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I heard that UP has TV Monitors all over their facilities showing all kinds of stats and what not.
I heard they also have TV Monitors that display missing rollingstock and they give their employees bonuses for finding the missing cars. From what I heard, they have no idea where lots of cars are.
Can you imagine if they gave that list to railfans and offered them cash for finding the cars... I bet they would find a large number of them within a week.
I used to know a Conrail yardmaster who showed me a daily missing car report. There were a hand full everyday. It listed the car, contents, where it was supposed to go and where they last had a record of it.
3 Rio Grande Hoppers
I saw 3 of this heading west to Eagle Pass, Texas yesterday. Kinda odd they where all together. Didn't have my camera with me so they were just like this. Don't know if there on the list of missing cars.
UP used to give a box of steaks to their employees for finding missing cars and locomotives.
It's not just missing cars, its the most wanted cars. There are typically 5-15 cars on the most wanted list. What you should take away from that is there are many other cars that are missing, just that they are not important. The cars on the most wanted should have been delivered to a customer and they want their car.
But farming it out to railfans and giving them some UP Credit at the company store would be a good idea. Typically they are in some random industry track that got left behind and wasn't reported.
trucking companies do the same thing, the have a lost or missing list. When I lived in Vegas I use to find some, drivers come into town and quit. Drop there trailers and just leave. I got $250 dollars one time found a seal refridgerator trailer in my gravel pit. I called to complain the driver put in my pit, then found out he had abandoned it. I should have opened it first. 42,000 pounds of rib eye steaks.
Mmm, rib eyes...
But, to bring it back on topic, yes, cars get lost, although with AEI much less than they used to. As was pointed out, usually the issue is a crew putting a car somewhere and then not reporting it. Usually those kinds of crews are also the same ones to squeal like a stuck pig if they get a list that isn't 100% accurate too.
People close to Omaha get Omaha steaks. Those farther away get the cash equivalent.
Once when I was working an industry job I found a couple of cars already spotted that weren't listed as being on that track. When I got back to the yard office and was doing my computer reporting, I found the cars showing on a different track, in a different yard within the same complex. This track was listed as assigned to the company I had worked, but I think it was a "made up" track in the computer. It didn't actually exist in the real world. The company in question only had the one factory/warehouse in that city so it couldn't have been at another branch facility.
I tried to move the car in the computer but couldn't. I tried a couple of different things but since my job wasn't assigned to work that "made up" track, it just wouldn't let me move those cars. I called the NCSC (clerks) who at that time were in St. Louis. Once I got hold of the right desk, I explained what I was trying to do. She said why bother, the track showed assigned to the customer. I said yes, but the cars are physically on this track, not that one. After a few minutes I gave up.
They probably didn't "lose" those cars, but now I see how it can happen. Never mind what's going on in the real world as long as the computer is happy.
Been Nothin' Since Frisco
BNSF doesn't give out squat for finding lost cars. In the yard, we usually get a lost car track list with our GTBs. Most of the time, the lost cars are those that got bad ordered and spotted on the RIP track but not clicked or one that lost its AEI tags. I spotted an old C&S car in the yard one day (unusual because of its age) and discovered it on the lost car list later in the day. As I checked the list, I spotted another car on the list was spotted on the condemned track. I reported both and got "Thanks, out."
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