Re: Why bright colored reefers?

Ian Cranstone

---In STMFC@..., wrote :

Also, bright colors tend to reflect the sun's rays, thus taking some stress off the insulation. Dark colors tend to absorb heat, causing the insulation to be less effective.

Jim Kubanick
Morgantown WV

and Dennis Storzek replied: 

As if the Canadian roads cared about this, both using freight car red for reefers well into the twentieth century. The CN did do some experiments with Aluminum paint in the thirties, I believe, and found that it helped, so long as the cars were clean, but the effect diminished as the cars got dirty. CN eventually went to light gray as being more cost effective.

Certainly CN used their standard Red No. 11 (their version of boxcar red) on the woodside cars of the 1920s and 1930s for pretty much their entire career, and subsequently on the first two or three groups of steel side cars received in 1939-40.  I've always assumed that the steel side cars absorbed and transferred more solar heat as a result, and CN painted all subsequent groups in Grey No. 11.  When the new look was implemented beginning in 1961 (yeah I know, in the future...), the reefers were painted in Aluminum No. 11 -- however, the insulated boxcars continued to be painted in Red No. 11 through the last delivery in 1972.

Ian Cranstone
Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

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