North Fork meat packing plant questions

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sun Dec 10 20:45:19 EST 2017

Thank you Grant!  That is amazingly helpful information for my modeling and operating ambitions.  When the outbound LCL shipments still moved by rail, would this be done using the same reefers that brought the inbound shipments or were additional empties needed or were other types of cars used like insulated REA cars?

For the live animal shipments, do you know if these were from N&W area farms (using only N&W stock cars) or did some come from outside territory in foreign road stock cars?

Dr. J. Brent Greer
From: NW-Mailing-List <nw-mailing-list-bounces at> on behalf of NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2017 2:41:29 PM
To: nw-mailing-list at
Subject: Re: North Fork meat packing plant questions

Dr. Greer,

The other two were Wilson and Swift, which made for a curious concentration of packing plants in Northfork. A facing-point spur off of the eastbound main ran behind the station parallel to Elkhorn Creek. Across the spur from the station was Wilson, built as S&S, Schwarzchild and Sulzberger, next to the creek. Next door to Wilson was Armour, near the end of the spur. Across the spur from Armour, Flat Top Ice and Cold Storage was strategically located between the spur and the main line at the end of the station platform.

I ran across an early map of Northfork in Division archives that indicated cattle pens on the lot between S&S and Armour. I haven't looked up the owner(s), but apparently, product still on the hoof was first shipped in before widespread adoption of the Swift business model of shipping refrigerated carcasses. Swift built later nearby on a trailing-point spur off of and adjacent to the eastbound main just west of the North Fork Hollow Road crossing.

Later, anyway, each plant received one car of meat every Monday morning, plus the occasional load of sausage. LCL outbound shipments to distributors and retailers would have been easy, given the close proximity of the packing plants, the station and the ice house. Eventually, trucks would handle all outbound shipments.

Grant Carpenter

On 12/9/2017 2:37 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
The recent discussions on the operations on the North Fork branch have been fascinating and particularly the sidebar about meat reefers. I've been digging through print references, newspaper articles, and online searches to attempt to learn more about the meat industries there.  I've found reference to the presence of 3 different meat packing plants in North Fork, but so far I've only been able to learn the name of one of them (Armour).  Can anyone here tell me the names of the other 2?

Also, I would like to know how many carloads they typically might have received each week.

Sincere Thanks!

Dr. J. Brent Greer

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