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Thread: Commodity Matrix

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    3,680

    Default Commodity Matrix

    I think I'm in the right forum now. I'm wondering if someone can point me to a source that has an overall matrix of all commodities and processes known to travel by rail, in particular North America?

    My recent enjoyment of Train Life has really got my creative juices flowing in regards to development of RTS again. Thankfully I stopped what I was doing a couple months ago and took a break. Now I have some real life career and legal challenges ahead, but this keeps me happy and focused on things that I'm capable of doing if the SHTF.

    My current plan is to start is to develop a freelance (somewhat protolance) 4:1 ratio system in RTS that would start with the logging industry in Northern Ontario. I'm familiar with most of the processes here which of course inlcude log cars as sources, that lead to mills where lumber and woodchips are produced. From there woodchips (along with other chemicals that I may not simulate right away) makes paper while lumber along with this would be used in construction and consumables in paper products in the communites the line serves as well as the connections off the map.

    When I get back to it I would start on this focus first then have longer range goals of getting into more populated ares and all the various chemicals that can be found in tank cars, the auto industry, grain, potash, and other commodities.

    Train Life is a great source of both fun and inspiration because even at a 20:1 ratio I'm already seeing the alps which is a further expansion. But at a 4:1 I want to focus more on the operation realism of railroads such as yards, industry spurs. Time would run at the same ratio, and number of industries, train sizes, and yards will all be at 25% of what would be seen prototypically. This would allow the user a feel like a real railroad but still allowing for shorter run times and being able to finish tasks in the time a typical person may only have time to achieve in a single night at the computer.

    Thanks

    Sean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA.
    Posts
    3,422

    Default

    Depends on the year, or perhaps more generally, by the decade.

    When the Interstate Commerce Commission was operating they asked every class 1 railroad to provide quarterly reports of over 250 commodity classes in terms of local, inbound, outbound, and bridge traffic. They published a book to go with each version of this classification scheme that listed thousands of specific items and which classification group they belonged to.

    Some of the classification groups were rather narrow -- Bituminous coal -- and others were quite broad -- Chemicals.

    Each quarter (and annually) the ICC published this data for each railroad. These reports are very hard to find; I've put several reports from a few railroads into the file library at Elvas Tower and if you are an old-time member over there you can download some and see for yourself what it all looks like. There are a couple of these online but offhand I don't recall where... try Hathi Trust and there are some from the 1930's in Google Books.

    Canada's Bureau of Railroad Statistics produced the same sort of reports.

    The AAR also collected data, this time on a weekly basis. It grouped everything into about 10 categories. This is pretty useful for determining seasonality effects on rail transport.

    OTOH, the ICC doesn't exist anymore so for post 1982 years. That said, it's possible the AAR has some modern data but I don't know if any is public.
    Dave Nelson

    Seldom visiting, posting less often that that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    3,680

    Default

    Not a problem.

    Appreciate the help.

    Thanks

    Sean

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