The forms of the reports vary considerably among railroads and between
civilian and military railroads.
Basically, they serve the same purpose
wherever and however used.
As empties move out of a yard, the car
distributor deducts them from his master report. The next report from the
yard forwarding the empties omits those moved but includes others
accumulated since the previous report.
Frequently, a report from a yard
does not change greatly from its previous one, the principal change being in
the "switched" and "not switched" figures. Over a period of 8 or 12 hours,
however, considerable changes may be reflected in the reports.
shows a consolidated empty car report representative of what might be
maintained on the Elwood division shown in figure 1.1.
CAR DISTRIBUTION IN A THEATER OF OPERATIONS
In time of war, and particularly in a theater of operations, car
distributing differs radically from that described in the foregoing
No surplus of empties will exist; the opposite will prevail.
In a theater, adherence to boxcar classification will scarcely be practical
and any piece of equipment that will haul any type of freight will have to
Hopper and gondola cars constructed to haul bulk commodities or
aggregates may have to be pressed into service to haul crated goods; they
might be the only ones on hand. Cars with leaky roofs might have to be used
to haul high-grade commodities even if it requires covering the lading with
tarpaulins or other protective covers. Few rules can be given for full and
efficient use of equipment because of unknown and highly varying conditions
in a theater, but two basic rules must be strictly followed: unload all cars
with dispatch when received at forward points, and keep all empties moving
from front to rear for reloading.
Moving trains over a rail division involves considerable paperwork for
the dispatcher. Included in it is one important document known as the train
It provides a clear picture of the movement of trains on a rail
division. The dispatcher can determine from looking at the train sheet how
many trains are operating and whether they are exceeding the speed limits or
losing time. He can also find out about the weather at various points along
the line: it may very well enter into the dispatcher's plans. For example,
a severe drop in temperature may cause the dispatcher to reduce the tonnage
on future trains, issue orders to reduce speed, or provide for engine pusher
assistance at points where trains may stall.