Re: Digest Number 3086

Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>

From: "al_brown03" <abrown@...>
Subject: Freight car washing (was Photo of R-40-25)

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:
maybe it would be > interesting to explore how many reefer owners washed cars at all?
More generally, how many *freight car* owners washed cars at all? I
vaguely recall reading, somewhere, that the Chicago & Illinois Midland
washed everything including hoppers. But how (un)common was that?

In eight years of working for railroads and another 15 years as a consultant, involved regulary with yard operations, I never heard of washing freight cars. There weren't any wash racks in freight yards. Private line owners couldn't wash cars regularly because they couldn't cause cars to be brought to where thye could be washed. It would have been a totally unjustifiable expense.

Passenger trains weree a different story. Thre were many car washers near terminals.

On locomotives, there was a big difference of opinion. Santa Fe worked hard on keeping their engines clean. NYC just let the dirt pile up. IMHO it was no coincidence that SF had many fewer road failures. Nothing like dirt in the carbody to build up electrical faults that trip the ground relays.

Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478

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