SAL Post-War Perishable Ops : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

All, I just submitted an article for Lines South called "SAL Perishable Operations in the Post-War Era". Hopefully the editors have it and I will hear from them shortly if they'd like to run it. In the meantime, I'd appreciate your thoughts, comments, and stories on perishable ops (from the 1945-1950 timeframe)to add to the article if you'd care to share them. I got alot of help from Larry Gooslby and Dr. Richard Hendrickson on the thanks to them. More to follow! JG

-- John Golden (, August 29, 1999


The Fox operated while my father was agt-opr at Meggetts SC. We arriveed there in 1942, I left in 1944. We talked about dispatch of the perishables. "Stop one for no good reason, and walk;" a common statement heard around in conversations. We handed up orders to many a doubleheader of big mikes.

-- Clarence Donnelly Copeland (, May 12, 2003.

From the remnants of my Virginia Div. Time Table No. 7, eff. April 24, 1949, I note SAL had No. 72 (due Raleigh 3:20 AM), but the next Virginia Div. time table I have (No. 9 eff. April 25, 1954) No. 72 is not listed. I rather doubt that the train number was changed to No. 4 because for many years, that was the Atlanta-Richmond all-stops mail and express.

-- Harry Bundy (, August 30, 1999.

Harry, thanks again! Perhaps you can clear something else up for me. I've discovered some discrepancies in the Greyhound's train number during the post-war era...was it #72 or #4? My understanding was that in the post-war years it was #72 and later changed to #4 in the early 1950s. I finished up the article away from my library. Your help/comments are very much appreciated. JG

-- John Golden (, August 30, 1999.

You're correct! No. 86 was a train initiated in the 50's, some time between April 25, 1954 and April 26,1959. As I don't have all the time tables, I can't zero in on a date. It was carded from Wildwood to Hermitage (about 766 miles by my calculations) in 23'20".

-- Harry Bundy (, August 30, 1999.

Harry, thanks for your quick response! I wrote about the Marketer (Train #80) and about the Greyhound (Train #72) but don't have any information about the Fox during my target time period (1945-50). I've read alot about the Fox but understand that it began to operate in the mid-50's era. Do you have any information on when the Fox started service and it replaced the Marketer or the Greyhound? I greatly appreciate all your help! JG

-- John Golden (, August 29, 1999.

SAL's No. 86, nicknamed "The Fox" by SAL employees, handled a volume of perishable traffic for northern markets. Perishable commodities are the only traffic for which railroads will guarantee a delivery time. No. 86's traffic was interchanged to RF&P at Richmond to be hauled to Potomac Yard. To effect an interchange (1) the cars must be delivered to the designated track (and the engine cut away), and (2) the waybills for the cars must be surrendered to the receiving road at the designated location. The designated location for interchanging No. 86's waybills was RF&P's Acca yard office. Time permitting, No. 86's conductor would bring the waybills to SAL's Hermitage yard office. There, the waybills were junction stamped and an "overhead" report from data on the bill was typed for benefit of the Traffic Department. If No. 86 was close to the 5:55 AM cut-off time(after 5:55 AM, SAL would participate in payment of any claims filed on the perishables) the yardmaster would recruit a clerk to ride in back of his station wagon. They'd wait for No. 86 at Hermitage Road, the conductor would toss the waybills off as the train passed, and "The Fox" would proceed thru Hermitage Yard non-stop to Acca Yard. The clerk would junction stamp and make notes for the "overhead" report as the waybills made their way to the RF&P in the back of the yardmaster's station wagon. The innovative SAL had mobile agents before there were mobile agents.

-- Harry Bundy (, August 29, 1999.

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