Freight Car Friday – Fruit Growers Express

Lionel Trains

Fruit Growers Express is best known as an owner and operator of refrigerator cars used to haul produce from the American Southeast to the rest of the country. But in addition to building and operating reefers, FGE had other carbuilding operations as well.

reefer The bright yellow Fruit Growers Express reefers stood out in any train. Many are preserved around the country including this one at the California State Railroad Museum.

Fruit Growers Express began as its own corporate identity on March 18, 1920. Formed as a result of an anti-trust lawsuit against Armour and Company which owned both the refrigerator line and many of the packing houses they served, FGE was owned by major railroads of the region.

Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, FGE had facilities and operations in most of the eastern states along the busy trunk lines of its owning railroads. Hauling produce was a very specialized and demanding…

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