The Interchange series contains articles about railroads that interchanged with the Pennsy, including fleet statistics and paint schemes with era-appropriateness guidance. A few noteworthy or pertinent freelance model railroads are included.
As of December 31, 1950, the following quantities of stock cars were rostered in North America, according to the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). These "Top 10" owners represented more than 75 percent of the total.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (reporting mark ATSF), often referred to as the Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. The railroad officially ceased operations on December 31, 1996, when it merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.
Wilson and Company (WCLX) had packing plants throught the country. Wilson reefers fould be seen all over the United States deliverying their products for consumption in every corner of the country. Wilson operated their own fleet of refrigerator cars as well as a few stock cars and tank cars until the mid-1940s after which Wilson operated only refigerator cars. Wilson also leased refrigerator cars from Mather in 1931 and 1932. Wilson and Company also leased refrigerator cars to other small meat packers. The fleet reached its height in the mid-1950s with about 1500 cars.
Gregg Mahlkov writes "Fresh fruits and vegetables went to two types of consignees. The largest portion, by 1954, would have gone to grocery store chain warehouses, like Acme Markets of Philadelphia. The remainder would have gone to the "Pennsylvania Produce Terminals" in the larger cities, where it was sold by brokers who maintained offices and leased trackage in the terminal and sold to restaurants and independent grocery stores."
The Union Refrigerator Transit Line (URT) was a St. Louis, Missouri- and Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based private refrigerator car line established in 1895 by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. In 1929, the General American Tank Car Corporation acquired the URT and placed its rolling stock into lease service. URT continued to operate separately from General American until around 1970 when the company liquidated URT along with its outdated wooden reefer fleet.
Pacific Fruit Express (reporting mark PFE) was an American railroad refrigerator car leasing company that at one point was the largest refrigerator car operator in the world.
The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF). The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF).
Swift & Company (SRLX) traces it origins back to 1855 when 16-year-old Gustavus Franklin Swift, encouraged by his father, started in business for himself as a slaughterer, packager, and distributor of beef.
Swift saw his company grow into one of the nation's main meatpacking companies, with a reach throughout the United States. By 1900, it had also reached beyond national boundaries, opening shops in London, England. At home, the efforts of Swift and others helped transform Chicago into what poet Carl Sandburg styled "Hog-butcher to the World," that is, the world's largest slaughterhouse and meat-processing center.
Modernization was one key to the company's success. For example, in 1915 Swift implemented a "safety first" campaign, reducing plant-level industrial accidents by 50 percent. By that time, the company had also developed thriving side-line businesses, and though by 1920, under a consent decree, it was forced to dispose of some of them, it still offered various meat and byproduct items at company-owned outlets across the country. Swift had also diversified, branching out from beef to other meats, notably pork. According to its own 1915 company yearbook, Swift was offering a wide variety of products, including hams, sausage, bacon, chickens, eggs, butter, lard, shortening, oleomargarine, bouillon cubes, and various soaps (including scented toilet soaps). Despite being legally required to divest some of its sidelines, in 1920 the company still had sales exceeding $1.1 billion, and by 1922 its branch houses were still selling fresh, cured, and smoked meats, meat specialties, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, oleomargarine, lard, shortening, cooking and salad oils, and soaps.
The North Western Refrigerator Line (NWX) was a Chicago, Illinois-based private refrigerator car line established in 1924, one of the last such companies to be formed. Between 1924 and 1940 the company acquired more than 3,000 new wood refrigerator cars originally built by the American Car & Foundry Company, and leased the former Ringling Brothers Circus railroad car plant in Baraboo, Wisconsin to serve as a car shop.
The NWX was closely allied with the Chicago and North Western Railway as several officials also held positions at the C&NW. In 1946 the North American Car Company purchased the NWX, though all cars continued to carry the NWX reporting marks. During the 1950s the fleet was rebuilt at North American's Green Bay, Hudson, and Baraboo facilities. North American closed the Baraboo shops in December 1963 as new mechanical reefers were being purchased, and refurbishment of wood cars was no longer required. By 1978, only 25 NWX cars were left in service. When North American was taken over by General Electric Railcar in 1984, the few remaining cars were stored, and dismantled soon thereafter.
GE Capital Rail Services, also known as GE Railcar, or GE Railcar Services Corporation was a business unit of GE Capital, a division of General Electric. It is a distinct business unit from General Electric's railway locomotive manufacturer. GE Capital Rail Services, also known as GE Railcar, or GE Railcar Services Corporation was a business unit of GE Capital, a division of General Electric. It is a distinct business unit from General Electric's railway locomotive manufacturer.
GE Rail Services offers leases and manages railcars (railway wagons) for the North American market; its product range includes all types of common freight wagon including box, flat, covered and uncovered hopper (gondola), and tank wagons. The company also manages service and repair of wagons.
n 2015 GE Capital announced the sale of its tank car and services business to Marmon Holdings, and the remainder of the business (other wagons, locos) to First Union Rail.
In 1986 GE Railcar Services Corp. acquired the assets of North American Car Corp, a former rail leasing subsidiary of Tiger International which had become insolvent in 1984; GE acquired ~35000 rail wagons and 14 maintenance units in North America at a cost of $420 million.
The Mather Stock Car Company was a U.S. corporation that built railroad rolling stock. Mather specialized in stock cars, but built other types of cars as well, including boxcars. The company was headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Their main headquarters building, Mather Tower, built in 1928 in Chicago, still stands today. This building has the smallest floors of any of Chicago's skyscrapers.
Mather was founded by Alonzo C. Mather; the company's first stock car was built in 1880. As the 20th century dawned, Mather began leasing stock cars to the railroads that used them. Railroads of the time found it less expensive to lease stock cars than to purchase them outright or to build them. By the 1920s, Mather had expanded their fleet to include boxcars and refrigerator cars along with a few tank cars.
With the onset of the Great Depression in the US, Mather was one of a limited number of companies that saw profits in the 1930s. As railroads eliminated freight cars out of their own fleets, leasing companies such as Mather were able to step in and supply freight cars as needed.
The Merchants Despatch Transportation Company (MDT, also known as the Merchants Despatch Refrigerator Line) was established in 1857 or 1858 by the American Express Company of New York (then a freight forwarding service). The entity was reformed as a joint stock trading company on June 1, 1869, with ownership divided among the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway (CCC&I), the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, and the New York Central Railroad (NYC), all part of the Cornelius Vanderbilt rail empire.