RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: Regulatory burden, Class I disdain for small shippers
One of my uncles owned a small, albeit very successful, industrial boiler business that had its own siding on the "new" C&O main in Flint. He received pipe and the occasional oversize (boiler) load. I don't recollect anymore how many cars per year his business received. It wasn't very many. One day one of his employees noticed that one rail on their siding had been removed, although the switch remained in place. My uncle called the local C&O agent (this was pre-CSX days) and asked him for the scoop. He was especially annoyed that the railroad hadn't given him any notice. The agent said the railroad wanted to eliminate customers that didn't ship or receive "x" number of cars per year. He also said that if my uncle wished, he could try taking C&O to court. My uncle didn't want to bother with that, so he switched to truck for the pipe, and to GTW for the oversized loads. Later he successfully sued GTW for incorrect demurrage charges for an oversized boiler that was shipped to Lapeer.