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Products shipped by freight?

Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by Average White Railfan, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Average White Railfan

    Average White Railfan Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 2, 2001 Messages: 1,120 Likes Received: 0
    yesterday i was in the walmart superstore out here and they had a little 10 pack of hashbrowns with the same 'lamb weston' logo thats on the side of freightcars. not that im into supporting corp america more than i already do but ive seen so many of my spots dry up in the last 3 years that im down to support companies that ship by rail just in an attempt to
    'keep shit running' anybody know of other regular products or companies that ship by rail. i know del monte ships raw veggies by rail..any others?
  2. dukeofyork

    dukeofyork Senior Member

    Joined: Nov 9, 2000 Messages: 1,589 Likes Received: 1
    paper of varying sorts......

    ive seen pallets of guinness beer inside one warehouse through the cracks in the garage door....
  3. Cracked Ass

    Cracked Ass Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 24, 2001 Messages: 7,898 Likes Received: 47
    Yeah, the good news is that drinking beer and wine keeps those insulated boxcars rolling. Loads of new empty kegs go by boxcar too. Autoracks will never die out in this car-crazy country (there's an irony, excessive road products helping rail action). Coffee is shipped in huge bags of beans too heavy to carry, so drink off that hangover. The nation has to eat, so grain hoppers will run forever.
    I'm still kicking myself for not picking up a discarded manifest sheet I saw walking out of an old layup, so I could nail down brands and products. But I believe a lot of canned goods, bottled juice, stuff like that travel in insulated boxcars as well, which are often flats or baby ridge cars.
    There is some good news running against the grain of lower traffic and dried-up layups: railroads are gunning for a bigger share of the refrigerated transportation market (fruits, vegetables, frozen fish, etc.). The big Solid Cold and other reefer refurbishing, and the new BNSF reefers, are part of this campaign.
    Trucks can't haul everything. In fact, the vast majority of truck deliveries are 400 miles or less. Rail still makes sense for longer hauls, if railroads can get a little more customer service oriented and ship on time.
    I wish I could get more specific on products to buy to support rail transport, but it's like being a vegan, keeping up with what's good and what's not, it's too much work. If you're into canned veggies or juice I believe Del Monte and LeSueur ship by rail, but not sure, and we all know about Tropicana. Somebody should write to Trains magazine and ask this question - who can I buy from to support rail?
    As for your Lamb & Weston sighting, unfortunately buying one may not help the other. Corporations these days are segmented (look at Philip Morris owning Kraft and Nabisco to diversify from tobacco). That means their name can be on a bunch of unrelated things (like boxcars and hash browns) but they won't hesitate to sell off or abandon a division that isn't making money, which will often be the rail segment.
    Here's another tough-to-support situation: a lot of railcars are owned by banks. They lease the cars out to companies that need them. They don't even give a shit whether the cars are taking trips - they just want their lease money and to not have to spend much on car maintenance, if that's even their responsibility. There's no meaningful dent railfans can make trying to support a bank that owns railcars. "Hi, I'd like to open a really small checking account with you guys because I know you own a lot of railcars", that will get some strange looks from your local teller.
  4. me IS cool

    me IS cool Guest

    wow nice to know all this information. I know that some boxcars carry microwaves and other electronic occasionally, nut not sure which, nor do I really care... But I know that at the spot where I paint my fr8's they carry nothing but lumber, there's a whole line of boxcars, ( none of which are the same company) which get loaded with lumber.... :D