FGE family steam era reefers


ed_mines
 

 Is a book on these forcoming?

 

Are the Suncoast kits accurate?

 

There's a diagram of a FGE reefer in the '31 CBC. Would these cars still have a wood roof after WWII?

 

Any color photos of these cars?

 

Ed Mines


riverman_vt@...
 

Hi Ed,

 

     I cannot comment directly on wood roofs on FGE cars in the postwar period. what I can state is that I have two negatives taken from the Carlton Bridge of freight cars sitting near the Bath, Maine MEC station from 1946 or 1947 that clearly show cars still having wood sheathed roofs. That surprised the daylights out of me until a friend in the MEC offices explained, and I found some diagrams on my own, that such roofs were usually of "sandwich" construction. There was a bottom laer of wood, then metal shathing and then another layer of wood on top. Why the outer layer of wood is beyond me but that appears to have been a failry common method of roofing for some cars.

 

Hope this is of some value to you, Don Valentine


Bill Welch
 

Ed, I am working on a book about the FGE/WFE/BRE System. It is at least 2 years away.

I am not familiar with the Suncoast kit.

The 1931  drawing undoubtedly represents the second car designed by FGE, a taller car than their 1921 design. It also featured an eight-inch side sill. FGE and WFE began building these cars in 1926. I have never seen any evidence that any of the 1926 cars or the 1921 cars retained their double board roofs after WWII. The only cars in the FGE/WFE/BRE fleet that I can document retaining their double board roofs after the war were all of BRE's truss rod cars and some of WFE's truss rod cars.

Sunshine produced kits of the 1921, 1926, and truss rod cars. Bruce Smith has some very good articles in the PRR's online modeling magazine using Accurail and IM kits to model the 1921 and 1926 cars respectively. IMO Bruce should have used a thicker veneer of styrene to create the six-inch side sill on the 1921 car and his method of mounting the sill steps is incorrect. He lowered the sides and ends on the IM model to create his 1926 model but from my measurement the car is pretty close to the proper height and I think this is not necessary. I think the model is too low to represent the prototype it supposedly represents, namely the post 1948 FGE-WFE rebuilds of the 1926 design.

Bill Welch


Benjamin Hom
 

Bill Welch wrote:
"I am not familiar with the Suncoast kit."

Here's what's at HOSeeker:
http://www.hoseeker.com/compendium/compendiumfreightcars1970pg3.jpg
http://www.hoseeker.com/compendium/compendiumfreightcars1970pg4.jpg


Ben Hom


Tony Thompson
 

Don Valentine wrote:

 
    I cannot comment directly on wood roofs on FGE cars in the postwar period. what I can state is that I have two negatives taken from the Carlton Bridge of freight cars sitting near the Bath, Maine MEC station from 1946 or 1947 that clearly show cars still having wood sheathed roofs. That surprised the daylights out of me until a friend in the MEC offices explained, and I found some diagrams on my own, that such roofs were usually of "sandwich" construction. There was a bottom laer of wood, then metal shathing and then another layer of wood on top. Why the outer layer of wood is beyond me but that appears to have been a failry common method of roofing for some cars.

    This is called an "inside metal roof" and was quite common early in the 20th century, see any Cyc from that era.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





rwitt_2000
 

Bill,

The links from Ben are the two versions Suncoast offered and back then that's all we had to model FGE wood reefers. They seem reasonably accurate for their time.

Bob Witt


ed_mines
 

Don, please share these negatives with Bill Welch and I hope photos appear in the upcoming book.

 

From past experience I know you have contributed a lot to the hobby. Thanks. 

 

Ed Mines


Bill Welch
 

I would like to have these but it is unclear to me if the photos show FGE/WFE/BRE cars or freight cars with double board roofs. I am not totally certain but I think the AC&F built NWX reefers had wood covered roofs in the post-WWII period.

Bill Welch


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Apr 25, 2014, at 2:09 PM, <fgexbill@...> <fgexbill@...> wrote:

I would like to have these but it is unclear to me if the photos show FGE/WFE/BRE cars or freight cars with double board roofs. I am not totally certain but I think the AC&F built NWX reefers had wood covered roofs in the post-WWII period.

That’s true. Bill, as did many private owner meat reefers.  Outside wood roofs were still fairly common in the late ‘40s and only gradually disappeared in the ‘50s.

Richard Hendrickson



riverman_vt@...
 

Hi Tony,

 

     Wiyh eight CBC's here from 1919 through 1953 I have seen that many times. That, however, dose not explain the necessity of the extra layer of wood over the metal sheathing in any way that has ever made sense to me.

 

cordially, Don Valentine


Rhbale@...
 

Hi Don...
 

For an explanation of the problem with double-board roofs and the solution provided by the introduction of the combination wood/sheet metal/wood roof, see page 227 of The American Railroad Freight Car by John White, Jr.

 

 

Hi Tony,

 

     Wiyh eight CBC's here from 1919 through 1953 I have seen that many times. That, however, dose not explain the necessity of the extra layer of wood over the metal sheathing in any way that has ever made sense to me.

 

cordially, Don Valentine


Charles Peck
 

Don, I know that with some railroads there was a lot of inertia that slowed

change. Wooden roofs were known technology and quite trustworthy except
for the tendency to leak.  Adding some thin tinplate between layers to stop
water leakage was not a radical step.  Making a heavier steel load-bearing
roof was a bit more innovative and doubtless took a while to catch on.
Car supervisors who came up through the ranks when carmen were basically
carpenters might be slow to embrace steel.  Just like rivet-era boilermakers
were slow to trust electric welding on pressure vessels.  Skill displacement
and inertia.
At least that is my theory.
Chuck Peck
 

 

     Wiyh eight CBC's here from 1919 through 1953 I have seen that many times. That, however, dose not explain the necessity of the extra layer of wood over the metal sheathing in any way that has ever made sense to me.

 

cordially, Don Valentine



Bill Welch
 

Given that the roof of a freight car main purpose is to keep the lading dry, "quite trustworthy" seems like a relative term here if they also had a "tendency to leak."

I am not an engineer but since the two courses of lumber were perpendicular to each other, the thinking might have been that this would help keep the roof structure from flexing as much as it would with one layer of lumber combined with metal sheathing.

Bill Welch


Malcolm H. Houck
 

 
To Don Valentines' question:
 
That, however, dose not explain the necessity of the extra layer of
wood over the metal sheathing in any way that has ever made sense to me.
 
As well as in the observance of well established methods, such as
We Always Do It That Way, I've understood that reefers were clad
 with wood over steel body sides and roof tops on some theory that
wood provided an additional insulating capacity and insulation layer.
 
Mal Houck 


Eric Neubauer <eaneubauer@...>
 


The Reading and other railroads that served the Lehigh Valley cement belt were pretty responsive when it came to providing watertight box cars. The Reading was using inside metal roofs at least as early as 1891-92. These had outside board roofs which covered an inside roof made up of galvanized metal panels which fit into slots in the sides of wooden boards located between the panels. There was a 3/4" gap between the outside and inside roofs. There were two fascia boards with a gap in between to let any water flow off the inside roof making this roof type recognizable from the outside. The carlines were underneath the inside roof. The inside roof would probably not have stood up to someone standing on it, hence the outside roof was there for protection. The inside roof was intended to be flexible while remaining watertight. The inside roof panels were about 21" wide. The galvanized panels had some shallow corrugations intended to keep water away from the joints.
 
Eric N.

Don, I know that with some railroads there was a lot of inertia that slowed

change. Wooden roofs were known technology and quite trustworthy except
for the tendency to leak.  Adding some thin tinplate between layers to stop
water leakage was not a radical step.  Making a heavier steel load-bearing
roof was a bit more innovative and doubtless took a while to catch on.
Car supervisors who came up through the ranks when carmen were basically
carpenters might be slow to embrace steel.  Just like rivet-era boilermakers
were slow to trust electric welding on pressure vessels.  Skill displacement
and inertia.
At least that is my theory.
Chuck Peck
 

 

     Wiyh eight CBC's here from 1919 through 1953 I have seen that many times. That, however, dose not explain the necessity of the extra layer of wood over the metal sheathing in any way that has ever made sense to me.

 

cordially, Don Valentine


Scott H. Haycock
 

I apologize for this late reply, but this thread fizzled while I wasn't looking!

While several theories have been presented about why these roofs would have had an overlay of wood, one idea was not brought up, and that is the insulation value of a wood roof, exposed to the sun, versus a metal roof. Considering these were ice reefers, mightn't that have been a factor?

Scott Haycock 


Scott H. Haycock
 

As an Addendum:
Yahoo decided not  to show the Post I was replying to. For the record, it was a post by Bill Welch, # 124415, dated April 26.
 
Scott Haycock
Modeling Tarheel country in the Land of Enchantm
ent


 

I apologize for this late reply, but this thread fizzled while I wasn't looking!


While several theories have been presented about why these roofs would have had an overlay of wood, one idea was not brought up, and that is the insulation value of a wood roof, exposed to the sun, versus a metal roof. Considering these were ice reefers, mightn't that have been a factor?

Scott Haycock