Frisco Refrigerator lines

Discussion in 'General' started by Frisco2008, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. JFleming

    JFleming Member

    If I may jump in here, since the photo of FRL1010 is b/w I can't tell the side color. Any one know if it is white, grey or yellow?

    John, thanks for the link to Missouri library, the reefer on page 7 will save the day for Andre. I can easily make a reefer for the time period needed. Also a couple bonus cars, a 40 foot furniture car and a 34 foot box, all with Frisco markings. John L Fleming
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  2. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    John Sanders:

    THANK YOU for that excellent reference material. Well done!!!

    John Fleming:

    Boy... have we hit the jackpot or what??? :eek:

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  3. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    The "Fruit Car" "loosepg4" looks promising as well, though no colors are shown on it.
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  4. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    Any ideas about who manufactured the passenger cars shown in the paint diagrams? Looks like an interesting large scale project!:)
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  5. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Is there any chance that Frisco reefers moved any Rio Grande Valley traffic over their Ft. Worth & Rio Grande subsidiary out of Brownwood?

    Modelers of the Golden Age probably have a better insite to the traffic patterns of the early 20th Century.

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
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  6. It's more likely that in 1912, Rio Grande Valley produce traffic would have originated on the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico, which was controlled by the Frisco at the time. I do not know how that traffic would have been routed beyond the rails of the StLB&M and the rest of the "Gulf Coast Lines", which were not physically connected to the rest of the Frisco system. (See map linked below.) Possibly by way of the CRI&P's access to Houston, since the Rock Island, like the Frisco and the C&EI, was part of B.F. Yoakum's empire at the time.

    Unfortunately for the Frisco and its hopes of dominating south Texas, Yoakum's empire fell apart ca. 1913. The StLB&M and the rest of the Gulf Coast Lines were sold off by the bankruptcy court, and came under MoPac control in 1925.
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  7. John Sanders

    John Sanders Member

    Re: Frisco Refrigerater lines

    A drive around North Springfield this morning unearthed something that may be related to FRL cars. I noticed an interesting garage and more importantly the door hinges. I made a loop around the block and returned to photograph the hinges. After I got home out came the FRL binder to compare the garage hinges to the drawings from the 1913 CBD. They appear to match closely. The FRL page in the December 1912 ORER list Springfield as the repair shop. Frisco and C&EI divided up the cars after they disbanded FRL in April 1920. The two roads divided up the cars (SLSF 1500 cars and C&EI 1000 cars). By the early 1920s some of the Frisco cars went through a rebuilding program which improved the durability of the cars, while some cars were converted to ventilated box cars and conventional box cars. Most of the rebuilt refrigerator cars were retired by the 1930s. Any surviving cars ended up in company service. My thought is these hinges might be from retired, or converted FRL/Frisco cars. It is possible these are from any retired refrigerator car that happened to use the same hinge.

    I had intended to post these drawings some time ago, but here they are now. Also attached are photos from this morning.

    John Sanders
    Springfield MO

    IMG_3498.JPG FRL_Car_1913_C_CBD.jpg FRL_Car_1913_B_CBD.jpg IMG_3496.JPG
  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Re: Frisco Refrigerater lines

    Sharp eyes, John. Those hinges do look appropriate and the hap-hazard way they are on the garage doors would indicate that they weren't built onto the garage, but added afterward by some resourceful, however relatively unskilled person.
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  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    John - Very nice! Thanks for the photos, and for the drawings.

    Best Regards,
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    SAFN SAAP Member

    I am in the process of having the Frisco Refrigerator Line decal made. Details coming soon...
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  11. John Sanders

    John Sanders Member

    Thanks Chris and Keith for the kind words.
    It is possible that the match board siding used in the garage doors is car siding. I am waiting for a friend (freight car restorer at Mid Continent RR Museum) to look at the photos and see if that may be the case. Another couple of freight car friends are convinced the hinges are vintage refrigerator car hardware. However they each identified two different hardware makers as the hinge supplier. The car drawings in the CBD remove one more excuse for not building a car, but the small lettering in the delivery scheme remains a mystery as does the rebuild scheme of the 20s.
    John Sanders
    Springfield, MO
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  12. While looking for something else, I stumbled across the May 1925 issue of the Frisco Employe's Magazine, which includes an article, starting on page 10, about the rebuilding of refrigerator cars of this type which were purchased in 1912-1913. It describes the cars' early history as follows:

    "They were painted white, with black letters and red ends and on account of the trouble these cars gave, someone nick-named them 'White Hopes'.... Account of the light superstructure of this car, the body went to pieces rapidly and on account of the reputation these cars had on foreign lines, we could not get them over interchange. The cars were then taken through the shops, but did not receive any substantial repairs. The paint was changed from white to yellow, changing the identity of the cars, but the paint did not make the cars any more useful than when they were white...."

    It includes descriptions of the physical rebuilding of the cars, with much discussion of draft sills, insulation, etc., and four photos -- three "construction" photos and one of the cars apparently in service. The lettering is hard to read, but as near as I can tell the two cars in the latter photo are SL-SF 2043 and SL-SF 1741.
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  13. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Interesting read, Bradley. This begs, for me, what may fall into the "stupid question" category, but I wonder why the reefers where painted white and then to yellow, for that matter? Easier to classify/spot for yard crews and clerks?

    This color scheme and transition also seems to be consistent for Merchants Despatch (MDT) reefers making a white to yellow/yellow-orange paint sceheme, if I recall.

    Best Regards,
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  14. I figured it had something to do with light colored paint absorbing less heat from sunlight, but that's just speculation on my part.

  15. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Seems reasonable enough. I think Frisco Power shows a long string of white MDT reefers behind one of the 2-10-2s in the late 20s/early 30s. Always thought they'd be fun to have for strawberry traffic, until I then read/saw that MDT switched to the yellow-orange scheme by the WWII years.
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  16. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Adding to this (great) old thread. Image from 1917 ORER.

  17. ranulf

    ranulf Member

    I realize this is an old thread, but it's a GOOD thread.

    Did the early era reefer decals ever get produced? In N scale?

    I was reading the "Fruit Farming on the Frisco" pamphlet the other day, which was published in 1899. In it, there is a photo of one end of a Kansas City Fruit Express reefer being loaded. I found one photo of a KCFE car, on ebay of course.

    I assume that photo is not good enough for a decal maker to make decals from, what with the angle and all? Still I thought it was interesting. Sorry if I've strayed too far off topic.

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  18. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Frisco Friends,

    Giving this thread a bump, as Chris Gobert and I are looking for additional photos and perhaps a lettering diagram for the FRL. They will be used for a decal project Chris is pursuing. If you can assist, I will gladly share a few sets for those interested, as with the other projects recently!

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
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  19. Chris Gobert

    Chris Gobert Member

    Good morning Bob Thomas and Frisco friends. I'm new to this group and very pleased to join you. I'm primarily a C&EI modeler and currently am kind of fixated on the period of Frisco control. I note above in this thread that some years ago Levi Benjamin Matthews was having decals made for the FRL cars, earlier John Sanders alluded to a lettering diagram, whereabouts unknown, and more recently Eric Hansmann has provided some very useful suggestions for the hardware inventory lettered on the ends of the cars. I'm quite serious about commissioning a sheet of decals for these cars and would very much appreciate any input to ensure utmost accuracy. Kind regards to all of you. Chris Gobert.

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