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Refrigerator car

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A refrigerator car is a refrigerated
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

 boxcar
Boxcar
A boxcar is a railroad car that is enclosed and generally used to carry general freight. The boxcar, while not the simplest freight car design, is probably the most versatile, since it can carry most loads...

 (U.S.), a piece of railroad rolling stock
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

 designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Refrigerator cars differ from simple insulated
Thermal insulation
Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

 boxcars and ventilated
Ventilation (architecture)
Ventilating is the process of "changing" or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality...

 boxcars (commonly used for transporting fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

), neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus. Reefers can be ice
Ice
Ice is water frozen into the solid state. Usually ice is the phase known as ice Ih, which is the most abundant of the varying solid phases on the Earth's surface. It can appear transparent or opaque bluish-white color, depending on the presence of impurities or air inclusions...

-cooled
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

, come equipped with any one of a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems, or utilize carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

(either as dry ice
Dry ice
Dry ice, sometimes referred to as "Cardice" or as "card ice" , is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is used primarily as a cooling agent. Its advantages include lower temperature than that of water ice and not leaving any residue...

, or in liquid form) as a cooling agent. Milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 cars (and other types of "express" reefers) may or may not include a cooling system, but are equipped with high-speed trucks
Bogie
A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

 and other modifications that allow them to travel with passenger trains
Train
A train is a connected series of vehicles for rail transport that move along a track to transport cargo or passengers from one place to another place. The track usually consists of two rails, but might also be a monorail or maglev guideway.Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate...

.

Application


Reefer applications can be divided into five broad groups listed below:-
  1. dairy
    Dairy
    A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting of animal milk—mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffalo, sheep, horses or camels —for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned...

     and poultry
    Poultry
    Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

     producers require refrigeration and special interior racks;
  2. fruit
    Fruit
    In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

     and vegetable
    Vegetable
    The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

     reefers tend to see seasonal use, and are generally used for long-distance shipping (for some shipments, only ventilation is necessary to remove the heat created by the ripening process);
  3. manufactured
    Manufacturing
    Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

     food
    Food
    Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

    s (such as canned goods
    Canning
    Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as...

     and candy
    Candy
    Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added...

    ) as well as beer
    Beer
    Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

     and wine
    Wine
    Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

     do not require refrigeration, but do need the protection of an insulated car;
  4. meat reefers come equipped with specialized beef rails for handling sides of meat, and brine
    Brine
    Brine is water, saturated or nearly saturated with salt .Brine is used to preserve vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat, in a process known as brining . Brine is also commonly used to age Halloumi and Feta cheeses, or for pickling foodstuffs, as a means of preserving them...

    -tank refrigeration to provide lower temperatures (most of these units are either owned or leased by meat packing firms); and,
  5. fish
    Fish
    Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

     and seafood
    Seafood
    Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...

     is transported, packed in wooden or foam polystyrene boxes with crushed ice, generally without the use of ice bunkers.

Background


After the end of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Chicago, Illinois emerged as a major railway center for the distribution
Distribution (business)
Product distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. An organization or set of organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user.The other three parts of the marketing mix are product, pricing,...

 of livestock raised on the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 to Eastern markets. Transporting the animals to market required herds to be driven up to 1200 miles (1,931.2 km) to railhead
Railhead
The word railhead is a railway term with two distinct meanings, depending upon its context.Sometimes, particularly in the context of modern freight terminals, the word is used to denote a terminus of a railway line, especially if the line is not yet finished, or if the terminus interfaces with...

s in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, where they were loaded into specialized stock car
Stock car (rail)
In railroad terminology, a stock car or cattle wagon is a type of rolling stock used for carrying livestock to market...

s and transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

ed live ("on-the-hoof") to regional processing centers. Driving cattle across the plains also caused tremendous weight loss, with some animals dying in transit.

Upon arrival at the local processing facility, livestock were either slaughter
Animal slaughter
Slaughter is the term used to describe the killing and butchering of animals, usually for food. Commonly it refers to killing and butchering of domestic livestock ....

ed by wholesalers and delivered fresh to nearby butcher shops for retail sale, smoked, or packed for shipment in barrels of salt. Costly inefficiencies were inherent in transporting live animals by rail, particularly the fact that about sixty percent of the animal's mass is inedible. The death of animals weakened by the long drive further increased the per-unit shipping cost. Meat packer Gustavus Swift
Gustavus Franklin Swift
Gustavus Franklin Swift founded a meat-packing empire in the Midwest during the late 19th century, over which he presided until his death...

 sought a way to ship dressed meats from his Chicago packing plant to eastern markets.

Early attempts at refrigerated transport


During the mid-19th century, attempts were made to ship agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 products by rail. As early as 1842, the Western Railroad of Massachusetts was reported in the June 15 edition of the Boston Traveler to be experimenting with innovative freight car designs capable of carrying all types of perishable goods without spoilage. The first refrigerated boxcar entered service in June 1851, on the Northern Railroad (New York) (or NRNY, which later became part of the Rutland Railroad
Rutland Railroad
The Rutland Railway was a small railroad in the northeastern United States, primarily in the state of Vermont but extending into the state of New York. The earliest ancestor of the Rutland, the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, was chartered in 1843 by the state of Vermont to build between Rutland...

). This "icebox on wheels" was a limited success since it was only functional in cold weather. That same year, the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad (O&LC) began shipping butter to Boston in purpose-built freight cars, utilizing ice for cooling.

The first consignment of dressed beef left the Chicago stock yards
Union Stock Yards
The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or The Yards, was the meat packing district in Chicago for over a century starting in 1865. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired swampland, and turned it to a centralized processing area...

 in 1857 in ordinary boxcar
Boxcar
A boxcar is a railroad car that is enclosed and generally used to carry general freight. The boxcar, while not the simplest freight car design, is probably the most versatile, since it can carry most loads...

s retrofitted with bins filled with ice. Placing meat directly against ice resulted in discoloration and affected the taste, proving to be impractical. During the same period Swift experimented by moving cut meat using a string of ten boxcars with their doors removed, and made a few test shipments to New York during the winter months over the Grand Trunk Railway
Grand Trunk Railway
The Grand Trunk Railway was a railway system which operated in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, as well as the American states of Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The railway was operated from headquarters in Montreal, Quebec; however, corporate...

 (GTR). The method proved too limited to be practical.

Detroit's
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

 William Davis patented a refrigerator car that employed metal racks to suspend the carcasses above a frozen mixture of ice and salt. In 1868, he sold the design to George H. Hammond, a Detroit meat packer, who built a set of cars to transport his products to Boston using ice from the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 for cooling. The load had the tendency of swinging to one side when the car entered a curve at high speed, and use of the units was discontinued after several derailments. In 1878 Swift hired engineer Andrew Chase to design a ventilated car that was well insulated, and positioned the ice in a compartment at the top of the car, allowing the chilled air to flow naturally downward. The meat was packed tightly at the bottom of the car to keep the center of gravity
Center of gravity
In physics, a center of gravity of a material body is a point that may be used for a summary description of gravitational interactions. In a uniform gravitational field, the center of mass serves as the center of gravity...

 low and to prevent the cargo from shifting. Chase's design proved to be a practical solution, providing temperature-controlled carriage of dressed meats, This allowed Swift and Company to ship their products across the United States and internationally.

Swift's attempts to sell Chase's design to major railroads were rebuffed, as the companies feared that they would jeopardize their considerable investments in stock cars
Stock car (rail)
In railroad terminology, a stock car or cattle wagon is a type of rolling stock used for carrying livestock to market...

, animal pens, and feedlots if refrigerated meat transport gained wide acceptance. In response, Swift financed the initial production run on his own, then — when the American roads refused his business — he contracted with the GTR (a railroad that derived little income from transporting live cattle) to haul the cars into Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 and then eastward through Canada. In 1880 the Peninsular Car Company
Peninsular Car Company
The Peninsular Car Company was a railroad rolling stock manufacturer, founded by Charles L. Freer and Frank J. Hecker in 1885.In 1892, the company merged with Michigan Car Company, the Russel Wheel and Foundry Company, the Detroit Car Wheel Company and several smaller manufacturers to form the...

 (subsequently purchased by ACF) delivered the first of these units to Swift, and the Swift Refrigerator Line (SRL) was created. Within a year, the Line's roster had risen to nearly 200 units, and Swift was transporting an average of 3,000 carcasses a week to Boston, Massachusetts. Competing firms such as Armour and Company
Armour and Company
Armour & Company was an American slaughterhouse and meatpacking company founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1867 by the Armour brothers, led by Philip Danforth Armour. By 1880, the company was Chicago's most important business and helped make the city and its Union Stock Yards the center of the...

 quickly followed suit. By 1920, the SRL owned and operated 7,000 of the ice-cooled rail cars. The General American Transportation Corporation
General American Transportation Corporation
GATX Corporation is an equipment finance company based in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1898, GATX's primary activities consist of railcar operating leasing in North America and Europe...

 would assume ownership of the line in 1930.
Live cattle and dressed beef deliveries to New York (short ton
Short ton
The short ton is a unit of mass equal to . In the United States it is often called simply ton without distinguishing it from the metric ton or the long ton ; rather, the other two are specifically noted. There are, however, some U.S...

s):
(Stock Cars) (Refrigerator Cars)
  Year   Live Cattle   Dressed Beef
  1882 366,487 2,633
  1883 392,095 16,365
  1884 328,220 34,956
  1885 337,820 53,344
  1886 280,184 69,769


The subject cars travelled on the Erie
Erie Railroad
The Erie Railroad was a railroad that operated in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, originally connecting New York City with Lake Erie...

, Lackawanna
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company was a railroad connecting Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley, rich in anthracite coal, to Hoboken, New Jersey, , Buffalo and Oswego, New York...

, New York Central
New York Central Railroad
The New York Central Railroad , known simply as the New York Central in its publicity, was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States...

, and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 railroads.


Source: Railway Review, January 29, 1887, p. 62.

19th Century American Refrigerator Cars:
  Year   Private Lines   Railroads   Total
  1880 1,000 est. 310 1,310 est.
  1885 5,010 est. 990 6,000 est.
  1890 15,000 est. 8,570 23,570 est.
  1895 21,000 est 7,040 28,040 est.
  1900 54,000 est. 14,500 68,500 est.


Source: Poor's Manual of Railroads and ICC
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission was a regulatory body in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers, including...

 and U.S. Census reports.

The "Ice Age"


The use of ice to refrigerate and preserve food dates back to prehistoric times. Through the ages, the seasonal harvesting of snow and ice was a regular practice of many cultures. China, Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, and Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 stored ice and snow in caves or dugouts lined with straw or other insulating materials. Rationing of the ice allowed the preservation of foods during hot periods, a practice that was successfully employed for centuries. For most of the 19th century, natural ice (harvested from ponds and lakes) was used to supply refrigerator cars. At high altitudes or northern latitudes, one foot tanks were often filled with water and allowed to freeze. Ice was typically cut into blocks during the winter and stored in insulated warehouses for later use, with sawdust and hay packed around the ice blocks to provide additional insulation. A late-19th century wood-bodied reefer required re-icing every 250 miles (402.3 km) to 400 miles (643.7 km).
By the turn of the 20th century, manufactured ice became more common. The Pacific Fruit Express
Pacific Fruit Express
Pacific Fruit Express was a 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...

 (PFE), for example, maintained seven natural harvesting facilities, and operated 18 artificial ice plants. Their largest plant (located in Roseville, California
Roseville, California
-2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Roseville had a population of 118,788. The population density was 3,279.4 people per square mile...

) produced 1200 short tons (1,088.6 t) of ice daily, and Roseville's docks could accommodate up to 254 cars. At the industry's peak, 1300000 short tons (1,179,340.2 t) of ice was produced for refrigerator car use annually.

"Top Icing"


Top icing is the practice of placing a 2 inches (50.8 mm) to 4 inches (101.6 mm) layer of crushed ice on top of agricultural products that have high respiration rates, need high relative humidity, and benefit from having the cooling agent sit directly atop the load (or within individual boxes). Cars with pre-cooled fresh produce were top iced just before shipment. Top icing added considerable dead weight to the load. Top-icing a 40 feet (12.2 m) reefer required in excess of 10000 pounds (4,535.9 kg) of ice. It had been postulated that as the ice melts, the resulting chilled water would trickle down through the load to continue the cooling process. It was found, however, that top-icing only benefited the uppermost layers of the cargo, and that the water from the melting ice often passed through spaces between the cartons and pallets with little or no cooling effect. It was ultimately determined that top-icing is useful only in preventing an increase in temperature, and was eventually discontinued.
The typical service cycle for an ice-cooled produce reefer (generally handled as a part of a block of cars):
  1. The cars were cleaned with hot water or steam.
  2. Depending on the cargo, the cars might have undergone four hours of "pre-cooling" prior to loading, which entailed blowing in cold air through one ice hatch and allowing the warmer air to be expelled through the other hatches. The practice, dating back almost to the inception of the refrigerator car, saved ice and resulted in fresher cargo.
  3. The cars' ice bunkers were filled, either manually from an icing dock, via mechanical loading equipment, or (in locations where demand for ice was sporadic) using specially designed field icing cars.
  4. The cars were delivered to the shipper for loading, and the ice was topped-off.
  5. Depending on the cargo and destination, the cars may have been fumigated.
  6. The train would depart for the eastern markets.
  7. The cars were reiced in transit approximately once a day.
  8. Upon reaching their destination, the cars were unloaded.
  9. If in demand, the cars would be returned to their point of origin empty. If not in demand, the cars would be cleaned and possibly used for a dry shipment.

Refrigerator cars required effective insulation to protect their contents from temperature extremes. "Hairfelt
Felt
Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size....

" derived from compressed cattle hair, sandwiched into the floor and walls of the car, was inexpensive, yet flawed  over its three- to four-year service life it would decay, rotting out the car's wooden partitions and tainting the cargo with a foul odor. The higher cost of other materials such as "Linofelt" (woven from flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 fibers) or cork
Cork (material)
Cork is an impermeable, buoyant material, a prime-subset of bark tissue that is harvested for commercial use primarily from Quercus suber , which is endemic to southwest Europe and northwest Africa...

 prevented their widespread adoption. Synthetic materials such as fiberglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

 and polystyrene
Polystyrene
Polystyrene ) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry...

 foam, both introduced after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, offered the most cost-effective and practical solution.

Mechanical refrigeration


In the latter half of the 20th century, mechanical refrigeration began to replace ice-based systems. Soon after, mechanical refrigeration units replaced the "armies" of personnel required to re-ice the cars. The plug door
Plug door
A plug door is a door designed to seal itself by taking advantage of pressure difference on its two sides and is typically used on pressurised aircraft...

 was introduced experimentally by P.F.E. (Pacific Fruit Express) in April 1947, when one of their R-40-10 series cars, #42626, was equipped with one. P.F.E.'s R-40-26 series reefers, designed in 1949 and built in 1951, were the first production series cars to be so equipped. In addition, the Santa Fe Railroad first used plug doors on their SFRD RR-47 series cars, which were also built in 1951. This type of door provided a larger six foot openingto facilitate car loading and unloading. These tight-fitting doors were better insulated and could maintain an even temperature inside the car. By the mid-1970s, the few remaining ice bunker cars were relegated to "top-ice" service, where crushed ice was applied atop the commodity.

Cryogenic refrigeration


The Topeka, Kansas
Topeka, Kansas
Topeka |Kansa]]: Tó Pee Kuh) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was...

 shops of the Santa Fe Railway built five experimental refrigerator cars employing liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen
Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state at a very low temperature. It is produced industrially by fractional distillation of liquid air. Liquid nitrogen is a colourless clear liquid with density of 0.807 g/mL at its boiling point and a dielectric constant of 1.4...

 as the cooling agent in 1965. A mist induced by liquified nitrogen was released throughout the car if the temperature rose above a pre-determined level. Each car carried 3000 pounds (1,360.8 kg) of refrigerant and could maintain a temperature of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

 (−30 °C). During the 1990s, a few railcar manufacturers experimented with the use of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) as a cooling agent. The move was in response to rising fuel costs, and was an attempt to eliminate the standard mechanical refrigeration systems that required periodic maintenance. The CO2 system can keep the cargo frozen solid as long as 14 to 16 days.

Several hundred "cryogenic" refrigerator cars were placed in service transporting frozen foodstuffs, though they failed to gain wide acceptance (due, in part, to the rising cost of liquid carbon dioxide). Because cryogenic refrigeration is a proven technology and environmentally friendly, the rising price of fuel and the increased availability of carbon dioxide from Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

-induced capturing techniques may lead to a resurgence in cryogenic railcar usage.

Aluminum and stainless steel


In 1946, the Pacific Fruit Express procured from the Consolidated Steel Corporation
Consolidated Steel Corporation
Consolidated Steel Corporation was an American steel and shipbuilding business. Consolidated built ships during World War II in two locations: Wilmington, California and Orange, Texas...

 of Wilmington, California two 40 feet (12.2 m) aluminum-bodied ventilator refrigerator cars, to compare the durability of the lightweight alloy versus that of steel. It was hoped that weight savings (the units weighed almost 10000 lb (4,536 kg) less than a like-sized all-steel car) and better corrosion resistance would offset the higher initial cost. One of the aluminum car bodies was manufactured by Alcoa
Alcoa
Alcoa Inc. is the world's third largest producer of aluminum, behind Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal. From its operational headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alcoa conducts operations in 31 countries...

 (PFE #44739), while the other was built by the Reynolds Aluminum Company
Reynolds Metals
Reynolds Group Holdings is an American packaging company with its roots in the Reynolds Metals Company, was the second largest aluminum company in the United States, and the third largest in the world...

 (PFE #45698).

The cars (outfitted with state-of-the-art fiberglass insulation and axle-driven fans for internal air circulation) traveled throughout the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific systems, where they were displayed to promote PFE's post-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 modernization. Though both units remained in service over 15 years (#45698 was destroyed in a wreck in May 1962, while #44739 was scrapped in 1966), no additional aluminum reefers were constructed, cost being the likely reason. Also in 1946, the Consolidated Steel delivered the world's only stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

 reefer to the Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch. The 40 feet (12.2 m) car was equipped with convertible ice bunkers, side ventilation ducts, and axle-driven circulation fans. It was thought that stainless steel would better resist the corrosive deterioration resulting from salting the ice.
The one-of-a-kind unit entered service as #13000, but was subsequently redesignated as #1300, and later given #4150 in 1955.

#4150 spent most of its life in express service. Cost was cited as the reason no additional units were ordered. The car was dismantled at Clovis, New Mexico
Clovis, New Mexico
Clovis is the county seat of Curry County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 32,667 at the 2000 census; according to 2010 Census Bureau estimates, the population had risen to 37,775....

 in February 1964.

"Depression Baby"


During the 1930s, the North American Car Company produced a one-of-a-kind, four-wheeled ice bunker reefer intended to serve the needs of specialized shippers who did not generate sufficient product to fill a full-sized refrigerator car. NADX #10000 was a 22 feet (6.71 m)-long, all-steel car that resembled the forty-and-eights used in Europe during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The prototype weighed 13.5 ST (12.2 t; 12.1 LT) and was outfitted with a 1500 lb (680.4 kg) ice bunker at each end. The car was leased to Hormel
Hormel
Hormel Foods Corporation is a food company based in southeastern Minnesota , perhaps best known as the producer of Spam luncheon meat. The company was founded as George A. Hormel & Company in Austin, Minnesota, U.S., by George A. Hormel in 1891. The company changed its name to Hormel Foods...

 and saw service between Chicago, Illinois and the southern United States. The concept failed to gain acceptance with eastern railroads and no additional units were built.

Dry ice


The Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch (SFRD) briefly experimented with dry ice
Dry ice
Dry ice, sometimes referred to as "Cardice" or as "card ice" , is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is used primarily as a cooling agent. Its advantages include lower temperature than that of water ice and not leaving any residue...

 as a cooling agent in 1931. The compound was readily available and seemed like an ideal replacement for frozen water. Dry ice melts at -109 °F (versus 32 °F (0 °C) for conventional ice) and was twice as effective thermodynamically. Overall weight was reduced as the need for brine and water was eliminated. While the higher cost of dry ice was certainly a drawback, logistical issues in loading long lines of cars efficiently prevented it from gaining acceptance over conventional ice. Worst of all, it was found that dry ice can adversely affect the color and flavor of certain foods if placed too closely to them.

Hopper cars


In 1969, the Northern Pacific Railroad ordered a number of modified covered hopper
Covered hopper
A Covered Hopper is a railroad freight car. They are designed for carrying dry bulk loads, varying from grain to products such as sand and clay. The cover protects the loads from the weather - dried cement would be very hard to unload if mixed with water in transit, while grain would be liable to...

 cars from American Car and Foundry for transporting perishable food in bulk. The 55 feet (16.76 m)-long cars were blanketed with a layer of insulation, equipped with roof hatches for loading, and had centerflow openings along the bottom for fast discharge. A mechanical refrigeration unit was installed at each end of the car, where sheet metal ducting forced cool air into the cargo compartments.

The units, rated at 100 ST (90.7 t; 89.3 LT) capacity (more than twice that of the largest conventional refrigerator car of the day) were economical to load and unload, as no secondary packaging was required. Apples, carrots, onions, and potatoes were transported in this manner with moderate success. Oranges, on the other hand, tended to burst under their own weight, even after wooden baffles were installed to better distribute the load. The Santa Fe Railway leased 100 of the hoppers from ACF, and in April 1972 purchased 100 new units. The cars' irregular, orange-colored outer surface (though darker than the standard AT&SF yellow-orange used on reefers) tended to collect dirt easily, and proved difficult to clean. Santa Fe eventually relegated the cars to more typical, non-refrigerated applications.

Refrigerator cars in Japan


The first refrigerated cars in Japan entered service in 1908 for fish transport. Many of these cars were equipped with ice bunkers, however the bunkers were not used generally. Fish were packed in wooden or foam polystyrene boxes with crushed ice.

Fruit and meat transportation in refrigerated rail cars was not common in Japan. For fruits and vegetables, ventilator cars were sufficient due to the short distances involved in transportation. Meat required low temperature storage, transported by ship, since most major Japanese cities are located along the coast.

Refrigerator cars suffered heavy damage in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. After the war, the occupation forces confiscated many cars for their own use, utilizing the ice bunkers as originally intended. Supplies were landed primarily at Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

, and reefer trains ran from the port to U.S. bases around Japan.

In 1966, JNR
Japanese National Railways
, abbreviated or "JNR", was the national railway network of Japan from 1949 to 1987.-History:The term Kokuyū Tetsudō "state-owned railway" originally referred to a network of railway lines operated by nationalized companies under the control of the Railway Institute following the nationalization...

 developed "resa 10000" and "remufu 10000" type refrigerated cars that could travel at 62 mph (27.7 m/s) They were used in fish freight express trains. "Tobiuo"(Flying fish) train from Shimonoseki to Tokyo, and "Ginrin"(Silver scale
Scale (zoology)
In most biological nomenclature, a scale is a small rigid plate that grows out of an animal's skin to provide protection. In lepidopteran species, scales are plates on the surface of the insect wing, and provide coloration...

) train from Hakata to Tokyo, were operated.

By the 1960s, refrigerator trucks had begun to displace railcars. Strikes in the 1970s resulted in the loss of reliability and punctuality, important to fish transportation. In 1986, the last refrigerated cars were replaced by reefer containers.

Most Japanese reefers were four-wheeled due to small traffic demands. There were very few bogie wagons in late years. The total number of Japanese reefers numbered approximately 8,100. At their peak, about 5,000 refrigerated cars operated in the late 1960s. Mechanical refrigerators were tested, but did not see widespread use.

There were no privately owned reefers in Japan. This is because fish transportation were protected by national policies and rates were kept low, and there was little profit in refrigerated car ownership.

Preservation


Examples of many styles of refrigerator and ice cars can be found at railroad museums around the world.

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum
Western Pacific Railroad Museum
The Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, California, formerly known as the Portola Railroad Museum before , is a heritage railroad that preserves and operates historic American railroad equipment. The museum's mission is to preserve the history of the Western Pacific Railroad and is...

 at Portola, California
Portola, California
Portola is the only incorporated city in Plumas County, California, United States. The population was 2,104 at the 2010 census, down from 2,227 at the 2000 census...

 features a very complete roster of 20th century cars, including wood bodied ice cars, steel bodied ice cars, one of the earliest mechanical refrigerator cars, later mechanical refrigerator cars and a cryogenic reefer, as well as several "insulated" boxcars also used for food transport.

Timeline


  • 1842: The Western Railroad of Massachusetts experimented with innovative freight car designs capable of carrying all types of perishable goods without spoilage.
  • 1851: The first refrigerated boxcar entered service on the Northern Railroad (New York).
  • 1857: The first consignment of refrigerated, dressed beef traveled from Chicago to the East Coast in ordinary box cars packed with ice.
  • 1866: Horticulturist Parker Earle shipped strawberries in iced boxes by rail from southern Illinois to Chicago on the Illinois Central Railroad
    Illinois Central Railroad
    The Illinois Central Railroad , sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa...

    .
  • 1867: First U.S. refrigerated railroad car patent was issued.
  • 1868: William Davis of Detroit, Michigan
    Detroit, Michigan
    Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

     developed a refrigerator car cooled by a frozen ice-salt mixture, and patented it in the U.S. The patent was subsequently sold to George Hammond, a local meat packer who amassed a fortune in refrigerated shipping.
  • 1876: German engineer Carl von Linde
    Carl von Linde
    Professor Doctor Carl Paul Gottfried von Linde was a German engineer who developed refrigeration and gas separation technologies...

     developed one of the first mechanical refrigeration systems.
  • 1878: Gustavus Swift (along with engineer Andrew Chase) developed the first practical ice-cooled railcar. Soon Swift formed the Swift Refrigerator Line (SRL), the world's first.
  • 1880: The first patent for a mechanically refrigerated railcar issued in the United States was granted to Charles William Cooper.
  • 1884: The Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch (SFRD) was established as a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
    Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
    The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway , often abbreviated as Santa Fe, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. The company was first chartered in February 1859...

     to carry perishable commodities.
  • 1885: Berries from Norfolk, Virginia
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

     were shipped by refrigerator car to New York.
  • 1887: Parker Earle joined F.A. Thomas of Chicago in the fruit shipping business. The company owned 60 ice-cooled railcars by 1888, and 600 by 1891.
  • 1888: Armour & Co. shipped beef from Chicago to Florida in a car cooled by ethyl chloride-compression machinery. Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

     oranges were shipped to New York under refrigeration for the first time.
  • 1889: The first cooled shipment of fruit from California was sold on the New York market.
  • 1898: Russia's
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

     first refrigerator cars entered service. The country's inventory w reached 1,900 by 1908, and 3,000 two years later, and peaked at approximately 5,900 by 1916. The cars were utilized mainly for transporting butter from Siberia
    Siberia
    Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

     to the Baltic Sea
    Baltic Sea
    The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

    , a 12 day journey.
  • 1899: Refrigerated fruit traffic within the U.S. reached 90000 ST (81,647 t; 80,357 LT) per year; Transport from California to NY averaged 12 days in 1900.
  • 1901: Carl von Linde equipped a Russian train with a mobile, central mechanical refrigeration plant to distribute cooling to cars carrying perishable goods. Similar systems were used in Russia as late as 1975.
  • 1905: U.S. traffic in refrigerated fruit reacheed 430000 ST (390,089 t; 383,927 LT). As refrigerator car designs become standardized, the practice of indicating the "patentee" on the sides was discontinued.
  • 1907: The Pacific Fruit Express began operations with more than 6,000 refrigerated cars, transporting fruit and vegetables from Western producers to Eastern consumers. U.S. traffic in refrigerated fruit hit 600000 ST (544,311 t; 535,713 LT).
  • 1908: Japan's first refrigerator cars entered service. The cars were for seafood transportation, in the same manner as most other Japanese reefers.
  • 1913: The number of thermally insulated railcars (most of which were cooled by ice) in the U.S. topped 100,000.
  • 1920: The Fruit Growers Express (or FGE, a former subsidiary of the Armour Refrigerator Line) was formed using 4,280 reefers acquired from Armour & Co.
  • 1923: FGE and the Great Northern Railway for the Western Fruit Express (WFE) in order to compete with the Pacific Fruit Express and Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch in the West.
  • 1925 to 1930: Mechanically refrigerated trucks enter service and gain public acceptance, particularly for the delivery of milk and ice cream.
  • 1926: The FGE expanded its service into the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest through the WFE and the Burlington Refrigerator Express Company (BREX), its other partly owned subsidiary. FGE purchased 2,676 reefers from the Pennsylvania Railroad
    Pennsylvania Railroad
    The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

    .
  • 1928: The FGE formed the National Car Company as a subsidiary to service the meat transportation market. Customers include Kahns, Oscar Mayer
    Oscar Mayer
    Oscar Mayer is an American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Foods, known for its hot dogs, bologna, bacon and Lunchables products.-History:...

    , and Rath.
  • 1930: The number of refrigerator cars in the United States reached its maximum of approximately 183,000.
  • 1931: The SFRD reconfigured seven reefers to utilize dry ice as a cooling agent.
  • 1932: Japanese Government Railways
    Japanese Government Railways
    The Japanese Government Railways was the national railway system directly operated by the central government of Japan until 1949. It is a predecessor of Japanese National Railways and the Japan Railways Group.- Name :...

     built vehicles specially made for dry ice coolant.
  • 1936: The first all-steel reefers entered service.
  • 1937: The Interstate Commerce Commission banned "billboard" type advertisements on railroad cars.
  • 1946: Two experimental aluminum-body refrigerator cars entered service on the PFE; an experimental reefer with a stainless-steel body was built for the SFRD.
  • 1950: The U.S. refrigerator car roster dropped to 127,200.
  • 1957: The last ice bunker refrigerator cars were built.
  • 1958: The first mechanical reefers (utilizing diesel-powered refrigeration units) entered revenue service.
  • 1960s: The flush, "plug" style sliding door was introduced as an option, providing a larger door to ease loading and unloading. The tight-fitting doors were better insulated and allowed the car to be maintained at a more even temperature.
  • 1966: Japanese National Railways
    Japanese National Railways
    , abbreviated or "JNR", was the national railway network of Japan from 1949 to 1987.-History:The term Kokuyū Tetsudō "state-owned railway" originally referred to a network of railway lines operated by nationalized companies under the control of the Railway Institute following the nationalization...

     started operation of fish freight express trains by newly built "resa 10000" type refers.
  • 1969: ACF constructed several experimental center flow hopper cars incorporating mechanical cooling systems and insulated cargo cells. The units were intended for shipment of bulk perishables.
  • 1971: The last ice-cooled reefers were retired.
  • 1980: The U.S. refrigerator car roster dropped to 80,000.
  • 1986: The last reefers in Japan were replaced by reefer containers
    Reefer (container)
    A refrigerated container or reefer is an intermodal container used in intermodal freight transport that is refrigerated for the transportation of temperature sensitive cargo....

    .
  • 1990s: The first cryogenically cooled reefers entered service.
  • 2001: The number of refrigerator cars in the United States bottomed out at approximately 8,000.
  • 2005: The number of reefers in the United States climbs to approximately 25,000, due to significant new refrigerator car orders.

Express service


Standard refrigerated transport is often utilized for goods with less than 14 days of refrigerated "shelf life" — avocados, cut flowers, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, mangoes, meat products, mushrooms, peaches and nectarines, pineapples and papayas, sweet cherries, and tomatoes. "Express" reefers are typically employed in the transport of special perishables: commodities with a refrigerated shelf life of less than seven days, such as human blood, fish, green onions, milk, strawberries, and certain pharmaceuticals.

The earliest express-service refrigerator cars entered service around 1890, shortly after the first express train routes were established in North America. The cars did not come into general use until the early 20th century. Most units designed for express service are larger than their standard counterparts, and are typically constructed more along the lines of baggage car
Baggage car
A baggage car or luggage van is a type of railway vehicle often forming part of the composition of passenger trains and used to carry passengers' checked baggage, as well as parcels . Being typically coupled at the front of the train behind the locomotive, this type of car is sometimes described...

s than freight equipment. Cars must be equipped with speed-rated trucks and brakes, and — if they are to be run ahead of the passenger car, must also incorporate an air line for pneumatic braking, a communication signal air line, and a steam line for train heating. Express units were typically painted in passenger car colors, such as Pullman
Pullman Company
The Pullman Palace Car Company, founded by George Pullman, manufactured railroad cars in the mid-to-late 19th century through the early decades of the 20th century, during the boom of railroads in the United States. Pullman developed the sleeping car which carried his name into the 1980s...

 green.

The first purpose-built express reefer emerged from the Erie Railroad
Erie Railroad
The Erie Railroad was a railroad that operated in New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, originally connecting New York City with Lake Erie...

 Susquehanna Shops on August 1, 1886. By 1927, some 2,218 express cars traveled America's rails, and three years later that number rose to 3,264. In 1940, private rail lines began to build and operate their own reefers, the Railway Express Agency
Railway Express Agency
The Railway Express Agency was a the national monopoly set up by the Untied States federal government in 1917. Rail express services provided small package and parcel transportation using the extant railroad infrastructure much as UPS functions today using the road system...

 (REA) being by far the largest. In 1948, the REA roster (which would continue to expand into the 1950s) numbered approximately 1,800 cars, many of which were World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 "troop sleeper
Troop sleeper
In United States railroad terminology, a troop sleeper was a railroad passenger car which had been constructed to serve as something of a mobile barracks for transporting troops over distances sufficient to require overnight accommodations...

s" modified for express refrigerated transport. By 1965, due to a decline in refrigerated traffic, many express reefers were leased to railroads for use as bulk mail carriers.




Intermodal


For many years, virtually all of the perishable traffic in the United States was carried by the railroads. While railroads were subject to government regulation regarding shipping rates, trucking companies could set their own rate for hauling agricultural products, giving them a competitive advantage. In March 1979, the ICC
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission was a regulatory body in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers, including...

 exempted rail transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables from all economic regulation. Once the "Agricultural Exemption Clause" was removed from the Interstate Commerce Act, railroads began aggressively pursuing trailer-on-flatcar (TOFC) business (a form of intermodal freight transport
Intermodal freight transport
Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation , without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The method reduces cargo handling, and so improves security, reduces damages and...

) for refrigerated trailers. Taking this one step further, a number of carriers (including the PFE and SFRD) purchased their own refrigerated trailers to compete with interstate trucks.

Tropicana "Juice Train"



In 1970, Tropicana orange juice was shipped in bulk via insulated
Thermal insulation
Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

 boxcars in one weekly round-trip from Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's 2007 population to be 53,471. Bradenton is the largest Principal City of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2007 estimated population of 682,833...

, to Kearny, New Jersey
Kearny, New Jersey
Kearny is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. It was named after Civil War general Philip Kearny. As of the United States 2010 Census, the town population was 40,684. The town is a suburb of the nearby city of Newark....

. By the following year, the company was operating two 60-car unit trains a week, each carrying around 1000000 gal of juice. On June 7, 1971, the "Great White Juice Train" (the first unit train in the food industry, consisting of 150 100 ST (90.7 t; 89.3 LT) insulated boxcars fabricated in the Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

, shops of Fruit Growers Express
Fruit Growers Express
Fruit Growers Express 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...

) commenced service over the 1250 miles (2,011.7 km) route. An additional 100 cars were soon added, and small mechanical refrigeration units were installed to keep temperatures constant. Tropicana saved $40 million in fuel costs during the first ten years in operation.

AAR classifications

AAR
Association of American Railroads
The Association of American Railroads is an industry trade group representing primarily the major freight railroads of North America . Amtrak and some regional commuter railroads are also members...

 classifications of refrigerator car types
Class Description Class Description
  RA Brine-tank ice bunkers   RPB Mechanical refrigerator with electro-mechanical axle drive  
  RAM Brine-tank ice bunkers with beef rails   RPL Mechanical refrigerator with loading devices
  RAMH   Brine-tank with beef rails and heaters   RPM Mechanical refrigerator with beef rails
  RB No ice bunkers — heavy insulation   RS Bunker refrigerator — common ice bunker car
  RBL No ice bunkers and loading devices   RSB Bunker refrigerator — air fans and loading devices
  RBH No ice bunkers — gas heaters   RSM Bunker refrigerator with beef rails
  RBLH No ice bunkers — loading devices and heaters   RSMH   Bunker refrigerator with beef rails and heaters
  RCD Solid carbon-dioxide refrigerator   RSTC Bunker refrigerator — electric air fans
  RLO Special car type — permanently enclosed (covered hopper type)       RSTM Bunker refrigerator — electric air fans and beef rails
  RP Mechanical refrigerator

  • Note: Class B refrigerator cars are those designed for passenger service; insulated boxcars are designated Class L.

See also


  • Cold chain
    Cold chain
    A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range...

  • Refrigerated container
  • Reefer (ship)
    Reefer (ship)
    A refrigerator ship is a type of ship typically used to transport perishable commodities which require temperature-controlled transportation, mostly fruits, meat, fish, vegetables, dairy products and other foodstuffs....


  • Refrigerated transport Dewar
    Refrigerated transport Dewar
    A refrigerated transport Dewar is a refrigerated transport vessel with an insulated Dewar flask design to carry cryogenic liquid. To prevent pressure build-up they are equipped with safety relief valves and/or rupture discs...

  • Refrigeration
    Refrigeration
    Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

  • Refrigerator truck
    Refrigerator truck
    A refrigerator truck is a van or truck designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Like refrigerator cars, refrigerated trucks differ from simple insulated and ventilated vans , neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus...



External links