lettering for A&P’s 1923 refrigerator cars leased from URTC
The Union Refrigerator Transit Company, originally formed in 1890 by the Schlitz brewing interests, became the Union Refrigerator Transit Lines of Milwaulkee
(URTC) in 1903, starting with a eet of 1,700 cars. In 1929 it was acquired by General American Tank Car Company, with the eet now totaling 5,000 40’ wood
cars, mostly built by American Car & Foundry. The new company continued to operate as a separate subsidairy of GATC, now General American Transportation
Corporation, added 1,500 additional cars built by GATC for a total of 6,500 cars. The shipment of beer accounted for a substantial part of its business, with many
of its cars leased to independent shippers such as Miller Brewing, Goetz, Blatz, Pabst and many others. Also included were dairy shippers such as Bordens, Kraft
and Carnation. URTC also provided refrigerated car services to a number of railroads: the Milwaulkee Road, SOO Line, Minneapolis & St. Louis, Nickel Plate and
Chicago Great Western. In July 1934, the use of billboard signage on refrigerator cars was outlawed by the ICC for a multitude of reasons, mostly as a result of
complaints and resentment between the shippers themselves, and the colorful cars were seen no more.
The Great Atlantic & Pacic Tea Company was one of the lessees of Union Refrigerator Transit Company’s eet of refrigerator cars. A&P was the largest
food/grocery chain in the United States, and until 1965, the largest U.S. retailer of any kind, with 15,709 stores in the US and Canada. The 1935 ORER listed the
URTC Series 23000-23299 as having 174 cars still in service, many of which were for A&P.
(Note: the 1935 ORER also listed 587 wood reefers owned by Northern Refrigerator Car Company (reporting marks NRC) in revenue service, many of which were
leased by A&P in Series 3000-3999) See Protocraft Decals set NRC A&P-1 for this lettering.
Paint & Lettering: Car sides and side ladders painted reefer yellow; mineral red roof, end ladders and ends. Underframe, end beams, corner straps, door hinges,
lock bar and kickplate coated with black car cement. Reporting marks and billboard lettering black with red based signage.
Decal set designed and created at Protocraft Decals
Printed by Microscale Industries
Background color shown above is not included in decal sheet