Re: Reefers for frozen fish.

Ralph W. Brown

Jim, et al.,
Regarding the motive for shipping salmon from the west coast to the east, there is a difference between Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon with many folks preferring Pacific salmon, especially King and Sockeye salmon.  (I lived in Alaska for four years and I’m partial to Coho or Silver salmon myself.)  The Pacific salmon fishery is and has been much larger than the Atlantic salmon fishery, which declined significantly over the 19th and 20th centuries until the commercial salmon fishery was closed in the US in 1948.  The Atlantic salmon is listed as an endangered and protected species.  All Atlantic salmon sold in the US today is farm raised, and that is a relatively recent development.
Thus there has long been an east coast demand for Pacific salmon, and the need for rolling stock to meet that demand.
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532


From: np328
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 5:00 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Reefers for frozen fish.
       Scott, you are very safe in running at least one NP wooden reefer with fish.
I have seen in my research carloads moving in our (I model 1953) time frame. This traffic was salmon that moved from Hoquiam / Aberdeen WA. to Chicago and often on the east coast.  I do recall seeing at least one car load moving from Hoquiam WA to Newport News, VA.           A longer route would take some planning and why transport salmon from one coast to the other, I have no answer for.

         As I said above, this should be an older car because paperwork I have states that "Fish service is where reefers go to die. Once used for fish they are virtually unusable for any other commodity!"
That per an NP railway officer berating a regional traffic clerk who used a newer reefer.  
        However for all that I have seen, heed Tony's words above. You say "frozen fish" and there were some process fisheries out on the western Washington coast starting in the 30's, however I do not recall the exact names, they were pretty commonly seen in the supermarket growing up. Names as a child I associate with frozen fish sticks. I do not eat fish and whenever I saw these in the fridge as a child the next move was to check if there was sufficient peanut butter to carry me through.                                                                                                                                                                             Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN  

And yes, a multi-hatch reefer from Canada.
     In the NP Rwy files at the Minnesota Historical Society is an extensive file with information on the testing of one of these multi-hatched reefers, in addition to the routing and shipping of fish from Canada down through Duluth via the DW&P then down to Chicago and points east. I recall pouring over it decades ago finding it really very interesting and then telling myself to concentrate on the subject at hand and not get off on a tangential interest. ( AS finding that file was.)  I need to revisit that file someday.            

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