Donald B. Valentine
Not sure what cars Bill Daniels is refering to as identical to these as I do not recall photos of any silk cars having ice hatches.
In addition I do not recall any silk cars being owned by any eastern railroads. From what is seen I concur with Mike that these are in fact milk cars for milk shipped in cans. I wonder why they had ice hatches, however, since milk in cans was top iced with the ice being shoveled amongst the cans. Note, too, the end doors, which I'll bet disappeared in the first resheathing of the ends. The bottom of the doors appears to be just about the height of the top of standard 40 qt. milk cans carried in a single layer. Most can cars had racks attached to the interior side walls with short pieces of chain that could be swung down over the bottom layer of cans to provide a stable foundation for a second layer. With the exception of the ice hatches and the end doors these car are very similar to DL&W milk cars used for can shipment in the post war years,six of which were sold to the Rutland in early 1954 becoming Rutland #350 - #355, all of which were sold in the late spring of 1961. #350 was ex-DL&W #1667 and #351 was
ex-DL&W #1654. I do not have the DL&W numbers for the other four cars. All of these were stated to have been constructed in
1925 in the Rutland Car Accountant's record book but the builder was not identified. Rail Works offered brass models of at least'
very similar DL&W cars in brass in both DL&W and Rutland versions.
Cordially, Don Valentine - a former can shipper before going to a bulk tank.