Topics

Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

thecitrusbelt@...
 

What, if anything, could be backhauled in an ice bunker meat refrigerator car?

 

Were such backhauls common or the exception?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Paul Koehler
 

Bob:

 

It all depends on the ownership of the reefer, if it was PFE, SFRD almost anything.  But if owned by a packing house it was considered private.

 

Paul C. Koehler

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 12:18 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

What, if anything, could be backhauled in an ice bunker meat refrigerator car?

 

Were such backhauls common or the exception?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Douglas Harding
 

Bob most meat reefers were leased, and thus in dedicated service. Meat packers wanted their reefers back as quickly as possible, so no back hauls. Some meat reefers were in short term lease, esp those lettered for the owner, ie National and Mather come to mind. These cars might be assigned to other shippers with a variety of loads if they were not needed by a meat packer.

 

PFE and SRFD had very few meat reefers.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 2:18 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

What, if anything, could be backhauled in an ice bunker meat refrigerator car?

 

Were such backhauls common or the exception?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Patrick Wade
 

I have read that empty west bound reeders were used to haul magazines from Chicago to LA. Think Saturday Evening Post.

Pat Wade 
Santa Barbara, CA


On Jan 19, 2018, at 12:18 PM, thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

What, if anything, could be backhauled in an ice bunker meat refrigerator car?

 

Were such backhauls common or the exception?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

thecitrusbelt@...
 

You probably read that on my Citrus Modeling site but those were produce (Type RS) reefers.


Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Tony Thompson
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:

 
What, if anything, could be backhauled in an ice bunker meat refrigerator car?

       Anything that would fit. But a reefer was smaller than a box car, restricting some loads. Remember that a packer-owned meat car was under the direction of the owner and could not be confiscated for back hauls.

Were such backhauls common or the exception?

    I have not seen statistics but would expect that backhauls in packer-owned cars would be quite unusual.

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





Tony Thompson
 

Pat Wade wrote:

 

I have read that empty west bound reeders were used to haul magazines from Chicago to LA. Think Saturday Evening Post.


    True, but not in meat reefers.

Tony Thompson



Paul Koehler
 

Tony:

 

In the Transcon WB tariff there was a provision for the use of three ice bunker reefers in lue of one boxcar.  R.H.  Donnelly big time printer of periodicals in the Chicago area used reefers all the time.  Usually produce cars but if there was an empty PFM meet reefer to move west that would be used.

 

Paul C. Koehler

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 2:29 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

Pat Wade wrote:



 

I have read that empty west bound reeders were used to haul magazines from Chicago to LA. Think Saturday Evening Post.

 

    True, but not in meat reefers.

 

Tony Thompson

 

 

 

maynard stowe
 

I don't think the PFM refer would even hold a Reader's Digest :)
Maynard Stowe


On Friday, January 19, 2018 5:45 PM, "'Paul Koehler' koehlers@... [STMFC]" wrote:


 
Tony:
 
In the Transcon WB tariff there was a provision for the use of three ice bunker reefers in lue of one boxcar.  R.H.  Donnelly big time printer of periodicals in the Chicago area used reefers all the time.  Usually produce cars but if there was an empty PFM meet reefer to move west that would be used.
 
Paul C. Koehler
 

From: STMFC@... [mailto: STMFC@... ]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 2:29 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight
 
 
Pat Wade wrote:


 
I have read that empty west bound reeders were used to haul magazines from Chicago to LA. Think Saturday Evening Post.
 
    True, but not in meat reefers.
 
Tony Thompson
 
 
 


Paul Koehler
 

Maynard:

 

How bout a PFE?

 

Paul C. Koehler

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 2:54 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

I don't think the PFM refer would even hold a Reader's Digest :)

Maynard Stowe

 

On Friday, January 19, 2018 5:45 PM, "'Paul Koehler' koehlers@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

 

Tony:

 

In the Transcon WB tariff there was a provision for the use of three ice bunker reefers in lue of one boxcar.  R.H.  Donnelly big time printer of periodicals in the Chicago area used reefers all the time.  Usually produce cars but if there was an empty PFM meet reefer to move west that would be used.

 

Paul C. Koehler

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto: STMFC@... ]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 2:29 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

Pat Wade wrote:

 

 

I have read that empty west bound reeders were used to haul magazines from Chicago to LA. Think Saturday Evening Post.

 

    True, but not in meat reefers.

 

Tony Thompson

 

 

 

 

Tony Thompson
 

Paul Koehler wrote:

 
Tony:

 In the Transcon WB tariff there was a provision for the use of three ice bunker reefers in lue of one boxcar.  R.H.  Donnelly big time printer of periodicals in the Chicago area used reefers all the time.  Usually produce cars but if there was an empty PFM meet reefer to move west that would be used.


     True, but PFE had around 100 meat cars in a fleet of around 40,000 cars at the time I model. I would call this a rare usage. I understood the original question to be about meat reefers in general, which would considerably outnumber the small group in PFE.

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





Bill Welch
 

How long would it take to dry out a reefer? Seems like a poor environment to ship anything that could absorb moisture.

Bill Welch

Tony Thompson
 

Bill Welch wrote:

 

How long would it take to dry out a reefer? Seems like a poor environment to ship anything that could absorb moisture.


        Never. The PFE people I interviewed said an ice reefer was damp all its life. That's one reason there was no point in opening ice hatches "to dry out the car." The PFE people said, "drying out wouldn't happen." But damp doesn't mean WET.
         Anything moisture-sensitive was appropriately protected. Stacks of magazines were wrapped in heavy paper, for example.

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





Paul Koehler
 

Tony:

 

You are picking nits, the question was could they be used, and the answer is still yes no matter how few there were in PFE service.

 

Paul C. Koehler

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 3:12 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

Paul Koehler wrote:



 

Tony:

 In the Transcon WB tariff there was a provision for the use of three ice bunker reefers in lue of one boxcar.  R.H.  Donnelly big time printer of periodicals in the Chicago area used reefers all the time.  Usually produce cars but if there was an empty PFM meet reefer to move west that would be used.

 

     True, but PFE had around 100 meat cars in a fleet of around 40,000 cars at the time I model. I would call this a rare usage. I understood the original question to be about meat reefers in general, which would considerably outnumber the small group in PFE.

 

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...

Publishers of books on railroad history

 

 

 

 

Frank Grimm <fddms@...>
 

Group
Matches were shipped as back haul.

Frank Grimm
Sandwich, IL

Benjamin Hom
 


Paul Koehler wrote:
"You are picking nits, the question was could they be used, and the answer is still yes no matter how few there were in PFE service."

The logic displayed here reminds me of this scene from Dumb and Dumber:


Ben Hom

Paul Catapano
 

EVERYTHING I've been told says that meat reefers were not used to haul anything but meat.
There was too much risk of contamination, among other things.
All the stories of produce reefers back-hauling film and bulk mail (Magazines)are, again from everything I've been told, a bit over blown. It WAS common, just not AS common.
I have a circular from the ATSF about what COULD be hauled in a SFRD produce reefer, and the list has something like 900 items and it is varied.
And I believe, you'll have to talk to Tony T. about this, as a percentage produce was the largest single item, but the majority of the tonnage hauled was non-produce perishable items, for lack of a better term.
 
Paul Catapano


Tim O'Connor
 


I would think that BEER would be the most common "back haul" item for produce reefers.

How far could beer travel in the steam era? Obviously magazines could travel across
the entire country, a trip that took almost a week even in the 1950's. Could beer
travel that far, and if it did, was it iced along the way like produce and meat?

Tim O'Connor



EVERYTHING I've been told says that meat reefers were not used to haul anything but meat.
There was too much risk of contamination, among other things.
All the stories of produce reefers back-hauling film and bulk mail (Magazines)are, again from everything I've been told, a bit over blown. It WAS common, just not AS common.
I have a circular from the ATSF about what COULD be hauled in a SFRD produce reefer, and the list has something like 900 items and it is varied.
And I believe, you'll have to talk to Tony T. about this, as a percentage produce was the largest single item, but the majority of the tonnage hauled was non-produce perishable items, for lack of a better term.
Paul Catapano

Douglas Harding
 

We need to remember this thread started with a question about meat reefers. And meat reefers were different from produce or dairy reefers. Meat packers did not want moisture inside the reefer as it could make the meat unfit for sale. So no chipped ice or “snow” blown in on the contents. And no fans to circulate the moist air. In some meat packers, Armour particularly, used reefers equipped with brine tanks, which contained the ice/salt melt in a separate container. So no ice melt could come in contact with the meat. I would speculate most of the moisture in a meat reefer came from the cleaning process, and they purposely did not use steam for cleaning as it heated up the car interior too much and thus took too long to cool down. Hot water was used for cleaning but not steam.

 

So unlike a produce reefer, it is quite possible a meat reefer would be dry inside, or dry quickly.

 

And remember meat reefers were in captive service under lease to a meat packer. The cars were not used for backhauls as the quicker they were returned to the slaughter house the fewer cars were needed in the cycle of shipments. I’m sure a few of you have seen the photos of the Decker meat reefer with the word Decker painted on the roof. One explanation for the roof lettering was so the yard master in the yard tower could spot the Decker cars and keep them moving back to the Decker plant.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2018 5:59 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Meat Reefers - Backhaul Freight

 

 

How long would it take to dry out a reefer? Seems like a poor environment to ship anything that could absorb moisture.

 

Bill Welch

pennsylvania1954
 

Hi Tim--Beer was a primary cargo, not a backhaul. In the 1950's, and before, beer was shipped all over the country from brewers' single sited breweries. Anheuser Busch shipped Bud from St. Louis to everywhere in SLRX bunkerless insulated boxcars. Sunshine had a model of one. Tichy has decals which I assume were obtained from Jerry Glow. Likewise Schlitz was shipped all over the country from Milwaukee in DSDX wood and steel bunkerless cars. Tichy has these decals, too.

For Schlitz, kegs were shipped cooled and iced with no icing along the way. Bottles were shipped without ice. Empty kegs and bottles were backhauled in the same cars to Milwaukee. I assume A-B did similar.

Yes, in case you are wondering, a photo exists of a SLRX car, presumably carrying Bud, on Milwaukee's Beer Line.

Manufacturers are missing an opportunity with these cars. Only a few modelers would need more, but everybody modeling the transition era could have� one car each from DSDX and SLRX.

Steve Hoxie
Pensacola FL

On 01/19/2018 08:48 PM, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] wrote:

I would think that BEER would be the most common "back haul" item for produce reefers.

How far could beer travel in the steam era? Obviously magazines could travel across
the entire country, a trip that took almost a week even in the 1950's. Could beer
travel that far, and if it did, was it iced along the way like produce and meat?

Tim O'Connor



EVERYTHING I've been told says that meat reefers were not used to haul anything but meat.
There was too much risk of contamination, among other things.
All the stories of produce reefers back-hauling film and bulk mail (Magazines)are, again from everything I've been told, a bit over blown. It WAS common, just not AS common.
I have a circular from the ATSF about what COULD be hauled in a SFRD produce reefer, and the list has something like 900 items and it is varied.
And I believe, you'll have to talk to Tony T. about this, as a percentage produce was the largest single item, but the majority of the tonnage hauled was non-produce perishable items, for lack of a better term.
Paul Catapano