Reefer Services


Reefer Services

A refrigerator car or a refrigerated boxcar is what is commonly known as a reefer. This is a facility designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Refrigerator cars differ from simple insulated boxcars and ventilated boxcars (commonly used for transporting fruit), neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus. Reefers are often ice-cooled and they come equipped with any one of a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems, or they utilize carbon dioxide (either as dry ice, or in liquid form) as a cooling agent. Milk cars (and other types of "express" reefers) may or may not include a cooling system, however they are equipped with high-speed trucks and other modifications that allow them to travel with passenger trains.

Standard refrigerated transport is mostly utilized for goods with less than 14 days of refrigerated "shelf life". The kinds of things that these might include would be avocados, cut flowers, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, mangoes, some meat products, mushrooms, peaches and nectarines and a variety of other types of fruit including tomatoes. "Express" reefers are typically employed in the transport of special perishables: these include goods with a refrigerated shelf life of less than 7 days such as human blood, fish, milk, strawberries, and certain pharmaceuticals.

History of reefer services

The earliest express-service refrigerator cars entered service around 1890 in America, shortly after the first express train routes were established in North America. The cars did not come into general use until the early 20th century. Most units are typically constructed more along the lines of baggage cars than freight equipment.

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