Altoona in Blair County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
PRR Express Refrigerator Car No. 2561
"They'd say, 'Buzz, you're going to Harrisburg on a high class'.... You checked each other's watch."
— Russ Marlett, Conductor
A freight train that carried perishables, like fruit or meat, was called a "high class" and it had to be right on time. "Tomato specials" ran through to Heinz, potatoes were carried over to Chamley to make whiskey. Time was money, and the Pennsy knew the importance of being on time.
An express refrigerator car like this one usually rode in passenger trains.
Loaded with enormous blocks of ice, these express refrigerator cars were built to carry perishables like milk to delivery points on the local routes.
• Built in 1929, this Class R50B express refrigerator car was one of 550 such cars designed and operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
• By 1961, highway and air competition and the general decline of railroad passenger service had reduced the number of such cars to 114.
• This car, No. 2561, is believed to be the sole remaining intact example of its type.
The Milk Train
Virginia Museum of Transportation Collection
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad 🚂 series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1929.
Location. 40° 30.858′ N, 78° 23.997′ W. Marker is in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in Blair County. Marker can be reached from 9th Avenue south of 12th Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1200 9th Avenue, Altoona PA 16602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Juniata Shops (within shouting distance of this marker); Track Cars (within shouting distance of this marker); PRR Class D78F Dining Car No. 4468 (within shouting distance of this marker); PRR Class N5 Cabin Car (or Caboose) No. 477577 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Altoona Works (within shouting distance of this marker); PRR Class X29L Steel Boxcar No. 2136 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Posy Gang (about 300 feet away); The Master Mechanic (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Altoona.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 21, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 70 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 21, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.