Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Intermountain Reefers

     Some time ago, dear reader, I told you about the four Intermountain reefers I scooped off of eBay. They've been sitting on my desk, calling out to me for some love and affection since I first sat them there about two weeks ago. Well today I decided to throw one together to see; a.) How hard they were to assemble and b.) How long it would take me to assemble one. I'm pleased to report that it only took me a little over an hour to do and it wasn't all that difficult. Below is the first finished car.

     It currently rides on Micro-Trains trucks, with Atlas low-profile wheels.  I opt for the Atlas wheels when doing replacements because they're brown, which is closer to the rusted wheels we typically see on the prototype, as opposed to the black that are also available. Atlas wheels are also manufactured to match the Atlas code 55 track I've chosen for the layout.

     Just for comparison, I coupled it next to a Micro-Trains 40' plug door box car for these photos and you can see a visible difference in height between them. It sure does look good though. That light grey stands out well against the oxide brown next to it. 

     Now you're probably sitting there wondering why a guy whose railroad hauls thousands of tons of coal every day, would need steel refrigerator cars. Well believe it or not, Nova Scotian farmers once grew vast quantities of apples and blueberries here. Granted, a lot of this produce is/was grown in the Annapolis Valley, much was also grown right here in Inverness County. So much produce in fact, that I've heard Nova Scotia referred to as the Blueberry Capitol Of The World.

     Weather or not that's true, I cannot say for sure, but research I've conducted indicates the period from September to April saw heavy apple traffic on the Dominion Atlantic Railway. Apples from over 150 warehouses were carried to ocean steamers at Halifax, often requiring double-headed specials. I know my grandparents used to go blueberry picking on the mountain behind their house when I was little. The employee timetables I have, also indicate several short sidings on the subdivision with no apparent use or purpose.

     One could certainly surmise these siding were used in the fall to spot a reefer here and there for loading by local farmers. After-all, one could put a hell of a lot of blueberries in a single 40-foot reefer couldn't they. The fact that it would increase my traffic levels during Op Sessions couldn't hurt either. The only question I have now is; do I need an ice house on the layout? Food for thought.

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