West India Fruit Company Boxcars


Robert G P
 

Hello all,

Just curious if anyone could tell anything interesting or share photos (spotted in trains or on sidings/team tracks) of the WIF boxcars? 

I know they were used on Ferries between Fla and Cuba and that they had a few ex erie 36 foot steel and some late  AAR 8' door 40' boxcars. 

I also know they roamed everywhere from Fla to Canada and California. 



BillM
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert G P
Sent: January 14, 2022 9:03 PM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] West India Fruit Company Boxcars

 

Hello all,

 

Just curious if anyone could tell anything interesting or share photos (spotted in trains or on sidings/team tracks) of the WIF boxcars? 

 

I know they were used on Ferries between Fla and Cuba and that they had a few ex erie 36 foot steel and some late  AAR 8' door 40' boxcars. 

 

I also know they roamed everywhere from Fla to Canada and California. 

 

 


Jim Gates
 


200-349 built 1-52 ACF lot 3593. Yarmouth makes an HO resin kit https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-113.

100-199? 10 cars purchased 1949 from HPT&D 401-425 built 1929 by BCF. Sunshine made an HP resin kit. See attachment.

Jim Gates

On Friday, January 14, 2022, 08:03:35 PM CST, Robert G P <bobgp5109@...> wrote:


Hello all,

Just curious if anyone could tell anything interesting or share photos (spotted in trains or on sidings/team tracks) of the WIF boxcars? 

I know they were used on Ferries between Fla and Cuba and that they had a few ex erie 36 foot steel and some late  AAR 8' door 40' boxcars. 

I also know they roamed everywhere from Fla to Canada and California. 



Allan Smith
 

Try these:
Youtube: West India Fruit and Steamship Co.  Film
rrfallen flags.org
Wikipedia: Type West India Fruit & Steamship Co

RPC 29 P109-113
RPC 34 P172-174
Rail Model Journal Oct 1990 P52-58
Mainline Modeler 1988 P52-54

These should give you a start, although there are many other sources for WIF.

Al Smith
Sonora CA


On Friday, January 14, 2022, 07:14:33 PM PST, Jim Gates via groups.io <jim.gates@...> wrote:



200-349 built 1-52 ACF lot 3593. Yarmouth makes an HO resin kit https://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com/index.php/ResinModelKits/YMW-113.

100-199? 10 cars purchased 1949 from HPT&D 401-425 built 1929 by BCF. Sunshine made an HP resin kit. See attachment.

Jim Gates
On Friday, January 14, 2022, 08:03:35 PM CST, Robert G P <bobgp5109@...> wrote:


Hello all,

Just curious if anyone could tell anything interesting or share photos (spotted in trains or on sidings/team tracks) of the WIF boxcars? 

I know they were used on Ferries between Fla and Cuba and that they had a few ex erie 36 foot steel and some late  AAR 8' door 40' boxcars. 

I also know they roamed everywhere from Fla to Canada and California. 



Richard Brennan
 

...and Vancouver BC Canada:

WIF 106
https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/uploads/r/null/9/2/927329/41b0bb2a-a9bf-4ce9-85ad-d213a848aedb-A28963.jpg
Walter E Frost, Dec. 27, 1952

and with the well-remembered ship profile;
WIF 321
https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/uploads/r/null/9/2/927338/7658ec35-f30a-4588-a7a3-ceb33329747c-A28964.jpg
Walter E. Frost, Apr. 16, 1955

Hope this helps... I think they've both been linked to the list previously.

--------------------
Richard Brennan - San Leandro CA
--------------------

At 06:03 PM 1/14/2022, Robert G P via groups.io wrote:
Just curious if anyone could tell anything interesting or share photos (spotted in trains or on sidings/team tracks) of the WIF boxcars?

I know they were used on Ferries between Fla and Cuba and that they had a few ex erie 36 foot steel and some late AAR 8' door 40' boxcars.

I also know they roamed everywhere from Fla to Canada and California.


Robert G P
 

Thank you guys lots! Sure was an interesting company! I'll also join the Fruit group. Didnt know about it!

-Bob

On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 11:44 PM Richard Brennan <rbrennan@...> wrote:
...and Vancouver BC Canada:

WIF 106
https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/uploads/r/null/9/2/927329/41b0bb2a-a9bf-4ce9-85ad-d213a848aedb-A28963.jpg
Walter E Frost, Dec. 27, 1952

and with the well-remembered ship profile;
WIF 321
https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/uploads/r/null/9/2/927338/7658ec35-f30a-4588-a7a3-ceb33329747c-A28964.jpg
Walter E. Frost, Apr. 16, 1955

Hope this helps... I think they've both been linked to the list previously.

--------------------
Richard Brennan - San Leandro CA
--------------------

At 06:03 PM 1/14/2022, Robert G P via groups.io wrote:
>Just curious if anyone could tell anything interesting or share
>photos (spotted in trains or on sidings/team tracks) of the WIF boxcars?
>
>I know they were used on Ferries between Fla and Cuba and that they
>had a few ex erie 36 foot steel and some late  AAR 8' door 40' boxcars.
>
>I also know they roamed everywhere from Fla to Canada and California.








William Dale
 

I will have to check which book(s) these appear in, but they did come through Reading PA, of course on the Reading Company.

Billy


Bob Chaparro
 

Some photos.
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA


Jim Betz
 

Hi,
  I've always referred to the W.I.F. cars as "Banana Boxes".  *G*
                                                                                                                - Jim


reubeft
 

WIF had a truck marshalling yard in New Orleans.  Site was close to the T&P/ MP Race St. yard.  At one time had a B/W picture of one of the carriers leaning on its side waiting to be scrapped. 
Either Port of Palm Beach or Port Everglades website, can't  remember which had a nice pic of an outside braced WIF car.  Did download it.  Will look on my external drive for it.
SIDE NOTE:
United Fruit or Standard Fruit attempted to grow bananas in Cuba.  Was never successful.  But have seen many promotional postcards, etc., of these vessels steaming in and out Cuba.
The SeaTrain gantry in Belle Chasse south of New Orleans stopped operations in the early 60's.  The gantry was talked down in the early 2000's.  Only the two concrete piers and some trestle remains.  SeaTrain Lane (road) only thing remaining.
Reuben @ Poplarville, Ms


Robert G P
 

Sounds neat, never did see a WIF outside braced car!


On Sat, Jan 15, 2022 at 11:32 PM reubeft via groups.io <reubeft=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
WIF had a truck marshalling yard in New Orleans.  Site was close to the T&P/ MP Race St. yard.  At one time had a B/W picture of one of the carriers leaning on its side waiting to be scrapped. 
Either Port of Palm Beach or Port Everglades website, can't  remember which had a nice pic of an outside braced WIF car.  Did download it.  Will look on my external drive for it.
SIDE NOTE:
United Fruit or Standard Fruit attempted to grow bananas in Cuba.  Was never successful.  But have seen many promotional postcards, etc., of these vessels steaming in and out Cuba.
The SeaTrain gantry in Belle Chasse south of New Orleans stopped operations in the early 60's.  The gantry was talked down in the early 2000's.  Only the two concrete piers and some trestle remains.  SeaTrain Lane (road) only thing remaining.
Reuben @ Poplarville, Ms


Jack Mullen
 

On Sat, Jan 15, 2022 at 05:25 PM, Jim Betz wrote:
  I've always referred to the W.I.F. cars as "Banana Boxes".  *G*
Surely "Cigar Boxes" is a better fit for Havana. ;^)

Jack Mullen


Michael Palmieri
 

Just to add to what others have posted, in 1954 WIF acquired the SEATRAIN NEW ORLEANS, renamed it SEA LEVEL, and began operating it between the Seatrain terminal along the Mississippi River and the Missouri Pacific just south of New Orleans and Havana.  An article in the 2 June 1961 New York Times reported that all six WIF train ferries were for sale. 


Mike Palmieri - FOrt Worth, Texas


BillM
 

I grew up in Lake Worth, FL just south of WPB. I remember being at the beach in mid to late 50s and we could see the car ferries just off shore as they were either leaving or coming into the Port of Palm Beach.

 

Bill Michael

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Michael Palmieri
Sent: January 16, 2022 3:10 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] West India Fruit Company Boxcars

 

Just to add to what others have posted, in 1954 WIF acquired the SEATRAIN NEW ORLEANS, renamed it SEA LEVEL, and began operating it between the Seatrain terminal along the Mississippi River and the Missouri Pacific just south of New Orleans and Havana.  An article in the 2 June 1961 New York Times reported that all six WIF train ferries were for sale.


Mike Palmieri - FOrt Worth, Texas


Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, Jan 16, 2022 at 12:10 PM, Michael Palmieri wrote:
Just to add to what others have posted, in 1954 WIF acquired the SEATRAIN NEW ORLEANS, renamed it SEA LEVEL, and began operating it between the Seatrain terminal along the Mississippi River and the Missouri Pacific just south of New Orleans and Havana. 
That may explain why and when the ship outline used in the herald changed. See message 189651 for examples. What I think was the earlier herald has a ship with a vertical prow and a longer superstructure, the later ship was much more streamlined. All the wood reefers I've seen photos had the more streamlined ship.

Dennis Storzek


Robert G P
 

That is correct Dennis, also the green paint appeared in the late 50's. 


On Sun, Jan 16, 2022 at 5:03 PM Dennis Storzek <dennis@...> wrote:
On Sun, Jan 16, 2022 at 12:10 PM, Michael Palmieri wrote:
Just to add to what others have posted, in 1954 WIF acquired the SEATRAIN NEW ORLEANS, renamed it SEA LEVEL, and began operating it between the Seatrain terminal along the Mississippi River and the Missouri Pacific just south of New Orleans and Havana. 
That may explain why and when the ship outline used in the herald changed. See message 189651 for examples. What I think was the earlier herald has a ship with a vertical prow and a longer superstructure, the later ship was much more streamlined. All the wood reefers I've seen photos had the more streamlined ship.

Dennis Storzek


Michael Palmieri
 

WIF began service between Port Everglades and Havana in 1946, then moved to West Palm Beach in 1947.  Operation began with the former Grand Trunk Western ferry GRAND HAVEN, then it acquired former FEC HENRY M. FLAGLER (USN KEOKUK) and JOSEPH R. PARROTT (USN SHAWMUT) from the U.S. Government in 1947.

 

WIF’s first new vessel, the NEW GRAND HAVEN, was completed in May 1951, then it acquired the SEATRAIN NEW ORLEANS in 1954, renamed it SEA LEVEL, and began operating it between New Orleans and Havana, replacing former Sea-Train service.  In March 1956 WIF began operating an automobile ferry between Key West and Havana using the CITY OF HAVANA, a former LSD which had been used by the Royal Navy under the Lend-Lease program during WWII.

 

 

The last addition was the oddly-named CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, oddly-named because it was a stern loader and could not operate out of New Orleans!  It was delivered in August 1959, shortly after Fidel Castro came into power, and it made less than 100 trips to Cuba.  After normal service ended, WIF was able to repatriate about 900 of the 1,000 American freight cars on the island before all service ended and the company went out of business.  WIF’s reporting marks were deleted from the Official Railway Equipment Register in April 1961.

Mike Palmieri - Fort Worth, Texas


ed_mines
 

Ted Cullotta offers a kit for the Erie cars you mentioned and there's a photo of one of these cars with WIF markings in one of his books.
Attached photos are from fallen flags.


Robert G P
 

Thank you guys so much for the extra info! I love the histories of the Vessels themselves! 

-Bob G.P

On Wed, Jan 19, 2022 at 7:45 PM ed_mines via groups.io <ed_mines=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Ted Cullotta offers a kit for the Erie cars you mentioned and there's a photo of one of these cars with WIF markings in one of his books.
Attached photos are from fallen flags.


Robert G P
 

That last paragraph answers a longtime Q of mine. I wonder what cars were left down there, and if any survive today?

Thanks again,
Bob

On Wed, Jan 19, 2022 at 8:26 PM Robert G P <bobgp5109@...> wrote:
Thank you guys so much for the extra info! I love the histories of the Vessels themselves! 

-Bob G.P

On Wed, Jan 19, 2022 at 7:45 PM ed_mines via groups.io <ed_mines=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Ted Cullotta offers a kit for the Erie cars you mentioned and there's a photo of one of these cars with WIF markings in one of his books.
Attached photos are from fallen flags.