Pacific Fruit Express Company Forms

Southern Pacific and Union Pacific created Pacific Fruit Express to answer a demand for rail cars that could ship perishable fruits from the West, Salinas Valley and Central Valley. E.H. Harriman made an initial order of 6,000 insulated refrigerator cars, cooled by ice stored at each end. Though some considered this a risky purchase, it soon paid off. Fresh fruits and vegetables were in demand — enough so that growers developed ways to produce crops year ‘round. By 1921, Pacific Fruit Express had grown to 19,200 rail cars carrying 170,000 carloads.

Event Media

Today, Union Pacific maintains a fleet of nearly 5,000 refrigerated rail cars. The cars transport a variety of fresh and frozen products, including produce, seafood, meat, poultry and potatoes.

In 2012, Union Pacific celebrates the shared stories that have shaped our country since 1862. To mark our 150th anniversary, we invite you to explore how the nation’s largest railroad came to be and how UP continues to build America with innovation and tenacity, touching the lives of nearly every citizen.