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Model Information: At some point, likely when civil war broke out in that country, Model Power was unable to get 40 foot steel reefers from Mehano. So they went to Hong Kong and found a factory willing to make a clone of the Yugoslavian model. This Chinese-made Model Power tooling is a knock-off of the earlier Mehano model which in turn was a knock-off of the Roco 40 foot steel reefer. There are small differences between the different toolings. The easiest way to tell them apart is that the Roco made models will say 'Austria' on the bottom, Mehano made models will have 'Yugoslavia' stamped on the bottom and the Chinese cars will say 'Hong Kong' or 'China'. They originally came packaged with Rapido couplers and Nicke-Silver plated steel wheels. Recent releases come with knuckle couplers.
This model may have been inspired by various 40' steel ice reefers of the 1940's-50's, such as the ones built by General American or ACF.
By the 1940's, new reefers were being built entirely of steel. Insulating techniques improved to the point where economical refrigeration could be accomplished using steel side plates in place of wood sheathing. Cars with steel roofs and sides were more durable and required fewer repairs.
The General American Transportation Corporation built several 40' steel reefer for the Union Refrigerator Transit Line (URTX) from the late 1940's into the 1950's.
This reefer was 40' long & weighted 61,500 lbs. The car is a steel bodied reefer with iced bunkers at each end. These ice bunkers hold 10,400 lbs. of chunk ice or 11,500 lbs. of crushed ice. Ice stations were located every 100-150 miles along the railroads main line to replace the melted ice. In the winter, charcoal heaters could be placed in the bunkers to keep the cargo from freezing. Fans are located in the floor at each end to circulate air and keep an even temperature throughout the car. Typical cargo would be fresh fruit, vegetables or eggs.
American Car & Foundry (ACF Industries) also built 40' reefer for several companies.
Road Name History:
The first parcel express agency in the United States is generally considered to have been started by William Frederick Harnden (1812-1845), who in 1839 began regular trips between New York City and Boston, Massachusetts as a courier transporting small parcels, currency and other valuables. William G. Fargo, a New York Central freight clerk at Auburn, N.Y., and Henry Wells, a leather worker at Batavia, N.Y., organized Wells Fargo & Co. in 1853. Other parcel express pioneers include Henry B. Plant, who formed Southern Express Company, Alvin Adams who founded Adams Express Company, and John Warren Butterfield. Express delivery in the early 19th century was virtually all done via horse, either via stagecoach or by riders. Ad for a railroad, showing American Railway Express service along the line. 1922
The express business flourished in the latter half of the 19th century, and by 1900 there were four principal parcel express companies, all of which included the rapidly advancing railways as one of their means of transport: Adams Express Company, Southern Express Company, American Express Company, and Wells Fargo. In 1913 the U.S. Post Office introduced its Parcel Post service, which offered major competition for the express companies. Despite this, private railway express business increased steadily through the end of World War I.
During World War I, the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) took over the nation's railroads. Under the USRA, the four major and three minor express companies were consolidated as American Railway Express, Inc., save the portion of Southern Express that operated over the Southern Railway and the Mobile & Ohio. Railway Express Agency office, San Augustine, Texas, 1939 REA electric truck circa 1920.
In March 1929, the assets and operations of American Railway Express Inc. were transferred to Railway Express Agency (REA). REA was owned by 86 railroads in proportion to the express traffic on their lines - no one railroad or group of railroads had control of the agency. In response to customer demand, REA added a Chicago, Illinois-based refrigerator car line. In 1927, REA began an Air Express Division. In 1938, the remainder of Southern Express also joined the consolidated REA.
In early 2014, Model Power ceased its business operations. Its extensive portfolio of intellectual property and physical assets are now exclusively produced, marketed, sold, and distributed by MRC (Model Power, MetalTrain and Mantua) and by Daron (Postage Stamp Airplanes and Airliner Collection).
Item created by: gdm on 2017-03-21 09:12:53. Last edited by Alain LM on 2018-06-22 15:42:34
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