The Historians' Corner
On July 1, 1902, the American Railway Association put into effect the per diem system for computing payments for use on freight cars. Prior to that time, payment was on a mileage basis, with result that cars were earning only when moving.
The first rate established was 20 cents per car per day, and the rate since then has increased from time to time, until now it is set at $1.75 per day, with the probability it will be increased to $2.00, effective May 1st. Per diem must be paid for every day a car is on the line, whether moving, being unloaded or loading, in a yard or on a siding awaiting movement.
In the year 1951 , per diem payments to other lines for the use of their cars amounted to $366,000.00.
All concerned with car handling,-Agents, Yardmasters, Yard Foremen, Yard and Car Clerks, as well as local freight conductors, should contribute to the effort to eliminate car delays as a means of cutting down per diem expense, as every day saved means $1.75 and this could amount to a considerable sum over a period of time.
Much can be accomplished toward this end by placing all inbound loads promptly after arrival,- removing all empty cars and outbound loads promptly after release.
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