Left Behind (3)

By   April 15, 2015

While I wondered around this car I wondered just how many of these 8 hatch refrigerator cars were preserved in Canada.  They were unique in North America, designed to move meet, vegetables and fruit at controlled temperatures over much longer distances than those required in the United States.  This does not suggest that the run between Los Angeles and Chicago is not a long time consuming trip but rather that there were plenty of ‘stops’ along the way where ice was made available.  Canadian ice was even moved in quantity from southern BC in larger markets in California.   Think Coalmont and Tulameen.

Well, if there isn’t another one somewhere then this is the last and it is in very bad condition.  I simply can’t see any historical society raising the funds for this repair.  The “box’ has been rusted off the frame and only gravity and good luck keeps it in place.

Photo 3

The doors have been locked on this car for many years and no one has even bothered to try to get in.  That might give you an idea about its value – even as a shelter from the rain.  But I visited a large layout a few months back where the operator had two long sidings of Canadian 8 hatch reefers and a sizable ice loading facility.  One track that accepted ice that was cut from a lake higher in the mountains (extending the season) and another that loaded and reloaded the ice into passing cars. 

All of them were clean but for a thin layer of road grime and some spots appropriate rust in appropriate places.  If your built of steal and wood then water is your enemy.