Re: refrigerator car ice hatches


Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 01:07 PM, Dave Parker wrote:
I have to disagree with Dennis, at least with respect to MDT, which is the only private reefer fleet with which I am familiar.

Between 1911 and 1917, MDT built 3700+ 40-ft reefers.  Most, possibly all, had outside-metal roofs when built, or else later rebuilt any with "wood" roofs, probably in the 1920s.  None had the the wood icing platforms that Dennis describes.
Always a danger when trying to condense the history and progression of freightcar features to two paragraphs, that someone will cite an example that runs counter to the general rule. Obviously, since the Safety Appliance Act didn't require hatch platforms, each car owner was free to use them, or not. But the fact remains that there was discussion in the trade press in the early years of the twentieth century that outside metal roofs were not a suitable walking surface (maybe the discussion was mostly in Chicago-Cleveland Co. advertising materials, since they also made inside metal roofs). And the fact remains that the MCB/ARA drawings that illustrate the new safety appliance requirements call for latitudinal extensions of the running boards on boxcars with outside metal roofs, but not on cars where the outer surface of the roof is wood. Either way, MANY owners of reefers used hatch platforms on cars with outside metal roofs, and MOST (all?) ended the practice on new or rebuilt cars having more substantial steel roofs.

Dennis Storzek

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