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N&W Reefer Rebuilds

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  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Findlay, Ohio
  • 352 posts
N&W Reefer Rebuilds
Posted by danmerkel on Sunday, July 01, 2018 12:04 PM

A friend of mine asked me wht I thought about bashing a reefer rebuild based on this image...

http://thecourier.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834ca83d669e2022ad35737f8200c-pi

I'm guessing that the best way to proceed would be to start with a close-looking meat reefer like one from Walthers.  According to the specs I've found, the door is an 8-foot one so that should be relatively easy as well.  What I don't know about would be the old roof hatches.  It would appear that they were closed off but how?  A new roof or just a sheet of metal attached to the original roof?

If anyone can add anything to this, data-wise, I'd certainly appreciate it.

Thanks.

dlm

  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, July 01, 2018 12:20 PM

Those were ex-ART reefers.  ART was owned by the WAB/N&W and the MP.  The MP did a similar rebuild (also for flour).  I think there was an article in a past magazine about doing the MP rebuild.  Might be worth it to look for the MP article.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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  • From: Franconia, NH
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Posted by dstarr on Sunday, July 01, 2018 12:20 PM

danmerkel

A friend of mine asked me wht I thought about bashing a reefer rebuild based on this image...

http://thecourier.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834ca83d669e2022ad35737f8200c-pi

I'm guessing that the best way to proceed would be to start with a close-looking meat reefer like one from Walthers.  According to the specs I've found, the door is an 8-foot one so that should be relatively easy as well.  What I don't know about would be the old roof hatches.  It would appear that they were closed off but how?  A new roof or just a sheet of metal attached to the original roof?

If anyone can add anything to this, data-wise, I'd certainly appreciate it.

Thanks.

dlm

I don't beleive I have ever seen a prototype car with obviously plugged holes where roof ice hatches used to be.  I think the prototype reefers we see without ice hatches were built that way at the factory.  To remove the ice hatches from a model car, I would remove the ice hatch casting, leaving squarish holes in the roof.  I would glue pieces of sheet styrene to the underside of the ice hatch holes.  Then I would fill the resulting shallow holes with bits of sheet styrene of the right thickness, cut to fit as closely as possible.  Then I would use some body putty (Squadron Green, Bondo, whatever) to fill the gaps around the hole edgesm and sand everything smooth. 

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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, July 01, 2018 12:44 PM

Looks like a pretty simple rebuild.  I doubt that the original roof would have been replaced...more likely a fitted patch welded in flush with the roof.  I'm not familiar with the Walthers model, but perhaps there's a solid roof beneath the hatches, which would save probably the most onerous task.
 
Shave-off the door details of the reefer, then cement a suitable sliding door right over the cleaned-off area.  Some strip styrene will suffice for door tracks.  Depending on the doors used, you may wish to thin them somewhat - place them backside down on some not-too-coarse sandpaper...a few back-and-forth passes should do the trick.

While there's no roofwalk, the long ladder at the right end in the photo indicates that there's still a high brake wheel, so the long ladders there and on the adjacent end should be kept, while those on the other end and side should be shortened - note the low tack board on the visible end.  Not having to remove the high brake gear is a real time saver.

When you remove the model's roofwalk, use either styrene rod (Evergreen has it in a multitude of diameters) or sprue from another kit.  The rod should be .004" or .005" larger than the hole into which it will be inserted - if necessary, enlarge the holes to suit the rod or sprue which you'll be using.  Using solvent-type cement, coat both the end of the plug material and the circumference of the hole (repeat if necessary), then force the plug into the hole.  Allow the joints to hardened overnight, then trim the excess with a sharp blade, and file or sand to finish.  Once painted, the plugs will become undetectable as such.  This method is faster  and stronger than filling with body putty.
 
Looks like the only other need will be some suitable roller bearing trucks.

EDIT:  As David mentions, if you need to fill holes where the hatches were, use styrene.  Evergreen strip or rod material, sized to suit, as mentioned above, but for filling square or rectangular holes, it's sometimes easier to drill them out to a size suitable for rod material.

Wayne

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Posted by j. c. on Sunday, July 01, 2018 7:21 PM

here is a view of the other side of a car that appers to be simular, but don't think its a rebuild. http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/nw/nw49100dsa.jpg  

  • Member since
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  • From: Findlay, Ohio
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Posted by danmerkel on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 11:38 AM

Thanks to all of you for your replies.  I've secured two Walthers meat reefers which appear to be similar to the prototype.  I've also got 8' doors on the way as well.

A special thanks for the comments ref. the shortened ladders.  I didn't catch that in my looking at the picture that I have.

Once I get the car done, I'll write a blog post about it then I'll post the link here for those of you who might be intrested in seeing the finished product.  Oh, and I also have a pretty good set of decals ready to print just as soon as I can confirm the size that they need to be.

Thanks again!

dlm

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    February, 2015
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Posted by NHTX on Friday, July 20, 2018 8:35 AM

    Selection of the Intermountain No. 43499 ART reefer kit would yield a better, simpler kitbash of the MP/N&W reefer to boxcar conversion than the Walthers "meat" reefer.  The Intermountain car has free-standing detail such as ladders, grab irons, brake gear etc. while the Walthers car has it cast on. Removal of the side tackboards on the Walthers car alone would probably take as long as the entire IMR kitbash.  The IMR car is  an ART car modeled after an ART prototype while the Walthers "meat" reefer is in fact modeled from a Union Refrigerator Transit car, NOT an ART.  To answer the question about closing off the ice hatches on the converted cars, an article titled "American Refrigerator Transit, Part III: History of the ART Reefer, Box, and Covered Hopper Cars" appeared in the April 1989 issue of "Model Railroading" magazine that states the conversion from reefer to boxcar included "welding hatches shut and removing insulation and ice bunkers".  Closing off the ice bunkers on a model would only require cementing the hatches in the closed position.

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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, July 20, 2018 12:17 PM

NHTX
....To answer the question about closing off the ice hatches on the converted cars, an article titled "American Refrigerator Transit, Part III: History of the ART Reefer, Box, and Covered Hopper Cars" appeared in the April 1989 issue of "Model Railroading" magazine that states the conversion from reefer to boxcar included "welding hatches shut and removing insulation and ice bunkers". Closing off the ice bunkers on a model would only require cementing the hatches in the closed position.

Neither of the linked photos show any evidence of hatches on the roof:  even with the latches and hinges removed, I'd think that the hatches would still be visible above the roof, as when closed, they covered the gap around the perimeter of the opening.  In other words, they sat atop the roof, and not completely within the opening.

I do agree that cementing the hatches in a closed position would be easier than creating flush-mounted plugs, but perhaps only some cars retained the welded-in-place hatches?

Wayne

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Posted by wp8thsub on Saturday, July 21, 2018 9:15 AM

I would also suggest starting with the Intermountain car due to the better detail and closer resemblance to the ART prototypes.  Make sure you have some extra roof sections as the prototypes appear to have the end roof panels replaced, eliminating evidence of the ice hatches.

This MP example shows evidence of new roof panels at the ends,  Note the difference in rivet pattern that shows up in silhouette, and the lighter color compared to the adjacent original panels.  This example had the running board brackets removed.

This MP car retains the running board brackets - on all but the last rib on the end, further indication of the work done on the on the roof.  The NW car in the link form the OP shows a similar arrangement with missing brackets on the end ribs.

This NW car obviously has two roof sections at the ends without the raised panels, and again the running board supports are absent from the last rib on either end.

The two images above are from http://rr-fallenflags.org .

I kitbashed this car from the old article in RMC, using parts from two Athearn reefers like the article suggested.  We have better starting points now like the IMRC car, which will require a lot less carving of cast-on parts.  Note that I left the running board supports on the end roof ribs as I didn't catch how they were missing from the prototypes at the time.

Rob Spangler

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