Meat reefers

Resin Car Works’ chief minion, Frank Hodina, was inspired to pull models from storage and snap a few photos. Here are Frank’s details.

Steve Hile tossed a shiny new object across my path. He’s working on a Swift reefers clinic. So, I pulled some of my models out for photos. And I kept pulling them out. Then Eric said this would make a cool blog post. All of these reefers are Sunshine Models resin kits. I did created the original patterns for Martin Lofton to cast.

Let’s start at the head end (right) and move along the string of cars.

First in line is a Hygrade’s car built by General American built car. Next is a North American Despatch reefer leased to Hormel in the 12000-13899 series.

Here’s the next few reefers from right to left. The URTX Oscar Mayer, URTX/Dubuque, and GARX reefers are all General American built cars. The last car is Cudahy Car Lines in series CRLX 5501-6250. Cudahy also leased cars from General American which were in the 1501-1600 series.

Swift Reefers

Each of the three Swift reefers follow prototypes of the company fleet.

Martin Lofton pulled together prototype data on these reefers when Sunshine Models produced them as resin kits. First the number series has nothing to do with age of the car. SRLX 6714 (6700-6999 series) is the oldest car in the group, being built in the mid 20’s.

Charles E Winters photo

A main spotting feature are those riveted plates at the end of the bolster and crossbearers. There were still 118 of these cars in 1956.

Next would be SRLX 5687 (5200-5799 series) which were built in the late 20’s.

W.C. Whittaker photo

These cars have exposed bolster end and crossbearers and were the last cars purchased before General American purchased the Swift fleet. 403 of these reefers were still around in 1956.

The last SRLX 2581 (2500-2874 series) is the newest of the three being leased by General American to Swift.

Steve Hile collection

The series had a solid side sill which was different that other Swift reefers. 333 of these cars were around in 1956.

Following the Swift reefers is a car owned by Wilson Car Lines.

A simple question inspired me to bring out an assortment of old models and share images and details on the blog. It was great to see these out on the rails again/

Since I have time on my hands, I also pulled a Bachmann Berk out of the stash to detail and paint. I need a nice Berk for these meat reefers.

– Frank

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10 thoughts on “Meat reefers

  1. Frank – I’ve been kicked off the NEB&W FB page but I’ve started a new one, John Nehrich’s neb&w historical technical & model railroading, and I’d be glad to post your stuff.

  2. Frank fine fine builds. Eric was correct as is a great post. Thanks for sharing.
    Lester Breuer

  3. Not a wood reefer modeler myself but crewed for a decade or more on a friend’s early-’50s railroad, so I like learning about the cars.
    I appreciate the consistently clear and to-the-point information posted here on RCW. Some other pieces leave me more confused when I leave than when I arrived.
    Let’s hope more of the enthusiasm eventually floats more 1960s and ’70s projects.

  4. With the recent discussion about reefers with only 4 hinges on each door, it is interesting to note that all of the pictured reefers had 6 hinges.
    Chuck Cover
    Santa Fe, NM

  5. That is a impressive lineup of reefers. Looks great! Nice to see a string of cars that is not all Boxcar Red. Thanks for sharing.

  6. It probably wouldn’t make much sense to offer the General American meat reefers that Rapido is about to release another run of but more of the rest of these meat reefers I expect would be welcome by many of us. This is especially the case with the earliest Swift cars with varying styles of underframe that make them so distinctive from the sides. The fact that IMHO Frank’s masters resulted in the best kits that Sunshine offered. Hope they are all offered again.

    1. Will the Rapido Swift reefers need some adjustment in the door heights to represent specific prototypes? The doors on the Hygrade, Oscar Mayer, Dubuque, and Swift 2500-series appear to be shorter than on the Rapido model.

  7. Very nice and thank you for the prototype info, much appreciated. Love those red SWIFT’s. How I wish Sunshine was still around. $100 for a kit on fleebay….duh…
    Cheers, Fred Jansz

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