Re: Aluminum body reefers, was IC green and yellow refrigerators

Richard Townsend

Canadian National got five. Maybe I should dust off my "early aluminum freight cars" clinic. 

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: mopacfirst <ron.merrick@...>
Sent: Wed, Jul 15, 2020 4:36 pm
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Aluminum body reefers, was IC green and yellow refrigerators

I didn't know about the FGE one. In addition to the IC one, there were two built for SFRD and two built for PFE.  Both of those builds were covered in detail, one in the Santa Fe ice reefer book and the other in Tony's PFE book.  Does anyone know of others?

For my modeling purposes, these cars are of no interest, because the chance of any of them (except perhaps the IC car, in banana service) being on my railroad would have been vanishingly small.  But they are curiosities, and their history says a lot about the history of engineering innovations and the developments in materials science.  These cars are perhaps more closely related to the relatively large group of aluminum-bodied passenger cars that were also built after the war, in terms of their design challenges.  Aluminum reefers seemed like an attractive target for experimentation given the relative heaviness of the steel reefer body compared to tare weight, but unfortunately they were probably one of the most troublesome since a reefer body is wet most of the time, and even worse with the salt involved, given the potential for galvanic corrosion between the steel frame and the body.  The promise of mechanical refrigeration more than likely rendered any further aluminum reefer experiments pointless.

So it looks then like the IC 51000 may be the only survivor of these experiments.

Ron Merrick

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