Re: PFE cars loaded with bananas


Pre-1900 on the C&O line the ministers between Newport News and Richmond objected to the shipment of oysters and imports requiring refrigeration because they might return with German beer brewed in Cincinnati coming back in the empty reefers.  That was almost as bad as train crews not returning to attend church on Sundays.
Al Kresse

From: "Dave Parker spottab@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 5:16:30 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] PFE cars loaded with bananas


In all seriousness, banana traffic by rail is a very interesting subject throughout our era.  Here are two recommended articles, the first being quite specific about both ports and railroad routes:

Also, if you are interested in the pre-WWII traffic, the Port Series books published by the Army Corps in the 1920s and 30s are a possible source of additional clues.  I have all three editions for Boston (1920, 1927, 1935), and gleaned several things about banana traffic through Boston Harbor and onto the B&M from them.

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015 12:29 PM, "Garth Groff sarahsan@... [STMFC]" wrote:


When I was stationed in Long Beach in the late 1970s, bananas were still arriving there by ship. IIRC, the landing point was Terminal Island right next to the huge coke loading facility, but I don't remember them being loaded into railroad cars. Probably all were moved by truck.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 1/21/15 3:20 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] wrote:
Ed Mineswrote:

Tony, any idea what ports PFE cars were loaded with bananas? Erie had leased reefers; I guess they made more money loading their own cars.

     I know for sure about Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans. Whether Houston/Galveston or other Texas ports were also active through PFE, I am not sure, but it seems logical, given the Central American origin of most banana cargoes.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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