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Verta- Pac a smart


Wrknrvr

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Could this be done with a smart car. Just to ad something for Phoenix to think about in his spare time.

A look back in time: The GM/Southern Pacific Vert-A-Pac ...

 

 

 

www.railwayage.com/.../a-look-back-in-time-the-gm-southern-pacific

 

 

Just stumbled in to this once and thought I would share some different thoughts on the forum.

 

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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Interesting...the whole car was designed so it could be safely stood vertical without leaking anything. Nice concept...but didn't ANYBODY think about the fact that the whole system was too specialized to be used for anything else...and that any car goes obsolete? I wonder how the initial cost of those special racks compared to the savings in shipping overall?

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Interesting...the whole car was designed so it could be safely stood vertical without leaking anything. Nice concept...but didn't ANYBODY think about the fact that the whole system was too specialized to be used for anything else...and that any car goes obsolete? I wonder how the initial cost of those special racks compared to the savings in shipping overall?

 

Good point Jeff! However, as a survivor of the corporate wars I can explain easily: the cost of the design mods came from the engineering budget; the cost of the rail cars probably split between the engineering & transportation budgets and the RR picked up some of it; thus the transportation budget sees a big cut and that is what they sell to the bean counters!

 

I would also not be surprised if a lot of the cost of those railroad cars was absorbed by mutual funds. In the 80's there were REITs for real estate investments and a similar investment vehicle (whose name escapes me) for RR cars. Their primary advantage was tax shelters, as far as I know the only folks who actually made money were groups that set up the funds. A lot of REITs wet spectacularly bad investments, same for the RR rolling stock.

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Ahhh, the Vega. The very reason that Danielle will not allow a GM product of any sort to be owned by us. EVER. We had a Vega that replaced her Firebird....yes, the hot rod version, too. She loved that Firebird. But we needed something more practical.

 

That Vega literally rusted apart within a YEAR. It FELL APART. Really, it literally fell apart. Total scrap. The GM response? Too bad. On a car less than one year old.

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Interesting...the whole car was designed so it could be safely stood vertical without leaking anything. Nice concept...but didn't ANYBODY think about the fact that the whole system was too specialized to be used for anything else...and that any car goes obsolete? I wonder how the initial cost of those special racks compared to the savings in shipping overall?

 

 

 

Good point Jeff! However, as a survivor of the corporate wars I can explain easily: the cost of the design mods came from the engineering budget; the cost of the rail cars probably split between the engineering & transportation budgets and the RR picked up some of it; thus the transportation budget sees a big cut and that is what they sell to the bean counters!

 

I would also not be surprised if a lot of the cost of those railroad cars was absorbed by mutual funds. In the 80's there were REITs for real estate investments and a similar investment vehicle (whose name escapes me) for RR cars. Their primary advantage was tax shelters, as far as I know the only folks who actually made money were groups that set up the funds. A lot of REITs wet spectacularly bad investments, same for the RR rolling stock.

 

The cars shipped on those Vert-A-Pac racks lasted for eight model years, and likely every one of them shipped beyond about a 500 mile radius of the Lordstown, OH Assembly Plant left there in one. The later models based on the H-Body platform, the H-Special (Chevy Monza/Pontiac Sunbird/Olds Starfire/Buick Skyhawk) models, may have been designed to be Vert-A-Pac compatible, and if they were, they were produced for nearly three and a half model years beyond that.

 

Given that a fully useful flatcar was left when the Vert-A-Pac rack was removed, only the design and fabrication costs of the racks themselves needed to be covered over the eight to eleven-plus year lifespan of the Vega and its derivatives. I'd suspect that GM likely paid for them several times during those eight or more years.

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I believe the term we are looking for is "logistics". Every distribution hub has huge sidings and received rather large counts of cars at any one time. The cost of implementing the system would pay large returns in no time..........if done correctly.

 

Logistically, the percentage of empty cars in any rail train is mostly a constant that is figured into the fee the rr will charge for shipping. So the one way frieght of the vertapac is not really any different than the cost of one way freight in any other car type. Eventually the vertapac would end up at the shipper siding again for another load. A train of hopper cars can not haul lumber or liquids, nor even autos or parts. It can haul bulk flowables. A flat car can only haul a fraction of the automobile that the vertapac could per car, making the vertapac car count very low in comparison.

 

IMO.

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Surely the fact that every Vertipac car had to come back to Lordstown empty, because no other cars from any other assembly plants would go on them. That alone should have killed the deal in favor of the more conventional 3 level cars.

 

I had 2 Vegas, they were dirt cheap on the used market, just keep on pouring oil in them. Beat the snot out of them, take the plates off and donate to whatever town it dies in...

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