This post is connected with, but not about, waybills, so I have not treated it as a segment in my ongoing posts on waybill subjects. Instead, it is about routing cards.That’s a topic I introduced some time back, in a general post about these cards (see that post at: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2011/11/chalk-marks-and-route-cards.html ). Once introduced, I went on to provide more history and details as I discovered them; here are links to two of the nine previous posts in the series. Others can be found using the search box at the right of this text, key words “route cards.”
Most if not all railroads had a system of using route cards in major and many minor yards, to facilitate switching and train make-up. I have wondered for some years if I could find out anything about the Southern Pacific system, though for a long time I could turn up nothing. Finally a friend sent me a photo of a switchman’s pocket card, summarizing routing numbers for various destinations out of West Oakland Yard. It appears to be a 1936 document. I still don’t know what the route cards themselves looked like (see post no. 8, link above, for some examples from other roads), but at least I know some codes. Here is the photo I received:
You can see that it is folded to make four pages, and is pocket-size. Visible here, though hard to read, are page 1 on the right, and 4 on the left. Below is shown one of the interior pages, page 2. (You can click on the image to enlarge it.)
This page is more readable than most of this document, so I have transcribed the entire list, shown below as a jpeg (I can send you a PDF if you like). Some readers may be surprised at the railroad place names in a few cases, but a careful study of a Western Division map, such as the one on the end sheet of John R. Signor’s book, Southern Pacific’s Western Division (Signature Press, 2003) will locate them. A few locations, like Tie Pile for destination 77, are located in West Oakland Yard (see the map on page 95 of the book just cited). The “Desert” in destination 44 refers to Desert Yard. You can click to enlarge, or download to enlarge as you wish.
I don’t know what these SP route cards may have looked like, but a reasonable guess, from a very simple perspective, might be something like that shown below, adopted from one of Keith Jordan’s cards shown in Part 8 of this series (link near top of the present post).
I would love to find information from more terminals, or actual SP route cards, and will continue to look for examples.