Re: FGE family steam era reefers

Eric Neubauer <eaneubauer@...>

The Reading and other railroads that served the Lehigh Valley cement belt were pretty responsive when it came to providing watertight box cars. The Reading was using inside metal roofs at least as early as 1891-92. These had outside board roofs which covered an inside roof made up of galvanized metal panels which fit into slots in the sides of wooden boards located between the panels. There was a 3/4" gap between the outside and inside roofs. There were two fascia boards with a gap in between to let any water flow off the inside roof making this roof type recognizable from the outside. The carlines were underneath the inside roof. The inside roof would probably not have stood up to someone standing on it, hence the outside roof was there for protection. The inside roof was intended to be flexible while remaining watertight. The inside roof panels were about 21" wide. The galvanized panels had some shallow corrugations intended to keep water away from the joints.
Eric N.

Don, I know that with some railroads there was a lot of inertia that slowed

change. Wooden roofs were known technology and quite trustworthy except
for the tendency to leak.  Adding some thin tinplate between layers to stop
water leakage was not a radical step.  Making a heavier steel load-bearing
roof was a bit more innovative and doubtless took a while to catch on.
Car supervisors who came up through the ranks when carmen were basically
carpenters might be slow to embrace steel.  Just like rivet-era boilermakers
were slow to trust electric welding on pressure vessels.  Skill displacement
and inertia.
At least that is my theory.
Chuck Peck


     Wiyh eight CBC's here from 1919 through 1953 I have seen that many times. That, however, dose not explain the necessity of the extra layer of wood over the metal sheathing in any way that has ever made sense to me.


cordially, Don Valentine

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