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Location and use of icing station

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Location and use of icing station
Posted by wdcrvr on Thursday, July 27, 2017 9:03 AM

I want to put an icing station on my layout for my reefers.  Where woul you find an icing station?  Would it be at a yard location or more likely near an industry such as a packing plant of a fruit/vegetable processor?  I know the old reefers needed ice but not sure where they would be iced on the prototype.  Thanks for all responses.  

wdcrvr

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:42 AM

First, I know of no set rules to their location. I would think many variables would come i to play.

If there was a large packing plant or many in one area there may be a local ice plant and loading docks for the reefers. The way I understand it some plants had their own icing and others used a separate and remote facility for the icing.

I also have read where a reefer was iced prior to loading and also where they were iced after loading. I remember reading about one place whee they pre-cooled the reefers with cold air blown in the cars prior to loading and then the car received the ice. I don't have any good answer there but surmise it might depend on the product to be cooled.

Many railroads had them located directly on the mainline to re-ice reefers traveling through in solid trains. This reduced time switching or dealing with the cars. I have seen shots of Illinois Central banana trains being topped off this way traveling from New Orleans to Chicago.

An ice plant could also be located off the ML in a yard someplace that had a lot of local need too.

I would say maybe do some reading and research for your particular railroad or reefer company.

oldline1

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Posted by cuyama on Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:18 PM

If there were multiple perishable shippers in an area, the icing plant was often near a centrally located yard.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, July 27, 2017 1:24 PM

Icing docks were not "everywhere", they were only where they needed to be because they would be consistently used.  They would be near shippers of perishables were located, at major interchange points or spots a day or two travel from the previous icing station.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 1:44 PM

First, I know of no set rules to their location. I would think many variables would come i to play.

If there was a large packing plant or many in one area there may be a local ice plant and loading docks for the reefers. The way I understand it some plants had their own icing and others used a separate and remote facility for the icing.

I also have read where a reefer was iced prior to loading and also where they were iced after loading. I remember reading about one place whee they pre-cooled the reefers with cold air blown in the cars prior to loading and then the car received the ice. I don't have any good answer there but surmise it might depend on the product to be cooled.

Many railroads had them located directly on the mainline to re-ice reefers traveling through in solid trains. This reduced time switching or dealing with the cars. I have seen shots of Illinois Central banana trains being topped off this way traveling from New Orleans to Chicago.

An ice plant could also be located off the ML in a yard someplace that had a lot of local need too.

I would say maybe do some reading and research for your particular railroad or reefer company.

oldline1

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:20 PM

Well, I don't know where that 2nd reply came from. I only sent it once! I guess between the incompetance of yahoo and or Verizon they had a brain fart and sent it again later.

Sorry you all had to read it twice!

oldline1

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, July 27, 2017 4:05 PM

I think both locations are possible.

With re-icing of through trains the icing platform would be at a yard. These platforms were used too if packing houses were close enough.

If the number of packing houses would warant an icing station it would be built close by. Usually the ice wouldn't be produced at this small icing station but bought from an outside manufacturer.

Here is an article about Claremount LA County:
http://coastdaylight.com/scph/scph_la_claremont_r1.html

And here is an aerial view of the packing district:
http://coastdaylight.com/scph/claremont_courier_041002-1a.jpg
Regards, Volker

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Posted by NHTX on Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:40 PM

    wdcrvr, all of the previous posts are correct but there are so many variables that make a definitive answer impossible. I reccommend anyone interested in ice reefer operations get a copy of the book "Pacific Fruit Express" by Anthony W. Thompson, Robert J. Church and Bruce H. Jones.  It is published by Signature Press, ISBN: 1-930013-03-5. In addition to PFE history and extensive equipment coverage, there is a 16 page chapter on natural ice plants and 50 page chapter on ice manufacturing and transfer plants.  There is information on all PFE icing stations as well as photgraphs, icing platform capacities, areas served-any and everything you want know about ice reefer operation whether or not you model PFE. There is also very informative coverage of how each crop was handled, pre-cooling of cars and on and on. It  is not a cheap book but if you shop around, you may find it at a discount seller for about the price of a couple of better quality ice reefers.

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Posted by wdcrvr on Tuesday, August 01, 2017 9:16 AM

Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions.  I have a lot to think about and a lot of options.  I already have the icing station in process so I feel obligated to put it on the layout somewhere.  I could go with the idea of being available to the freight yard or I might place it elsewher on the layout with a meat packig plant next to it or across the tracks from it.  

Thanks

wdcrvr

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Posted by NHTX on Tuesday, August 01, 2017 7:45 PM

      wdcrvr, not knowing your era, setting, and railroad modeled, may I suggest placing your icing plant in close proximity to your yard.  If it is a railroad owned faciliity and your railroad had sufficient perishable traffic to require icing on a regular and frequent basis, the railroad would want it where ease of access was possible.  Even if the meat packing plant were a few miles away, the icing plant could still provide pre-iced cars yet, service other customers requiring iced cars, as well as through traffic.  Railroads wanted to get reefer traffic over the road with as little delay as possible, so, while the engine was being changed or serviced, the crew changed, cars picked up or set out, any necessary icing could be done.  It would be counter-productive to take care of all of the functions except icing, because the ice plant were located away from all the other activity that takes place in the yard.  It would be a very large packing plant that generated enough traffic to warrant its own ice plant.  Of course, as with everything else in model railroading, if you search long and hard enoigh, you can find a prototype for anything.

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Posted by wdcrvr on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 7:14 AM

nhtx

Thank you for your reply.  Makes sense to me.  Very helpful.  I believe I will stick with my original plan to place it at the yard.

Thanks

wdcrvr

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 9:30 AM

NHTX
It would be a very large packing plant that generated enough traffic to warrant its own ice plant.

PFE had a lot of smaller icing station called Ice Transfer Plant (ITP) where PFE didn't manufacture its own ice. In California it was bought from Union Ice Company. UIC even operated a number of ITPs for PFE.

If you are interested you can read about PFE's reefers and operation in the articles published by Tony Thomson (Co-author of the above mentioned PFE-book) in Model Railroad Hobbyist magazines Sept.+ Oct. 2013 issues. They are a free download.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:53 AM

If you wanted to add another detail, smaller icing stations and even larger ones that would get backed up would employ these Ice service cars to help clear a backlog.

 

Brent

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Posted by Shafty on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 5:05 PM

In 1955 when I went to work for the U.P. in Los Angeles the Ice Deck was at the east end of the yard on the east end of "C" Yard #16.  There was also a short spur off of #16 that held one or two reefers in which ice was stored for use.  As mentioned above ice was trucked in from Union Ice, and if I remember correctly, sometimes it came in over the railroad from the PFE Company in Colton.

The Ice Deck was about 10 cars long, and there was room west of it for cleaned empty reefers held for prospective loading.  Empty reefers were cleaned on a nearby track called the "Balloon".  The west end of "C" Yard #16 was used as a handy place for eastbound loads and whatever else needed to be easy to get to.

While not much can be seen, in the background of the picture on page 184 of The Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Company by Signor the upper portion of the Ice Deck is visible behind the PFE reefers.

Being at the east end of the yard, it was not necessarily handy, but that is where it was.

Eugene Crowner

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:38 PM

    The ice house in San Bernardino was located at the east end of the yard. It was about the last industry before you leave town and head up Cajon Pass and across the desert to the rest of the country, which makes sense because why go the wrong direction with perishables. Put the ice house at the hub where everything flows through it.
    They made their own ice and pre-cooled cars used for produce, mainly oranges but other fruits and vegetables as well. It served Santa Fe, Union Pacific and the Pacific Fruit Express. It remained open for several decades after it stop icing refers by selling ice to grocery stores etc. It was at the corner of 3rd and "I" street until just a couple of years ago. The tracks are now used by Metrolink. The foundation is still visable.

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1057944,-117.3036473,341m/data=!3m1!1e3

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by kingcoal on Thursday, August 10, 2017 1:13 PM

Looking at the responses to your question, it might be useful to know where and what era your layout is set it. Also, is it an intermediate or origin icing facility.

I am guessing that closer to the 1900 period, ice may have been cut in the winter, possibly at another location, and brought to the yard. It could have been stored in insulated wharehouses awaiting use. That is particularly true North of the the Mason Dixon and east of the Mississippi. The Reading Company used to cut ice from the Schuylkill River about 15-20 miles outside of Philadelphia and transport it to other locations. The foundations of those ice houses can still be found near Abrams Yard.

Not sure when ice was manufactured commercially rather than cut from lakes, ponds and rivers.

 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Saturday, August 12, 2017 11:36 AM

kingcoal
Not sure when ice was manufactured commercially rather than cut from lakes, ponds and rivers.

I think block ice manufacturing started in the 1880s and became economical in the early 20th century. In 1914 26 millions tons of manufactured block ice compare to 24 million tons of harvested ice:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_trade#End_of_the_trade.2C_20th_century
Regards, Volker

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Saturday, August 12, 2017 1:30 PM

On September 16, 1893 the Union Ice company started using electricity to make ice in Mentone California. It was located close to the packing houses in Redlands. Before that they shipped in ice cut from Lake Tahoe (Donner Pass) which a lot of it melted before it arrived since it was 500 miles to the north. By October, orders for ice exceeded plant capacity even though the plant was producing 32 tons daily.
The Southern California Ice and Cold Storage Company building which was later owned by Union Ice was built in 1922 next to the Santa Fe yard in San Bernardino.
Ref: http://rahs.org/union-ice-company-in-crafton/
Ref: https://www.ci.san-bernardino.ca.us/about/history/buildings_of_howard_e_jones.asp

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad

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