RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 20 . . Europe . . Part 6
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 6 of Chapter 20 . . . Europe. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 20 . . . EUROPE . . . Part 6
The Express d’Orient arrived in Vienna exactly on schedule at 10:15 p.m. Emma and George were provided luxurious transportation to their Hotel Tegettkoff. The train staff guaranteed the bulk of their luggage would arrive within the hour.
Just before arriving at the hotel, George noticed they passed a telegraph office that still appeared open. After checking in, George walked to the telegraph office and sent a message to John Small, “Discovered a potential new product. Will send details in the post”.
Prior to going to bed, George wrote the letter to John Small that contained the details of his discovery.
The concept is standard sizing of wooden shipping boxes. However these are not ordinary boxes, these boxes are constructed more watertight than regular wooden shipping boxes.
There is standardization of tie down points and standard skidding width on the boxes. These boxes are not meant to ship inside a freight car; they are meant to ship on a special flat car that contain skidding channels and tie-down points to match the special wooden shipping boxes.
The boxes are the height of a standard freight car and the side-to-side dimension is the width of a standard freight car; however the length is such that six of these boxes will fit on a single flat car. The boxes contain movable dividers to create a host of compartments to presort the “send to” parcels.
The way they are being used now is for an inbound train to pull next to a platform and in a matter of only a few minutes, one or more of the “final destination” boxes can be skidded off onto the platform and be replaced by already loaded “send to” boxes filled with an assortment of sorted parcels.
I think this system has potential not only to improve freight transfer times between narrow gauge and standard gauge, but also between like gauges.
Implementation of this concept has been attempted on only a few small railways in Europe. Success has been fleeting so far; the difficulty is getting everybody to conform to a single identical standard.
It is a concept that has been enormously successful in reducing freight transfer times on the few stretches of track where it has been 100% implemented. These are in areas of Belgium where this concept should continue to grow.
The businesses trying to implement this throughout the rest of Europe are about ready to give up, since cooperation on setting and adhering to a standard has proved fleeting between the many countries; in the States we might have a better chance of success.
Headed to Switzerland in a few days, might uncover additional ideas when there.
Emma and George Billmeyer spent a few days leisurely touring Vienna and its surroundings. George was impressed with the street layout in the central part of the city. The Ringstrasse was about a three-mile long boulevard that encircled the inner city; all the important buildings in Vienna were on the Ringstrasse.
The most memorable places they visited were The Imperial Palace of Hofburg and St. Stephen’s Cathedral that towers over the city at 450 feet high. Like all visitors to Vienna, they enjoyed the music of the city at several venues. George liked the relaxing atmosphere of Vienna; there was not all the hustle and bustle of London or Paris. However Emma still preferred Paris.
Go to Chapter 21, Part 1