The Pennsy Modeler

In order to portray Pennsylvania Railroad and interchange partners as accurately as possible, this blog contains articles which are essentially notes to myself, but are shared should the community desire the same information.

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BurlingtonrouteThe Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (reporting mark CBQ) was a railroad that operated in the Midwestern United States. Commonly referred to as the Burlington or as the Q, the Burlington Route served a large area, including extensive trackage in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and also in New Mexico and Texas through subsidiaries Colorado and Southern Railway, Fort Worth and Denver Railway, and Burlington-Rock Island Railroad. Its primary connections included Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver. Because of this extensive trackage in the midwest and mountain states, the railroad used the advertising slogans "Everywhere West", "Way of the Zephyrs", and "The Way West". It merged into Burlington Northern in 1970.

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Southern Railway Logo February 1970The Southern Railway (reporting mark SOU) (also known as Southern Railway Company and now known as the current incarnation of the Norfolk Southern Railway) is a name of a class 1 railroad that was based in the Southern United States. The railroad is the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined beginning in the 1830s, formally becoming the Southern Railway in 1894.

The railroad joined forces with the Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W) in 1982 to form the Norfolk Southern Corporation. The Norfolk Southern Corporation was created in response to the creation of the CSX Corporation (its rail system was later transformed to CSX Transportation in 1986). The Southern Railway was renamed to the current Norfolk Southern Railway in 1990 and continued under that name ever since. Seven years later in 1997 the former Southern Railway absorbed the Norfolk and Western Railway, ending the Norfolk and Western's existence.

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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).

In 1923, the Western Pacific Railroad joined the venture by leasing its own new fleet of 2775 reefers to PFE. They were painted in standard PFE colors with only WP heralds on the cars instead of the paired UP-SP markings. The WP cars were all retired by the late 1950s, among the last wooden reefers in PFE's fleet. WP ended its partnership with PFE in late 1967 and joined Fruit Growers Express instead.

PFE's assets were divided between the UP and SP when the company was split on April 1, 1978. It is now a UP subsidiary.

26112317 1755315457846263 2561109220760873648 nBurlington Refrigerator Express (BREX) was a railroad refrigerator car leasing company that was formed on May 1, 1926 as a joint venture between the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) and the Fruit Growers Express Company. The move helped the FGE expand its business into the Pacific Northwest, and added almost 2,700 ice bunker units to the existing car pool already under lease by the Burlington to the FGE and Western Fruit Express (WFE).

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Western Fruit Express (WFE) was a railroad refrigerator car leasing company formed by the Fruit Growers Express and the Great Northern Railway on July 18, 1923 in order to compete with the Pacific Fruit Express and Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch in the Western United States. The arrangement added 3,000 cars to the FGE's existing equipment pool. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (BNSF), the Great Northern's successor.

The success of the WFE led to the creation of the Burlington Refrigerator Express (BREX) in May 1926.

reefer train.jpgAs of 1954, the PRR's "Makeup of Trains" consist books list show only PRR reefers used in the creation of passenger trains. With few exceptions, class R50b is prescribed. Videos and photos, however, show Railway Express Agency reefers in use as well, though to a lesser extent.

The following table was created from data contained in The Official Railway Equipment Register.

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Fruit Growers Express (FGE) was a railroad refrigerator car leasing company that began as a produce-hauling subsidiary of Armour and Company's private refrigerator car line. Its customers complained they were overcharged. In 1919 the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company's sale for anti-trust reasons. Fruit Growers Express was incorporated in Delaware on March 18, 1920 -- based out of Washington, D.C. -- to provide a shared reefer pool for the benefit of the ACL, B&O, PRR and Southern Railroads. Additional railroads later joined -- New Haven and N&W (1920), L&N and FEC (1923), C&O (1927), NYO&J (1931), and Pere Marquette (1940). (This list may not be all-inclusive.)

In order to compete with the Pacific Fruit Express and Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch in the west, FGE and the Great Northern Railway formed the Western Fruit Express (WFE) on July 18, 1923, a move that added 3,000 cars to the equipment pool. By 1926, FGE had expanded its service into the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest through the WFE and the Burlington Refrigerator Express (BREX), its other partly owned subsidiary (formed in partnership with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) on May 1). That same year, FGE purchased 2,676 36-foot-long (11 m) reefers from the Pennsylvania Railroad.In order to compete with the Pacific Fruit Express and Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch in the west, FGE and the Great Northern Railway formed the Western Fruit Express (WFE) on July 18, 1923, a move that added 3,000 cars to the equipment pool. By 1926, FGE had expanded its service into the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest through the WFE and the Burlington Refrigerator Express (BREX), its other partly owned subsidiary (formed in partnership with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) on May 1). That same year, FGE purchased 2,676 36-foot-long (11 m) reefers from the Pennsylvania Railroad.

In February, 1928 FGE formed the National Car Company as a subsidiary to service the meat transportation market. Customers included Kahns, Oscar Mayer, and Rath Packing.

The company is now controlled by the CSX Corporation.

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In HO scale, the X37, X37A, and X37B box cars are available as resin kits from Funaro & Camerlengo. In addition to the decals in the kits, Mount Vernon Shops offers decals for the series. Kits were once offered by Sunshine Models, now out of business.

Interestingly, the three X37 sub-classes had different interior heights. The X37 was 10'4", the X37A 10'6", and the X37B 10'8".

26001334 1755336301177512 4600953790711396682 nThe Railway Express Agency (founded as American Railway Express Agency; later, American Railway Express Inc.) was a national package delivery service that operated in the United States from 1918 to 1975. REA arranged transport and delivery via existing railroad infrastructure, much as today's UPS or DHL companies use roads and air transport. It was created through the forced consolidation of existing services into a federal near-monopoly to ensure the rapid and safe movement of parcels, money, and goods during World War I.

REA ceased operations in 1975, when its business model ceased to be viable.

 WALTH 5885

Bob Johnson's comments, as coordinator of the archives of the PRRT&HS:

a - As built the cars were painted with Tuscan Red body, Metallic Brown roof, Olive trucks and underbody equipment, Black handholds and ironwork (underframe and sill steps), and Gold Leaf lettering edged with a 1/16" Black line. Side lettering included a 6" high "PENNSYLVANIA", 6" car number with figures spaced 1 1/2" apart, 4" high "AMERICAN RAILWAY EXPRESS", and 4" high "REFRIGERATOR". End lettering was 4" high "P.R.R." and car number. Lettering style was the older Block Type with coved letters "P", "S", "R", "C" and "G".

b - On 4-4-1929 "AMERICAN RAILWAY EXPRESS" was changed to "RAILWAY EXPRESS AGENCY, INC." It's possible that the last few cars built received this lettering as built. I haven't seen any photos showing this style.

c - On 10-15-1929 the lettering was simplified to "RAILWAY EXPRESS AGENCY".

d - On 8-14-1930 the end numbers were removed.

e - On 10-21-1930 the side numerals were spaced 2 3/8" apart and the 4" lettering was spaced wider.

f - On 7-9-1936 the lettering was changed from Gold Leaf to Buff Lettering Color, still edged with Black. I believe this is Walthers 5881 (below), "prewar", except I'm not sure about the black edging.