Re: Athearn/Roundhouse pickle cars

Donald B. Valentine

--- In STMFC@..., Cyril and Lynn Durrenberger
<durrecj@...> wrote:

Athearn/Roundhouse is advertising what appears to be a run of the
old Athearn pickle car.

1. Does anyone know how accurate this model is for any sort of
similar car?

2. Does anyone know if any of the lettering schemes are
accurate? All of these companies seem to have existed at one time
or another and marketed pickles (did RIchter Vinegar Co made
pickles), but it is not clear that they owned or leased pickle cars.
In addition it is not clear that these lettering schemes are similar
to ones that were used if they owned pickle cars.

3. Richter Vinegar Co. did have at least one wood vinegar car,
but it was not like this type of car.

Cyril Durrenberger

Cyril and all,

I cannot comment on the accuracy of the Athearn/Roundhouse pending
release but can offer a bit of information on the Richter Vinegar
Corp. Firstly, I believe you are crrect in surmising they never made
pickles. If you do a quick Google search, however, you will probably
find more information on the company than you might ever need. At
least two of the company's vinegar cars, with differing types of
wooden tanks, survive in Wisconsin museums, #11, with one long wooden
tank at North Freedom and #20 under cover at Green Bay and having two
tanks said to be constructed from redwood as that resisted the
corrosive action of the vinegar better than steel. At least that was
the claim, but read on.

The "original" Richter company seems to have gone out of business
in the 1980's but may have been reformed by one of the younger
generation in the family. In 1978, however, while retunring from a
National Conference of State Rail Officials via Wisconsin my family
and I decided to take the C&O car ferry from Manitowoc, WI to
Ludington, MI. As most realize, these ferries carried rail cars as
well as automobiles. Much to my surprise three of the rail cars
proved to be former General American - Pfaudler Corp. 6,000 gal.
capy. milk tank cars, a type I an extremely familiar with owing to
some thirty-five years of research about them. The tanks in these
cars, which were all from the last batch constructed in 1947, were of
stainless steel, so that apparently withstood the rigors of carrying
vinegar better than mild steel. One of the three cars that had been
loaded onto the ferry was pulled off so that our car and two others
could be put on. Upon asking, the response I received was that the
car could go across on the next ferry as it was only going five miles
from Ludington once it reached Michigan. Thus it became apparent that
these cars acquired more mileage and time moving on a car ferry than
they did by train; most unusual!

If anyone knows I'd love to learn what became of these former milk
tank cars then serving as regular freight cars. If memory serves, all
but one of the GPEX milk tank cars in the various museums are the
less numerous 8,000 gal. cars that the G.M.&O. and L&N had purchased
from GPEX for use as water cars in work trains. Richter had at least
three, and I believe as many as five, of these former GPEX 6,000 gal.
cars which I hope have survived somewhere.

Don Valentine

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