Re: SFRD Rr-30 Class Reefers From Athearn

Keith Jordan

Mr. Madden opined:

"Where is the third fleet?", which was obviously a reference to the
third group of Santa Fe 50' frozen food reefers scheduled to traverse
Sherman Hill that November.
Actually, all 100 reefers were shipped from LA to Hawaii, surreptitiously
aboard a Matson freighter to serve aboard the Enterprise as Halsey's frozen
food lockers. Hangar space was needed for the attack on the Japanese fleet
at Midway, so the cars were taken off at Pearl, where Nimitz ordered them
back to the US mainland. The Santa Fe was grateful to have served Admiral
Halsey in a time of need. In fact, the railroad was awarded the Navy "E,"
which was promptly painted on a boxcar. The photo ceremony was scheduled for
late in the evening of September 18, 1942 but the company photographer was
not allowed to use a flash due to the blackout ordered on the West Coast.
The car was destroyed the next day in a derailment near Klondike,
California, so no photographs were ever taken.

Mr. Goff asked:

Nice car. The hatch platforms, reversed hatch covers mark this car as no
later than the early 1950s. They don't show us the reverse side. Do you
suppose it will be "Ship and Travel" or one of the maps?
The hatch covers remained "reversed" for the life of the cars from the
photos I've seen. Turning the hatch covers around to lie flat was done to
those USRA style rebuilt cars further modernized in the 1950s.

The only accurate scheme for these cars, as delivered in 1940 and until
later repainted, is the Super Chief slogan with the map opposite. All 100
cars had this scheme. When they were repainted, it was likely with the Ship
and Travel scheme, since that became the standard in 1947. On p. 215 of
"Santa Fe Railway...Refrigerator Cars..." there's a nice photo of 37374 (one
of the fan cars) with the Chief/Ship and Travel slogan, painted in 1950. The
S&T slogans were the same size as the 40 foot versions, so looked more puny
on the bigger cars.

Keith Jordan

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