Re: SFRD Rr-30 Class Reefers From Athearn

Keith Jordan

--- In, Andy Carlson
<midcentury@...> wrote:

The Athearn model has been examined by a friend of mine,
and I am repeating his observations.

Though 100 of these cars were built, the last 25 cars came
equipped with fans, a bit unusual in that both fans were on the
same side of the carbody. Unless Details West comes out with a
fan set, we will have to make our own fans.

The earlier class Rr-22 numbered 200 cars and differed in 2
big ways from the Rr30; earlier dreadnaught ends, and no
National B-1 trucks. (I was told that the Athearn B-1 trucks are
stunning in their appearence, blowing away the LifeLike version.)
Maybe Athearn will tool a different end to do the similar Rr-22.

Both the Rr-22s and the Rr-30s had Durea Cushioned
underframes. Here is an area where Richard Hendrickson will
probably have an opportunity to show us how to correct a built-in
problem with the Athearn underframe. Brake rigging is
connected to the floor and centersill on the model, whereas the
real underframes had brackets holding the brake equipment to
surfaces that would not move relative to each other thereby
preventing the shearing of components when the underframe

Sounds like a nicely done model, though I would have hoped
for a good model of something with more than only 75 cars.

Andy and Others,

The Rr-22's Duryea underframe was the earlier version, with
different crossbearers and torsion plates than that on the Rr-30.
The hatch covers were different as well. Add this to Andy's
comments about the ends and trucks.

Also, while the Rr-31s were externally similar to the Rr-30s, they
were two feet longer, with larger capacity ice bunkers. Hopefully,
Athearn won't letter later runs for this class.

A minor correction: As far as the fans are concerned, they weren't
on "one side." It was the sheaves that attached to external
motors (when stationary) and external controls that were on one
side. Later fan versions put the sheaves/hardware on opposite
sides. The fans themselves actually were at the bottom of the
bunkers, running across the car.

When Overland imported these 50 foot reefers several years
ago, they included brass castings of the fan pulley sheaves.
These could be easily used as molds and cast in resin. When
the fan cars got repainted in the 1950s, the fan plates were
painted black, providing an interesting contrast.

I'm excited that Athearn did this, because it could be a harbinger
of future projects based on "minor" prototypes.

Keith Jordan

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