BREX 326-329, express refrigerator cars


I am trying to solve a mystery about these four 50' steel express refrigerator cars built by the Burlington Route in 1937.

They had two sets of doors on each side. One in the center and a second set, seen at the left end from photo of a car at its "B" end.

Was the door near the end on the other side directly opposite this door, or was it diametrically opposite in the other corner?

A prototype photo taken from the "A" end could help solve that. So might a company diagram for that class of car, of which there were only four I understand.

A Burlington Bulletin in which I saw a prototype photo of one of them wasn't able to answer that question. I think it dated from the 1980s.

But it was helpful in other matters. The door sets on each side were two different heights with the lower set near the end. A photo showed one car equipped for passenger service: steam line, air and signal lines, buffers and riding on short wheelbase BX type express trucks.

While apparently painted yellow and maybe box car red (?) like BREX freight reefers, the color of the lettering in that photo suggested it was not black but possibly dark red. It included the words Express Refrigerator in place of Ventilator - Refrigerator.

ORER issues I have from 1943 and 1953 do not call out anything specific about these four cars that relate to the doors, other than being equipped for stage icing.

Does anyone know if Railway Age or a similar contemporary industry journal may have run an article about them in 1937/38?

So far I've found three citations in this group about these cars: Numbers 92911 of 8/11/2011, 61539 of 3/20/2007 and 51362 of 2/9/2006. None answer the door placement question.

Walthers produced their O gauge kit for these cars in 1941, not long after the prototypes were built. It was kit number 3842 and the instructions do not mention anything about the opposite side door placement. Walthers showed one in their catalog with BREX freight lettering, an incorrect freight number (74780)and riding on Bettendorf style trucks.

Any suggestions in resolving the door placement mystery will be truly appreciated!

Thank you,
Ed Bommer

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