Reefer Hatches


asychis@...
 

In a message dated 3/20/2007 9:22:40 AM Central Daylight Time,
STMFC@... writes:

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?

I would expect that this was done when the cars were unloaded and cleaned
out, not at a classification yard. It most likely occurred at the customer's
business or at the company's home yard. I take it that if a PFE refer carried a
ventilated load from Oregon to New York and was then reloaded with magazines,
someone had to inspect the car and make sure it was ready for the next load,
which would include closing the hatches. Men at a classification yard would
not be concerned about this, but the company's representative sure would be. If
the car was returned empty, I expect someone from the company still inspected
the car before it went home. It's hard to imagine that large reefer
companies (PFE, SFRD, ART, etc.) never inspected their cars when away from home base.

Jerry Michels



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Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Jerry,

You combine the "unloaded" and "cleaned out" functions.

Most cars were unloaded at large urban meat or produce
terminals. These were just a lot of tracks that were
laid out in pairs with pavement between each pair. The
contents were transferred to trucks. In many cases the
"sale" took place right at the car.

At the end of each day the road that switched the
terminal would have to go thru the tracks and fish out
the empties. I'm sure they had some record keeping
process that kept track of the inbound roadhaul road
for all the cars. Either they would do the sorting or
let a Switching Road do it.

As to cleaning the customers would only do as much
cleaning as was necessary to unload the car. These
paved areas would gradually start to get cluttered with
pallets, broken crates, and whatever and would have to
be periodically cleaned up. The road that switched the
terminal would not be interested in doing anything other
than making sure all the doors were closed as reefer
doors and bridges are constantly in conflict.

If any car owners inspected their cars I just can't
see where or when it would have been done. In the
case of the CB&Q BRE did have a cleaning track at
Cicero but only got cars that were needed for specific
local loading. Cars that were excess to their needs
were just moved out without even being spotted at their
facility. They also cleaned some private cars for local
loading, for example Swift at Rochelle IL.

As an aside to this the SOO LCL and limited produce
unloading area in Chicago was on the roof of a building.
Nice ramp leading up and plenty of space.

Russ Strodtz

----- Original Message -----
From: asychis@...
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, 20 March, 2007 10:19
Subject: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches



In a message dated 3/20/2007 9:22:40 AM Central Daylight Time,
STMFC@... writes:

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?

I would expect that this was done when the cars were unloaded
and cleaned
out, not at a classification yard. It most likely occurred at
the customer's
business or at the company's home yard. I take it that if a PFE
refer carried a
ventilated load from Oregon to New York and was then reloaded
with magazines,
someone had to inspect the car and make sure it was ready for
the next load,
which would include closing the hatches. Men at a
classification yard would
not be concerned about this, but the company's representative
sure would be. If
the car was returned empty, I expect someone from the company
still inspected
the car before it went home. It's hard to imagine that large
reefer
companies (PFE, SFRD, ART, etc.) never inspected their cars when
away from home base.

Jerry Michels


Charlie Vlk
 

There is a C&NW film that shows the interior of the Potato Yard Office at Robey Street... there was a chalkboard
with the spots for each track painted on it and the car number and load were chalked on it by the Yardmaster or
the guy in charge of the Terminal. I am sure that this gave the switch crews the information they needed to remove
empties and which cars had to stay on spot or be moved at the direction of the Terminal Manager.
The alleys in between the tracks were paved for the teams/trucks of the buyers to directly offload the cars as was
described in a previous post; I imagine that the switching took place after market hours in order to avoid all the
civilians and their vehicles.
Charlie Vlk


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Russ Strodtz wrote:
As to cleaning the customers would only do as much cleaning as was necessary to unload the car. These paved areas would gradually start to get cluttered with pallets, broken crates, and whatever and would have to be periodically cleaned up. The road that switched the terminal would not be interested in doing anything other than making sure all the doors were closed . . .
Russ is exactly right. And often broken crates, rotted or unsalable produce, and all kinds of other trash were simply thrown into the cars and the doors fastened. The PFE managers I interviewed spoke rather strongly about the amounts of trash removed from cars at PFE cleaning tracks. I heard nothing about any effort to clean them sooner than their arrival at PFE facilities, usually North Platte on the UP and Tucson on the SP. There might also be body ice in the car, and if drains had become blocked, ice remaining in the bunkers. (The ice was quickly removed by hot water from hoses.)
PFE and SFRD had many active agents in eastern cities, but their job was to make sure empties were promptly moved westward (and not confiscated), not to check on open ice hatches or to clean cars. Certainly for PFE, all decisions on cleaning and repair were made when the cars arrived at a PFE facility.

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@...>
 

Charlie,

Right, I've been there. The sellers started early
and the usual desired spot time at Wood Street, Morgan
Street and Racine was 0500.

Robey Street was a B&OCT engine facility, not the name
of any yard. CB&Q had an interlocking there but spelled
it "Roby Street".

Russ Strodtz

----- Original Message -----
From: Charlie Vlk
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, 20 March, 2007 11:51
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches


There is a C&NW film that shows the interior of the Potato Yard
Office at Robey Street... there was a chalkboard
with the spots for each track painted on it and the car number
and load were chalked on it by the Yardmaster or
the guy in charge of the Terminal. I am sure that this gave the
switch crews the information they needed to remove
empties and which cars had to stay on spot or be moved at the
direction of the Terminal Manager.
The alleys in between the tracks were paved for the teams/trucks
of the buyers to directly offload the cars as was
described in a previous post; I imagine that the switching took
place after market hours in order to avoid all the
civilians and their vehicles.
Charlie Vlk


Russ Strodtz <sheridan@...>
 

Tony,

As to the magazine loading PFE usually picked specific
cars. I would think that over time they would have a
pretty good idea which terminals or customers would
usually produce a clean car.

While beyond the scope of this group as packaging
practices changed the cars started getting cleaner.
Crated lettuce leaves a mess but when packaged in
large, heavy, cardboard boxes it could be unloaded
and the car would be perfectly clean inside.

Russ Strodtz

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, 20 March, 2007 11:55
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches


PFE and SFRD had many active agents in eastern cities, but
their job was to make sure empties were promptly moved westward
(and
not confiscated), not to check on open ice hatches or to clean
cars.
Certainly for PFE, all decisions on cleaning and repair were
made when
the cars arrived at a PFE facility.

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:
While beyond the scope of this group as packaging practices changed the cars started getting cleaner. Crated lettuce leaves a mess but when packaged in large, heavy, cardboard boxes it could be unloaded and the car would be perfectly clean inside.
Unloaders could and did still throw empty cartons or bad produce back inside the car. This happened in the 1950s and all through the 1960s with mechanical cars (as you say, beyond this group's scope). The big factor, starting well before 1960, was the use of pallets, since it was then the practice to pick up a forklift load out of the car. For years, though, PFE strongly encouraged shippers to use slip sheets under the loads to permit the shipper to remove the pallet (saving the shipping weight and volume of the pallet), but requiring the folks at the other end to figure out how to get a pallet back under the stack.

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


Charlie Vlk
 

Russ-
I knew "Wood Street Yard"..... Not Robey.... but had a brain fart.
Thanks,
Charlie Vlk

----- Original Message -----
From: Russ Strodtz
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches


Charlie,

Right, I've been there. The sellers started early
and the usual desired spot time at Wood Street, Morgan
Street and Racine was 0500.

Robey Street was a B&OCT engine facility, not the name
of any yard. CB&Q had an interlocking there but spelled
it "Roby Street".

Russ Strodtz
----- Original Message -----
From: Charlie Vlk
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, 20 March, 2007 11:51
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches

There is a C&NW film that shows the interior of the Potato Yard
Office at Robey Street... there was a chalkboard
with the spots for each track painted on it and the car number
and load were chalked on it by the Yardmaster or
the guy in charge of the Terminal. I am sure that this gave the
switch crews the information they needed to remove
empties and which cars had to stay on spot or be moved at the
direction of the Terminal Manager.
The alleys in between the tracks were paved for the teams/trucks
of the buyers to directly offload the cars as was
described in a previous post; I imagine that the switching took
place after market hours in order to avoid all the
civilians and their vehicles.
Charlie Vlk


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson

PFE and SFRD had many active agents in eastern cities, but their job was to make sure empties were promptly moved westward (and not confiscated), not to check on open ice hatches or to clean cars. ----- Original Message -----

Tony, what do you mean by "confiscated"?

KL


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Kurt Laughlin wrote:
Tony, what do you mean by "confiscated"?
That's the term in freight service for grabbing someone's empty for your own use (of course with free-running cars, that's okay). The eastern railroads, often without much supply of reefers in good condition, loved to confiscate SFRD and PFE cars. Conversely, at the peak of harvest season when PFE was using eastern cars like MDT, western shippers complained bitterly about the shabby condition of the eastern empties. There's a story about this in the PFE book.

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


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Russ Strodtz wrote:
As to cleaning the customers would only do as much cleaning as
was
necessary to unload the car. These paved areas would gradually
start
to get cluttered with pallets, broken crates, and whatever and
would
have to be periodically cleaned up. The road that switched the
terminal would not be interested in doing anything other than
making
sure all the doors were closed . . .
Russ is exactly right. And often broken crates, rotted or
unsalable produce, and all kinds of other trash were simply thrown
into
the cars and the doors fastened. The PFE managers I interviewed
spoke
rather strongly about the amounts of trash removed from cars at PFE
cleaning tracks. I heard nothing about any effort to clean them
sooner
than their arrival at PFE facilities, usually North Platte on the
UP
and Tucson on the SP. There might also be body ice in the car, and
if
drains had become blocked, ice remaining in the bunkers. (The ice
was
quickly removed by hot water from hoses.)
PFE and SFRD had many active agents in eastern cities,
but
their job was to make sure empties were promptly moved westward
(and
not confiscated), not to check on open ice hatches or to clean
cars.
Certainly for PFE, all decisions on cleaning and repair were made
when
the cars arrived at a PFE facility.
When I went to work in 1960 on the IC, I always observed what was
going on at the Chicago Produce Terminal (CPT) as our train passed
by. There was always several piles of body ice alongside cars, and
broken cases and pallets lying on the ground next to open cars. Don't
know if they were picked up and disposed of, or thrown back into the
cars after they was unloaded. The IC (and ATSF) switchmen who worked
the CPT jobs never had to go into the produce department at their
local grocery stores. Mty PFE's were used at Freeport, IL for years,
for loading W T Rawleigh products going to the west coast. The
carmen inspected the mty's to find the cleanest and driest cars for
this loading.

Chet French
Dixon, IL


jaley <jaley@...>
 

On Mar 20, 9:55am, Anthony Thompson wrote:
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches
I heard nothing about any effort to clean them sooner
than their arrival at PFE facilities, usually North Platte on the UP
and Tucson on the SP.
Tony,

On the Golden State Route, was there no PFE facility in Tucumcari,
NM?
What about KC on the UP / RI? The UP and RI yards were literally
adjacent to each other; did PFE do any cleaning there?

Thanks,

-Jeff

--
Jeff Aley jaley@...
DPG Chipsets Product Engineering
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jeff Aley wrote:
On the Golden State Route, was there no PFE facility in Tucumcari, NM?
Yes, PFE had a contract icing station (PFE book, p. 327); it was a 2-car platform. No shop, cleaning or repair facilities. I'm sure it was too close to El Paso to justify eastbound icing.

What about KC on the UP / RI? The UP and RI yards were literally adjacent to each other; did PFE do any cleaning there?
This was on UP's lines, which PFE called the "Eastern District." There was indeed a regular icing station in the UP yard, a double island deck 60 cars long (PFE book, p. 335). Ice was purchased locally. There were no shop, cleaning or repair facilities. A PFE agent might well have looked over the westward empty cars to give advance notice to North Platte or Tucson of serious problems.

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@...>
 

Just as an aside: The waybill junction point was Santa Rosa.
That was as far as the SP went. Could give you all the exact
names and dates. For some reason they did not want to build
a terminal at Santa Rosa so the SP got trackage rights to
Tucumcari. Operationally that was fine but the revenue
junction point was Santa Rosa.

Russ Strodtz

----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Thompson
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, 22 March, 2007 16:40
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Reefer Hatches


Jeff Aley wrote:
> On the Golden State Route, was there no PFE facility in
Tucumcari, NM?

Yes, PFE had a contract icing station (PFE book, p.
327); it
was a 2-car platform. No shop, cleaning or repair facilities.
I'm sure
it was too close to El Paso to justify eastbound icing.

> What about KC on the UP / RI? The UP and RI yards were
literally
> adjacent to each other; did PFE do any cleaning there?

This was on UP's lines, which PFE called the "Eastern
District." There was indeed a regular icing station in the UP
yard, a
double island deck 60 cars long (PFE book, p. 335). Ice was
purchased
locally. There were no shop, cleaning or repair facilities. A
PFE agent
might well have looked over the westward empty cars to give
advance
notice to North Platte or Tucson of serious problems.

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:
Just as an aside: The waybill junction point was Santa Rosa.
That was as far as the SP went.
True, but in practical terms the SP operated to Tucumcari, where they shared the depot and engine terminal, and where crews changed (and of course locomotives and cabooses).

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