ex-PRR Class R-7 wood sent to the FGEX consortium in 1922. Scheme remained through 1950’s
The history of the Pennsylvania’s Class R-7 refrigerator cars is a long and varied one. To accurately follow an individual car one has to begin with PRR’s order
from AC&F in 1913 beginning with Series 104083, an order for 1,000 cars. These eventually were leased to the new Fruit Growers Express consortum and renumbered into Series 43500-45644. Other orders went to Pennsylvania Lines and Vandalia as Series 5101-5200. - later into PRR Series 608533-608632, and finally released, or contributed to, to FGEX as Series 45645-46270. And this is only for one group of cars.
Reference to Pat Wider’s excellent and very comprehensive narrative and charts for these cars in RP CYC Vol 15, pages 70-87, is necessary to fully understand
the progression of the R-7 refrigerator car throughout it’s lifetime.
In the 1920’s the Federal Trade Commission broke up some some consortums such as Armour Meat Packing and others. A number of railroads then joined to
form the Fruit Grower’s Express with reporting marks FGEX. The primary roads were Southern, ACL, B&O and the Pennsylvania. This initial contribution of
refrigerator cars added up to over 4,000 reefers. In May 1922, the PRR added 3,000 of their Class R-7 to the FGEX eet. In 1923, the GN and Burlington joined
and by 1927, the following railroads became part of the Fruit Growers Express Company: C&O, NYO&W, CofG, C&EI, FEC, L&N, RF&P and ACL. In 1928, a new
subsidairy of the FGEX was formed as a leasing service: the National Car Company with reporting marks NX and MNX. These served a number of meat packers
such as, Krey Packing, Kahns (EKSX) and Rath (RPRX)
Paint & Lettering: Ends painted with BRE/FGE/WFE Standard Brown with BRE/FGE/WFE Standard Yellow sides. Roof was first brown but later coated
with aluminum. Ladders and door hardware were originally black. Underbody and trucks coated with black car cement.
Decal set designed and created at Protocraft Decals - FGEX Optic-style lettering drawn by Ted Culotta
Background color shown above is not included in decal sheet