Operating Era: 1929-1950. Pacific Fruit Express. PFE ordered 400 cars from Pacific Car and Foundry in 1929; they were delivered in January-April
1930. The R-50-1 marked the first of an experimental phase of car design for PFE. Previously,
the cars had all been 40' long with a slowly evolving design, culminating in the R-40 series. The
R-50-1 was an attempt to compete for long-haul Pacific Northwest traffic that could not be
conveniently carried in the company's 40' cars. The new design combined a longer car body, 47',
with a larger truck capacity and a 27" deep underframe. The cars were also considerably wider.
This allowed for thicker insulation in an attempt to normalize the temperature throughout the car.
However, PFE felt that air flow through such a long car would require large air scoops, so they
returned to the Bohn ventilator design of 1910 but with a wider opening and strengthened hand
Initially the cars were quite successful and kept very busy. However, later in the 1930's shippers
tended to redesign packaging for conventional car sizes. Therefore, the design was not repeated.
By 1940 the wooden superstructures were in need of rebuilding, and gradually the entire class
was reworked with thicker insulation for the new frozen food trade. With steel roofs and ends
they became classes R-50-3, -4 and -5 with the last cars being converted in 1947.
Decal Set Available