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  • Topic: Digital Billboards on Rolling Stock

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    • July 12, 2021 8:25 PM EDT
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      Digital Billboards on Rolling Stock


      "March 23, 2020 ... Patrick, how did your idea come about?

      I’ve been in the advertising business for a long time. I started at J Walter Thompson In New York. 14 years ago I got a call from a friend and railroad guy about running ads on the side of freight cars Why don’t we work together? We named the company Freight Train Media. We did some development work and over time came up with patents on two designs. We call them Portable Rail Billboards (PRBs). The idea was to run LED ads on the side of stationary or rolling container cars (PRB l)and to develop a billboard product that will mimic a standard board and be placed on a flat car (PRB ll). My company, Freight Train, owns these patent rights on the PRBs.

      One design has a billboard unit that can go up and down and can turn. It will turn to be readable from a freeway. Potentially the nation’s railroads and rail freight yards offer a tremendous growth opportunity for billboard development in an industry with few undeveloped sites.

      How would you power the billboard

      We use a generator. We worked with Formetco on a number of these iterations.

      What are you seeking?

      My plan is to license the rights to use these Portable Rail Billboards for a fee and percentage of ad revenue. "

      https://www.billboardinsider.com/digital-billboards-on-rolling-stock/

      Okay, so who is going to make the first operating model?

      It seems the idea does go back a few years,

       https://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=18633 

      “ Tuesday, May 15, 2007 Cleveland men want to turn freight cars into billboards (The following story by Frank Bentayou appeared on the Cleveland Plain Dealer website on May 12.) “

    • July 14, 2021 7:05 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      Interesting find Forrest. I had always wondered what happened to the old Billboard Reefers and such. This explains it nicely. 2007 to today is a long time for an idea to fester without any real results, at least not published. I am going to assume that the advertising guy never got Rule 84 annulled.

      ____________________________________

      We don't stop playing with trains because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing with trains.....

       

    • July 15, 2021 10:20 AM EDT
      • Roanoke, VA
         
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      Had to read up on Rule 84 to get a better understanding of why the "billboard" cars became outlawed.  Seems the car-sized ads were deemed distracting to motorists.  Nowadays, I wonder whether they would look up long enough from their illegal smart phone texting to notice the adds!  The proposed billboard rig looks ponderous to me.  Seems to be more of a permanent fixture than a portable device.  It is a novel idea, but it would need a stored database of clearances to avoid CRUNCH!!  Thanks for sharing the information.  We will have to see whether the idea gets accepted and prospers.

       

      Yours, David Meashey

       

      P.S. Still have some wonderful billboard refers and boxcars by Bachmann and other brands.

      P.P.S.  Bruce must have access to a better search engine than me.  Mine did not reference all that good stuff.

      (Edited to add P.P.S.)

      This post was edited by David Meashey at July 15, 2021 10:38 AM EDT
    • July 15, 2021 10:30 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      David Meashey said:

      Had to read up on Rule 84 to get a better understanding of why the "billboard" cars became outlawed.  Seems the car-sized ads were deemed distracting to motorists.  Nowadays, I wonder whether they would look up long enough from their illegal smart phone texting to notice the adds!  The proposed billboard rig looks ponderous to me.  Seems to be more of a permanent fixture than a portable device.  It is a novel idea, but it would need a stored database of clearances to avoid CRUNCH!!  Thanks for sharing the information.  We will have to see whether the idea gets accepted and prospers.

      Yours, David Meashey

      P.S. Still have some wonderful billboard refers and boxcars by Bachmann and other brands.

       

      I always thought the following (NOT  dues to motorist "distraction):

       

      The federal government (ICC) "outlawed" leased billboard reefers based on complaints from railroads.

       

      To understand the issue, one needs to keep in mind that railroads received tariff charges from the shippers, and the railroads paid a per/mile charge to the car-leasing company for all mileage, empty or loaded.

       

      The railroads were disturbed by perceived unfair competition, especially about the leasing companies' practice of rebating to shippers some of the mileage income earned (from the railroads) by the cars leased to shippers.  Railroads contended lessees enjoyed an advantage because they made a profit from mileage allowances partly offset, or even exceeded, what they paid in leasing fees. 

       

      Railroads also argued that privately owned or leased reefers made railroad operations more complicated and less efficient because they had to be returned empty to the shippers instead of being available for backhaul traffic.  Also, shippers used their leased cars, but railroads were required to have their own reefers on hand during peak traffic periods, resulting in the under-utilization of their reefers during non-peak periods.

       

      Although not a major concern to the ICC, railroads asserted car-side advertising was unfair competition because it was a service provided to shippers without cost.  It was thought some shippers cluttered up the railroads by routing their cars to maximize advertising exposure regardless of the destinations.

       

      Thus, in 1934 the ICC ruled that "...no gift, gratuity, or part of the earnings from mileage payment ..." could be paid to shippers by car owners.  Without this advantage, many shippers stopped or reduced their use of leased reefers.

       

      Thus, it was primarily the railroad's objection of unfair competition by the car-leasing companies coming from rebates to shippers that lead to the band.

       

      The shipper/lessee (whose company or product was advertised on the cars) used the billboard cars, not their competitors.  Other shippers could refuse to accept "unsuitable" cars, leasing shippers wouldn't want competitors to use their cars, and railroads preferred using their own cars.  So, I am lead to believe that any complaints from competitors of the car-leasing companies would be the free advertising and reduced (thus unfair) net shipping cost advantages, not being forced to ship in a competitor's car.

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

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