The coming of the railroad changed the way America ate and drank. Before the iron horse connected every town of any importance to the outside world, most food was grown or produced locally. The arrival of cheap, fast, refrigerated transport - in the form of the woodsided reefer with ice bunkers at each end - enabled local brewers, dairies, meat processors, and other food businesses to become players on a national scale. Among other things, the reefer enabled Chicago to become "Hog Butcher for the World."
In the 19th Century, ice for reefers was harvested from frozen ponds. The advent of mechanical ice making around 1900 greatly increased the capacity of the reefer fleet, and icing stations were erected around the country on shipping routes that could be as long as coast-to-coast.
Famed railroad historian John H. White referred to reefers as "the most conservative of all American freight cars," as reefers retained wood frames and sides long after other types of cars had converted to steel construction. Steel reefers became common only after 1940, and many wood reefers ran well into the 1960s.
Mechanical reefers, with a diesel-powered refrigeration unit in each car, became the norm in the second half of the 20th century. This model is typical of contemporary mechanical reefers built since the 1970s, with greater length and capacity than earlier cars, as well as plug doors more than 10' wide to facilitate easier loading and unloading with mechanized forklifts.
MTH Premier O Scale freight cars are the perfect complement to any manufacturer's scale proportioned O Gauge locomotives. Whether you prefer to purchase cars separately or assemble a unit train, MTH Premier Rolling Stock has the cars for you in a variety of car types and paint schemes.
Virtually every sturdy car is offered in two car numbers which makes it even easier than ever to combine them into a mult-car consist. Many of MTH's Premier Rolling Stock offerings can also operate on the tightest O Gauge curves giving them even more added versatitlity to your layout.