Ice Bunker Reefers: Preventing Mold & Mildew (Open Hatch Covers)


thecitrusbelt@...
 

I believe Tony Thompson has done enough research, including first person interviews, to conclusively say that PFE did not run their reefers with the hatches open to dry out the interiors.

 

However, with the Santa Fe it was a different story.

 

Stuart A. Forsyth commented on the Yahoo Cajon Pass Group, “The following instruction appears in the Santa Fe bulletin book, effective January 1st, 1945:

 

"HATCH COVERS of empty refrigerator cars, in westward trains, must remain

open.”

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry Co., Coast Lines, Los Angeles Division, Superintendent's Reissue of Bulletin Instructions, Effective January 1, 1945, Section 64, Paragraph (c), Page 64.

 

This instruction was issued on May 31, 1938, so it was effective throughout the Los Angeles Division from mid-1938 through at least early 1945.

 

Keith Jordan shared with me an actual copy of SFRD’s Circular No. 11, Sheet No. 1, Revised 6-1954, which reads,

 

“Cars - Refrigerator

 

(a)  SFRD cars moving west empty should have hatch covers raised to permit old ice to melt. Cars released should be arranged accordingly for empty movement.”

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

 


 

“Cars - Refrigerator       



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



Doesn’t say “to permit cars to dry out”. If the intent was to dry out the cars, it would say that, and it doesn’t.





Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni



From: STMFC List <STMFC@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of STMFC List <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Monday, July 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM
To: STMFC List <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Ice Bunker Reefers: Preventing Mold & Mildew (Open Hatch Covers)





I believe Tony Thompson has done enough research, including first person interviews, to conclusively say that PFE did not run their reefers with the hatches open to dry out the interiors.



However, with the Santa Fe it was a different story.



Stuart A. Forsyth commented on the Yahoo Cajon Pass Group, “The following instruction appears in the Santa Fe bulletin book, effective January 1st, 1945:



"HATCH COVERS of empty refrigerator cars, in westward trains, must remain

open.”

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry Co., Coast Lines, Los Angeles Division, Superintendent's Reissue of Bulletin Instructions, Effective January 1, 1945, Section 64, Paragraph (c), Page 64.



This instruction was issued on May 31, 1938, so it was effective throughout the Los Angeles Division from mid-1938 through at least early 1945.



Keith Jordan shared with me an actual copy of SFRD’s Circular No. 11, Sheet No. 1, Revised 6-1954, which reads,



“Cars - Refrigerator       



(a) SFRD cars moving west empty should have hatch covers raised to permit old ice to melt. Cars released should be arranged accordingly for empty movement.”



Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Tony Thompson
 

Bob Chaparro wrote:

 
I believe Tony Thompson has done enough research, including first person interviews, to conclusively say that PFE did not run their reefers with the hatches open to dry out the interiors.
However, with the Santa Fe it was a different story . . .

 

Keith Jordan shared with me an actual copy of SFRD’s Circular No. 11, Sheet No. 1, Revised 6-1954, which reads,

 

“Cars - Refrigerator
(a)  SFRD cars moving west empty should have hatch covers raised to permit old ice to melt. Cars released should be arranged accordingly for empty movement.”

      PFE removed ice from westward empties at places like Tucson and North Platte, thus did not need to do this. And I will repeat what I said: Richard Hendrickson conveyed to me that SFRD people had no intention to "dry out" empty reefers. They were trying to accelerate melting of ice in the cars. Is that a distinction worth making? Sure. It means that one would not otherwise open hatches.

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






Michael Gross
 

Thanks much for the clarification, Bob.  I had never seen that circular.

Cheers!


Edward
 

Open or shut, iced or not, wet or dry but clean?

I have my doubts whether any refrigerator car with noticeable mold or mildew in it would be a candidate for hauling perishables being shipped any reasonable distance.

Ed Bommer 




Dennis Storzek
 

So, let me ask the obvious question... I know meat reefers were cleaned with hot water and steam. Were produce cars done the same? Any cleaning solution, such as TSP or lye? The use of some pretty effective fungicide / mildewcide used to be common. If Motel 6 used this stuff, it would actually be safe to walk in the showers :-)

Dennis


D. Scott Chatfield
 

Tony Thompson wrote:

PFE removed ice from westward empties at places like Tucson and North Platte...
Okay, I'll bite. How did they do this? Pour hot water into the bunker until all the ice melted? That would take lots of water. Neither place had a surplus of water. Or did they just open the doors and hatches until the ice melted and the melt water ran out the drains?

Or?

Scott Chatfield


Tony Thompson
 

Scott Chatfield wrote:

 

Tony Thompson wrote:

>PFE removed ice from westward empties at places like Tucson and North Platte...

Okay, I'll bite. How did they do this? Pour hot water into the bunker until all the ice melted? That would take lots of water. Neither place had a surplus of water. Or did they just open the doors and hatches until the ice melted and the melt water ran out the drains?

        As our British friends would say, Scott, you got it in one. There are photos at North Platte of workmen with hot-water hoses. see for example page 248 in the PFE book.

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






Bill Welch
 

I have been following this thread and have these thoughts/questions, none of which really respond to Scott.

Depending on the time of year, the northern tier of states—WFE territory, NP too—was heater territory, requiring the removal of ice and placement of heaters in the bunkers. Depending on the icing instructions the ice may have been combined with salt, lowering the temperature enough I would think to make the ice really hard, this making the job even more time consuming. I cannot swear to it at the moment but I believe I have read among my resource I have that "blow torches" were used to loosen the ice. Regardless this whole chore must have been really challenging for the crews since the cars stay loaded and the change needed to be done with some expediency.

Regarding whether bunkers ever dried out I am wondering how many days with a heater in them would it take for a bunker to "dry out?"

Bill Welch


Dennis Storzek
 




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

Regarding whether bunkers ever dried out I am wondering how many days with a heater in them would it take for a bunker to "dry out?"

=================

Probably about forever, since there was no ventilation (remember, cars in heater service were placarded "POISON FUMES") so no place for the water to go. I can envision the water just condensing back out as it contacted cooler surfaces of the car interior.

No one has answered my previous question; Has anyone run into specifications for a cleaning solution to be used while cleaning the cars? That would be the answer to mold and mildew.

Dennis Storzek



Bill Welch
 

Good point Dennis, I am sure you are correct.

Bill Welch


Charles Peck
 

Folks,  Oakite was a brandname of a line of cleaners used by many railroads.  Tank cleaning, hot soaks,
 degreasing, washing solutions, etc.  If some product literature from Oakite could be found, a listed
product use might include disinfecting reefers. Just a possible search area.
Chuck Peck

On Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 2:24 PM, destorzek@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 




---In STMFC@..., wrote :

Regarding whether bunkers ever dried out I am wondering how many days with a heater in them would it take for a bunker to "dry out?"

=================

Probably about forever, since there was no ventilation (remember, cars in heater service were placarded "POISON FUMES") so no place for the water to go. I can envision the water just condensing back out as it contacted cooler surfaces of the car interior.

No one has answered my previous question; Has anyone run into specifications for a cleaning solution to be used while cleaning the cars? That would be the answer to mold and mildew.

Dennis Storzek




Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Chuck and Friends,

I presume one of these products is the Oakite you mentioned, or a lineal descendant of same: http://www.chemetallna.com/products/by_app/generalMaint.aspx

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


On 7/14/16 5:55 PM, Charles Peck lnnrr152@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
Folks,  Oakite was a brandname of a line of cleaners used by many railroads.  Tank cleaning, hot soaks,
 degreasing, washing solutions, etc.  If some product literature from Oakite could be found, a listed
product use might include disinfecting reefers. Just a possible search area.
Chuck Peck

On Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 2:24 PM, destorzek@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 




---In STMFC@..., wrote :

Regarding whether bunkers ever dried out I am wondering how many days with a heater in them would it take for a bunker to "dry out?"

=================

Probably about forever, since there was no ventilation (remember, cars in heater service were placarded "POISON FUMES") so no place for the water to go. I can envision the water just condensing back out as it contacted cooler surfaces of the car interior.

No one has answered my previous question; Has anyone run into specifications for a cleaning solution to be used while cleaning the cars? That would be the answer to mold and mildew.

Dennis Storzek





mark_landgraf
 

White Oak is known to not absorb much of anything. If the cars were lined with it, then presumably the moisture would be surface rather than soaked in. I don't think mold would be a problem in this situation. 

What kind of wood was used inside these reefers?

Mark  

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.
From: destorzek@... [STMFC]
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2016 2:24 PM
To: STMFC@...
Reply To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Ice Bunker Reefers: Preventing Mold & Mildew (Open Hatch Covers)

 




---In STMFC@..., wrote :

Regarding whether bunkers ever dried out I am wondering how many days with a heater in them would it take for a bunker to "dry out?"

=================

Probably about forever, since there was no ventilation (remember, cars in heater service were placarded "POISON FUMES") so no place for the water to go. I can envision the water just condensing back out as it contacted cooler surfaces of the car interior.

No one has answered my previous question; Has anyone run into specifications for a cleaning solution to be used while cleaning the cars? That would be the answer to mold and mildew.

Dennis Storzek




Walter
 

Scott,

I had an empty placed for the loading of potatoes. When I opened the hatches to install heaters, I found the bunkers full of ice. By this time the car had been loaded and I wasn't about to ask that the load be removed. We used ice tongs and breaker bar to manually remove five tons of ice and installed the heaters.

Walter Ohrnell


Walter
 

Dennis,

Only if they had charcoal heaters, it was mandatory to have two present when working with charcoal heater. The liquid fueled heaters did not have this warning.

Walter Ohrnell


Dennis Storzek
 




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

Dennis,

Only if they had charcoal heaters, it was mandatory to have two present when working with charcoal heater. The liquid fueled heaters did not have this warning.

Walter Ohrnell

===========
Yeah, I guess the charcoal was really good at filling the small enclosed space with carbon monoxide... same reason it's not a good idea to barbecue in your bathtub. But my point was really, when in heater service the cars weren't set up to ventilate, so they wouldn't really dry out; all the water in the car stayed in the car, although the heat may have redistributed it somewhat.

Dennis Storzek