Railway Preservation News

The GTW 206447 Reefer Project Fundraiser
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Author:  DTE203 [ Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  The GTW 206447 Reefer Project Fundraiser


Save the Reefer! Help Move History! By buying a shirt, you will be helping to preserve and move Grand Trunk Western 206447, an ice brine reefer box car from Holland, MI to the safety and preserving efforts of the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society of Port Huron Township, MI. The move will involve a couple of semi-tractor trucks and their drivers for a distance of approximately 225 miles! All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to this effort, with any balance going to the following restoration of the reefer into a cosmetically correct climate controlled shop and secure storage area for use by the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society.

Reefer GTW 206447 is truly a unique piece of equipment in a mostly complete state. It is likely the sole remaining example of 100 Canadian designed reefers of the efficient overhead ice brine design. These reefers were built for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company in July through August of 1955 by the Pacific Car & Foundry at Renton, WA. The efficient design allowed for actual climate control, both cold and warm temperatures with usage of either the aforementioned overhead ice brine tanks or the under-mounted charcoal heater. These reefers had an astounding 3500 mile range before requiring re-charge with the ice brine coolant system. Hauling everything from meat, produce, to auto parts, these reefer box cars allowed the Grand Trunk Western to offer a premium service that allowed for reliable shipment of commodities that required specific temperature requirements. After serving for the Grand Trunk Western, GTW 206447 was likely retired in 1972 or 1973, likely being one of the last of its type in revenue service. It was likely sold to a chicken slaughter house in Holland, MI, now a strip mall, and was spotted on the old Pere Marquette Ottawa Beach Branch next to the slaughter house where it was used as an overflow freezer. The reefer has been there ever since the slaughter house shut down, awaiting a sure fate of the scrapper’s torch until the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society stepped in and literally saved the reefer from scrapping. This is where you come in. With your financial support of buying our fundraiser T-shirt, you too can take part in preserving this unique piece of Grand Trunk Western Railroad history, TODAY!

Act now, save the reefer, help move history!

Thank you for your consideration,

Chad Thompson
Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society
Board Member

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