Re: Perishable traffic

Garth Groff <ggg9y@...>

Al and Schuyler,

FWIIW, he Sacramento Northern used to ship a lot of onions from Vacacille, California on their Fairfield-Willota Branch. There was large processing plant immediately adjacent to I-80 (old U.S. 40) which stank to high heaven when we drove past. My rogue uncle Bud worked there (figures!) and it was always known in the family as "Bud's Onion Factory". The company is long gone, as is the railroad, but the empty building is still there. By the time I was aware of the plant in the late 1950s and early 1960s, they shipped in WP and SN RBLs.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

al_brown03 wrote:

Onions can be grown many places (Vidalia, Georgia, is another famous shipping point, whose depot had an onion-domed tower). Other sources of the onions in my supermarket are Texas, North Carolina, Nevada, and New Mexico, as well as the Finger Lakes country of western New York State. For a discussion of the Orange County onion harvest, see John McPhee, "Giving Good Weight" (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979), pp 56-62. McPhee: "Pine Island, where the crop is warehoused, is Onionapolis."

Since onions can be stored at room temperature pretty much until they sprout, I'd imagine they were shipped in ventilator cars: either vent-boxes, or refrigerators in ventilator service.
Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.

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