Re: "TW" reefer designation

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>


Quite a few of the large wine makers in California served primarily
eastern markets up into the 1960s. Roma was the most famous. Wine from
quite a few of these producers was shipped in bulk to bottling plants in
the east. This pretty much ended when many of the larger California
wineries went national, and there was a boomlet (later a boom in the
1970s) in east coast wineries growing hybridized grapes. AFIK, there are
few, if any, California wineries shipping in bulk to the east coast now
(watch someone prove me wrong!). Most ship finished wine in bottles.
IIRC, Roma was one of the last of the bulk shippers. I vaguely remember
seeing a Roma car in Manteca or Fresno while traveling to my parents
house from college around 1970 or so. Of course, no camera, and in fact
I think it was at night.

I had quite forgotten the Roma wine tankers. I don't know the technical
details of the tanks, but they were probably lined with glass, stainless
steel, or something else. If they were bare steel, the acids in the
wines would have slowly eaten away at the metal, tainting the taste of
the wine with iron compounds.

As we have discussed here before, the notion that all billboard reefers
disappeared circa 1939 is in error. Car under lease to one company, and
carrying only their products, could still be so lettered. The lettering
ban applied mostly to free-floating or short-term lease cars which might
carry loads for shippers other than the one advertised on the side,
especially loads for competitors. I do not know about the cars in
question, but photo evidence shows that certain wine cars did retain
their colorful schemes up into the 1960s.

I'm sure that Richard will eventually straighten us both out on this
matter. He always seems to have the right answer, and the evidence to
back it up.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

John Nehrich wrote:

I understand that part of the fermetation process are the development of
aldehydes, which are bitter, but allowing the wine to "breathe" lets them
oxidize. Although around c. 1940 there are the multi-dome/multi-compartment
wine tank cars, which must have had a metal liner.
But if the TW cars were converted in '35-'36, that doesn't leave much
time for them to run under the billboard schemes that Red Caboose shows (not
that there was that much time between the end of Prohibition and the
billboard ban anyway).
Also, as bulk wine cars rather than shipping cartons of it in RB cars,
the cars would need to go to bottling plants, not just some wholesale
distributor or even in the more remote possibility of a team track (on a
layout just to justify these cars) ?
- John Nehrich

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