Re: Reefer Traffic on the Pennsy


Dave & Libby Nelson <muskoka@...>
 

BTW, Greg Martin made the point in answering this question over on the PRR
list that reefer traffic would vary with the season...for example, the
Northeast would not get too many Norhtwest apples, due to production in
N.Y. and that navel oranges were a fall harvest while valencias were a
spring harvest, and most Northeast citrus probably came from Florida.
I can't speak to what travelled over the PRR, but I can address some of the
above erroneous assumptions attributed to Greg Martin--

Using the ICC's state to state waybill analysis from 1950:

APPLES: 16.67% of all of Washington state apples moved by rail were
delivered to the states of PA, NJ, NY, and MA. -- a percentage that works
out to an estimated 4800 reefers -- a not-so-insignificant number when
compared to rail shipments of apples from non-Washington sources to these
same states, an estimated 530 reefers, almost all of which were movements
between MA, NJ, NY, and PA and may well have included reshipments of
Washington apples. Shipments of New York apples to any location was less
than 1% of Washington state shipments.

ORANGES: California and Florida shipped an almost identical amount of
Oranges by rail, with 57% of the Florida tonnage ending it's rail journey in
PA, NJ, NY, and MA, which I estimate at 17800 reefers; But those 4 states
received 37% of California shipments -- 12700 reefers.

Virtually 100% of all grapes and lemons came from California, as well as
most Cantalopes, with total tonnage slightly in excess of Oranges --
adjusting for tonange/car differences, another 17000 reefers from the west
coast.

So the facts argue a) NY apples did not mean much rail tonnage. b) large
quantities of Washington state apples did ship to the Northeast. c) Florida
Oranges enjoyed a 1.4:1 shipment ratio advantage over California Oranges,
which hardly counts as "most". d) California produce dominated other states
produce shipments to New England.

I am reminded of a criticism I once heard applied to Coloradans, which went
kinda like this: "If it didn't happen in Colorado, it didn't happen". It
appears something similar might be said about the Pennsy.

Dave Nelson

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