Re: Bangor & Aroostook reefers, was 1927 Boxcar 61000 series

Donald B. Valentine

Richard, as I recall many of the steel reefers were rebuilt at Derby Shops by replacing their doors with a steel panel, removing the roofs and increasing the sides by a foot or so and adding cross braces to convert them into card for wood chips. Havce you any idea of the number so converted as compared to the number actually scrapped. 

Being in Winterport perhaps you can offer further info on potato loading there as well. Between Christmas and the New Year of the 1976-1977 winter I was through Winterport twice. On the first pass their was a German registered ship being loaded with seed potatoes, as we were told, and three of four more in the river waiting to be similarly loaded. On the return trip a few days later Winterport was empty.  Stopping at Searsport and not believing that all the ships cold have been loaded and sailed on that short a time we inquired what had happened to them. We were told the the inspector for the German buyer had grown very unhappy with the quality of seed potatoes being sent by the growers, had cancelled the buy order and sent the ships to New Orleans to load Idaho grown seed potatoes sent there instead. This was not the first time I had heard of poor quality spuds being shipped from "the county". I handled the insurance coverage for the service company that placed the heaters in the potato reefers on the BAR for  three years as well shortly before this and had heard of some of the problems. Too bad as the Aroostook Co. potato growers seem to have been their own worst problem. If you can you add anything to this business I'd be pleased to learn it?

Cordially, Don Valentine

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