Walthers Express Reefer = PFE?


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

I recently acquired one of the new wood express reefers offered by Walthers and I must admit to being mildly puzzled by references to these and other such cars. I know that there are very good reasons why the terminology is confusing, but I'd like to bring out some points and I would appreciate any info which disagrees with my info and conclusions.

First, the Walthers car is 53'3" long over the buffers. However, it does not, apparently, include the buffer plate itself which should extend another 1 3/8". The buffer plate would give the required length according to the drawing of the MP version in the '37 Cyc.

Second, the car should have a height of about 13' 10" and the Walthers car matches that very well.

Third, the car has a facia of about 9" wide. The side ladder has 6 rungs. It is not intuitively clear from the drawing as to how wide the facia should be, but 9-10" seems close.

Now, the curious aspect. Walthers makes the car in PFE lettering. This car, is referred to in RP Cyc 7 and 9 as 50'10" cars. It is possible that this is shown in the equipment register for passenger cars...although I seriously doubt that many people traveled in one. The UP official diagram shows the car to have a length of 53'5" over the end buffers...which appear to be of a slightly different design. The length over the side sills is 50' which is exactly what the Walthers car and MP drawing show. Height is 13' 10". IOW, the Walthers version AND the drawing of the MP 53'6" car match the PFE car dimensionally very well. The facia board on the PFE cars not rebuilt in '54 were 10" according to the PFE book. Other differences are that PFE applied wood ice platforms to the cars in the '30s, the side ladders had 7 rungs instead of the 6 for the Walthers car and there were no bolt heads on the sides. Also, most photos show a metal plate under the door. Nevertheless, it appears that the Walthers car needs only a few changes to make the PFE version. Now...before you exclaim...why do I care, I model the NYC or Pennsy or some such thing, I would remind you that these things wandered widely...the photo in RP Cyc 9 showing one in Parkersburg, West Va. Heavens...surely it didn't get there via the N&W?

Mike Brock


Richard Hendrickson
 

Mike, have you forgotten that there are HO scale drawings of the PFE
express reefers in Thompson, et. al.?

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Ted Culotta <tculotta@...>
 

Mike:

Besides Richard's comments, I'll add that the PFE cars are not the same as the GA (Walthers or Broadway Limited). There are a couple good PFE options in brass, including the recently released ones from Challenger which are still on dealer shelves. I've thought that these PFE cars would be good candidates for a resin offering.

Regards,
Ted Culotta

Speedwitch Media
100 14th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94402
info@...
www.speedwitch.com
(650) 787-1912


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson notes:

Mike, have you forgotten that there are HO scale drawings of the PFE
express reefers in Thompson, et. al.?
No, I examined it and, while it doesn't include the dimension over the buffers, it does confirm the 50' length of the side sills.

Ted Culotta says:

"Besides Richard's comments, I'll add that the PFE cars are not the same as the GA (Walthers or Broadway Limited). There are a couple good PFE
options in brass, including the recently released ones from Challenger
which are still on dealer shelves. I've thought that these PFE cars
would be good candidates for a resin offering."

At first I thought so also but now I suspect that the Walthers car is so close that scratch building the platforms...which I've done to two Athearn cars...is a better course to take. After all, the dimensions are essentially the same. Yes, the facia IS about an inch too narrow...assuming the version NOT modified in 1954. The boltheads will have to be removed and the end facia's appear to be made from upright pieces without boltheads on the PFE car but, again, not a major issue I think. The strip with rivets along the bottom of the sides appears much too large on the WP Car Corp brass car. It is barely discernible in some photos and I wouldn't know it was there from viewing the top photo on pg 15 of RP Cyc 7. If anyone is aware of other discrepancies, please let me know of them.

The Sunshine offering for the 53'6" REX car is, incidentally, about a foot too short over the buffers.

Mike Brock


benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Mike Brock wrote:
"Now...before you exclaim...why do I care, I model the NYC or Pennsy
or some such thing, I would remind you that these things wandered
widely...the photo in RP Cyc 9 showing one in Parkersburg, West Va."

Actually, this question regarding relevance was raised last week on
PRR-talk. BTW, one myth that needs busting is the one that says
that PRR restricted wood bodied express reefers from the North and
East River tunnels into New York Penn Station and Sunnyside Yard.
This is incorrect, as Andy Hart discovered:

"I checked a PRR employees timetable No. 34 for the New York Div.
dated Sept. 29, 1940, which would have been around the time period
of the photo of the PFE Reefer [photo taken of PFE express reefer
taken at PXT, Sunnyside Yard, c. 1940, Andy Hart collection].

Under 'D2909, New York, East and North River Tunnels - Movement of
Passenger and Freight Equipment' it states the following;

'Refrigerator and freight type cars must have all-steel underframe.'


Ben Hom


Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

A note on the BLI General American reefers. I received a new catalog
from them. It's really nice, sort of like Lionel catalogs of long ago.
Studying the comments on the reefer I noticed something that not on the web
site about this car, "operating doors". This prompted me to call them and
explain that I hoped they didn't look like the Atlas doors as I'm sure they
would lose a bunch of sales. I also told them I had cancelled my order
until I see good prototype shots of the model on the web site.
I doubt one person will get their attention but if all of you guys email
(or call) them they might think about it.
Also these cars are not due until June or so I was told.

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


mcindoefalls
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Jon Miller" <atsf@i...> wrote:

Studying the comments on the (BLI express) reefer I noticed something that not on the
web site about this car, "operating doors".
Wow, maybe the little guy throws out milk cans, too!

Walt


Garth Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Jon,

Don't forget that operating doors increase the PLAY VALUE of trains.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Jon Miller wrote:

A note on the BLI General American reefers . . . I noticed something not on the web
site about this car, "operating doors" . . . .

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Andy Miller <asmiller@...>
 

If that's the market, then BLI can follow up with a sound version. Not
only will F2 cause the milkman to throw the 200 lbs cans out the door, F3
will create the sound of the cans banging and F4 is the sound of distressed
cows being hit by flying cans!

Got Milk? ;-)

regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Garth Groff [mailto:ggg9y@...]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 7:46 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Walthers Express Reefer = PFE?


Jon,

Don't forget that operating doors increase the PLAY VALUE of trains.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Jon Miller wrote:

A note on the BLI General American reefers . . . I noticed
something not on the web site about this car, "operating doors" . . . .

Jon Miller
AT&SF
For me time has stopped in 1941
Digitrax, Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI user NMRA Life member #2623 Member
SFRH&MS



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Dick Harley <Dick.Harley@...>
 

On Sun Feb 20, 2005 Mike Brock wrote:

Nevertheless, it appears that the Walthers car needs only a few changes to
make the PFE version.
<<

One thing not mentioned by Mike is the board width on the Walthers model.
When originally built, the PFE express cars had "passenger car" wood siding,
which has a width of about 2-1/2" or 2-3/4" ( I don't have a Car Builder's
Cyc here to verify, and I don't remember for sure.) When the PFE cars were
rebuilt with the small facia board, they were built with "freight car" wood
siding, which is 3-1/4" wide. This is noticeable, and it was correctly
modeled on the recent Challenger Imports cars.

Cheers,
Dick Harley


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Dick Harley points out:

When the PFE cars were
rebuilt with the small facia board, they were built with "freight car" wood
siding, which is 3-1/4" wide. This is noticeable, and it was correctly
modeled on the recent Challenger Imports cars.
I hope I was clear that I was referring to the cars prior to the '54 rebuild...although it is interesting to know the board difference on the rebuilt cars...which I was unaware of.

Mike Brock