Re: conductor's reefer data

Tim O'Connor

Tony, it would be fascinating to know if you could correlate the
number of ART cars (which really surprises me!) with known traffic
patterns for ART, like the annual peach crop from western Colorado
or produce (watermelons and canteloupes) from south Texas. What
I'm driving at is, wondering why so many ART reefers would show
up in California? In my modeling era 10 years later, the BAR had
acquired a lot more reefers, and from photos we know that at some
times of year (spring/summer) a lot of BAR reefers were used for
PFE loads out of northern California.

Tim O'Connor

I've recently finished transcribing a conductor's time book for
part of the Coast Line from 1948 to 1952, and it contains extensive
reefer car information. The loads in question are almost all
vegetables from the Salinas and Watsonville areas, and the analysis of
reporting marks present in the data is interesting. For those who may
wish to look at the results, I've summarized the findings in a post on
my SP modeling blog, which may be found at:

Bottom line is that, of course, PFE cars dominated (76%) but ART cars
at 11% and MDT cars at about 4% were also significant. Quite a few
other reporting marks showed up too but in pretty small numbers, out
of 1102 total refrigerator cars in the sample.

Tony Thompson

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