… or, “What to do with CML 1952?”
Regular readers will know that CML 1952 is an NMRA heritage boxcar lettered for the Crooked Mountain Lines – a freelanced O scale interurban empire built by Bob Hegge. I recently finished my S scale model, shown here:
(Click on the photo to read more about the model)
All that’s left to do is create some waybills for the car – and that’s posing some problems for me. These can be summed up as follows:
“What is CML 1952 doing on the Port Rowan branch?”
Hegge’s line was freelanced and I don’t recall him ever pinning down a geographic location for it, although I recall that he was inspired by the Oregon Electric and other heavy interurbans of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The Crooked Mountains through which his railroad ran certainly looked like that part of the world, too.
The problem, for me, is that the Pacific Northwest is way over there, on the left coast of the continent. And Port Rowan is more to centre-right – and in Canada, to boot. While the typical inbound traffic on my branch consists of consumer goods – everything from pineapples to pianos, tinned tuna to tractors – it’s unlikely that any of this was sourced directly, by the carload, from places like Oregon or Washington State. More likely, inbound goods would have come from a big distributor in a place like Toronto or Hamilton, or directly from various industries in Southern Ontario. And those would arrive – for the most part – in a CNR boxcar (which is why I have so many of them on the layout).
However, I have devised a scenario in which a load might arrive in CML 1952. Railways preferred to move cars loaded in both directions, because an empty car doesn’t earn anything for the carriers that haul it. And the AAR wrote the book, literally, on car-handling rules – describing how empty cars on their way home could be commandeered for re-loading:
(Click on the image to learn more about this book)
I won’t go into great detail here about the rules, but one that applies in this case is that an empty car heading home can be commandeered for a load providing the lading is headed in roughly the same direction as the empty car. If CML 1952 ended up empty in Winnipeg or Chicago, it could not be commandeered for a load to Toronto, Hamilton or Port Rowan. But if it ended up in Montreal or Halifax, it could be – since the load would take it west, towards home rails.
So here’s the scenario for CML 1952: It was loaded in CML territory (let’s call that Oregon) and destined for Montreal. That’s possible, since Montreal is a big city that served as a distribution centre so somebody in Montreal might order a carload of something from Oregon. Once the car is empty, it’s destined to head home. But wait! There’s a load from Montreal headed to Port Rowan – and in the grand scheme of things, Port Rowan is on the way home, so the CML car can be used.
So, that’s my justification. Now, I need to figure out what the waybills look like for that.
Normally, an empty car bill looks like the one shown above. There’s the waybill with the load information, in white, and stapled to the top is the empty car bill showing that this car is now headed for home. Crews would look at the routing information on the waybill to determine how to forward this to home. What I’m not sure about is this:
“What does the paperwork look like once the empty car is ‘stolen’ for another load?”
Is a new waybill stapled to the top of this paperwork? That would make sense to me, since crews would still need to know where the car came from originally. In my example, once the car is unloaded at Port Rowan, we want it to continue on its way to Oregon – not returned to Montreal. But I’m not sure.
I will have to dig through my AAR book on freight car handling to see if I can determine the answer. Until then, CML 1952 will have to sit in the storage drawers under the sector plate…