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N Scale - Aztec - UPFE 2012-10 - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Pacific Fruit Express - 453822

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Aftermarket Decorator Aztec
Stock Number UPFE 2012-10
Brand Aztec
Manufacturer Con-Cor
Body Style Con-Cor Reefer 50 Foot Modern
Prototype Vehicle Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical (Details)
Road or Company Name Pacific Fruit Express (Details)
Reporting Marks SPFE
Road or Reporting Number 453822
Paint Color(s) Orange
Print Color(s) Black & White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Reefer
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Mechanical
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160
Track Gauge N standard



Specific Item Information: AZTEC UPFE 2012 - 10

Prototype History:
The purpose of a mechanical reefer is to keep perishable items cold. Early reefers were of all wood construction and used ice for cooling. By the 1940s, new reefers were being built entirely of steel. Insulating techniques improved to the point where economical refrigeration could be accomplished using steel side plates in place of wood sheathing. Fifty foot mechanical reefers date back to at least the late 50s / early 60s.

The mechanical reefers could keep a more regular temperature, and often times colder than what the ice bunker cars were capable of. Initially mechanical reefers were used primarily in frozen food service. This would soon change as mechanical refrigeration began to replace ice-based systems. Soon after, mechanical refrigeration units replaced the “armies” of personnel required to re-ice the cars.

Road Name History:
Pacific Fruit Express (reporting mark PFE) was an American railroad refrigerator car leasing company that at one point was the largest refrigerator car operator in the world. The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF).

In 1923, the Western Pacific Railroad joined the venture by leasing its own, brand new fleet of 2775 reefers to PFE. They were painted in standard PFE colors with only WP heralds on the cars instead of the paired UP-SP markings. The WP cars were all retired by the late 1950s, among the last wooden reefers in PFE's fleet. WP ended its partnership with PFE in late 1967 and joined Fruit Growers Express instead.

PFE's assets were divided between the UP and SP when the company was split on April 1, 1978. It is now a UP subsidiary.

Brand/Importer Information:
Aztec Manufacturing is an aftermarket decorator originally based in San Mateo, CA, now in Carson City, NV.
Historically, Aztec was known for their excellent quality aftermarket decorations of other manufacturers' rolling stock. Aztec repainted models by many different manufacturers including Life-Like, Atlas and others.
In the recent years, Aztec's focus is on track cleaning cars DCC-Ready frames for locomotives and high quality pad-printed freight cars.
Following retirement of its owner, Aztec closed its business in 2018.

Item created by: jbeezz28 on 2019-07-25 18:28:40. Last edited by jbeezz28 on 2020-10-11 11:53:30

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