Re: Cudahy meat reefers

Donald B. Valentine

Thanks for both of your very helpful responses Doug, and to
Richard and Dennis as well. Looks like I have another book to
purchase....after still another bookcase is purchased! While not
surprised that early reefers were tried with only four hinges per
door, it has always surprised me that someone would have reverted to
that practice AFTER 1900, by which time the obvious problems with
only four should have been well documented. Both the NYC and Rutland
(due to NYC control at the time) utilized MDT constructed reefers
that went the opposite way. These cars used EIGHT hinges per door
and, like the four hinge variety, are quite distictive because of it.
I don't have to have a Cudahy car but am interested in having a four
hinge car for the variety and simply wished to have it "right". Some
reworking is not beyond possibility to do so. I was not, however,
even aware that this item had been retooled to utilize working doors.
While I've always been a proponent of operable doors on HO scale box
cars we will have to see how they work out on a reefer. Again,
however, does anyone know of an accurate source of decals (or dry
transfers) for such a car in the post WW II period? They do not have
to be for Cudahy, just a four hinge door car that can be made from
the Atlas model.

I would certainly agree that Atlas could have picked a more common
meat reefer to model and also wish they had. While there are several
of Marty Lofton's "meat fleet" and the Red Caboose Mather cars on
hand there is still the issue of limtied time and trying to model the
whole railroad. Aw well, if I live to 110.......

Thanks again, Don Valentine

--- In STMFC@..., "Douglas Harding" <dharding@...> wrote,
in part:

Four hinges were not as odd as we think, they were found on many
reefers, esp in early years. Manufactures moved to the six hinge
design because it added security that a door would remain in place
if a hinge broke or failed, ie screws pulled out of rotted
wood, enroute.

The Atlas model appears to be correct, for one prototype.
Unfortunately they choose a car apparently used by only one company,
than decided it needed operating doors and ice hatches like it's
larger O scale brethren. This lead to oversized hinges. I laid in
a stock of Grandt Line reefer hinges and intend to modify part of
my Atlas reefer fleet by gluing the doors shut and adding new
hinges, 3 per side. Atlas offered the car in a variety of paint
schemes, the schemes appear to be accurate, but none to my
knowledge were used on the Cudahy car, which is why I bought a
bunch of undecs. We all would have been better served if Atlas had
chosen the General American car or another builder who supplied
cars to many meat packer car fleets.

Doug Harding

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