Re: Question about reefer hatches

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Jerry Michels wrote:
Over on the reefer madness list there is a discussion on the normal position of reefer hatches. I was under the impression that reefer ice hatches were normally closed whether the car was loaded or empty unless it was specifically carrying a load that needed ventilation only, when the hatches were opened. I thought I read this on this list, but might be mistaken. Can anyone confirm the typical or normal practice?
Yes, it was normal practice to close them. Both PFE and SFRD instructed yard crews and ice deck crews to close them. It is a railfan/modeler myth that "open hatches mean empty cars."
The idea that cars would "be dried out by running them with open hatches" is something I raised with the retired head of PFE's Car Department. He answered, "What for?" The cars were irreversibly damp inside, and any shipper who might use them knew that. You might dry them by storing them with open doors and hatches at Tucson for a summer month; otherwise . . .

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

Join to automatically receive all group messages.