LCL Operations

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by steamhead, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Normally, if a customer is to receive, let's say half a car load, and another the other half, would the car first be spotted at one's siding, and then moved to the second..?? Or would it be set out at a team track and each would unload their load there..??

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Gus, I'm not sure that such a situation would be very common: If we're talking two half carloads, then it would most likely mean that the commodity is from the same supplier. (A shipper is unlikely to put a part-load in a car, then send it elsewhere to be filled.) The only lcl shipping that I have any knowledge of is the former operation of the CNR, working out of Palmerston, Ontario, in the mid-fifties. Here, carloads of different commodities arrived and were unloaded, broken up into smaller lots, then reloaded into other cars, each bound for a different destination. Part loads from many different cars were placed in each car that was bound for a different destination, then the individual cars were place in the appropriate train. As the train travelled the division, the cargo destined for each town would be unloaded, either at the station, or at a freight house or teamtrack. New lcl would be taken on, too, if the train was headed in the proper direction. The transfer facility in Palmerston, which was a hub for a number of rural branchlines, was run by the CNR. Outbound lcl from the various communities on the branches was also consolidated here into different cars bound for various urban centres.

  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    OK. As I understand it then, the loads would be shuffled around, consolidating loads for a destination along the way. Upon arrival at a final destination a load would be unloaded at a freight station and be trucked to the recipient - either by an express-type agency or by the owner's own trucks. Is this more or less how it worked?
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    The LCL loads was unloaded at the freight house and then rubbered(trucked) to the customer.
    The customer could use his trucks or a common carrier(truck line)..Sometimes railroad trucks was used for the final delivery..
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    It would have to be a load that could be separated -- bulk coal would not go LCL.
    What I remember is boxed/packaged loads being sent in express cars. The transfer would be express car -- baggage cart -- truck (either RR or Co.)
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    LCL freight was a big thing at one time..A boxcar could be loaded with 2 different loads heading for the same town.These cars would be unloaded at a freight house like I mention in my first reply.Trucks killed the LCL freight business.
    Now REA was not LCL but,package express-the fore runner of UPS if you will- and was handled in REA express cars or express boxcars.These express boxcars usually rode on express freight car trucks very similar to a 4 axle passenger car truck..
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    In the '70s, I looked into LCL for shipping 2 1960 MG A sports cars cross country. It was an incredible, expensive mess. It was actually cheaper to lease a dedicated box car for a period of time.

    Gave up, paid a friend a couple of bottles of wine and materials to weld some 1/4" steel plates onto the frame for tow brackets. He then welded up an A-frame tow bar to bolt on to the plates. Wired my own lighting harness, and towed it with my Toyota Corolla wagon. Oh yeah, had to sell the parts car and buy another when I got to Florida.

    yours in maintaining British sports cars
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    So, a car spotted at an industry would in all likelihood have a load dedicated to it..?? And would then return as an empty to a yard or to an industry that required it for a load..??

    PGANDW - Seen any Austin Healeys lately..??
  9. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    I'm not sure which is worse, maintaining British sports cars or maintaining Italian sports cars. Either one feels kind of like hamr
  10. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I know your pain. My neighbor in Florida had a Fiat 850 Spyder. A very pretty car. Ran less than my MG did. I finally got smart and ditched the MG after 7 years of dealing with Lucas ("Prince of Darkness") electrics, lever-action shocks with oil-fill ports and leather seals, toilet paper oil filters with mounting bolts through the center, a bar contact instead of a starting solenoid, etc.
  11. zedob

    zedob Member

    Bwahahaha. My dad had an '84 XJ 12 Jaguar and said the same thing about Lucas. Brings back memories of my dad, thanks. When the car ran, it ran great, but you always worried about it dieing out in the middle of nowhere. He eventually converted it to a 350 Chevy, but died before the conversion was through. I would have loved to see what that thing would have done.
  12. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    Alfa Romeo Syper (3) -- I didn't learn the first or second time. :oops:

    Lotus Europa S2-- Broke frequently, but never left me stranded. It was my only car for 40K miles.

    TVR 2500M -- Beauftiful, but the lights went out at dusk. :curse::curse::curse:

    Triumph TR7 -- Quite reliable, and the best handling Triumph ever built.

    The Chevy engined Jag story reminds me of something I once saw. It was a Corvette powered bug eyed Sprite. It had a Powerglide stuffed in there along with the 283. I got to watch it race a go kart at the SF Cow Palace. The go kart won. sign1
  13. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Some railroad's boxcars was dedicated to LCL service while others used general service boxcars.
  14. kutler

    kutler Member

    LCL or Partial Loads?

    I believe you've already received an answer as to what LCL is and how it's handled. Incidentally it is possible to have two loads in one boxcar going to two seperate shippers sidings. This is not LCL. I can't recall what it's called, but there is a guy called Jim Providenza who wrote articles on such interesting subjects during the 80s in MR.

    An example of a split load might be as such. An appliance manufacturer has part loads for two receivers(distributing his product) in one city. After client A unloads his portion of the car, it's released and moved to client B. Billing is handled by the manufacturer. I'm certain more complex arrangements existed, but I don't think this happens much any more as this type of business was easily lost to trucks decades ago.
  15. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Railroads were still offering LCL service in the 70s, then. How long did it continue?

    (I may have asked this before, but I don't think I got a good answer if I did.)
  16. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Actually a boxcar containing 2 different loads could be going to 2 separate towns..These was also known as LCL-Less-Then Car-Load.
    Today many truck lines offer LCL and split load service..Not sure if the railroads use their trailers in split load service.
  17. kutler

    kutler Member

    An entirely good question

    To which I don't have an answer. I hired on the railway in 1988, worked in several stations that did not have LCL service. By that time agents had been removed from the stations and most business was handled by the mobile agent, or CSC, the customer service center, which performed all billing. I was a train order operator and had no dealings with the public.

    That's not to say that LCL didn't have it's place on the railway. Freight consolidators (trucking companies) picked up loads and brought them to city freight houses. Loads were thus consolidated in boxcars and sent to hub cities broken up and delivered. My own railway own several freight trucking outfits.

    Ironically while this business(express, LCL) was winding down for the railways, companies like UPS were ramping up taking over the business at a time when railways could have used the extra revenue. LCL and Express was high revenue traffic Railways couldn't manage profitably.

    The transition would be a facinating read.

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