Topics

"TW" reefer designation


Dick Harley <Dick.Harley@...>
 

On 12-20-00, John Nehrich asked:

I've just been studying the Red Caboose's web site for their
PFE reefers. Maybe I've missed something, but I don't see
any explanation of the "TW" designation. Is this something
they made up for non-PFE cars?
Since everyone else seems asleep, I'll venture a first cut answer from
here at work without my PFE book (I took it home during our move). PFE
sold some it's R-30-9's to wineries for wine transport. I believe they
took the ice bunkers out and made the cars essentially wine tank cars,
hence the 'TW' designation. I don't have an ORER here to check that ARA
designation, but that's the gist of it.

Dick Harley


John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

Dick - A wine car should be RB, the "B" being for beverage or beer, but
that's not a car with an internal tank. "TW" would be from the Tank
designation, with "W" meaning a wood tank, like a vinegar or pickle car.
(Meaning these didn't get the stainless steel or enameled tanks such as used
in GPEX milk cars and Chateau Martin cars.) Thanks - John

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dick Harley" <Dick.Harley@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2000 2:45 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] "TW" reefer designation


On 12-20-00, John Nehrich asked:

I've just been studying the Red Caboose's web site for their
PFE reefers. Maybe I've missed something, but I don't see
any explanation of the "TW" designation. Is this something
they made up for non-PFE cars?
Since everyone else seems asleep, I'll venture a first cut answer from
here at work without my PFE book (I took it home during our move). PFE
sold some it's R-30-9's to wineries for wine transport. I believe they
took the ice bunkers out and made the cars essentially wine tank cars,
hence the 'TW' designation. I don't have an ORER here to check that ARA
designation, but that's the gist of it.

Dick Harley




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Dick Harley <Dick.Harley@...>
 

John,

Wooden tanks sounds good to me. Wine loves that stuff.

There is a page in the PFE book that gives the history of those cars, and
I believe that is where Bill McClung got the idea and data for doing them.

Dick Harley


Guy Wilber
 

In a message dated 12/21/00 12:58:47 PM Pacific Standard Time, nehrij@...
writes:

<< Dick - A wine car should be RB, the "B" being for beverage or beer, but
that's not a car with an internal tank. "TW" would be from the Tank
designation, with "W" meaning a wood tank, like a vinegar or pickle car.
(Meaning these didn't get the stainless steel or enameled tanks such as used
in GPEX milk cars and Chateau Martin cars.) >>

"TW" was the correct letter designation for the PFE refrigerator cars when
sold and converted to wine service (circa 1933-35). During 1935 the AAR
clarified, and/or added to, its list of M.C.B. designations for tank
cars--the "TW" designation read; A car equipped with one or more lined or
unlined wooden tanks or tubs. Note, "tank" car is not specified.

Modifications were made to this designation both in 1936 and in 1940. The
1940 description read; A car equipped with one or more wooden tanks, or, one
or more metal tubs. Such tanks or tubs may be lined. Car is sometimes
equipped with a roof.

By the 1950s the "TW" designation was greatly simplified to read; Tank car
equipped with one or more wooden containers.

Regards,

Guy Wilber
SParks, Nevada


Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Dick and John,

At the time these cars were converted (the late 1930s), wood was the
only commonly used material for cooperage in the California wine
industry. Although glass-lined tanks were in common use for milk, they
were still on the far horizon for wine producers. Stainless steel was
pretty new and wouldn't make much of an appearance in the wine industry
until the 1960s.

Wood "breathes" (just like the cork in a good bottle of wine), and this
allows the wines to improve by gentle oxidation. Oak, was and still is,
the most commonly used wood for wine. It adds tannic acid, necessary for
giving red wines and Chardonnays their complex flavors. Redwood is
chemically neutral and is preferred for aging fruity reds and most white
wines. Redwood lends itself more to upright storage vats than horizontal
aging barrels. Stainless steel and glass are not only chemically
neutral, but don't breathe either, so they add nothing to the wine.

We have no details on the wood used for the cooperage in these cars, but
my best guess is that they were probably oak.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff


Dick Harvey wrote:


John,

Wooden tanks sounds good to me. Wine loves that stuff.

There is a page in the PFE book that gives the history of those cars, and
I believe that is where Bill McClung got the idea and data for doing them.

Dick Harley


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John Nehrich <nehrij@...>
 

I understand that part of the fermetation process are the development of
aldehydes, which are bitter, but allowing the wine to "breathe" lets them
oxidize. Although around c. 1940 there are the multi-dome/multi-compartment
wine tank cars, which must have had a metal liner.
But if the TW cars were converted in '35-'36, that doesn't leave much
time for them to run under the billboard schemes that Red Caboose shows (not
that there was that much time between the end of Prohibition and the
billboard ban anyway).
Also, as bulk wine cars rather than shipping cartons of it in RB cars,
the cars would need to go to bottling plants, not just some wholesale
distributor or even in the more remote possibility of a team track (on a
layout just to justify these cars) ?
- John Nehrich

----- Original Message -----
From: "Garth G. Groff" <ggg9y@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 8:09 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] "TW" reefer designation


Dick and John,

At the time these cars were converted (the late 1930s), wood was the
only commonly used material for cooperage in the California wine
industry. Although glass-lined tanks were in common use for milk, they
were still on the far horizon for wine producers. Stainless steel was
pretty new and wouldn't make much of an appearance in the wine industry
until the 1960s.

Wood "breathes" (just like the cork in a good bottle of wine), and this
allows the wines to improve by gentle oxidation. Oak, was and still is,
the most commonly used wood for wine. It adds tannic acid, necessary for
giving red wines and Chardonnays their complex flavors. Redwood is
chemically neutral and is preferred for aging fruity reds and most white
wines. Redwood lends itself more to upright storage vats than horizontal
aging barrels. Stainless steel and glass are not only chemically
neutral, but don't breathe either, so they add nothing to the wine.

We have no details on the wood used for the cooperage in these cars, but
my best guess is that they were probably oak.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff


Dick Harvey wrote:

John,

Wooden tanks sounds good to me. Wine loves that stuff.

There is a page in the PFE book that gives the history of those cars,
and
I believe that is where Bill McClung got the idea and data for doing
them.

Dick Harley


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STMFC-unsubscribe@...

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STMFC-unsubscribe@...



Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

John,

Quite a few of the large wine makers in California served primarily
eastern markets up into the 1960s. Roma was the most famous. Wine from
quite a few of these producers was shipped in bulk to bottling plants in
the east. This pretty much ended when many of the larger California
wineries went national, and there was a boomlet (later a boom in the
1970s) in east coast wineries growing hybridized grapes. AFIK, there are
few, if any, California wineries shipping in bulk to the east coast now
(watch someone prove me wrong!). Most ship finished wine in bottles.
IIRC, Roma was one of the last of the bulk shippers. I vaguely remember
seeing a Roma car in Manteca or Fresno while traveling to my parents
house from college around 1970 or so. Of course, no camera, and in fact
I think it was at night.

I had quite forgotten the Roma wine tankers. I don't know the technical
details of the tanks, but they were probably lined with glass, stainless
steel, or something else. If they were bare steel, the acids in the
wines would have slowly eaten away at the metal, tainting the taste of
the wine with iron compounds.

As we have discussed here before, the notion that all billboard reefers
disappeared circa 1939 is in error. Car under lease to one company, and
carrying only their products, could still be so lettered. The lettering
ban applied mostly to free-floating or short-term lease cars which might
carry loads for shippers other than the one advertised on the side,
especially loads for competitors. I do not know about the cars in
question, but photo evidence shows that certain wine cars did retain
their colorful schemes up into the 1960s.

I'm sure that Richard will eventually straighten us both out on this
matter. He always seems to have the right answer, and the evidence to
back it up.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff



John Nehrich wrote:


I understand that part of the fermetation process are the development of
aldehydes, which are bitter, but allowing the wine to "breathe" lets them
oxidize. Although around c. 1940 there are the multi-dome/multi-compartment
wine tank cars, which must have had a metal liner.
But if the TW cars were converted in '35-'36, that doesn't leave much
time for them to run under the billboard schemes that Red Caboose shows (not
that there was that much time between the end of Prohibition and the
billboard ban anyway).
Also, as bulk wine cars rather than shipping cartons of it in RB cars,
the cars would need to go to bottling plants, not just some wholesale
distributor or even in the more remote possibility of a team track (on a
layout just to justify these cars) ?
- John Nehrich


Richard Hendrickson
 

John Nehrich wrote:

...around c. 1940 there are the multi-dome/multi-compartment
wine tank cars, which must have had a metal liner.
In fact, those cars were glass lined. There was a discussion on the FC
list a couple of months ago about how the glass linings wee applied.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520


Richard Hendrickson
 

Garth Groff wrote:

....AFIK, there are
few, if any, California wineries shipping in bulk to the east coast now
(watch someone prove me wrong!). Most ship finished wine in bottles.
IIRC, Roma was one of the last of the bulk shippers. I vaguely remember
seeing a Roma car in Manteca or Fresno while traveling to my parents
house from college around 1970 or so.
That's essentially correct. There is photographic evidence of the Roma
cars lasting into the 1960s with billboard lettering. And I photographed
several wine tank cars in the Central Valley ca. 1970, though they were all
SHPX/ACFX and GATX cars without fancy lettering. (One freshly painted ACFX
six compartment car was painted purplish maroon, however, which was
definitely eye-catching.) Small quantities of Calif. wine are still
shipped in bulk to some east coast wineries, notably in upstate New York
where (despite all the promotional hype for Finger Lakes wines) the summer
is too short to bring up the sugar in the grapes so their wines are blended
with California wines to make them palatable.

As we have discussed here before, the notion that all billboard reefers
disappeared circa 1939 is in error. Car under lease to one company, and
carrying only their products, could still be so lettered. The lettering
ban applied mostly to free-floating or short-term lease cars which might
carry loads for shippers other than the one advertised on the side,
especially loads for competitors. I do not know about the cars in
question, but photo evidence shows that certain wine cars did retain
their colorful schemes up into the 1960s.
Even later than that, the Chateau Martin winery operated a small fleet
under their own reporting marks of ex-milk tank cars in express reefer
bodies that had wine colored sides and billboard lettering.

Perhaps its worth noting that quality wines were never shipped in bulk, at
least not over long distances. It was the cheap stuff that traveled in
tank cars.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520