Announcing Fruit Growers Express circa 1905 HO reefer kit
- First, hi to my cousin Jerry Snyder! Bob McGlone and I are pleased to announce our newest kit, a 40â, 50000 pound capacity Fruit Growers Express circa 1902 reefer. FGE was originally a subsidiary of the Armour Car Lines and starting from the south, these cars ran all over the US through the early 1900s. After about 1906, their range was limited to primarily east of the Mississippi due to the Harriman Lines starting their own Pacific Fruit Express. We believe that in 1905 there were about 4900 of these cars operating around the country and they ran through at least 1913 and likely into the 20s with updated safety appliances. To our knowledge, there has never been a kit for this car.
The basis for our kit is FGE car #16470 as pictured in the NPâs Duluth yard circa 1905 with additional details and specifics gleaned from the AC&F builders photo of car 16437 built in 1902. Dimensions came from both scaling the photos and a listing of FGE car dimensions from a 1913 ORER. That ORER shows FGE cars numbered from 16000 to 18999 and 21100 to 22999 which accounts for the potential total of 4900 cars at this time.
In the Photos section under âFGE 40â reeferâ you can see pictures of the two different prototypes; Bobâs pilot model of the FGE car; and my pilot model of the 40â Heinz Baked Beans car.
The kits have as resin parts a one piece body, floor, bolsters, roofwalk, and ice hatches, Tahoe trucks, Walthers couplers, Tichy brakes, grabs, and other hardware, wire, and detailed illustrated instructionsâ¦â¦all you need except for glue and paint. If you want lettering, we have arranged with Art Griffin to supply us decals for three different cars:
- three color black, white, and red lettering as seen on FGE car 16437. This set will be available with the numbers 16437, -31, -34, -and -36 if you need lettering for more than one car.
- black and white lettering as seen on the photo of car 16470. Your number options for this car are 22632, -33, and -36.
- The set for the 40â Missouri River Dairy Despatch car #1648 also available in numbers 1641, -44, and -46.
The cost of the kit is $36 unlettered and $42 with any of the lettering sets listed above. Postage is first class $2.75 for one kit, $3.25 for two or $5 for one or two kits. Anything over 2 kits is too heavy to go first class and priority mail cost will depend on your zip code.
You have other options for this kit. The photos show a version lettered for Heinz Baked Beans as the Heinz 40â insulated boxcars are a dead ringer for this car without the ice hatches. Two different sets of Heinz dry transfers for 40â cars are available from Clover House. If you move the grab irons to the sides of the car you can also do a 40â Great Northern reefer. If you want to take a little âartistic licenseâ, Art also sells a really neat set of Tropical Fruit Express decals for a car thatâs pretty close at 38â8â. And of course you could use Artâs fancy sets for any road you wantâ¦â¦..itâs your railroad!
If you want to reserve these kits you need to tell me whether you want it unlettered or with any of the three sets from Art that we are offering and what number(s) for each of these sets. We anticipate that once you make your reservation if you want an unlettered kit I can ship it almost immediately. Reservations for cars with lettering will take approximately two weeks to ship due to lead time on the decals. Especially because a one-piece body mold has a limited life, availability will be limited so we suggest you get your reservation in soon. And thanks as always for your continuing support!
Virginia foundry and model works