Roof lettering for SFRD RR-44


bflynnd1
 


I am completing the lettering for a Sunshine SFRD-44 reefer and have a question about the reporting marks and car number that was applied to the roof.  I can see from the model photo included in the kit where this was placed on one side of the car.  My question is was this placed on both sides of the car roof, or only on one side?

Thanks in advance,

Brian Flynn



thecitrusbelt@...
 

What makes the SFRD Rr-44 reefer a bit unusual is that it was not built new or rebuilt by the Santa Fe but was one of a group of 350 reefers built by Pullman Standard in 1946 and 1947 for the railroad. 

 

Generally speaking, depending on the reefer class and time period, Santa Fe placed reporting marks on one hatch cover at each end, or on all four hatches or once in the middle of the roof.

 

There are a few black-and-white photos of Rr-44s in the Santa Fe Refrigerator Cars Ice Bunker Cars 1884-1979 book. Unfortunately, none of these photos show the roof.

 

MAINLINE MODELER, January 1996, has an article on building an Rr-44 reefer by Edwin L. Martin on Page 23.  Ed says he worked from photos and his model has the reporting marks appearing once in the middle of the roof.  Whether his source photos included a roof photo is unknown to me.

 

And I have a photo of a Sunshine Rr-44 model built by an unknown modeler that shows the reporting marks appearing once in the middle of the roof.   

 

I don’t have these sources available to review but perhaps there is a roof view photo in one of the following:

 

A black-and-white builder’s photo appears in the Fourth Quarter 1988 issue of the Santa Fe Modeler and two more appear in the Second Quarter 2010 issue of the Warbonnet. 

 

There is a color photograph of an Rr-44 on Page 30 in Tumbleweeds & Fast Freights.

 

Bob Chaparro

Moderator

Citrus Industry Modeling Group

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/citrusmodeling/

 

 


thecitrusbelt@...
 

Keith Jordan, one of the authors of the Santa Fe reefer book, responded to an e-mail on this subject:

 

Bob,

 

The cars would originally have the reporting marks on the diagonally opposite hatch covers, then sometime in the mid-fifties they started putting the reporting marks in the middle of the roof as well. It does depend on class somewhat, as the roof-top reporting marks were first put on those cars where the hatch covers would lie flat and you couldn't see numbers on them.

 

The GATC-built cars of the mid-to-late thirties had reporting marks on all four hatch covers, not a standard practice. For Brian's RR-44, I'd put them on the opposite hatch covers.

 

Keith


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 20, 2014, at 7:06 AM, bflynn562@... wrote:

I am completing the lettering for a Sunshine SFRD-44 reefer and have a question about the reporting marks and car number that was applied to the roof.  I can see from the model photo included in the kit where this was placed on one side of the car.  My question is was this placed on both sides of the car roof, or only on one side?
Brian, it depends on whether you’re modeling the car with as-delivered paint and lettering or as repainted later.  Santa Fe practice at the time the Rr-44s were built was to put the reporting marks and numbers on diagonally opposite ice hatch covers so they were readable from the end of the car when the hatch covers were in the open (vertical) position.  I’ll send you off-line a photo of an Rr-43 that illustrates this.  In the ‘50s, with the advent of mechanical icing machines, the Santa Fe began reversing hatch covers so that the hinges were toward the center of the car and the hatch covers would fold flat on the roof rather than being supported in a near-vertical position facing the ends (though many SFRD cars retained their original “reverse” hatch covers for years after that change began to take place).  With the hatch covers folded flat, of course, reporting marks and numbers on the outside of the covers were no longer visible, so lettering practice changed to stenciling reporting marks and numbers in the center of the roof on the left side of the running board as viewed from the B end.   I’ll send off-list a scan of that arrangement as well.  


Richard Hendrickson



Richard Hendrickson
 

The reporting marks and numbers were on tie diagonally opposite hatch cover at the other end of the car - thatd is, hatch cover on the right when viewed from the end of the car.


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This was a 50 car, but practice was the same on 40 cars - placing the reporting marks and numbers in a raised panel as close as possible to the center of the roof.

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thecitrusbelt@...
 

John B. Moore, another of the Santa Fe reefer book authors, also commented on this question.  His comments are below.  The photos on the links John provided do show the car markings toward the center of the roof but you have to look carefully to see these.

 

Bob Chaparro

Moderator

Citrus Industry Modeling Group

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/citrusmodeling/

 

++++

The roof marking is associated with the adoption of the mechanical icing machines.  Even though the car number was marked on diagonal hatches, Santa Fe style of hatch opening made it difficult to read the car number when the hatches were open.  Each car number was recorded and how much ice/salt was delivered during the each icing or re-icing operations. 

 

The Santa Fe changed the ice hatch orientation to open from the end and lay flat against the roof starting with the Rr-47 built in 1950.  Many of the earlier refrigerator cars had their hatches reworked to open toward the end during the rebuild programs in the 1950s.

 

As built (1946), the Rr44 would have had diagonal hatch covers marked with SFRD and the car number.  Marking of the car roof would have occurred later after the mechanical icing machines started to appear.   I have no photos of the roof of an Rr44 to support the above statements.

 

Roof markings were applied to the Rr-48 built in 1949 as recorded in this Kansas Memory photo at Bakersfield, CA, in 1949:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/211255/page/1

 

Here is another shot from Kansas Memory from Belen:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/211262/page/1