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refrigerator car[ri′frij·ə‚rād·ər ‚kär]
a railroad car designed for transporting perishable goods (meat, fish, fruit, and so forth) that require constant, sufficiently low temperatures during transportation.
The first refrigerator cars were built in Russia in 1862. By 1917 there were approximately 6,000 small, two-axle refrigerator cars of various types. In 1926 the Briansk Locomotive Construction Plant began producing four-axle refrigerator cars with a load capacity of up to 30 tons, and later 49 tons.
A distinction is made between multipurpose refrigerator cars suitable for transporting most perishable goods and special refrigerator cars for the transportation of live fish, milk, mineral water, and wine. Refrigerator cars are also grouped according to the method of refrigeration used: ice cars cooled by an ice and salt mixture and mechanical refrigerator cars equipped with refrigeration compressors. Refrigeration by dry ice, liquid nitrogen, and so forth, is used in a number of countries.
Refrigerator cars are equipped with heating units for transporting perishable goods during the winter. A constant temperature is maintained in refrigerator cars: up to 5° C for most refrigerated cargoes, not above -6° C for ice cream, and as low as -20° C for quick-frozen products. The production of ice-cooled refrigerator cars ceased in 1964 because of the inefficiency of the ice and salt refrigeration method. Since 1954, refrigerator trains consisting of 18 and 20 cars and sections of four, five, or ten cars have been used on railroads in the USSR. Self-contained refrigerator cars operated by fully automatic equipment have been used since 1966.
REFERENCESKholodil’naia tekhnika: Entsiklopedicheskii spravochnik, book 3. Moscow, 1962.
Spravochnik po perevozke skoroportiashchikhsia gruzov. Moscow, 1963.
A. T. DERIBAS