Topics

Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

np328
 

     While at the Chicagoland 2019 RPM gathering and after presentations were complete, I was walking past a room and noted Steve Hile, Doug Harding, Roger Hinman, and a smattering of others gathered in a presentation room with images passing on a screen.
     Of these 3 fellows above gathered in one area, I knew enough not to walk on by and quietly entered and took a seat. I can't reveal the topic at hand as this could be a future presentation in the works by one of these folks however.... for not closing the door or booting anyone out, I will bring a small token of thanks - in these image postings below.    

      Found in an NP file at the Minnesota Historical Society some time ago while on a tangential search, was this clipping of a snubber device for refrigerator cars. I am not how sure wide spread the use of these was however present them here for educational purposes should these ever be found in a photo. Other paperwork in the President's file has an NP Mechanical officer at HQ telling the Como Shops supervisor to order two dozen of these "for testing" in the same 1930's time frame. They look easy enough to reproduce in HO or any other scale. 

   For the rest of you, presented for your amusement....                                                                                                                                                               Jim Dick       Roseville, MN 

Douglas Harding
 

Jim, it was no secret, just not announced we would be gathering. The subject was the Swift reefer fleet and we were attempting to answer some questions.

 

As to the snubber, I have a photo from the Fairmont Railway Co archives that shows a Cudahy meat reefer equipped with similar rubber snubber that were being developed by Fairmont and Goodyear. A copy of this photo can be seen in page 180 in the Billboard Reefer Book published by Signature Press.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of np328
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2019 5:36 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

 

     While at the Chicagoland 2019 RPM gathering and after presentations were complete, I was walking past a room and noted Steve Hile, Doug Harding, Roger Hinman, and a smattering of others gathered in a presentation room with images passing on a screen.
     Of these 3 fellows above gathered in one area, I knew enough not to walk on by and quietly entered and took a seat. I can't reveal the topic at hand as this could be a future presentation in the works by one of these folks however.... for not closing the door or booting anyone out, I will bring a small token of thanks - in these image postings below.    

      Found in an NP file at the Minnesota Historical Society some time ago while on a tangential search, was this clipping of a snubber device for refrigerator cars. I am not how sure wide spread the use of these was however present them here for educational purposes should these ever be found in a photo. Other paperwork in the President's file has an NP Mechanical officer at HQ telling the Como Shops supervisor to order two dozen of these "for testing" in the same 1930's time frame. They look easy enough to reproduce in HO or any other scale. 

   For the rest of you, presented for your amusement....                                                                                                                                                               Jim Dick       Roseville, MN 

Tim O'Connor
 


That list of route miles traveled by two cars is fascinating. And only 9 round trips in 13 months!!



On 11/11/2019 6:36 PM, np328 wrote:
     While at the Chicagoland 2019 RPM gathering and after presentations were complete, I was walking past a room and noted Steve Hile, Doug Harding, Roger Hinman, and a smattering of others gathered in a presentation room with images passing on a screen.
     Of these 3 fellows above gathered in one area, I knew enough not to walk on by and quietly entered and took a seat. I can't reveal the topic at hand as this could be a future presentation in the works by one of these folks however.... for not closing the door or booting anyone out, I will bring a small token of thanks - in these image postings below.    

      Found in an NP file at the Minnesota Historical Society some time ago while on a tangential search, was this clipping of a snubber device for refrigerator cars. I am not how sure wide spread the use of these was however present them here for educational purposes should these ever be found in a photo. Other paperwork in the President's file has an NP Mechanical officer at HQ telling the Como Shops supervisor to order two dozen of these "for testing" in the same 1930's time frame. They look easy enough to reproduce in HO or any other scale. 

   For the rest of you, presented for your amusement....                                                                                                                                                               Jim Dick       Roseville, MN 

Attachments:



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Bob Chaparro
 

Some of you old timers (such as myself) might remember that Athearn produced an HO scale truck frame with a black rubber insert block that vaguely resembled the two metal coil springs it was designed to replace. These certainly were easier to install than the metal coil springs. I only had six or so car kits that were so equipped.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Paul Woods
 

Jim,

Thanks for posting this, it is a great find.  It is interesting that the top three railroads conveyed the cars for half of their total mileage, but what I found most informative was the large number of roads that only accounted for a small mileage, meaning that the cars probably visited/passed through many of them only once in the 13 months that they were being monitored.  Anyone with more freight cars on their layout than they know what to do with should rejoice, because it would seem that some cars should only be seen once a year....they could be considered to be the model railroad equivalent of Haley's Comet!

The figures got me thinking....nine round trips in three months is a cycle time of ten days, give or take - I can't decide if the text is saying nine round trips per car or combined total for both cars so I'm assuming shortest turnaround time in this instance.  I'm guessing that the cars would be moved quite rapidly once loaded, only taking two or three days to reach destination and be unloaded, so how was the remaining time taken up?  They would have to be cleaned, sure, but what I am most curious about is how much time such cars would spend just parked in a spur waiting for the next call to action?  It could add some extra operational interest, sending a switcher out to store or retrieve empty cars all over a layout.  What happened to private-owner cars; were they always stenciled with a 'when empty return to....' or could they be left hanging around the destination road's tracks until next called upon?

I know foreign-road cars would be returned as soon as possible, but certainly home road cars might need to be stored for a while, and even foreign cars might have to be stored for a day or two until the next local could pick them up.  If it's the depths of winter and your sorting yard is jammed up with coal hoppers then might an empty reefer get shoved down a spur out of the way for a day?  Am I forgetting some important car handling rule or is this a situation that arose now and then?

Regards
Paul

Douglas Harding
 

Paul, the cars in the article were Hormel Meat reefers. In the 30s, Hormel had one plant at Austin MN, served by the MILW and the CGW. That would account for the large number of miles on those two roads. Most of the other roads on the list are eastern roads, many with connections in Chicago. In the 30’s meat was slaughtered in the mid-west and consumed in the east. So Hormel cars were moved east via Chicago then passed on to eastern roads via Indiana Harbor Belt.  NKP, NYC, ERIE  were all known for moving meat, fast. I am surprised by the number of miles of the PPR as it was a road avoided by most meat packers until final destination. It appears the NP was Hormel’s choice for moving meat west. And the Southern and C&O were used for moving meat to the SE.

 

Meat reefers were in leased captive service, and returned quickly. Cars leased to Hormel would all be returned to Austin. It’s possible they went through North American’s repair facility on their return, but they did not sit idle. Figure one day for cleaning inspection. If done on site, then icing and loading could also occur that same day, or the next day as the cars had to cool down after cleaning. Cooling took about 4 hours. Once loaded meat reefers were switched and moved. Typical departure from Austin late afternoon or early evening with arrival at IHB Chicago at 1:30pm the next day, switched reiced and interchanged with eastern road by evening. Overnight to icing station in Ohio or further east, then on to New York City, Boston or Philadelphia markets. Unloading the 4th  or  5th morning after being loaded. Then begins the return trips, no need to stop for icing, but perhaps a stop at North American for inspection and repairs. A 10 or 12 day turn around is not out of the question. But a load every 20 days was typical for meat reefers.

 

Yes the cars could sit idle somewhere. But meat packers did not want those cars sitting idle, so they had agents across the country who keep those cars moving. It was best to see your leased reefer sitting at your own storage yard next to your plant.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Paul Woods
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:28 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tri-Sorb snubbers on reefers

 

Jim,

Thanks for posting this, it is a great find.  It is interesting that the top three railroads conveyed the cars for half of their total mileage, but what I found most informative was the large number of roads that only accounted for a small mileage, meaning that the cars probably visited/passed through many of them only once in the 13 months that they were being monitored.  Anyone with more freight cars on their layout than they know what to do with should rejoice, because it would seem that some cars should only be seen once a year....they could be considered to be the model railroad equivalent of Haley's Comet!

The figures got me thinking....nine round trips in three months is a cycle time of ten days, give or take - I can't decide if the text is saying nine round trips per car or combined total for both cars so I'm assuming shortest turnaround time in this instance.  I'm guessing that the cars would be moved quite rapidly once loaded, only taking two or three days to reach destination and be unloaded, so how was the remaining time taken up?  They would have to be cleaned, sure, but what I am most curious about is how much time such cars would spend just parked in a spur waiting for the next call to action?  It could add some extra operational interest, sending a switcher out to store or retrieve empty cars all over a layout.  What happened to private-owner cars; were they always stenciled with a 'when empty return to....' or could they be left hanging around the destination road's tracks until next called upon?

I know foreign-road cars would be returned as soon as possible, but certainly home road cars might need to be stored for a while, and even foreign cars might have to be stored for a day or two until the next local could pick them up.  If it's the depths of winter and your sorting yard is jammed up with coal hoppers then might an empty reefer get shoved down a spur out of the way for a day?  Am I forgetting some important car handling rule or is this a situation that arose now and then?

Regards
Paul

Tony Thompson
 


On Nov 12, 2019, at 2:28 AM, Paul Woods wrote:

The figures got me thinking....nine round trips in three months is a cycle time of ten days, give or take - I can't decide if the text is saying nine round trips per car or combined total for both cars . . .

     As most freight cars averaged less than nine trips PER YEAR, these not only have to be the trips for both cars, but are still remarkable. PFE was proud that its cars averaged between ten and eleven round trips per year, higher than any other reefer owner and higher than most railroads' freight cars of any type. For these two cars to have made so many trips suggest that they were (a) short trips, and (b) probably hastened along for test purposes.

Tony Thompson



np328
 

        Of the trip frequencies, I recently noted a reefer (in other paperwork) that made a partial unloading, then a second stop where it was fully unloaded. This would certainly slow down mileage covered. I mention this because I am not aware of anyone who has mention modeling partial unloading of a reefer.  
      
         I have no information on how common this was. I am aware that some reefers traveled branchlines and made multiple stops however reefers used this way (at least on the NP) were home road reefers in captive service. 

         Can someone explain the term "detentions" in connection with reefer travel.  Tony, I looked through the index on the PFE book however not there.  I'll post in another thread some paperwork where the term detention is used several times.                                                                                                                             Jim Dick 

Donald B. Valentine
 

Partial unloading has been covered before if not here on the Bull Shipper's list. It was a common thing in many
less populated areas and when most people were more honest.  The business at the end of the route from a meat
packers branch house would have their meet loaded first, then it would be papered over in the car and that for the
the next to last stop would be loaded next. This could go on until the car was filled but rarely for more than four
stops from what I've been told so there was no reicing required in the majority of such loadings.

Cordially, Don Valentine

np328
 

    Paul, I presented several years ago at Chicago and CCB RPMs about the usage of reefers and in winter they were busiest. January, February saw about 100 percent usage in AAR notes I found and used as a basis for the presentation following reefer loading bi-monthly for 1956-57.  

     I'll attach the image and the yellow areas are where they definitely needed to be used (in protective service) to keep things like canned goods, pharmaceuticals, and other items safe. The red areas are where crops were ripening and ready for transit, and the orange areas are where potatoes were being shipped, more or less as a year round commodity. If potatoes freeze they get mealy. Potatoes I found were more or less shipped year round and if a person does not know what else to waybill on a reefer, potatoes is a safe bet.  

      Oh wait, here is a list I put in the files some time ago: https://realstmfc.groups.io/g/main/files/Perishable%20Commodities,%20definition%20and%20list%20of  
John Hile uploaded these:https://realstmfc.groups.io/g/main/files/P%20P%20Tariff%2013%20Rule%2036.pdf   Item 1140 (Florist stock - ferns) a few pages down is more common than you would think load coming east on the NP in reefers. How often when you see bouquets of flowers, do you see ferns used to accent the bunch? 
      Note in either of these lists, all the items preceded by the numeral 1, items that need to be protected against cold or heat. Or the number 3, items that needed to be protected against cold. And if a commodity that needed to be protected were loaded in the yellow area or destined for the yellow area, it would have been placed in a reefer.  How often do we see this modeled or model it?
     Here is another upload by John:   https://realstmfc.groups.io/g/main/files/P%20P%20Tariff%2013%20Section%206.pdf

     OK, after one presentation, someone came up to me and stated only, "However I don't model winter." I'm not sure why they thought that was pertinent however, lets follow up on it. 
     Reefers according to all the data I have ever seen were some of the top earners on the rails. They also were bought on bonds (borrowed cash) that had to be paid off. And standing still made no money. They make money (per mile) when they are moving unloaded or loaded and the most when loaded. However we have talked about that here before. 
    So they make money in when in protected service and when fruits and vegetables ripen and need to be shipped.  What do they do the rest of the year?   The 3 for 1 keeps them moving. 

    The three for one substitution here" https://realstmfc.groups.io/g/main/files/Refrigerator%20Cars%20for%20Box%20Cars     John Barry was kind enough to roll eleven pages into one pdf at the bottom.  The 3 for 1 or 2 for 1 (simplified) means for the price of one boxcar you can get up to two or three reefers.  As we have talked about it here before, it is meant to get reefers home, with a load if possible.
        So does that increase or decrease the odds of seeing reefers in a train consist, (generally speaking)?  I'd think it increases the chances.

        And the links above by myself or John Hile give a broad list of commodities to model.  I think John's is better. A boxcar of canned goods to a food wholesaler or two reefers of the same canned goods? With the substitution allowance either is perfectly plausible.  
       
 I started the above mentioned presentation with the thought - Do I have too many reefers? I still wonder however using some in protected service or under the 3 for 1 rule, it is not a crisis.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Jim Dick - St. Paul