Essentially a boxcar refrigerated, the reefer (refrigerator car) is designed to carry all perishable goods. The first refrigerator cars were being tested on the Northern Railroad in 1851, in New York state. These cars featured some type of insulation and blocks of ice to keep the contents cool. The common merchandise carried were fruits, dairy, meat, and vegetables. Many railroads put in service huge quantities of reefer cars, at least until the beginning of the sixties. Following, the increase in traffic on the road caused a significant reduction in the use of rail transport of perishable goods, especially for short and medium distances.
Refrigerators were built at the origin, with all parts of the structure made of wood. After few years, the ends, the doors and the roof were produced in steel. featuring all the american production until the end of the steam era. Railroad companies classified those type of freight cars using classification codes personalized. The Pennsylvania Railroads named its reefer cars placing them into the following classes: RA, RB, RD, RE, RF, R7, R8, R9, RX, R50, R60. Generally, almost all of the U.S. railroads and the american production companies identified their classes of refrigerator cars with the letter R.
Here above, two of most famous refrigerator cars in service in the USA during the "golden age of railroading": some SFRD reefer of AT&SF (left) and an R50b R.E.A. reefer of PRR (right).
REFRIGERATOR CARS ROSTER
Total AT Collection ho scale models: 12 . Note: railroad, type with class and serial number (built date), general informations, manufacturer model and notes. Click onthumbs to view each single photo in large format. All models are modified and weathered as the prototypes by ATF.
The 36-foot-long and 40-foot-long wood reefers were purchased by FGE from Pennsylvania Railroad in 1926.
Intermountain Railway Co. - Weathered and improved (scale whisker couplers).
R50b class R.E.A. refrigerator car #2721 (1945)
Pennsylvania Railroad had 550 units of the R50b class "high speed" express reefers. This refrigerator car (many with Railway Express Agency logo) were 54'6" long and were equipped with PRR standard 4-wheel cast steel passenger trucks, class 2D-P5.
Walthers Gold Line - Weathered and improved (air-hoses, scale whisker couplers).
The American Refrigerator Transit Co. was established in 1881 by Missouri Pacific and Wabash railroads.Operating with a fleet of thousands of refrigerator cars (over 13.000 units in 1950), A.R.T. private line has distibuted perishable goods in every part of the great american country.
MTH HO Trains - Weathered and improved (air-hoses, scale whisker couplers).
Atchinson Topeka & Santa Fe
40' wood reefer #22346 (1926)
Roundhouse - Weathered and improved.
Fruit Growers Express (FGE)
40' wood insulated reefer #35219 (1945)
Fruit Growers Express (FGE) was a railroadrefrigerator car leasing company. In 1919 the Federal Trade Commission forced the breakup of the Armour Refrigerator Line due to unfair competition. As a result, FGE 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).
Atlas Master Line - Weathered and improved (air-hoses, scale whisker couplers).
N.P.L.X. Nickel Plate Lackawanna
36' wood reefer #312 (1927)
Atlas Master Line - Weathered and improved.
N.W.X. (North Western)
40' ACF wood reefer #8986 (1928)
Branchline - Weathered and improved.
Merchant Despatch Transportation Company (MD Ref. Line)