James Shirley Eaton.

Handbook of railroad expenses online

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" Transportation " is that part of the railroad operation for
which all the other parts and phases exist. Except as they in
some way bear fruit in facilitating this service to the public and
fitting it to the highest economic efficiency among the industries
served by selective rate adjustments and service adaptations,
they are worse than useless. Because the great body of the con-
ditions dealt with are of fair uniformity and constancy, and
because the largest efficiency, other things being equal, comes
with the largest use of tool and plant, and specialization of
labor, it follows that what in reality is a mere incident of the
main performance has erected itself into a part of the fixed
type, and assumed an importance hardly distinguishable from
that of the actual transportation. But the real business of the
road nevertheless continues to be transportation and not financ-
ing, nor maintenance of way, nor maintenance of equipment, nor
official supervision.

Transportation, which is the receipt of passengers and goods
at one point, and their haul to and delivery at some other point,
falls into two main divisions ; namely, the terminal service at both
ends, and the haul between. The haul differentiates in speed,
frequency, precautions of safety, and special services in transit,
such as heating, refrigeration, feeding, lighting, carrying bag-
gage and personal luxuries and attendance. The service at ter-
minals, which begins with the mere function of receipt and dis-
charge of freight and passengers and their incidental housing,
elaborates into extensive warehousing, special deliveries by



switch or lighter service, sales and forwarding facilities, and in
the case of passengers, by palatial reception halls, with all the
accessories of public comfort and luxury, with restaurants,
hotels, telegraph, telephone, parcel rooms, information bureaus,
invalid chairs and cab service. Most of these elaborations be-
yond the irreducible minimum are of the nature of auxiliary

In case these extra services are covered by a separate charge
and have expenses separable from the expenses of regular rail
operation, they are considered an Outside Operation, and their
revenue is set against their expense.

" ' Transportation by rail ' includes the receipt, transportation
and delivery of traffic, such storage of freight as is necessary to
the operation of the railway, all special facilities necessary for
the handling of special classes of traffic, such as coal, and ore
docks, coal transfers, and facilities for the receipt and delivery
of live stock, and such car ferries as are actual substitutes for
bridges and tunnels. It does not include -local collection and
delivery (except switching), nor transportation by water, except
car ferries as above provided."*

The railroad directly undertakes a score or more of these
services and offers the facilities for the performance of others
by providing the housing on a nominal rent basis, or definitely
arranging with outside agencies both for their services and the
use of their plant. Transportation of freight is the taking of
freight from any one of several consignors, at any one of several
points, and delivering it to the particular consignee of many con-
signees, at the particular point of many points. That is, besides
the mere lineal haul, a very large part of its work is classifying.
As the traffic becomes more dense, the possible interchanges
become very much greater and the classifying expense of trans-

* Classification of Revenues and Expenses of outside operations; Intro-
ductory Letter, p. 5.


portation becomes an increasing proportion of the whole trans-
portation expense.

The business of actual transportation subdivides naturally
into :

1. Keeping the line open by towermen, signal men, dispatch-
ers, operators and crossing watchmen.

2. Hauling the train over the line.

3. Handling the traffic at the terminals, which handling in-
cludes " classifying/'

4. The handling at terminals of the tools (cars and engines),
by which the hauling and classifying are done; namely, the
hostling and inspection, coaling, oiling and watering of road and
switch engines, and the inspection, oiling, cleaning, watering
and icing of freight cars and coaches. Inspection of equipment
is held to be equipment maintenance, and together with the
running repairs is in charge of the M. of E. Department, but all
the rest- of this work devolves upon the Transportation Depart-
ment and the classification of transportation expenses follows
closely the above analysis, adding to it, provision for con-
tingencies and supervision.

61. Superintendence. Transportation superintendence is
that function in the department which is responsible for the per-
formance of the rest of the department, and to this end is
endowed, within limits, with power to direct, to employ and dis-
charge, to discipline, to promote and demote. The power to
direct involves planning, application of existing methods, and
evolution of new methods, while discipline takes the form of
instruction and the award of consequences good and bad as the
work deserves, according to a well-established code. The higher
the grade of superintendence, the less it has to do with discipline
and the more with the negotiation of general policies and the
co-ordinating of the parts of the work. The superintendence
here contemplated would include without question the highest
rank directly occupied with the supervision of transportation


matters. But the point at the lower end of the scale at which
to make the distinction between superintendence and the class
of employees next below is not so easily determined. Apparently
the general notion is that " Superintendence, Transportation/'
refers to an authority covering two or more points. It fre-
quently happens that station agents through their supervision
of local organizations have responsibilities and authority that
greatly outweigh that of some of the officials charged to this
account, but unless they have a territorial jurisdiction, as for
instance, general agent of terminals, their service is not consid-
ered " Superintendence." Under the foregoing definition, there-
fore, would be included the vice president in charge of trans-
portation, general superintendents, superintendents of trans-
portation, division superintendents, trainmasters and assistant
officials with above titles (possibly chief dispatchers in some
organizations). Supervision of a particular phase of transport-
ation, such as car service, transfer stations, lost cars .or mail
service, is considered " Superintendence."

The account passes further down the scale to include inspec-
tion; road foremen of locomotives, travelling locomotive engi-
neers and firemen, train and station inspectors are in this

The pay of officers of the foregoing description is carried
to a subhead of " Superintendence," while the pay of the clerks
and attendants of such officers is grouped under the subhead,
" Clerks and Attendants." This could be upon the theory that
the pay of officers is a less flexible expense than that of their
staff, and therefore has not so immediate a relation to the work

" Office and Other Expenses " is the third subhead of this
account. It includes all current expense of these offices outside
of pay-roll expense, such as telephone and telegraph service,
heat, light and water, and all supplies (except stationery and
printing, which are provided for elsewhere) ; also books and peri-


odicals for use of officers whose expenses are charged to this
account. With the office expense is included the cost of furni-
ture and of rent and repairs, in case the office is a rented office.
All travelling expenses allowed officers and their staffs, includ-
ing the cost of special cars and trains for their use, premiums
on their fidelity bonds, or expense of their membership in asso-
ciations on account of the railroad, classify as an office expense.
Should it happen that any officer had charge of more than one
department, his salary and expenses would be arbitrarily pro-
portioned among the several departments over which he had

62. Dispatching Trains. The movement of all trains be-
tween terminals is under the direct control of division (or dis-
trict) headquarters. A staff is definitely assigned to the con-
stant personal charge of this movement. So far as trains move
on printed schedules, the dispatcher does not interfere, save
in emergency. However, all movements, whether on schedule
or otherwise, are reported to him telegraphically as the trains
pass reporting offices, so that he shall be in position at any time
to supersede schedules. But the great volume of the freight
traffic moves irregularly as extras, on telegraphic order. The
dispatcher's primary duty is to keep in telegraphic touch with
all train movements, to keep a record of such movements and
rearrange them on occasion, keeping a record also of his orders
and their acknowledgment. His staff therefore includes not
only the three trick dispatchers (and their copyists) who in
succession keep a constant hand at the key, but also the tele-
graph operators on the line from whom he receives his reports
of passing trains, and through whom he delivers his orders. If
these line operators serve the dispatcher only incidentally in -con-
nection with their other work, his office escapes the charge for
their salaries. If, however, they are exclusively for his purposes,
they are charged to his account in lieu of any other disposition.
With the salaries of the staff are included all incidental office


expenses, and presumably any office rent which may have to
be paid.

63. Station Employees. Actual transportation falls into two
distinct parts ; the line of road haul, and the terminal handling
of the freight and passengers. This terminal work further sub-
divides in case of freight, into classifying or yard work, and
station work. These stations are on the line of road, and the
primary duty of the staff there employed is the actual handling
of passengers and freight to and from the cars, and does not
include soliciting expense except as an incident. These stations
are distinct from a downtown ticket office, the stations of a ferry
service, or a harbor terminal transfer service performing a
transportation between two or. more points, one of which is not
on the rails of the carrier. The expense of these latter stations
is chargeable to " Outside Operations."

The station force performs all the service' of every character
included in the regular transportation service, except that at
grain elevators and coal and ore docks. In addition, it performs
various miscellaneous services for small fees, such as parcels-
room attendance, and baggage storage. There is an additional
service in and about a station performed by individuals, or
agencies outside of the railroad, which the railroad may arrange
for by offering housing facilities and collecting therefor priv-
ilege rentals. Such would be barber shops, telephone and tele-
graph offices, news-stands, lunch counters and dining rooms.
These services are not an expense of the station.

In addition to the direct handling of traffic, the station
employees perform services for the Transportation General
Office and the Au^it Office, as car clerks and ticket receivers
and collectors.

Station employees are divided into : " Agents, Clerks and
Attendants," on the one hand, and " Labor at Stations," on the
other hand. The former group are all salaried employees, there-


fore the expense is less flexible than that of the latter group,
which for the most part is made up of wage employees.

"Agents, Clerks and Attendants" includes the pay of
freight, ticket and express agents, and their assistant agents;
and of the station master, station, passenger and baggage agents,
cashiers and accountants, and the full staff of clerks, ticket col-
lectors, train callers, baggagemen, porters, ushers, matrons,
policemen, detectives and telephone and telegraph operators.

" Labor at Stations " includes the pay of the laborers and
foremen of every character who receive, deliver, tally, weigh,
truck and stow freight. It includes the labor of handling mails,
the caring for freight in transit, such as transferring cars,
coopering, straightening up or reloading lumber or other ship-
ment on cars, feeding and watering stock.

In addition to all the foregoing, "Labor at Stations" in-
cludes the wages expense for tending boilers, and stationary
engines to heat, light and perform other services about the
premises, and the expense of cleaning the station.

Any telegraph or telephone operators on the station staff
whose services are exclusively for dispatching trains or tele-
graph and telephone operations respectively are charged to
those accounts, and not included here.

If the regular work of handling freight loading or unload-
ing at terminals is done by contract and is not an outside
operation, it is charged to this account (Case 65).

64. Weighing and Car Service Associations. When in the
stages of competition the railroads had progressed so far as to
agree upon published tariffs, the rate competition was not at
once thereby entirely suppressed. Among the forms of evasion
practised was that of underbilling freight, either by under-
weighing it, or classifying it in a lower class than that in which
it belonged. Rival railroads might be morally certain that their
competitors were guilty, but their only recourse was to adopt the
same practice themselves. Because irregular practices of this


kind were open to every road to adopt either on initiative or
by way of reprisal, there was no protection except by joint
action and the establishment of an independent agency to in-
spect the weighing and billing of all freight at competitive
points, and to enforce penalties on the offenders on a prear-
ranged basis. These weighing associations came to be a regular
feature of railroad operations, and the proportional cost of
maintaining them, which was paid by each road, came to be a
regular item in their monthly expenses.

With secret competition in rates eliminated, there remained
the competition in service, and a particularly large kind of such
competition was in the irregular use of the freight car by ship-
pers. The car has always been a traffic maker, as it can be on
legitimate lines, but it is a very expensive form of a warehouse
for a railroad to provide, even if extended warehousing were an
item in the rate. Such great abuses arose in this connection
that railroads for mutual protection were compelled to organize
associations to enforce established rules for the collection of de-
murrage 'after the scheduled allowances for unloading of cars
had elapsed. These associations were called Car Service Asso-
ciations. Both the Weighing and the Car Service Associations
were a result of irregular 1 competitive conditions, and both also
were to guard against irregular practices by the operating de-
partment at stations. They therefore fell into the same class of
expense. This account includes all expenses of every character
for the associations described above.

65. Coal and Ore Docks. Coal and ore constitute a very
large part of the tonnage of some roads ; the condition of hand-
ling is substantially the same, and is also different from the
handling of other kinds of freight. The load is shot into the
car by gravity at the forwarding station; a large tonnage is
carried by each cnr; protection against weather is unnecessary,
and the discharge at destination is generally by gravity. While
the carload rate at which such freight is carried relieves the


carrier from the expense of discharging the freight at destina-
tion, if the volume of traffic justifies, the carrier will install an
unloading plant. The business does justify this at a very large
number of stations, and always at a water terminal, which is
generally also a strategic routing point. Should the service,
however, include the storage of coal or ore and the reloading
on forwarding order, such service would be auxiliary to the
regular performance of transportation: a special charge would
be made and the operation would constitute an outside opera-
tion (Case 487).

This account includes the operating cost both for labor and
supplies and presumably for rent, of those coal and ore docks
which do not classify as Outside Operations. The distinction
between supplies and the material used in maintenance, must be
carefully preserved, the latter being a maintenance charge. Fur-
thermore, the " supplies " here charged do not include stationery
and printing, for which there is a separate account which in-
cludes all stationery and printing used in the Transportation

66. Station Supplies and Expenses. Under the head of
" Station Employees " is a full description of the station em-
ployees whose labor is there provided for. It is the supplies and
expenses for the station that are provided for under this
account. The former expense is the pay-roll labor, while this
account includes all other expenses for the operation of those
stations, except stationery and printing, insurance and repairs,
of which the last named is maintenance. A station performs a
function for the public directly. Should the station incidentally
be made to serve in addition any other purposes, such as those
of the telegraph company or any particular phase of the a'ctual
work of the Transportation Department, such as the dispatch-
ing of trains, these are in the nature of secondary functions
at this point. On this theory, charges for office space may not
be made (unless specially provided for in the telegraph con-


tract), but all direct expenses and supplies incurred by such
services should be eliminated from " Station Supplies
and Expenses." Pay-roll expense at stations is separated
from " Station Supplies and Expenses " because it is less

The two leading items of this expense are " Heating " and
" Lighting" ; subheads are therefore provided for each. " Heat-
ing" embraces the supplies expense for fuel, water, steam to
heat station waiting rooms, freight and passenger offices, and
other office buildings.

"Lighting" provides for all station buildings, rooms and
offices, and street approaches, but does not include provision for
yards. The expense embraces the supplies and expense of every
character to perform the lighting, whether by purchased or pro-
duced gas, or current, or by oil. Under the subhead, " Other
Expenses" is gathered the great bulk of station supplies and
expenses. If the building be rented, the rent charge is lodged
here. Furniture, as desks, stoves, carpets, typewriter stands,
water coolers, their cost, repairs and renewals are all classed with
supplies, as items that practically give up most of their value at
the place where the furniture is first assigned. Hand imple-
ments for handling freight and baggage, or -outfit for general
utility, such as horse and wagon, or bicycle, are also held to be
too small as individual units to be treated otherivise than as sup-
plies, and therefore are " charged out " when put into service in
the same manner as lanterns, buckets, ladders, marking-pots,
uniforms or badges. Lantern supplies, horse feed and shoeing,
locate here naturally.

Payments for any special service about the station are a part'
of this expense, such as for sanitary service, for water, washing
towels, or sprinkling about station, rent of special tools or
patented devices, premium on station employees' bonds, licenses
for ticket agents' membership in agents' associations.

Rent is generally a charge to income, but rent of station


buildings is made an exception to the rule and charged to this
account. (Case 564}.

Transferring mail under contract is charged here (Case
628), but contract expense for loading and unloading freight is
a charge to "Station Employees" (Cases 65, 517.)

Yard Service General. As noted in the general analysis,
transportation consists of two parts: the road haul; and the
classification work at both ends. At the forwarding end when
the car is ready to be moved, it must be classified according to
the train into which it goes, and to an order in that train accord-
ing to its destination. This classification is repeated at division
terminals en route as the train "consist" is changed by drop-
ping out and picking up cars. At destination the car must again
be classified and switched, this time according to the point at
which the delivery is made, either the house track or piers, or
particular team tracks.

In the mining regions it frequently occurs that this classi-
fication or assembling of cars into trains involves extended
switch movements from various collieries, or other mine open-
ings, or colliery, or mine tracks, on lateral lines to a point of
assemblage for the district where the train is made up. Up to
this time the work is called switching, and when the cars are
assembled in a complete train they pass forward as a regular
road movement. On the return of the empty cars to the col-
lieries or mines, the converse movement occurs, namely,
the dispersal of the cars from a common point of
distribution for the district which is the end of the road haul.
When freight handled in this way is billed from the point of
concentration, that is where the road movement begins, the pre-
liminary movement is technically "switching," which may or
may not have a specific revenue, but is, however, definitely classed
as yard service. When on the contrary the way billing is direct
from each colliery or mine, the haul from such colliery or mine
to the point of concentration is not considered switching,



the work is not considered yard service, the charge being made
upon regular tariff basis (Case 69). The foregoing movements
are those incidental to transportation from the railroad yard or
station at the point of origin to the yard or station at the point
of destination. They are a part of the regular service which is
paid for in the regular rate.

In addition to this classification from and to points in the
railroad's own yards at the forwarding and receiving station,
there is a switch movement called commercial switching, for
which collection is made directly, or in the apportionment of a
through rate. Such switch wnovement is from and to industrial
sidings on the carrier's lines, between industrial sidings on the
carrier's lines, between foreign roads and industrial sidings on
the carrier's lines, and between the carrier's road and industrial
sidings on foreign lines, and also between connecting carriers
when an allowance is made for such transfer. These movements
are performed by a switch engine, without a caboose, in that
irregular movement called switching, which is made without
train orders or schedule between designated switching limits. In
this way it is distinguished from the train movement on the line
of road. Such special movements are considered additional
service outside the regular transportation, and a switching
charge is made therefor. This charge is generally an arbitrary
one at so much per car, though sometimes it is on the basis of
weights, but regardless of the class of the freight and the exact
distance switched.

The foregoing both in respect to the classifying work and the
actual switch movements, refers to cars in commercial service.
There is also a movement through the yard, and within switch-
ing limits, of cars in company service, such as those carrying
company material; ties, rail, ballast, or supplies. Such freight
yields no revenue ; if moved in trains, the train is called a work
train; when any considerable volume of such service is per-
formed by a switch engine it is charged to a work train ser-


vice open account, through which it is cleared to the charge of
the work performed. In the same manner, there is a very
considerable volume of switching in and about shops. This
is not commercial switching, and it is therefore not charged with
regular yard service, but is carried to " Shop Expenses " and
there cleared to the accounts chargeable for the service per-

Work of the nature above described is performed by a special
organization under the yardmaster, except at way stations,
when it may be done by the local freight train. It constitutes

Online LibraryJames Shirley EatonHandbook of railroad expenses → online text (page 12 of 52)