Thursday, December 3, 2020

Atlantic & Pacific Fast Freight Lines

One of the A&P cars plus the ATSF car, both sporting the same herald and coloring scheme.

During the 1800s when railroads were still figuring out how to do business, there evolved a number of fast freight lines. Most of them were run by the railroad and were intended to get your goods through with fewer delays, for a higher price, of course. A friend of mine, Art Hunhausen, has done a considerable amount of research on the various fast freight lines including the the California Fast Freight Lines of which I have several cars. He also found mention of a Santa Fe sponsored line. Both the ATSF and the Atlantic & Pacific Railroads contributed cars for the service. The Frisco also participated but did not contribute any cars. Not too much is known about the equipment. There are mentions of the boxcars in the Official Railway Equipment Register and a couple of mentions in the newspapers of the period. No good photographs have turned up. Basically,  we know that the cars were 28 feet long and were painted yellow with green doors. There was an "X" on the door with red and white cross pieces. 
The Pabst Brewing car plus one of the A&P boxcars.
 Based on this information plus a sign on an A&P ticket office which looked suspiciously like a herald, Art designed the letter for the set. The A&P had two usual configurations of its name, both of which are featured here along with the Santa Fe version.
You can see the "herald" on the right side which inspired the
cars' lettering scheme.

 In addition to these cars, I also found an old photo of a Pabst beer car. The herald looked interesting so I set about designing a lettering scheme. It matches the old photo so I guess it's not too bad. 
     All of the cars were built from a resin Southern Pacific 28-foot boxcar kit which was an extremely limited run. I replaced the doors and, in the case of the refrigerator car, added the hinges, latch, etc.

1 comment:

  1. I am originally from Albuquerque and one of the railroads that I love to read about is the Atlantic & Pacific. That's because its eastern terminus was Albuquerque.
    A lot of people associate the A&P as being part of the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, but it isn't. It originally was setup as a joint venture between the Santa Fe and the Frisco railroads. The eastern half built and managed by the Frisco while the western half was built and managed by the Santa Fe.
    What eventually happened was the Frisco ran into money problems and could not build their end. The Santa Fe built their end from Albuquerque (through Flagstaff) to Needles CA which is still being used today by the BNSF.
    Once the Frisco dropped out, the Santa Fe eventually reorganized and renamed the A&P as the "Santa Fe Pacific". Eventually the SFP became part of the Santa Fe railroad.
    If you go to the Palace of the Governors website and search their digital collections, there are some A&P photos located. Type "A&P" in the search field. Arizona memory project might also have some A&P photos too.