Re: GPEX 977 and 969 Milk reefers in freight service for Ever Sweet OJ

Bill McCoy

Don, Thanks for the info on the Hood and Whiting moves. Were these moves to Boston? I'm certain you're correct that this was OJ not concentrate. I know the IM cars have their short comings but were the 6000 and 8000 gal. cars externally the same?. Unfortiunately they seem to be the only show in town except for brass renditions of these cars. Also did these cars in addition to the juice service stenciling, get full freight car capacity and load limit data like the Ever Sweet cars did? I gather the other graphics stayed the same as is on the IM cars. Did they have their passenger service appliances removed early in their freight service or was that near the end? Was this OJ service going during the 50s' and 60s?

RE Seminole Milk, we discussed this on the Milk Car Yahoo group a couple of years back. This was apparently a short lived one car operation that was transloaded as the processor was a mile ot two from the nearest possible unloading spot at Jacksonville Terminal Station. I see Athearn/Roundhouse offered this model on one of their MDT milk reefers (wrong car unfortunately).

I would very much like to get copies of your Ever Sweet photos. Maybe you can have them scanned. We can discuss further off line. Stan Rydarowicz offers resin reefer doors so I may be able to find something to replace the incorrect door when I see him in Naperville if I can get the correct demensions. Athearn seems to have gotten the paint right on their renditions of GPEX 977 and 969. Too bad it's on such a poor model.

Thanks for all your help.

Bill McCoy
Jax, FL

--- In, "riverman_vt" <riverman_vt@...> wrote:

Now you are tromping in my field of expertise so perhaps I can assist. I agree with the numbers and service for the two cars cited. Eversweet was not the only company to use GPEX cars in the transport
of orange juice concentrate, however, as this was also done by both
H.P. Hood & Sons and the Whiting Milk Co., both based in Boston. In Hood's case the product was moved in 52 ft. GPEX cars of the last style constructed in 1947. These were the 8,000 gal. version of the 6,000 gal. car that InterMountain made such a mess of with their model having a totally incorrect roof slope angle and, thus, improper ends as well.
In such use these cars remained in their standard GPEX Pullman Green paint with Dulux lettering denoting whomever the car was leased to.
Hood's OJ originated in Dunedin, Fl. where Hood purchased an orange juice processing plant. I do not know where Whiting acquired theirs but know it came from Florida. You also have the Seminole Milk Co. of Jacksonville that had milk tank cars of the General American type early on that might be used to justify an actual milk car that operated in Florida. I'm sorry that I can't assist with the routing of that car or a date when the service ended but, if memory serves, the processing plant was located near a major yard in Jax. From this you can see that the cars you mentioned are not the only possibilites open to you.

Returning specifically to GPEX 969 and 977 which you refer to some additonal points need to be raised. The General American "builders photos" that I have of these two cars are in reality only photos that were taken to document the paint scheme used on these two cars in OJ seervice, both both having been built in the 1920's. The photo of 977 was taken subsequent to its November 1955 servicing at General American's East Chicago facility while that of 969 was taken subsequent to its March 1960 servicing there. As you must be aware, however, these two cars were not at all painted in the same manner. The 977 was not lettered with the usual GPEX Roman style of lettering except for its reporting marks. To the left of the door the lettering stated "Scenic Citrus Corporation" over "Lyons, Illinois-Frostproof, Florida", with both states spelled out in their entirety. To the right of the door in fanciful script was a large "Eversweet" over "100% pure orange juice" in smaller lettering of the same font used for the lessees name at the left. I presume that the body of this car was painted Pullman green but am not certain of that having no color photos or lettering diagrams for the car. The "General American - Pfaudler Corporation" on the letterboard appears to be in GPEX's standard Dulux gold color and font while the remainder of the lettering on the cars' sides appears to be in white or, possibly, aluminum color. Non-standard for GPEX in any case. The 969 is altogether different in the way it was painted, again as you are probably well aware. The bottom two feet or so of the car sides have a dark band, above which the remainder of the car side is a much lighter color. White or possibly yellow or orange, I cannot tell, though orange would certainly fit with its service. But the "Scenic Citrus Corporation" had by this time become the "Eversweet Corporation" in the same lettering font used on 977 but in a contrasting dark color.
To the right of the door the fanciful "EverSweet" lettering had been reduced considerably in size, moved to the left and had what I would describe as a 1 qt. size Excello carton pouring orange juice into a glass painted on the car. To the right of the carton were the words "Fresh squeezed orange juice" in still another different lettering font. I had not given it any thought previously but wonder if what you suggest might be correct and that this car carried 100% juice rather than concentrate.

There are two points about these cars that I wonder if you have considered in using any of the available styrene models for them. First is the fact that the 969 has an ice hatch on at least the left hand side of the "A" end of the car when facing the "A" end, though the 977 does not appear to have this feature. Such an ice hatch isn't too big a job to add for an accurate model but what on earth are you going to do about the doors??? In case you had not noticed it the reefer style doors used on both of these cars had been replaced with the more narrow, single style of replacement door, initiated with GPEX 950 in April of 1944, before they entered orange juice service. To model this door accurately would require some fairly major reworking of the car sides, though it certainly could be done.

In any event, I have copies of R. Loganecker's original "builders photos" of these cars and might be able to assist if someone could be found to print them as my darkroom is down at the moment. And to keep the SMTFC police at least partially happy it should also be noted that H.P. Hood & Sons was the last known outfit to operate GPEX cars in either milk or OJ service, with both having ended in 1972. Many such cars went to the GM&O for use as water cars in work train service, while others went to museums. By the end of milk and/or OJ service, however, the passenger steam heat and air signal lines, as well as the buffers, had been removed, relegating the cars to freight service only even if a bit later than the era of this list when this was done. They also had "push or shove to rest" lettering added at the end of their carsides when used in freight service.

For anyone seriously interested in milk car and milk train information I moderate a list for same as another Yahoo group under the NAMTA heading for North American Milk Train Association. There are two milk car groups on Yahoo, teh NAMTA group and a less serious one.

Hope this helps, Don Valentine

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