Re: PFE Express Reefer in NYC Express Train

Jeffrey White

The IC contracted with Central Illinois Public Services to provide their ice plants in Southern Illinois.  In Centralia IL they had a large ice plant and platform about 3 miles South of the passenger depot in the freight yards alongside the South bound main.  They iced reefers going in both directions there.  CIPS also had a small ice plant uptown right behind the passenger depot.

I've circled it on this track chart.  There was a track to the back of the building and I have a 1934 aerial photo of downtown Centralia that shows what appears to be an express reefer on that track.

Here is the complete photo. It's a little clearer.

While they had the capability to cut an express reefer out at the depot and spot it at the ice plant just behind the depot and I have a photo showing an express reefer there, I have been told they iced from a truck on the platform.

Jeff White

Alma, IL

On 4/13/2021 1:36 PM, Todd Sullivan via wrote:


As Tony Thompson indicated, if in a passenger train and loaded, they would be iced by an ice truck with a lift body while still in the train.  That was to save the time of cutting the express reefer out of the passenger train, taking it to the nearest icing facility (probably miles from the train depot), icing it, and returning it to the passenger train to continue its journey.  So, it would be unlikely for a loaded express reefer to be iced with freight reefers.  OTOH, if the load called for pre-icing, I imagine the express reefer could have been pre-iced at an icing facility in a freight yard with freight reefers. 

Tony (or others) certainly are welcome to chime in with their take on this hunch of mine.

Todd Sullivan

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