Re: New Run: Rapido HO Scale General American Meat Reefer

Douglas Harding

Chuck if you are referring to the photos Todd posted, those are photos of Atlas models, not the Rapido model, nor are they photos of the prototype. The Atlas model came with four hinges. Atlas claimed the model was based upon a Cudahy car built in 1925, and I have a photo of a Cudahy reefer with four hinges that appears to match the Atlas model. The car in the photo was built in 1928. Four hinges were common on earlier reefers. Some early reefers also came with eight hinges. Six hinges became the defacto with most manufactures of wood cars sometime in the 20s or 30s. One reason I heard was if a hinge failed there was two other hinges on that door to hold it in place. Hinge familiar was commonly due to wood rotting because of the high moisture related to reefers. The doors were heavy because of the construction to contain the insulation and required seals.


There are photos of wood Swift reefers with only four hinges. Though the majority of photos show six hinges. This could be because very few photos were taken in the teens and twenties, when four hinges were more common.


I have never seen any data showing the number of cars broke down by number of hinges.


Doug  Harding


From: [] On Behalf Of Chuck Cover
Sent: Saturday, April 4, 2020 7:21 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New Run: Rapido HO Scale General American Meat Reefer


The Swift reefers in the photo have doors with only 4 hinges, which stands out to me.  I think most reefers have doors with 6 hinges.  Can anyone tell me the difference?  Were the four hinge doors lighter weight or were the hinges more heavy duty?   How many reefer cars had the 4 hinge car?  I assume different manufacturers built the different doors.  Thanks


Chuck Cover

Santa Fe, NM

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