The Great Yellow Fleet: A History of American Railroad Refrigerator Cars

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9780870950919: The Great Yellow Fleet: A History of American Railroad Refrigerator Cars

Fascinating and well-written story of the railroad refrigerator car, beginning with the ventilated fruit car, the ice car, and the mechanical reefer and tracing the history of the railroad transportation of perishables up to the present mechanical trailers handled by piggyback. Includes extensive discussion of the four largest car lines, Merchants Despatch Transportation Co., Fruit Growers Express, Pacific Fruit Express (run by SP/UP/WP), and Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch, as well as a discussion of why private fleets developed and why railroads eventually entered the field. Provides detailed coverage of unique cars such as narrow gauge reefers, beer and wine cars, specialized cars, and the actual mechanical aspects of the cars: the trucks, the roof ice bunker, how the ice was manufactured, stored and loaded, how the cars were re-iced during transit, experiments with ammonia and silica gel to replace ice, and the development of the diesel powered mechanical reefer. Reefers profoundly changed the eating habits of the nation by allowing the crops of the south and west in the US to reach northern and eastern markets and their story is told here in fascinating detail by one of the great names in railroad history. Illustrated throughout with black and white photos. With bibliography. 186 pages with index.

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White, John W.
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