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GN Reefer Ablaze


Bob Chaparro
 

A Joe McMillan photo:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joemcmillan118/13500282954/in/album-72157667327794880/

Caption: "A GN Western Fruit Express reefer meets a firery end on a Santa Fe siding at Topock, Arizona, May 28, 1972. A westbound train had set out the car a few minutes prior."

This was not the result of a hotbox, as Joe explains: "No, the fire was not caused by a hot box. These wooden cars had metal spark shields attached to the underside of the body above the brake shoes. Occasionally, these shields would fall off and sparks from the brakes would lodge in the wooden under frame and cause a fire. This car had traveled w/b down a long grade and its brakes had been repeatedly applied."

Was there a requirement for spark shields on cars with wood floors?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Jim Betz
 


  ... does any one have any pictures or drawings of same ... or have modeled same ... or seen a
model with them on the underside of a reefer?

  Wouldn't such shields have been required/desirable on all wooden under frame cars
and not just reefers?
                                                                                    - Jim B.


Tim O'Connor
 


No, there was no requirement for shields, but they were occasionally applied. I have a shot of an overturned ATSF box car with what appears to be a short piece of shielding over one wheel of one truck.


On 12/12/2018 2:18 AM, Bob Chaparro wrote:

A Joe McMillan photo:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joemcmillan118/13500282954/in/album-72157667327794880/

Caption: "A GN Western Fruit Express reefer meets a firery end on a Santa Fe siding at Topock, Arizona, May 28, 1972. A westbound train had set out the car a few minutes prior."

This was not the result of a hotbox, as Joe explains: "No, the fire was not caused by a hot box. These wooden cars had metal spark shields attached to the underside of the body above the brake shoes. Occasionally, these shields would fall off and sparks from the brakes would lodge in the wooden under frame and cause a fire. This car had traveled w/b down a long grade and its brakes had been repeatedly applied."

Was there a requirement for spark shields on cars with wood floors?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA




--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Walter
 

They also will burn if the fans were not turnoff. Heaters not fastened properly will also do the same. Don’t ask how I know.

Walter Ohrnell