PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

The Armour Refrigerator Line (ARL, one of the Armour Car Lines) was a private refrigerator car line established in 1883 by Chicago meat packer Philip Armour, the founder of Armour and Company.

To get his products to market, Armour followed the lead of rivals George Hammond and Gustavus Swift when he established the Armour Refrigerator Line in 1883. Armour's endeavor soon became the largest private refrigerator car fleet in America. By 1900, the company listed over 12,000 units on its roster (one-third of all the privately owned cars in the country), all built in Armour's own car plant.

One of the Armour Car Lines' subsidiaries was dedicated to produce hauling. In 1919 the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company's sale for antitrust reasons. On March 18 of the following year the new entity, to be known as Fruit Growers Express (FGE), would take with it 4,280 pieces of rolling stock, repairs shops at Alexandria, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, and numerous ice plants and other facilities scattered throughout the East Coast.

Notable Number Series

Series 1-2000 were built by General American Transportation Company (GATC) in 1948-49. Some of these cars were rebuilt by Pacific Car & Foundry in 1956. These ARLX cars were internally classified as RAM -- Refrigerator car, Brine tank, Meat rails.

Series 4000-4399 were leased from Packers Car Line and bore the reporting marks PCX. The cars were built circa 1957.

Series 12000-12599 were leased from American Refrigerator Transit (ART) and were built in 1954 by Pacific Car & Foundry. These cars bore the TRAX reporting mark.

Series 13000-13014 were built by Pacific Car & Foundry in 1957 and bore the reporting mark TRAX. Its internal classification was RSM -- Refrigerator car, Ice bunkers, and Meat rails.

Paint Schemes


ARLX Armour

Built 1939, delivery scheme

GARX 37' Meat Reefer