Re: Ice Deck Crews

Douglas Harding

RE: the subject of ice deck (dock?) crews and wheelbarrows, it appears these facilities varied by company and railroad. There were
single deck and double deck designs. Some moved large 300lb blocks into place and then chopped said blocks into smaller pieces at
the reefer. Others used large two wheeled carts to deliver a form of crushed ice into a chute leading into the reefer's ice
bunker, either from the upper second deck or from the single deck. A photo of one of these ice carts is on the cover of Gene
Green's Refrigerator Car Color Guide book, as well as numerous photos on pages 6-11 taken in Columbus OH of a single deck. The
photos show the conveyor used to bring up the large blocks from below the deck, then into a crusher, which then dumps into the
carts for delivery to the waiting reefers.

Wheelbarrows are typically the single wheel variety (my wife hates our's) and while not common on an ice deck, there were seen. Pg
175 of Billboard Reefers shows both a two wheeled ice cart and a single wheel wheelbarrow on a single level deck faculty. I
suspect the wheelbarrow was used for moving salt while the cart was used for ice. Salt was commonly delivered via bag, bucket and
scoop shovel. The IC ice dock in Waterloo IA, a double deck, has salt bunkers attached to the posts holding the upper deck, at the
bottom of each bunker is an opening for sticking in your shovel for a scoop of salt. Made it handy for salting the ice delivered
from carts on the upper deck.

There is a photo of P&LE ice house in Pittsburg with wheelbarrows on the deck leaned up against the building.

The amount of salt added was controlled, as was the amount of ice. Usually ordered by the shipper's agent.

Doug Harding

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