Hormel Meat Reefer traffic was Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

Bruce Smith


I’m not surprised at all about the PRR. There is a lot of data, real data (as opposed to anecdotes), that supports a high amount of reefer traffic on the PRR. The PRR was the third highest conveyor of produce in the nation,  behind SP and UP (beating AT&SF) and the number one conveyer of loaded produce refrigerator cars east of the Mississippi. I don’t see why, with the PRR's routing and connections, that should be any different for meat ;)  Now, before the usual characters (you know who you are) jump in, I will note that loaded versus empty mileage is not differentiated and the relatively high mileage on the Erie probably does indicate a propensity to send loads in that direction and empties home via the PRR. However loads, and lots of them, are also moving via the PRR. And yes, I know, the PRR probably had the highest damage claims of any of the railroads listed. But enough of this silliness that perishables weren’t shipped via the PRR. They were, and typically in amounts greater than any other eastern railroad. So I’ll happily model large blocks on reefers on the PRR, thank you!

I’m also curious why you state what you do about Northern Pacific, given that the Milwaukee Road, being a western bridge route, had the second most miles (to the PRR’s #1) with 17,500 while the NP had a miniscule 3,800. I would have said that the CMStP&P was Hormel’s western route…



Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."

On Nov 12, 2019, at 8:30 AM, Douglas Harding <doug.harding@...> wrote:
I am surprised by the number of miles of the PPR as it was a road avoided by most meat packers until final destination. It appears the NP was Hormel’s choice for moving meat west.

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