Re: Banana train picture on the NP



The 1941 ICC report distinguishes cars loaded with Bananas on the railroads terminals/port piers ("originating") - essentially the first railroad to handle a car load of Bananas.

Some west coast RR banana loadings (a few roads may have included loads from Texas ports?)

Bananas originating on a west coast RR:

SP      - 15,850 tons (pacific lines - excludes T&NO)
UP      -  8,715 tons
NP      -  6,554 tons
ATSF  -  5,832 tons
GN      -     931 tons
SP&S -     395 tons

With the interest in the Twin Cities market, in 1941 the CB&Q received 35,000 tons from other carriers, terminated 24,000 tons and conveyed 11,000 tons to other carriers. Rock Island moved a very similar amount.

A few significant gulf and east coast carriers I missed last night. Originating tons:

IGN               - 45,000 tons
DL&W           - 36,000 tons
T&P              - 29,000 tons
T&NO (SP)   - 21,400 tons
B&M              -  9,776 tons
NO&N (SRY) - 8,200 tons
GS&F (SRY)  - 7,400 tons
CNJ               -  4,300 tons
N&W             -   1,300 tons

Dave Evans

---In STMFC@..., <mikado3399@...> wrote :

Warren Wing's _A Northwest Rail Pictorial II_ (Edmonds, Wash.: Pacific Fast Mail, 1991), p. 95, shows an NP banana train heading south at Black River WA (between Seattle and Tacoma) on July 16, 1962.  Slightly beyond Our Era, but all the motive power (one torpedo-boat GP9, #246) and rolling stock (NP steel ice reefers and one 10'6" boxcar and caboose) are within scope.  The only reporting marks I can read are NP 91375.  The redoubtable Dave Sprau, a former NP/GN/BN dispatcher and well known to many in the Northwest, helped Warren with the captions so I do not question the veracity of this one.

Was Seattle, then, a banana port?  It does not appear that these bananas off-loaded in California because the reefers would then have been received from the Espee at Portland OR and been heading north on the NP, not south, and the cars would more likely have been PFE.  Surely they did not come all the way up from the Gulf to Chicago and then to St. Paul for interchange to the NP to Seattle?
Doug Polinder
Grand Rapids MI

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