Intermodal Traffic 1960s                                                TT00023




06/16/03 10:06

Chris Frissell

Railway Age December 22/29 1969    NP opens new $3.5 million intermodal terminal in Seattle    Northern Pacific is providing better service for a growing volume of  TOFC/COFC traffic in the Pacific Northwest--thanks to construction of  a $3.5 million freight-handling complex at South Seattle. The new  intermodal terminal consoilidates the work previously done by five  smaller facillities scattered about the Seattle area. It's equipped  with conventional circus-loading ramps, but the major  loading/unloading operation is handled by a Piggypacker operating from  a paved parking strip flanked by 100-car capacity tracks. With the  flexibility of side loading/unloading, says NP General Manager J. O.  Davies, "Ideally we can have a trailer delivered to the customer's  door an hour after the cars are set out." The terminal's location has  also permitted improvement in line-haul operations: "We can make  direct pickups and cuts from the mainline without taking the cars into  our Seattle yard," Davies points out. "No switching is necessary."    [photo of a Piggypacker four-wheeled tractor with NPRy monad lifting a "cti" 20-ft, ribbed-wall container onto (or possibly off of) a  flush-deck 89-foot Trailer Train flatcar TTAX 972556].  Seattle, COFC, TOFC. Trailers. Pig vans, J. O. Davies Compiler  C Frissell

12/03/02 15:53

Chris Frissell

In the book Northern Pacific Diesel era, by Schrenk and Frey, Golden  West Books, there is a para. on p. 187-188 describing an NP intermodal  experiment in December of 1967, the "Tokyo Express," a TOFC/COFC  through freight scheduled at 36 hours from Seattle to Minneapolis-St.  Paul. This train is described as an attempt to demonstrate that "the  time gained in shipping goods from Japan to the Pacific Northwest  instead of California could be maintained in overland shipments to  Chicago." This train is mentioned in a 1967 annual NP traffic report  posted in  the modelintermodal group  s files section, which, if you haven't looked, also  includes a fascinating photo of NP container-on-flatbed-on-flatcar cargo  (COTOFC?)<>    (BTW that report also contains mention of NP COFC services out of  Portland,OR, Vancouver, WA, and Longview, WA).    Anyone know anything about this train, and whether an all-intermodal  freight stayed on the NP's coast-to-Twin cities schedule after late  1967? All of the train-view photos I have seen previously of 1960s NP  intermodal traffic show a few TOFC or COFC cars ahead of a string of  regular freight cars. I wonder if the NP proved its point about the  Port of Seattle, but, as I think Mike Faletti suggested (on the  modelintermodal list), the Milwaukee won the traffic, by virtue of  its direct connection into Chicago. Also, I have the impression  this lading was overwhelmingly eastbound in the 1960s. I assume the  NP and MILW must have run strings of empty containers and pig vans  back to Seattle?   TOFC, COFC, Tokyo Express ,  Seattle, Minneapolis, St.  Paul, Japan, Pacific Northwest, Portland, Vancouver, Longview, Milwaukee, Chicago, pig vans, containers    Compiler  C Frissell

12/04/02 21:08

Bob Montbriand

Some notes on the import traffic from the PNW to Twin Cities/Chicago.   When I was Sales rep in Detroit , Mi in the early 60s one of my accounts   was K-Mart which was the major importer thru the PNW. There was a close   personal relationship between the MILW rep and the west coast port rep which   was the major factor in the almost exclusive use of MILW routing. Later I   was transferred into the Pricing Dept in St Paul as AGFA- Transcontinental.   We began a major effort to capture some of this traffic. Two people   prominent in this effort were Bill Egan (Marketing) and Gus Cobb (Pricing),   together with Hank Levinger at the Port of Seattle. We managed to put   together a service/price package from Seattle to Chicago with the SOO Line   (CB&Q refused to join us) which got us a fair chunk of this tonnage . This   action established NP as a legitimate competitor for the PNW to Chgo   tonnage, and we never looked back. By the time that Milw folded the NP was   the controlling carrier in this lane. We were able to load some of this   traffic in trailers which had moved loaded westbound but when containers   came into vogue that opened up another can of worms - but that's another   story. Hope this is of some interest.   TOFC, COFC, Tokyo Express ,  Seattle, Minneapolis, St.  Paul, Japan, Pacific Northwest, Portland, Vancouver, Longview, Milwaukee, Chicago, pig vans, containers , MILW, west coast ports, AGFA- Transcontinental,  Bill Egan, Gus Cobb, Hank Levinger, SOO Line, CB&Q , trailers  Compiler  C Frissell