Fruit Growers Express

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Fruit Grower's Express
Industry Transportation
Founded 1920
Headquarters Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Area served Eastern United States
Services Freight Car Repair
Parent CSX Corporation
Website http://www.csx.com/
Wooden FGE reefer car at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Fruit Growers Express (FGE) was a railroad refrigerator car leasing company that began as a produce-hauling subsidiary of Armour and Company's private refrigerator car line. Its customers complained they were overcharged.[1] In 1919 the Federal Trade Commission ordered the company's sale for anti-trust reasons. [2]

FGE car showing CSXT marking to the left.

The company is now controlled by the CSX Corporation.[3]

Incorporated on March 18, 1920 the firm took possession of 4,280 pieces of rolling stock, repairs shops at Alexandria, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, and numerous ice plants and other facilities scattered throughout the East Coast on May 1. By year's end, the Chicago and Eastern Illinois, New Haven, and Norfolk and Western railroads became major stockholders.

In order to compete with the Pacific Fruit Express and Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch in the west, FGE and the Great Northern Railway formed the Western Fruit Express (WFE) on July 18, 1923, a move that added 3,000 cars to the equipment pool. By 1926, FGE had expanded its service into the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest through the WFE and the Burlington Refrigerator Express (BREX), its other partly owned subsidiary (formed in partnership with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) on May 1). That same year, FGE purchased 2,676 36-foot-long (11 m) reefers from the Pennsylvania Railroad.

In February, 1928 FGE formed the National Car Company as a subsidiary to service the meat transportation market. Customers included Kahns, Oscar Mayer, and Rath Packing.

Fruit Growers Express Roster, 1920–1980:[4]
  1920   1930   1940   1950   1960   1970   1980  
  4,280   8,025   14,114   12,063   12,446   8,384   3,182  

References[edit]

  1. ^ — (December 31, 1903). "FRUIT SHIPPERS' COMPLAINT. Want Investigation of Armour Company, Which has New Contract." (PDF). New York Times. p. 6. Retrieved 2009-04-02. "Austin, Texas December 30.—The Texas Railroad Commission was to-day advised that the Southern Pacific has renewed its contract with Armour & Co. for the operation of the cars of the fruit growers' express between California and New Orleans another period of two years. The fruit shippers of California have complained bitterly of the alleged excessive charges of Armour & Co., and an effort is being made to have the Inter-state Commerce Commission conduct an investigation of the abuses complained of." 
  2. ^ "Fruit Growers Express Company Refrigerator Car No. 35832". Sacramento, California: California State Railroad Museum Foundation. Retrieved 2009-04-02. "The most successful private refrigerator car company was the Armour Car Lines, including its subsidiary, the Fruit Growers Express. Success led to downfall, for in 1919 the Federal Trade Commission ordered the sale of the produce hauling subsidiary for anti-trust reasons. A group of eastern and southern railroads formed a new Fruit Growers Express Company in 1920 to take over the operations. By 1926 FGE had expanded service into the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest through its partly owned cooperating subsidiaries, Western Fruit Express and Burlington Fruit Express." 
  3. ^ Class I Railroad Annual Report: CSX Transportation, Inc. To The Surface Transportation Board For the Year Ending December 28, 2007
  4. ^ The Great Yellow Fleet, p. 16.

External links[edit]