Re: a mystery use of at least one (possibly more) PFE reefer

Eric Hansmann

A weigh date is not clear on any of these cars, so we don’t know the approximate date the scene was captured on film.


The 1911 amendment to the Safety Appliance Act pushed the Master Car Builders Association to formulate standards for placement of the new hardware. This led to sill steps on both ends of a car side. Ladders or ladder grabs on the right end of a car side and the left end of the car end, with rungs at the same level. A single handhold at the left end of the car side was added with the sill step. The end sill grabs became standard appliances on all cars, too.


These changes did not happen overnight to the US freight car fleet. There were occasional freight cars lacking all of these new safety appliances during WW1. IIRC, it was 1923 when all the older cars were either retired or upgraded to meet the new requirements.



Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN


From: <> On Behalf Of Richard Wilkens
Sent: Thursday, June 4, 2020 12:10 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] a mystery use of at least one (possibly more) PFE reefer


What's interesting is that the PFE car and the SP&S cars have no side stirrup step on the left corner of the cars or hand grabs. I thought by this time that was a requirement.

Rich Wilkens

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