Re: Wine cars

Richard Hendrickson

On Apr 5, 2010, at 8:08 AM, brianleppert@... wrote:

A Chateau Martin car was photographed at Scribner, WA (near
Marshall, near Spokane), the first car in an eastbound Spokane,
Portland & Seattle Ry. freight train. The photo appears in "The
Northwest's Own Railway, vol.1", by Walter Grande.
That's interesting, and a bit puzzling. Eastern Washington today is
a thriving wine-producing region, but in the steam era there were
hardly any wine grapes being grown there. So if that shipment
originated in California, what was its destination? Billings?
Fargo? There wasn't a lot of wine, even cheap wine, being consumed
in that part of the country in those days.

The photo is undated. The lead diesel pulling the train was built
in 1949. The other cars appear to be within our time frame.

Richard, my main interest is Southern Pacific over Donner Pass in
1949. Can I justify one of these awful colored cars in a freight
train of that year? I kinda hope not.
Brian, you could run one if you wanted to, but if you don't, it's not
as though they were as common on Donner Pass as, say, PFE reefers.
At that time, the CMWX entry in the ORERs showed only 25 cars. 5 of
these were non-insulated tank cars which probably didn't stray very
far from the winery; only 20 were the second-hand express reefers
with internal tanks. With a fleet that small scattered between
California and the east coast (and who knows where else, as suggested
by the photo you cite above), no one could regard the non-appearance
of CMWX cars on a Donner Pass layout as a significant omission.

Richard Hendrickson

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