The Pacific Fruit Express Company (PFE) was incorporated in 1906 and began operations the following year. A joint project
of the Edward H. Harriman-controlled Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads, the PFE handled shipments of vegetables,
fruit and other perishables primarily from western growing areas to markets in the northern and eastern states. At its height,
the company had a total of almost 41,000 ice refrigerator cars. To service these, the PFE operated a number of ice plants
and docks, as well as car and repair shops throughout the west. After World War II, the number of cars owned by the company
declined, although their size increased. Mechanical refrigerators began supplanting the older ice bunker cars. By 1972 the
ice cars had been totally replaced. Joint ownership between Southern Pacific and Union Pacific ended in 1978, with the two
railroads dividing the rolling stock and SP keeping the Pacific Fruit Express name.
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