railroad didn't follow the guidelines there were no penalties.


LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The local clerk and switch crew could normally
> commondeer the car. But there were some
> guidelines.  If the ICC had an embargo on certain
> cars, it may be prohibited.  Generally, cars had
> to be reloaded for movement in the general
> direction of the cars home road.  However, the
> ICC may order that all 40 foot XMs be sent west.
> if its September and Denver needs 15,000 grain
> boxes.
>
> The local agent would have a copy of such an
> order, and usually wrote such information on a
> chalkboad in his office.
>
> -LD

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots



Date: 02/15/17 02:57
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: dcfbalcoS1

      Nope, wouldn't happen. This train was the #22 and it never did station work such as that. And since it was friday there would be no need of setting a 40 ' to ACME as they couldn't load it til monday anyway. Home road car or not, #22 was only going to be there a few minutes for a meet and then going on.                             ha ha 



Date: 02/15/17 07:34
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: tomstp

Maybe on different railroads that varied.  On the T&P if the car was not  assigned service and was a T&P car, or was not way billed,  you betcha it would be spotted.



Date: 02/15/17 09:13
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: rob_l

On a well-run railroad, the agent would call the Division Car Distributor to make sure he didn't already have a plan for using that car and let him know about the opportunity. If the Car Distributor agreed, the agent would fill out and file a little car order form. He could direct the conductor to spot the car and meanwhile start filling out a waybill, then take it over to the shipper and get it signed, then give the conductor the road copy of the waybill and mail in the second copy to accounting.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 02/15/17 13:07
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: ACL3012

Rob,

A small correction what you said. The shipper would not sign the waybill. Either the agent took a Bill of Lading to the shipper, but if they did a lot of shipping, the shipper should already have a bunch-Bill of Lading forms. It depends how long it would take for the shipper to load the car. If it was on pallets, probably could load the car within twenty to thirty minutes. The crew could spot the car and the shipper might invite the crew into the break room for coffee or coke and a snack, until the car was loaded.  If the car needed to be hand loaded, the car would probably have cardboard lining the walls and floor, especially if it was food products. It would probably not leave the shipper until the next day

The agent would need to figure out the freight charges. If it was staying on the same railroad, it was probably done with local rates or through rate. In the 1960's, there was a new type of rate. It was done with certain commodity. Generally set up from one shipping point to one consignee point. It was set up for the shipper's benefit.

Everything else that you mention is correct.

Rex Press



Date: 02/15/17 14:46
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: rob_l

Rex,

On the UP in the 1970s, the Bill of Lading and the waybill were the same multi-part form. Selective use of carbons between the pages made them look different.

Best regards,

Rob L.

ACL3012 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rob,
>
> A small correction what you said. The shipper
> would not sign the waybill. Either the agent took
> a Bill of Lading to the shipper, but if they did a
> lot of shipping, the shipper should already have a
> bunch-Bill of Lading forms. It depends how long it
> would take for the shipper to load the car. If it
> was on pallets, probably could load the car within
> twenty to thirty minutes. The crew could spot the
> car and the shipper might invite the crew into the
> break room for coffee or coke and a snack, until
> the car was loaded.  If the car needed to be
> hand loaded, the car would probably have cardboard
> lining the walls and floor, especially if it was
> food products. It would probably not leave the
> shipper until the next day
>
> The agent would need to figure out the freight
> charges. If it was staying on the same railroad,
> it was probably done with local rates or through
> rate. In the 1960's, there was a new type of rate.
> It was done with certain commodity. Generally set
> up from one shipping point to one consignee point.
> It was set up for the shipper's benefit.
>
> Everything else that you mention is correct.
>
> Rex Press



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/17 14:47 by rob_l.



Date: 04/23/17 18:29
Re: A questions on freight agents
Author: DickBruce

I think the agent would confer with the appropriate car distributor, who would release the empty for loading, while during the same transaction, he would apply a new X-MAPPER to the car order (assuming there is one)



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