North Fork meat packing plant questions

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Dec 11 19:37:36 EST 2017

You're welcome--glad I could help. The livestock movements were too 
early for my first-hand accounts and LCL was on the decline. Most of my 
info is limited to post-WWII when the roads had improved such that 
trucks gradually took over the LCL traffic. The refrigerator cars 
returned empty. LCL that I'm aware of in the coalfields was delivered in 
boxcars on local freight, passenger or mine runs or baggage cars, and 
included perishables, but I do not know specifics of how perishables 
were handled. Much depended on minimal time in transit.

I'm not sure, but these were two large national packing companies and 
I'm guessing sourced livestock from large western suppliers in foreign 
road cars until they figured out moving carcasses was more efficient.

Grant Carpenter

On 12/10/2017 7:45 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> 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?
> Brent
> ________________________________
> 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!
>> Brent
>> ________________________________
>> Dr. J. Brent Greer

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list