Christmas Trees by Rail


Robert kirkham
 

I think a lot changed with the artificial tree. Not sure when those really took off sales wise in North America, but they were certainly common enough when Schultz did Charlie Brown's Christmas. Of course the artificial trees would be shipped too - but not necessarily on the same time line as age wouldn't spoil them

Robert Kirkham

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Jon Miller" <atsf@izap.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 8:56 AM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Christmas Trees by Rail

I'm guessing shipping by rail was most of Dec. (maybe late Nov.) until
the 25. It seems that ** trees were put up differently in the steam era
than now. I remember ours went up the 24th and came down the 1st., at least
in the 40s. As this list goes to 60 the purchasing time window would have
changed and I suspect by 60 they weren't delivered by train anymore.
Thoughts?

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS



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Robert kirkham
 

Likewise, the newspaper article I referenced earlier was of a boxcar load of trees.

Rob Kirkham

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@signaturepress.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:42 AM
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Christmas Trees by Rail

Richard Wilkens wrote:
So to "Legally" include Christmas on this list I'll ask the
following, did the railroads that served the Christmas tree growing
areas of North America see all that many shipments of trees by rail?
How were they handled? Box cars? Refrigerator cars? Gondolas?
I've never seen anything in photos except box cars. SP
publicity photos often showed box cars being either loaded or
unloaded, and were included in their Christmas article for the
employee magazine, _SP Bulletin_ most years, so I'd assume they would
use a typical scene.
One exception: as included in my volume on SP flat cars, the
National Christmas Tree, set up every year outside the White House,
was usually shipped on a long flat car. In 1960, SP used a TOFC car
for this.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history



------------------------------------

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Douglas Harding <dharding@...>
 

Interestingly all photos I have seen show Christmas Trees stacked on flatcars with stakes made from long wood poles complete with
bark. Of course these photos date from the 20's and 30's. The trees appear to be tied with twine, in bundles. Then the bundles are
laid on their side on the flatcar.

Perhaps boxcars were used for those trees going further distances.

As for shipping dates, think more the end of Oct through Nov. Even for those whose tradition was to put the tree on Dec 24, the
tree was still cut down at the tree farm in the northern US or Canada in Oct or early Nov. Shipping time along could kill weeks.
As a child in the early 60's I remember the stores and tree lots were all filled with trees by Thanksgiving.

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Richard Wilkens wrote:
So to "Legally" include Christmas on this list I'll ask the following, did the railroads that served the Christmas tree growing areas of North America see all that many shipments of trees by rail? How were they handled? Box cars? Refrigerator cars? Gondolas?
I've never seen anything in photos except box cars. SP publicity photos often showed box cars being either loaded or unloaded, and were included in their Christmas article for the employee magazine, _SP Bulletin_ most years, so I'd assume they would use a typical scene.
One exception: as included in my volume on SP flat cars, the National Christmas Tree, set up every year outside the White House, was usually shipped on a long flat car. In 1960, SP used a TOFC car for this.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

I'm guessing shipping by rail was most of Dec. (maybe late Nov.) until the 25. It seems that ** trees were put up differently in the steam era than now. I remember ours went up the 24th and came down the 1st., at least in the 40s. As this list goes to 60 the purchasing time window would have changed and I suspect by 60 they weren't delivered by train anymore. Thoughts?

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Ross McLeod <cdnrailmarine@...>
 

In my experience trees moved from British Columbia in standard box cars to Texas - late sixities.
 
Carriers restrict the use of high class cars for hauling material that would damage the inside of the car, therefore I would not see a railway giving a working reefer to a tree shipper. Realize there was a  test case was made in a reefer.
 
In my experience these shipments were given very high priority, traced and expedited constantly thru the approx one month period they moved.

Also of course reefers would have incur additional charges for protective service.
 
Ross McLeod Calgary

 


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