Topics

Meat reefers


Eric Hansmann
 

Frank Hodina shares photos and details on a few meat reefers in the latest Resin Car Works blog post. 


Eric Hansmann
RCW web guy

Be safe. Stay healthy. Build models!


Ted Schnepf
 

Hello,

Always nice to see fine reefer models.

In the early 1950's before the meat packers expanded, by consolidating facilities. the only place to see some of these reefers together on one train was east of Chicago. NKP did have the line east out of Chicago. Dubuqe, Oscar Meyer, and Hormel. were one plant companies. Hygrade in the early 1950's had only one or two plants. Swift, Armour, and Wilson had multiple locations.

My point is that not all meat reefers would be regularly seen, on the same train, except east of Chicago. When picking reefers to model, be aware of the plant locations and likely routing over your railroad.

Ted Schnepf

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 06:54:16 AM CDT, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:


Frank Hodina shares photos and details on a few meat reefers in the latest Resin Car Works blog post. 


Eric Hansmann
RCW web guy

Be safe. Stay healthy. Build models!


Brian Carlson
 

That’s the beauty of modeling part of the Erie Main through Pennsylvania. I can get most of them <grin>. 

Brian J. Carlson 

On Apr 7, 2020, at 5:13 PM, Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...> wrote:


Hello,

Always nice to see fine reefer models.

In the early 1950's before the meat packers expanded, by consolidating facilities. the only place to see some of these reefers together on one train was east of Chicago. NKP did have the line east out of Chicago. Dubuqe, Oscar Meyer, and Hormel. were one plant companies. Hygrade in the early 1950's had only one or two plants. Swift, Armour, and Wilson had multiple locations.

My point is that not all meat reefers would be regularly seen, on the same train, except east of Chicago. When picking reefers to model, be aware of the plant locations and likely routing over your railroad.

Ted Schnepf

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 06:54:16 AM CDT, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:


Frank Hodina shares photos and details on a few meat reefers in the latest Resin Car Works blog post. 


Eric Hansmann
RCW web guy

Be safe. Stay healthy. Build models!


Tony Thompson
 

Ted Schnepf wrote:

In the early 1950's before the meat packers expanded, by consolidating facilities. the only place to see some of these reefers together on one train was east of Chicago . . . My point is that not all meat reefers would be regularly seen, on the same train, except east of Chicago. 

    Good point, Ted. But remember they all came back west empty. Lots of photos of westward trains in the steam era show quite a mix of meat cars, presumably empty.

Tony Thompson




Bill Keene
 

The gift shop of the Kansas City Railroad Museum was housed in a Wilson meat reefer. It was my weekend “home” for several years. This part of my life has given me a fondness for meat reefers. 

Unfortunately, I model a little known Santa Fe branch line that once operated in east central Kansas. Meat reefers on this 50 miles of track would have been a rare event. Most likely if one were to arrive on the line it most surely was a very lost or somehow mis-directed car. 

Cheers,
Bill Keene
Irvine, CA



On Apr 7, 2020, at 2:40 PM, Brian Carlson via groups.io <prrk41361@...> wrote:

That’s the beauty of modeling part of the Erie Main through Pennsylvania. I can get most of them <grin>. 

Brian J. Carlson 

On Apr 7, 2020, at 5:13 PM, Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...> wrote:


Hello,

Always nice to see fine reefer models.

In the early 1950's before the meat packers expanded, by consolidating facilities. the only place to see some of these reefers together on one train was east of Chicago. NKP did have the line east out of Chicago. Dubuqe, Oscar Meyer, and Hormel. were one plant companies. Hygrade in the early 1950's had only one or two plants. Swift, Armour, and Wilson had multiple locations.

My point is that not all meat reefers would be regularly seen, on the same train, except east of Chicago. When picking reefers to model, be aware of the plant locations and likely routing over your railroad.

Ted Schnepf

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 06:54:16 AM CDT, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:


Frank Hodina shares photos and details on a few meat reefers in the latest Resin Car Works blog post. 


Eric Hansmann
RCW web guy

Be safe. Stay healthy. Build models!



Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

Ted Schnepf wrote:

"In the early 1950's before the meat packers expanded, by consolidating facilities. the only place to see some of these reefers 
together on one train was east of Chicago. NKP did have the line east out of Chicago. Dubuqe, Oscar Meyer, and Hormel. were 
one plant companies. Hygrade in the early 1950's had only one or two plants. Swift, Armour, and Wilson had multiple locations"

   To which I would add that east of the NKP the Erie seemed to carry more meat reefers going into New York or New England 
than any other road. They certainly carried the bulk of it going into New Haven territory. How it got to B&M territory I'd really like 
to know. The lesser amount of meat reefers coming into Northern New England came in over the CPR both to the MEC at St.
Johnsbury, VT and the B&M by the same routing as well as into Maine via the "Shortline", the CPR's route through Maine rather
than over it to get to the Maritimes. Likewise the B&O seems to have handled the bulk of the traffic into the mid-Atlantic states, 
especially for Morrell and Swift.

Cordially, Don Valentine


Fran Giacoma
 

Don,
The Erie interchanged with the New Haven Railroad at the large NH yard in Maybrook, NY. The New Haven interchanged with the B&M at Worcester, Fitchburg, and Lowell, MA. Both the NH and the B&M reached Worcester via branch lines. The NH reached Fitchburg and Lowell (both on the B&M main line) via branch lines out of Framingham, MA. 

Fran Giacoma


Richard Townsend
 

Not necessarily lost or misdirected. Swift, for example, had hundreds of routes that it sent individual meat reefers up, as often as daily. They would go to a central distribution warehouse for larger towns, and might make stops at individual depots or team tracks for smaller towns, where grocers or butchers would pick up their orders. One car might serve an entire branch that way. 

So, see? You now have dispensation to run meat reefers regularly on your Kansas branch line, prototypically.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Keene via groups.io <bill41@...>
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Apr 7, 2020 2:56 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

The gift shop of the Kansas City Railroad Museum was housed in a Wilson meat reefer. It was my weekend “home” for several years. This part of my life has given me a fondness for meat reefers. 

Unfortunately, I model a little known Santa Fe branch line that once operated in east central Kansas. Meat reefers on this 50 miles of track would have been a rare event. Most likely if one were to arrive on the line it most surely was a very lost or somehow mis-directed car. 

Cheers,
Bill Keene
Irvine, CA



On Apr 7, 2020, at 2:40 PM, Brian Carlson via groups.io <prrk41361@...> wrote:

That’s the beauty of modeling part of the Erie Main through Pennsylvania. I can get most of them <grin>. 

Brian J. Carlson 

On Apr 7, 2020, at 5:13 PM, Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...> wrote:


Hello,

Always nice to see fine reefer models.

In the early 1950's before the meat packers expanded, by consolidating facilities. the only place to see some of these reefers together on one train was east of Chicago. NKP did have the line east out of Chicago. Dubuqe, Oscar Meyer, and Hormel. were one plant companies. Hygrade in the early 1950's had only one or two plants. Swift, Armour, and Wilson had multiple locations.

My point is that not all meat reefers would be regularly seen, on the same train, except east of Chicago. When picking reefers to model, be aware of the plant locations and likely routing over your railroad.

Ted Schnepf

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 06:54:16 AM CDT, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:


Frank Hodina shares photos and details on a few meat reefers in the latest Resin Car Works blog post. 


Eric Hansmann
RCW web guy
Be safe. Stay healthy. Build models!


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

    Not so fast Bill Keene. How many towns were there on your 50 mile long branch and how
many of those towns had a market that sold fresh meat? Even into the earlier days of pre-cut
and/or pre-packaged meat the packers shipped cars destined to several customers on a set
routing. The car was dropped for the first customer who unloaded his goods that were separated
from those of the next customer by wrapping paper and then the car was moved to the next 
customer. This continued until the car was empty. On occasion re-icing was required. Let's just
say that in those years people were more honest as I doubt this would work today unless all 
unloading were done under the watchful eye of the local agent, if one could still be found, and 
the car was resealed. The times are not only "achanging" they have changed drastically in 
the lives of many of us on this list and I'm not convinced that the majority of those changes 
have been for the better!

Cordially, Don Valentine


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

Hi Fran,

    I'm well familiar with the interchange points of the Erie and New Haven and occasionally swing into Maybrook when 
traveling just to recall what the sorry sight there now used to look like. But I would NEVER suggest that the New Haven 
and Boston & Maine reached Worcester, Mass. via "branch lines" as Worcester was probably the largest interchange 
point between the two roads. Springfield, Mass., which you omit, would have been the second. There was still interchange
in Boston via New Haven owned Union Fright (pun intended for those who have ever driven on Atlantic Ave. in Boston at 
night when Union Freight was operating)! The Lowell and Fitchburg interchange points were on B&M mains but definitely 
branches for the New Haven, primarily for traffic to or from New Haven points in Southeastern Mass. and Rhode Island. 
Whiting Milk Co., to whom my family shipped, milk used to reach the Whiting plant in Providence via Lowell in Central 
Vermont Rwy. can cars. I'm not certain if that route ever switched to milk tank cars. New Haven traffic to & from Lowell 
was usually heavy enough to require the use of an R-1 class 4-8-2 to handle it, often #3225 with a V-2 Vanderbilt tender
given the number of photos I have of here there and the scarcity of photos of other R-1's there.

Cordially, Don Valentine


Schuyler Larrabee
 

I’d like to interject here that from some ERIE consists I’ve documented (some of them are in the list files) a fair amount of traffic for New England was interchanged by the ERIE with the D&H in Binghamton.  From there, IIRC (it’s been a while) some of that freight went on to D&H points (“Bridge Line to Canada” and all that) and also transferred to the B&M at Mechanicville.  That’s another routing that didn’t involve the NH at all.

 

Does that include meat reefers?  I’ve no idea, but I could review some of those consists and see . . .

 

Putting a consist in an excel spreadsheet will improve you sleep quite well!

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Donald B. Valentine via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 10:05 AM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

Hi Fran,

 

    I'm well familiar with the interchange points of the Erie and New Haven and occasionally swing into Maybrook when 

traveling just to recall what the sorry sight there now used to look like. But I would NEVER suggest that the New Haven 

and Boston & Maine reached Worcester, Mass. via "branch lines" as Worcester was probably the largest interchange 

point between the two roads. Springfield, Mass., which you omit, would have been the second. There was still interchange

in Boston via New Haven owned Union Fright (pun intended for those who have ever driven on Atlantic Ave. in Boston at 

night when Union Freight was operating)! The Lowell and Fitchburg interchange points were on B&M mains but definitely 

branches for the New Haven, primarily for traffic to or from New Haven points in Southeastern Mass. and Rhode Island. 

Whiting Milk Co., to whom my family shipped, milk used to reach the Whiting plant in Providence via Lowell in Central 

Vermont Rwy. can cars. I'm not certain if that route ever switched to milk tank cars. New Haven traffic to & from Lowell 

was usually heavy enough to require the use of an R-1 class 4-8-2 to handle it, often #3225 with a V-2 Vanderbilt tender

given the number of photos I have of here there and the scarcity of photos of other R-1's there.

 

Cordially, Don Valentine


Douglas Harding
 

 

Here is a slide from my meat trains clinic, showing the movement of a meat reefer from Omaha to Boston. It went CBQ, NKP, DL&W, L&HR, NH. This was the early 50s I believe.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Schuyler Larrabee
 

Thanks, Doug, very interesting.  That routing reflects a close tie between the NKP and DL&W.  In the early days of mergers, the DL&W wanted to merge with the NKP, who declined.  I’ve never understood why – I would have thought the direct route into NYC would have been very tempting, but I also figure the NKP’s membership in the Van Sweringen-created AMC was a problem.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 10:56 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

 

Here is a slide from my meat trains clinic, showing the movement of a meat reefer from Omaha to Boston. It went CBQ, NKP, DL&W, L&HR, NH. This was the early 50s I believe.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Ted Schnepf
 

Hello,

My point is that geography does play a role in what cars you will see on the railroad you choose to model.

If you are modeling Frankfort, Ind on the NKP, it would be rare to see a reefer from Hormel, Dubuque, Oscar Meyer and other packers in the northern region of the corn belt. Modeling Bellevue, Oh on the NKP those reefers would be plentiful.

In my case modeling west of Mississippi, I need to carefully choose my reefers.

Ted Schnepf

On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 09:56:39 AM CDT, Douglas Harding <iowacentralrr@...> wrote:


 

Here is a slide from my meat trains clinic, showing the movement of a meat reefer from Omaha to Boston. It went CBQ, NKP, DL&W, L&HR, NH. This was the early 50s I believe.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Douglas Harding
 

The Nickle Plate handled a lot of meat because it was a fast route. Meat was time sensitive and the meat packers wanted their products delivered as quickly as possible. Out of Omaha, meat packers could choose between six different railroads to get to Omaha. All roads were given meat traffic, with each road having a specific day when they go the majority of traffic. As rates were regulated, this was how the packers kept the railroads on their toes with demands for speed. The Illinois Central was the preferred route as the IC moved the meat faster than others. The CBQ had the option of going to Peoria for eastern connections instead of Chicago. East out of Chicago, the NKP was the preferred routing for meat going to NYC or New England.

 

I am not as well versed in meat traffic east of Chicago. Attached is a spreadsheet prepared by John Greedy and Jim Singer, which shows the meat traffic east of Chicago on various roads in the 50s.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Schuyler Larrabee via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 10:04 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

Thanks, Doug, very interesting.  That routing reflects a close tie between the NKP and DL&W.  In the early days of mergers, the DL&W wanted to merge with the NKP, who declined.  I’ve never understood why – I would have thought the direct route into NYC would have been very tempting, but I also figure the NKP’s membership in the Van Sweringen-created AMC was a problem.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 10:56 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

 

Here is a slide from my meat trains clinic, showing the movement of a meat reefer from Omaha to Boston. It went CBQ, NKP, DL&W, L&HR, NH. This was the early 50s I believe.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


radiodial868
 

So it is safe to say that meat reefers were not a west coast thing, say 1930's/1940's?  I have not seen any in period pictures, but doesn't mean they didn't exist.  I have a couple of Sylvan meat reefer kits I keep wondering if I should build to run on Western Pacific/Southern Pacific consists.
--
-------------------
RJ Dial

Mendocino, CA


Richard Townsend
 

No, not safe to say. Meat reefers ran just about everywhere. Maybe only one at a time on branches, but they ran. 


On Apr 8, 2020, at 8:46 AM, radiodial868 <radiodial57@...> wrote:

So it is safe to say that meat reefers were not a west coast thing, say 1930's/1940's?  I have not seen any in period pictures, but doesn't mean they didn't exist.  I have a couple of Sylvan meat reefer kits I keep wondering if I should build to run on Western Pacific/Southern Pacific consists.
--
-------------------
RJ Dial

Mendocino, CA


Ted Schnepf
 

Hello Doug,

thanks for the chart. You better put the Milwaukee up there with the IC, in fact two years the Milw hauled more meat than the IC.

And in the east, the NYC modelers clearly need meat trains, leaving all other eastern railroads in the dust.

Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120


847=697-5353

On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 10:30:34 AM CDT, Douglas Harding <iowacentralrr@...> wrote:


The Nickle Plate handled a lot of meat because it was a fast route. Meat was time sensitive and the meat packers wanted their products delivered as quickly as possible. Out of Omaha, meat packers could choose between six different railroads to get to Omaha. All roads were given meat traffic, with each road having a specific day when they go the majority of traffic. As rates were regulated, this was how the packers kept the railroads on their toes with demands for speed. The Illinois Central was the preferred route as the IC moved the meat faster than others. The CBQ had the option of going to Peoria for eastern connections instead of Chicago. East out of Chicago, the NKP was the preferred routing for meat going to NYC or New England.

 

I am not as well versed in meat traffic east of Chicago. Attached is a spreadsheet prepared by John Greedy and Jim Singer, which shows the meat traffic east of Chicago on various roads in the 50s.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Schuyler Larrabee via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 10:04 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

Thanks, Doug, very interesting.  That routing reflects a close tie between the NKP and DL&W.  In the early days of mergers, the DL&W wanted to merge with the NKP, who declined.  I’ve never understood why – I would have thought the direct route into NYC would have been very tempting, but I also figure the NKP’s membership in the Van Sweringen-created AMC was a problem.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 10:56 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

 

Here is a slide from my meat trains clinic, showing the movement of a meat reefer from Omaha to Boston. It went CBQ, NKP, DL&W, L&HR, NH. This was the early 50s I believe.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


Douglas Harding
 

Meat packing plants in the West were located at Phoenix, Los Angeles (Vernon), South San Francisco, Sacramento,  Portland, Tacoma. Swift, Armour, Cudahy, Wilson all had plants out West. Tovrea, Swanston, Carstens, Nuckolls were regional packers who served the West. WWII created a huge demand for meat on the west coast, to feed the military and all the factory workers who migrated out there.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of radiodial868
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 10:46 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

So it is safe to say that meat reefers were not a west coast thing, say 1930's/1940's?  I have not seen any in period pictures, but doesn't mean they didn't exist.  I have a couple of Sylvan meat reefer kits I keep wondering if I should build to run on Western Pacific/Southern Pacific consists.
--
-------------------
RJ Dial

Mendocino, CA


Douglas Harding
 

Ted talk to Greedy and Singer, they created the chart, I just “borrowed” it.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ted Schnepf
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:15 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

Hello Doug,

thanks for the chart. You better put the Milwaukee up there with the IC, in fact two years the Milw hauled more meat than the IC.

And in the east, the NYC modelers clearly need meat trains, leaving all other eastern railroads in the dust.

Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120


847=697-5353

On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 10:30:34 AM CDT, Douglas Harding <iowacentralrr@...> wrote:

 

 

The Nickle Plate handled a lot of meat because it was a fast route. Meat was time sensitive and the meat packers wanted their products delivered as quickly as possible. Out of Omaha, meat packers could choose between six different railroads to get to Omaha. All roads were given meat traffic, with each road having a specific day when they go the majority of traffic. As rates were regulated, this was how the packers kept the railroads on their toes with demands for speed. The Illinois Central was the preferred route as the IC moved the meat faster than others. The CBQ had the option of going to Peoria for eastern connections instead of Chicago. East out of Chicago, the NKP was the preferred routing for meat going to NYC or New England.

 

I am not as well versed in meat traffic east of Chicago. Attached is a spreadsheet prepared by John Greedy and Jim Singer, which shows the meat traffic east of Chicago on various roads in the 50s.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Schuyler Larrabee via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 10:04 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

Thanks, Doug, very interesting.  That routing reflects a close tie between the NKP and DL&W.  In the early days of mergers, the DL&W wanted to merge with the NKP, who declined.  I’ve never understood why – I would have thought the direct route into NYC would have been very tempting, but I also figure the NKP’s membership in the Van Sweringen-created AMC was a problem.

 

Schuyler

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 10:56 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Meat reefers

 

 

Here is a slide from my meat trains clinic, showing the movement of a meat reefer from Omaha to Boston. It went CBQ, NKP, DL&W, L&HR, NH. This was the early 50s I believe.

 

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org