Something old, something new...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by doctorwayne, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    (-ish) :rolleyes: The Grand Valley Central and parent company Elora Gorge & Eastern, in a joint press release, today announced the formal completion of the amalgamation of their respective subsidiaries, Grand Valley Export Ltd. and Eastern Produce Distributors Ltd. The new jointly-held subsidiary, which supplies a pool of refrigerator cars for fruit and vegetable growers in the area, will be known as Grand Valley Export Ltd., using the reporting marks GVEX. Eastern Produce Distributors Ltd., and its EPDX reporting marks, will cease to exist.
    In a related news item, the two roads unveiled some "new" rolling stock, rebuilt from now-surplus EPDX cars.
    In this "file" photo, we see an EPDX car being spotted at National Grocers in downtown Dunnville.
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    Reporters and photographers were on hand in Lowbanks this morning as CNR 8414 assisted in the unveiling of the new rolling stock.
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    Here's the official builders photo, supplied by the railroad:
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    The original car, EPDX 2359, a wood-sheathed refrigerator car, with steel ends and roof, from noted car-builder Athearn, was extensively rebuilt by the shop forces at the Grand River & Northern Lake Erie's (Erie Northshore) shops at Lowbanks, Ontario.
    All that remains of the original car are the sides:
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    All cars received new fishbelly underframes (reconditioned from scrapped 40' flatcars) and ride on brand new high speed trucks from General Steel Castings.
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    The insulation in all cars was upgraded, and the ice bunkers and roof hatches were removed, resulting in new wood-sheathed car ends and a new outside metal roof, with no roof hatches. Here's one of the cars awaiting its first revenue load of fresh fish, at Finlays, in Port Maitland. Because the load requires "top icing", ice bunkers are not required for this service.
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    These cars will also be used in milk service, and offer the full carbody length for any suitable lading requiring temperature control but no refrigeration. Here's the 2036 at National Grocers in Dunnville.
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    I hope you've enjoyed this look at these rebuilt cars. Several other EPDX and GVEX cars were rebuilt as PFE and FGEX cars, and they'll be shown in a separate thread, along with some rebuilt Train Miniature single sheathed boxcars.

    Wayne
  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    So how'd they get the ice in the car? It's not a mechanical reefer, is it?

    And why do the reporting marks read GVC when the 'press release' says they'll be GVEX?...just curious, s'all.

    A great looking rebuild! I always enjoy seeing new posts from the Doctor!
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Galen, top ice does not go in a bunker. It is crushed ice that is blown in over the top of the load through the doors. It keeps the load cool by melting down through the load. It is still used in some produce loads with mechanical refrigeration. The mechanical refrigeration tends to dry things out. It pulls moisture out of the air and condenses it as ice on the evaporator coils. When the mechanical refrigeration unit defrosts, the ice on the coil melts and runs out drain hoses. Refrigerated produce like corn on the cob, & broccoli to name two products off the top of my head are always top iced for shipping.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Logical questions, too. :) And you can't always trust an eager reporter to get the information straight, either. ;-):) The rebuilt cars, formerly owned by EPDX, which was a subsidiary of the EG&E, have been re-assigned to express service on the Grand Valley, which is under 90% ownership of the EG&E. The new, amalgamated reefer pool uses the GVEX reporting marks, but no former EPDX cars were transferred to GVEX: two of them were rebuilt as the GVC cars shown, while a third car was "sold" to Fruit Growers Express. It was also extensively rebuilt, and will be shown in another thread.
    These rebuilt cars are no longer refrigerator cars, but more akin to insulated boxcars. In fish service, for which they were built , the cargo is "top iced", with crushed ice spread directly over the fresh fish, which is in open-topped wooden shipping crates. In raw milk service, where un-Pasteurised milk is shipped in cans to local dairies, the trip is so short that icing is not required. The insulation is sufficient to protect root crops, like potatoes, carrots, turnips and beets from freezing during the winter, and also make these cars suitable for moving canned goods, and beverages in glass bottles. These cars, however, are not suitable for moving tender fruit, like peaches, plums, or cherries, as they have neither ice bunkers nor provision for ventilation.
    Here's the only picture of a GVEX reefer that I could find. It's an upgraded Tyco. GVEX also had two Athearn steel reefers, but they were also caught up during the rebuilding frenzy: one has been redone as another FGEX car, while the other has become a PFE car. Photos of both will be posted elsewhere, eventually. :rolleyes:
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    Wayne
  5. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    I always love a nice big photo spread by the good Doctor. You spoil us sir!
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    In a related vein, many, if not most, refrigerator cars, both ice bunker and mechanical, ran half of their mileage as insulated boxcars. If Southern Pacific had sent an iced reefer, loaded with oranges, to Buffalo, NY, there would've been a good chance that, once the car had been emptied, it would've be routed back to home rails with a load not requiring ice, such as canned goods, or even paint. This gives you an opportunity to run reefers even if you don't model an industry that specifically uses them. :thumb:

    Wayne
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Do you have any ventilated boxcars? I've always wanted to model a small fleet. What exactly do they carry? I've heard they're useful for carrying melons, but cannot find much else than that. Can you elaborate for me, please?
  8. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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    as always,another photo to make me want to get out supplies and start working on my layout again.even if the boss wont let me.....--josh
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Thanks Russ and Wayne for the great information. Especially nice is the flexibility to run a reefer in something other than a block of reefers or unit train, understanding that it's hauling something non-perishable or in need of being insulated. Excellent.

    And, likewise josh, I am inspired to get back to work. Too bad I'm gonna be spending the rest of the day and well into the evening here at the office!! Oh well, back to work!
  10. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Also, slightly related, I am reminded of one of my son's favorite Thomas and Friends episodes where Thomas must push a string of goods wagons (short open top gons on 4 wheels) loaded with smelly fish - covered in ice! I suppose they're 'top iced' as well? Ha.

    Thanks again for the helpful info.
  11. joesho

    joesho Member

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    hey,your gettin money for the trains tho :D:D :D sign1
  12. joesho

    joesho Member

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    oh also,doc the last photo of the green box car,with the sign post there,is that section finnished or not because it doesnt look like it :D
  13. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

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    GREAT WORK ON THOSE CARS WAYNE!!!:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: i REALLY ENJOYED the "show", and the information you passed on too!:thumb: i am looking forward to seeing that PFE;).
    WELL DONE WAYNE!:D THANKS!:D -Deano
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I don't have any ventilated boxcars: I had an Ambroid ACL "watermelon car", but sold it some years ago. There were two doors on each side of the car, with the doorway only a single door-width wide. The door track extended both ways from the opening, and depending on the cargo, either a solid wooden door, or a "ventilator" door, with vertically mounted bars, could be slid in front of the opening.I'm not sure how common those cars were, but I read somewhere that stockcars were also used for melon shipments. Most ice bunker reefers could be operated as ventilators: I think that the hatches were placed in the propped open position, like the car below. There may or may not have been ice used in the bunkers when the car was operated in this mode.
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    The Canadian National used to run solid blocks of ventilator cars through the Niagara Peninsula during the fruit season, but most of these were modified wooden baggage cars. I've been attempting, without success, to find a photo that shows details of the ventilators' construction, as I'd like to build a few of these cars. There were at least two different styles of ventilators used, and the cars were of varying lengths, up to 70' or 75', I think. These cars were used for the tender fruit that I mentioned earlier, and most were going only as far as Toronto. A morning local would work its way towards Niagara Falls, dropping empties at the fruit packing houses along the line, then in the afternoon, another train, running from the Falls, would work its way back towards Hamilton, picking up the loaded cars. I think Stoney Creek was about the last pick-up, then it was a high speed dash to the warehousing district in Toronto.

    Wayne
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I suspect that one load for ventilated boxcars would be onions. When we shipped them overseas in containers when I worked in the harbor, they would literally remove one of the doors from the back of the container and lay it on top of the load.
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Yeah, the mainline, barely visible in the foreground has been ballasted, but the National Grocers siding has not, nor has the doubletrack elevated mainline that serves the Dunnville passenger station. I need to install backdrops at the ends of two streets in this area, so I need to keep the buildings in this area removeable until that's accomplished. Here's another view of the same area. Part of National Grocers is east of the elevated main lines, and another part is west of them, with the two sections connected by overhead walkways. The east section is in the foreground, and part of the west section is visible beyond the concrete retaining wall and plate girder bridge to the extreme right of the photo: these carry the elevated doubletracked mainline.
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    Also to the west of the elevated lines are the structures shown below. At left, behind the black rooftop water tower, is National Grocers, with the combined Dunnville station, Post Office, and express building to the right of that, and finally, at the end of the row, P&M Languay Canada Ltd. All have to be removed to install the as-yet-unconstructed backdrop.​
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    Here's a street-level view, courtesy of my good friend cn nutbar, at the Walnut St. crossing. This is one of the streets requiring a backdrop.
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  17. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    My thanks to all for the enthusiastic reception to these photos. :wave:
    Dean, the GVEX car that was converted to a PFE had some company: a Red Caboose PFE reefer that I stripped, repainted, and relettered, as the U.P. herald was too modern for my modelling era, and a Tichy kit of an R-40-2, also with an Overland Route herald. Pictures coming when the models are finished. :D

    Wayne
  18. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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    WOW :D !!!,sometimes i think you should be working for MRR or a professional modeler for books!!although if it were mine it would be a lot DIRTIER!!!:D--josh
  19. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

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    THANKS WAYNE!:D I'll be on watch for them:thumb:. :D-Deano
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    You can also run PFE or FGE, ART or even Sante Fe reefers in Canadian settings though, if you don't have your own dedicated shop crew like Wayne... ;)

    See Ian Wilson's "Topic of the month" on reefers here: http://www.canadianbranchline.com/reefermove.htm

    Andrew