John Nehrich wrote:
....I look at photos and see aJohn, I only have a couple of photos of the prototypes for the RC wine
reefers, but they don't entirely confirm your conclusions. Both are W. C.
Whittaker photos taken before WW II. One shows California Despatch Line
CDLX 279 (an ex-PFE car built in 1909 and rebuilt in 1933) with billboard
stenciling for the Italian Swiss Colony winery in Asti, Calif. The photo
is dated Jan. 11 1939 and the car had its journals repacked by the SP at
Oakland on Oct. 28, 1938, which suggests that it was expected to continue
in revenue service at that time. That car was in the CDLX 277-317 series,
and at least some cars of that series remained on the CDLX roster in the
ORERs through 1950, though all were gone by 1/53. How long they kept their
billboard paint schemes is, of course, unknown.
The other photo is undated but appears to have been taken at about the same
time. It shows CDLX 307 of the same series with fancy lettering and logo
for the Bear Creek Vinyard Assn. of Lodi, CA and the car is obviously
retired and out of service, as the ladders and sill steps had been removed.
Coupled next to it was CDLX 298 of the same series, also out of service as
its hand brake had been removed, so these cars were probably in a CDLX dead
line when photographed. FWIW, the last reweigh date on CDLX 307 was 12-34,
which was presumably the date when its billboard paint scheme was applied,
and it was only moderately dirty and weathered - ± about 5 years worth, I'd
All of the cars in this series had wood roofs and were equipped with six
wooden tanks. On the evidence of the phots cited above, they had twelve
reefer-style hatch covers on the roof, six on each side.
Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520