Electric and steam railroads more so than any other industry are confronted with the problem of so-called obsolete material. This is true because of the ever changing design of rolling stock and details of property which go to make up these transportation industries. Reliability is the foremost precept of all transportation
agencies. To maintain this, it is necessary to stock with an adequate amount of replacement parts. To industrial concerns such a stock would be considered over abundant. Such is not the case in the transportation business.
A minor change by the manufacturer in the design of some fundamental part of equipment may render obsolete, so-called, large quantities of materials and supplies carried by a railway. The change has not been made without due consideration to the improved and economic advantages to be derived. Nevertheless, it leaves the railway with a quantity of working capital unnecessarily tied up in replacement parts.
“Obsolete” is a harsh term applied to something that is just a little bit unsuited for one’s particular needs. Nevertheless, we go along with Mr. Hatton in his use of the word appreciating its meaning.
Disposal of Materials Readily Solved
Many electric railway properties confronted with the problem of disposing of excess materials as referred to in two papers in this issue, are resorting to personal solicitation of fellow electric railway operators as a possible market for these materials. As was brought out in the discussion following the presentation of these papers at the recent American Electric Railway Convention at Atlantic City, publication of lists is an expensive proposition. Often before the list gets into the hands of the prospective buyer it is out of date, the material having been sold to other buyers. In this discussion it was apparent that some practical means of soliciting buyers would be welcomed by those responsible for the disposition of surplus material.
SURPLUS RECORD has for a year served as a clearing house and market place for used, rebuilt and surplus equipment and machinery. Its activity has not been confined alone to industrial enterprises but to transportation companies as well. It is hoped that the purchasing agents and superintendents of materials will turn toward SURPLUS RECORD and utilize it as a means of solving their ever present problem. The circulation of 30,000 monthly in 12 middle western states includes executives of all electric and steam railroads. Coverage more complete than this could not be obtained by lists mailed direct to fellow purchasing agents. In addition, available equipment in other industries is included in SURPLUS RECORD’S listings.