Refrigerator Cars - Salt Water Drippings

Bob Chaparro

Refrigerator Cars - Salt Water Drippings

This text is from the 1925 Car Builders' Cyclopedia Of American Practice.

Note that from 1923 onward, brine in ice tanks was not to be allowed to drip on to the track. This was to prevent corrosion damage to track, bridges and electrical circuits. Brine was to be drained at icing stations.

What is not clear is whether this also applied to ice bunkers, as opposed to ice tanks. Does anyone know the answer to this?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


When salt is used with ice in a bunker, the method of disposing of the salt water drippings requires special attention. If brine falls on the truck parts, rails, etc., the resulting damage is great and heavy maintenance cost results. The subject is of such importance that the American Railway Association as early as 1898 adopted the following: Recommended Practice adopted, 1898; revised, 1910

1. All salt-water drippings should be retained in the ice tanks and drained off only at icing stations.

2. The total capacity of drain openings should not exceed the capacity of traps, and the capacity of both drains! and traps should be sufficient to release all drippings within the time limit of icing the train.

3. The mechanism adopted for handling drain valves; should be simple and positive, and so designed as to insure closing the valves before hatch plugs can be returned to their places.

4. Salt drippings should be conducted from ice tanks through the drain valves above described and thence to the outside of cars through regular traps and drain pipes.

The A. R. A. interchange rules also specify that after January 1, 1923, cars carrying products which require for their refrigeration the use of ice and salt, and which are equipped with brine tanks, shall not be accepted in interchange unless provided with a suitable device for retaining the brine while enroute between the icing stations.

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