Re: Refrigerator Car Brine Holding Tanks

Richard Hendrickson

On Jul 26, 2005, at 10:02 PM, Bob Chaparro wrote:

Railroads sometimes added salt to the ice in ice bunker refrigerator
cars to achieve lower load temperatures. John H. White's book, The
Great Yellow Fleet, mentions on Page 106 that "brine tanks to catch
and hold the discharge were required on cars used in interchange
service". The previous paragraph in the book implies he is discussing
refrigerator cars used for meat and frozen foods.

My question is, were such brine tanks ever required for RS reefers in
produce service?
Tony Thompson has already responded to this query, but I would like to
add a caution about using The Great Yellow Fleet as an authority on
refrigerator cars and reefer operations. The first half of the book on
the 19th and early 20th century development of refrigerator cars was,
in fact, written entirely by Jack White, and you can take whatever he
wrote on the subject to the bank. However, most of the second half of
the text and photo captions was written by White's publisher and silent
collaborator, Donald Duke, and there are errors of fact or
interpretation on almost every page. Duke has a fine track record as a
publisher but an abysmal one as a researcher, an activity in which he
has neither significant credentials nor significant experience.
Regrettably, you can't believe in the accuracy of anything you read in
the second half of the book, and that's unfortunate because, especially
with Jack White as named author, it looks like the kind of book you
should be able to trust.

Richard Hendrickson

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