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(erielack) Perishable Traffic

Thank you, Jim and Vince, for those references. Interesting reading. I've
seen pictures of those carfloats which may be unique to the NY Harbor
produce trade. They had two tracks, each holding six 40' cars, with a raised
and covered unloading platform in the center. The floats were
loaded/unloaded from one end only (on the Jersey side), so the reefers were
unloaded right on the floats and the produce taken into the auction
warehouse by hand-truck. The Erie magazine article mentions up to 175 cars
of cantaloupes unloaded in a single day. Imagine that, two trainloads of
cantaloupes, and then all the other produce on top of that. No wonder NY-98
ran in sections. The volume of perishables that once rode the rails is mind
boggling. Nowadays of course, we do it much more efficiently with trucks,
clogging the roads and using 4X the fuel and perhaps 10X the personnel.

After the general speedup of transcon schedules in the late 50's, the
traffic reached western gateways like Chicago a half day sooner, so the
produce shifted to a morning departure on train 74. It carried a substantial
reefer block until late '67 or so when the market was consolidated at Hunt's
Point. EL had no access here, so the traffic for the most part was diverted
to Penn Central, which routed it down the east shore of the Hudson.

Does anyone know of a book that covers the NY Harbor carfloat operations in

Paul Brezicki

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