PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton


The Supplee-Wills-Jones Company had its headquarters and main plant in Philadelphia, Pa. The company operated multiple creameries along the PRR system in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware or along railroads that interchanged with the PRR.

Milk was transported in company-owned cars. These milk tank cars, although looking externally like reefers, actually contained two glass-lined tanks which were handled as an express car on train due to the timelines of transporting whole milk to creameries where it could be processed into various dairy products.

Though only nine cars were reported in 1946 (below), the fleet grew to 21.

On the Pennsy Middle Division, creameries were located at Lewistown, Huntingdon, and Bedford, I have been unable to locate any further details about the Lewistown operation, but there is a decent amount of info on the other two.

Empty milk cars for Huntingdon and Bedford were sent west on train #13, a Mail and Express train. Though photos are lacking, it has been said that the cars were at the back of the train, after the caboose, to expedite switching at Huntingdon.

Although the Pennsy had connectivity to Bedford via Altoona and the Bedford Branch, the cars were routed over the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad because it was a more direct route. The H&BTM delivered the Bedford car to Bedford via trackage rights on the Pennsy's short Mt. Dallas Branch.

hbtm37 bedford 19510000001 hbtm37 bedford 19510000002 

The loaded cars were picked up by the eastbound train # need train.

In 1954 the PRR outlawed hauling milk by long-haul rail and these cars were permanently removed from service.

The model specific prototype for Supplee Milk cars 4 through 9 have been produced by Athearn Roundhouse as their 40’ Pflauder Milk Car. Cars 1 through 3 were similar in dimension and weight, but had a peaked roof and exposed side sills. They can be built by modifying the Athearn car.

The “Supplee Milk” lettering was raised off the side of the car using an approximately 2” thick piece of metal.

Matthew Hurst, PRRT&HS, offers lettering cutouts to simulate the raised lettering, to be used in conjunction with decals from Mount Vernon Shops.