I have described prototype empty car bills in previous posts, and some of those posts are listed below. In this post I return to that topic, and also discuss modeling implementation of these bills.
The general handling of empty cars:
Empty private cars: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2014/03/waybills-part-31-empty-private-cars.html
Mike White’s collection of more than 20 of my posts on waybills: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2013/02/waybills-27-collected-posts.html
It may be the case that there were a few American railroads (I don’t know about Canadian or Mexican practice here) which did not use empty car waybills. But evidence continues to emerge for more and more railroads that did use them. Below is a scan of an original manila cardstock document from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) which is 3.5 x 9 inches in size. You can click on it to enlarge the image.
It contains two parts of interest. First, at the top is a section intended to be filled out for every foreign car which came onto MKT rails. The card would then be stapled to the waybill, for use when the car was made empty, if it did not happen to be confiscated for loading. (This is to facilitate subsequent return of the empty, if necessary, via the service route by which it arrived.)
Of perhaps equal importance, at the bottom was this admonition, which clearly describes the importance of this document. The exceptions, tank cars and some refrigerator cars, are also noted and their movement documentation listed. This sentence might be a good addition to a model Empty Car bill.
I also obtained an Atlantic Coast Line card of the same type. It too is cardstock, of a somewhat ocher color, and is 3.5 x 8.5 inches in size. It is similar on its front face to documents I have shown in some of the earlier posts whose links are shown above.
The back face, however, is also interesting in that a summary of some of the relevant Car Service Rules are printed there. This also is certainly an option for addition to model documents of this type.
Note that at the bottom of this document back is a comment about Special Car Order (SCO) 90. For post-1953 layouts, this might be a good addition also.
Use of these kinds of Empty Car billing documents is slowly increasing on model railroads interested in prototype operation, instead of merely having a four-cycle card with a couple of moves simply identified as “empty.” This is another of those small changes to make operation more realistic.