Re: Canadian Stock Cars and Ice Reefers in US

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

John Riddell wrote:
CP and CN 8-hatch steel reefers were used to ship perishable products in Canada for many years before the advent of mechanical reefers. Perishable products needing protection from freezing temperatures or heat constitute a long list and include fruit, vegetables, canned goods, beverages, eggs, butter, fish, sea food, and meat. It is a myth that these 8-hatch reefers were primarily used to ship meat. Any perishable products of Canada that were exported to the U.S. by rail during that era likely travelled in an 8-hatch steel reefer.
John is fond of referring to this meat shipment idea for 8- hatch reefers as a myth, but it's one derived from the published comments of Canadian railroaders. The point was that overhead ice tanks, as the 8-hatch reefers had, provided better temperature uniformity, a factor in EXPORT meat and fish shipments which might be in the car longer than a normal domestic shipment. No one has said, AFAIK, that the 8-hatch cars were RESTRICTED to meat and fish, but I will stand by the published record that they were PREFERRED for such use, at least for export.
Canadian railroads had plenty of end-bunker ice reefers, which performed perfectly well for perishable shipments which did not remain in the car too long. U.S. reefer operators who were at all progressive adopted car fans to accomplish that desirable temperature uniformity.

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

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