Ice refrigerators (Frozen Turkeys) Early 40-foot Mechs

Bill Welch

However Jim. . .

They were around, and even in the Pacific northwest west to be loaded. Here is FGE's initial gas fueled Thermo-King car out on one of its trials runs being loaded with Birdseye products.

Note the New Date. This car was converted from an ice bunker car. FGE quickly adopted the new sliding door technology for their new Mechs.

Many of those 152 Mechs in service were forty foot cars, all FGE of course. I wonder when those folks at "Shake 'n Take" are going to move into the 21st Century and do a project just begging for some Photo-Etch. Accurail has the correct steel reefer w/sliding doors to model the majority of the 40-footers. They had fuel tanks hanging under the floor and all sorts of interesting detail.

Just begging to be done in styrene (with the Detroit Diesel sound) is the 50-foot FGE/WFE/BRE 1953 design built through 1957 with the only major change being the rib design of the Improved Dreadnaught ends. One thousand cars with roller bearing trucks.

Bill Welch


From the Aug 21, 1956 AAR monthly report;

 The lines have approx. 70,000 fan equipped, 35,000 heavily insulated, and 2000 mechanical cars in service at the present.

    Bill, even that 2000 strikes me as still a small number compared to the others.    Nice photo, thanks.          

   Looking forward to seeing you at the beach next week                                  Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN

John King


Part of the end panel is raised and it looks like the mechanical unit is moved partially out for some purpose. Do you know of this was done for: Better cooling while loading?  To put the car on outside power while loading? Maintenance?  Or. . .???

John King


---In STMFC@..., <e27ca@...> wrote :

Or. . .???


To impress the viewers of the photo. Looks like a PR photo of the new mechanical reefer equipment, then the photo doesn't look any different than a normal reefer... So...

Dennis Storzek

Bill Welch

I suspect Dennis has the correct answer to John King's question. BTW this car was renumbered to 111 at some point. FGE built only 10 more Thermo-King equipped cars as their gasoline fueled engines proved unpopular in interchange service. Today of course Thermo-King rules on trucks and rail cars.

Bill Welch