Re: Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight


Hi Tim--Beer was a primary cargo, not a backhaul. In the 1950's, and before, beer was shipped all over the country from brewers' single sited breweries. Anheuser Busch shipped Bud from St. Louis to everywhere in SLRX bunkerless insulated boxcars. Sunshine had a model of one. Tichy has decals which I assume were obtained from Jerry Glow. Likewise Schlitz was shipped all over the country from Milwaukee in DSDX wood and steel bunkerless cars. Tichy has these decals, too.

For Schlitz, kegs were shipped cooled and iced with no icing along the way. Bottles were shipped without ice. Empty kegs and bottles were backhauled in the same cars to Milwaukee. I assume A-B did similar.

Yes, in case you are wondering, a photo exists of a SLRX car, presumably carrying Bud, on Milwaukee's Beer Line.

Manufacturers are missing an opportunity with these cars. Only a few modelers would need more, but everybody modeling the transition era could have� one car each from DSDX and SLRX.

Steve Hoxie
Pensacola FL

On 01/19/2018 08:48 PM, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] wrote:

I would think that BEER would be the most common "back haul" item for produce reefers.

How far could beer travel in the steam era? Obviously magazines could travel across
the entire country, a trip that took almost a week even in the 1950's. Could beer
travel that far, and if it did, was it iced along the way like produce and meat?

Tim O'Connor

EVERYTHING I've been told says that meat reefers were not used to haul anything but meat.
There was too much risk of contamination, among other things.
All the stories of produce reefers back-hauling film and bulk mail (Magazines)are, again from everything I've been told, a bit over blown. It WAS common, just not AS common.
I have a circular from the ATSF about what COULD be hauled in a SFRD produce reefer, and the list has something like 900 items and it is varied.
And I believe, you'll have to talk to Tony T. about this, as a percentage produce was the largest single item, but the majority of the tonnage hauled was non-produce perishable items, for lack of a better term.
Paul Catapano

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