Re: Meat reefers

Nelson Moyer

I built the Sunshine kit (15.1), and it was cast in the old yellow resin – thick and brittle. The running board supports had to be built up using 1x2 styrene strips, and it was royal PITA. The steel NA leases from 1954 are too late for me. Maybe Frank could be persuaded to do the 42 ft. car with etched metal running board supports. I’d be good for at least ten cars.


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2020 9:23 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers


Morrell also had a slaughter house in Estherville Iowa, purchased from Tobin in 1953. Tobin purchased it in 1937 for hog slaughter, from the Estherville Packing Co. who built in the plant in 1935. Morrell then built a second plant in Estherville in 1962/3 for beef slaughter.


To my knowledge Morrell never used any 37’ Mather reefers, so the Red Caboose car will not do except as stand in. For an authentic Morrell Mather reefer you need the Sunshine 42’ meat reefer kit #15.1 Morrell leased reefers from North American. From notes: John Greedy says “Morrell leased new built steel reefers in 1954 from North American in the 300 series possibly intermixed with cars leased to Hormel.  These cars had a distinctive horizontal seam between the sheathing.”



Doug  Harding




From: [] On Behalf Of Ted Schnepf
Sent: Thursday, April 9, 2020 8:14 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers


Hi Bill and Nelson,

I dug out my 1954 Moody's Industrial's book. Morrell had three US p;ants at the time. Ottumwa was the largest 1.9 mil sq ft,, followed by Sioux Falls at 1.4 mil sq ft, and Topeka Kansas. The annual slaughter was 4.5 million hogs, cattle and sheep per year for the three plants.

Branch houses were located in Los Angles, Oakland Ca, St Paul, Mineapolis, Duluth, Fargo, ND, Memphis, Mobil, Al, Philadelphia, Syrarcus, NY, Aberdeen, SD and Liverpool, England. Morrell started in England in 1827. Ottumwa also had a company creamery and the Red Heart dog food plant.

"Company opwns about 550 reefers and tanks cars and leases additional reefers"

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, 02:31:29 PM CDT, William Hirt <whirt@...> wrote:




Doug Harding can answer this question better. Morrell did daily (except Sunday) slaughter of cattle, hogs and sheep. And besides hanging sides of such, they also had packaged meats, dog food (Red Heart), hides (which were a high tariff commodity), canned meats, etc. I found a postcard that claimed Morrell could slaughter 2 million head of livestock a year in Ottumwa. So that would be almost 6,900 head a day. So how many cars that translates to someone more knowledgeable than I will need to say.

Looking at some 1959 CB&Q switchlists that Russ Strotz posted on the Railway Bull Shippers list about 10 years ago, it appears on average 7 MORX reefers were forwarded to the IHB at Congress Park each day. How many went to Chicago proper or went to Peoria for forwarding is unknown. Attached is a July 31 1959 consist of 1st LC departing Galesburg for Clyde yard. Also set outs for April 5 1959 at Congress Park. It was an active interchange.

Take a look for the Red Caboose Morrell Mather reefer.

Bill Hirt

On 4/9/2020 1:40 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

Thanks, Bill. I’ve been collecting meat reefers to model these trains, but I only have one Morrell reefer so far. It was built from the old Sunshine kit. It sounds like I need at least nine more for the Morrell traffic. I was hoping someone had a wheel report for one of those trains to see if they had stock cars or general merchandise to fill out a train. It’s hard to believe that Morrell could generate 50-70 cars per day during the week.


Nelson Moyer


From: [] On Behalf Of William Hirt
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2020 9:31 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers


The May 1951 Ottumwa and Creston Division Employee Timetable shows that CB&Q Train 74 (labeled Daily except Sunday Meat) was scheduled to leave Ottumwa at 5:45 pm and arrive Galesburg at 9:45 pm. There was no equivalent scheduled train westbound. I suspect extras brought back empty reefers to Ottumwa to balance power. Whether the eastbound train carried anything but meat I do not know.

The South Omaha Daily Meat (symboled LC) left Council Bluffs Yard at 4:30 pm, arrived Ottumwa 1:45 am and departed 2:00 am, and arrived Galesburg at 5:30 am.

The March 1952 Galesburg Division Employee Timetable showed Train 70 (Daily Meat) departing Galesburg at 7:00 am arriving Peoria at 9:15 am. It's counterpart appears to be Train 91 (Daily Merchandise) which left Peoria at 11:00 am and arrived Galesburg 1:30 pm.

The September 1951 Chicago and Aurora Division Employee Timetable shows Train LC (Daily Omaha Kansas City St. Joe Meat) departing Galesburg 8:00 am, arriving Congress Park 1:00 pm (to make set out for IHB) and then arrives Clyde 1:30 pm.

The Ottumwa Meat had it's own train on this division. Train 74A (Daily Ottumwa Meat) departed Galesburg at 11:30 pm, arriving Congress Park at 3:45 am (to make set out for IHB) and then arrives Clyde at 4:15 pm.

On the Chicago and Aurora Division, there were eight scheduled eastbounds and and six scheduled westbounds. So it is hard to match trains up.

Bill Hirt


Join to automatically receive all group messages.