Question about reefer hatches


asychis@...
 

Over on the reefer madness list there is a discussion on the normal position
of reefer hatches. I was under the impression that reefer ice hatches were
normally closed whether the car was loaded or empty unless it was specifically
carrying a load that needed ventilation only, when the hatches were opened. I
thought I read this on this list, but might be mistaken. Can anyone confirm
the typical or normal practice?

Thanks,

Jerry Michels



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Bruce Smith
 

On Mar 19, 2007, at 8:23 AM, asychis@... wrote:

Over on the reefer madness list there is a discussion on the normal position
of reefer hatches. I was under the impression that reefer ice hatches were
normally closed whether the car was loaded or empty unless it was specifically
carrying a load that needed ventilation only, when the hatches were opened. I
thought I read this on this list, but might be mistaken. Can anyone confirm
the typical or normal practice?
Jerry,

That is correct. About the only time an empty reefer would have an open hatch was if a hobo had opened it and was riding on the stage.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."
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leedennegar
 

I would have thought that empty reefers would have hatches opened to
dry out the ice bunkers to avoid mildew, rot, etc. Am I wrong?

-Lee Dennegar
Piscataway, NJ
CNJ on one side, LV and RDG on the other.

--- In STMFC@..., Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


On Mar 19, 2007, at 8:23 AM, asychis@... wrote:

Over on the reefer madness list there is a discussion on the normal
position
of reefer hatches. I was under the impression that reefer ice
hatches were
normally closed whether the car was loaded or empty unless it was
specifically
carrying a load that needed ventilation only, when the hatches were
opened. I
thought I read this on this list, but might be mistaken. Can
anyone confirm
the typical or normal practice?
Jerry,

That is correct. About the only time an empty reefer would have an
open hatch was if a hobo had opened it and was riding on the stage.

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith
Auburn, AL
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jerry Michels wrote:
Over on the reefer madness list there is a discussion on the normal position of reefer hatches. I was under the impression that reefer ice hatches were normally closed whether the car was loaded or empty unless it was specifically carrying a load that needed ventilation only, when the hatches were opened. I thought I read this on this list, but might be mistaken. Can anyone confirm the typical or normal practice?
Yes, it was normal practice to close them. Both PFE and SFRD instructed yard crews and ice deck crews to close them. It is a railfan/modeler myth that "open hatches mean empty cars."
The idea that cars would "be dried out by running them with open hatches" is something I raised with the retired head of PFE's Car Department. He answered, "What for?" The cars were irreversibly damp inside, and any shipper who might use them knew that. You might dry them by storing them with open doors and hatches at Tucson for a summer month; otherwise . . .

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

I would have thought that empty reefers would have hatches opened to
dry out the ice bunkers to avoid mildew, rot, etc. Am I wrong?
Yep.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tim O'Connor
 

not to mention that reefers with open hatches could be subjected to
prolonged rainstorms...

the dampness issue makes me wonder -- how could they use reefers
for shipping magazines or books? did they use heaters to try to keep the
air dry at least?

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

The idea that cars would "be dried out by running them with open
hatches" is something I raised with the retired head of PFE's Car
Department. He answered, "What for?" The cars were irreversibly damp
inside, and any shipper who might use them knew that. You might dry
them by storing them with open doors and hatches at Tucson for a summer
month; otherwise . . .


Tony Thompson
 

TimO'Connor wrote:
the dampness issue makes me wonder -- how could they use reefers for shipping magazines or books? did they use heaters to try to keep the air dry at least?
Good point, Tim--but I'm not aware of heater use for this purpose. Remember, the interiors were heavily varnished, including the floor racks and the bunker walls. After about 1925, nearly all cars had galvanized steel liners and pans in ice bunkers, so the wood was not in contact with the ice. The interiors could certainly be somewhat damp, but hardly seriously wet (it would have compromised the insulation if that wet, prior to the introduction of fiberglass at the end of the 1930s). Shipping magazines from, say, Philadelphia in July would have provided plenty of ambient damp air <g>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Tony,

Think that an attempt is being made to assign a
pattern to what was actually a random event. This is
similar to the "open box car door" issue.

If one of the Western roads gets a 100 car delivery
from an Eastern road at a yard in the Chicago area
before it is humped or switched it would be inspected
and bled. Probably two guys assigned this task or
possibly two pairs working from the ends. The yard I
worked at had only one carman. This inspection would
be concentrated on running gear and safety appliances.

From a time and labor point of view there is no way
anyone could get involved with ice hatches or car
doors.

This is just like today's locomotive fueling issue.
Trains rather commonly run out of fuel. Locomotives
are purchased with very large fuel tanks but those
tanks are seldom fueled to capacity. This is a time
and cost issue where decisions are made at the local
level. I have even seen written instructions holding
Engineers responsible for the amount of fuel dispensed
by vendors. I thought it rather silly that an Engineer
had to supervise an outside vendor performing a rather
straight forward task but the instructions were meant
to be taken seriously.

That's just the way it is,

Russ Strodtz

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, 19 March, 2007 14:15
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Question about reefer hatches


> I would have thought that empty reefers would have hatches
opened to
> dry out the ice bunkers to avoid mildew, rot, etc. Am I wrong?

Yep.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Russ Strodtz wrote:
Think that an attempt is being made to assign a pattern to what was actually a random event. This is similar to the "open box car door" issue . . . From a time and labor point of view there is no way
anyone could get involved with ice hatches or car doors.
Sure, and I've never quarreled with the assertion that SOME cars must have had their open hatches (for vent service when loaded) left open. But I do assert that this was neither routine nor desired nor common. And I still shake my head at the railfan who sees a photo of a whole train of reefers with hatches up and says, "Yeah, empties."

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Bob Chaparro <thecitrusbelt@...>
 

Most everything I've seen on this subject indicates that hatch covers
were kept in the closed position unless ventilation was required for
the load. Certainly there were directives on the Santa Fe to keep
the hatch covers closed when the cars were in storage or used for
braking on Cajon Pass so the interiors would stay clean.

There is an official exception, however. The June 1954 Santa Fe
Circular No. 11, uncover by Keith Jordan, has an interesting bit of
information that provides the exception to the rule for the position
of hatch covers on produce reefers in citrus service.

The circular says:

"(a)SFRD cars moving west empty should have hatch covers raised to
permit old ice to melt."

The complete circular is posted in the Files Section of the Citrus
Industry Modeling Group.

Bob Chaparro
Moderator
Citrus Industry Modeling Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/citrusmodeling/


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:
Most everything I've seen on this subject indicates that hatch covers were kept in the closed position . . . There is an official exception, however. The June 1954 Santa Fe Circular No. 11, uncover by Keith Jordan, has an interesting bit of information that provides the exception to the rule for the position of hatch covers on produce reefers in citrus service.
So if you're modeling the Santa Fe main line in June 1954 . . .

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

Having never seen an ice reefer in service, I grew up believing that open
hatches meant empty reefers, based on what older Model RR friends told me.
I learned upon reading the PFE book a few years ago, they were wrong.
Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY

Sure, and I've never quarreled with the assertion that SOME cars
must have had their open hatches (for vent service when loaded) left
open. But I do assert that this was neither routine nor desired nor
common. And I still shake my head at the railfan who sees a photo of a
whole train of reefers with hatches up and says, "Yeah, empties."

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Bob,

That still raises the question in my mind: How is that circular
going to be implemented? When or where was this stuff supposed
to be done? Were there people assigned to doing it? Were there
provisions made for this in scheduling?

Russ Strodtz

----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Chaparro
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, 19 March, 2007 19:49
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Question about reefer hatches


Most everything I've seen on this subject indicates that hatch
covers
were kept in the closed position unless ventilation was required
for
the load. Certainly there were directives on the Santa Fe to
keep
the hatch covers closed when the cars were in storage or used
for
braking on Cajon Pass so the interiors would stay clean.

There is an official exception, however. The June 1954 Santa Fe
Circular No. 11, uncover by Keith Jordan, has an interesting
bit of
information that provides the exception to the rule for the
position
of hatch covers on produce reefers in citrus service.

The circular says:

"(a)SFRD cars moving west empty should have hatch covers raised
to
permit old ice to melt."

The complete circular is posted in the Files Section of the
Citrus
Industry Modeling Group.

Bob Chaparro
Moderator
Citrus Industry Modeling Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/citrusmodeling/