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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Ice Boxes

Date: 03/26/20 17:09
Ice Boxes
Author: train513

       Our current world situation, in which so many deadly germs are waiting to attack our bodies, brings to mind the ubiquitous "ice box" which graced the cab floor of most, if not all, locomotives, before the advent of the water cooler.   A cake of ice and a gallon jug of water served to slake the thirst of head-end and rear-end crews alike.  I recall the thirsty crew member would "knock" a splash of the water onto the cab floor before drinking, in an apparent attempt to remove any "contamination".  The water jug was used in this manner throughout the trip by all members of the crew.  How many, many years this existed as the community thirst-quencher !   While I understand that there are many more deadly germs today than there were then, there were still a few very vicious illnesses which could have been passed around by drinking from the cab water jug.

Date: 03/27/20 14:35
Re: Ice Boxes
Author: Highspeed

Probably gave everyone a touch of immunity.

Date: 03/27/20 22:34
Re: Ice Boxes
Author: wa4umr

One of the things I remember when I rode the trains as a kid was the water.  I don't think they ever put any water in the water chest, just ice and they let it melt to water.  That water was always ice cold.  


Date: 03/28/20 02:41
Re: Ice Boxes
Author: mundo

Or how about as kids, meeting the home delivery ice trucks and grab ice chips to eat off the truck floor.

Date: 03/28/20 10:45
Re: Ice Boxes
Author: ExSPCondr

Per FRA rules from WAAAY back, the ice and the water compartments in the water coolers are separate.  The water from the melted ice is drained away.  This was due to the ice being used in the steam engine days was sawn out of frozen lakes and then kept in underground cellars covered with sawdust.  The SP steam cleaned their glass water jugs, and the paper drinking cups were supposed to be one-use only.

Date: 04/13/20 14:04
Re: Ice Boxes
Author: Jim700

ExSPCondr Wrote:
> The SP steam cleaned their glass water jugs, and the
> paper drinking cups were supposed to be one-use only.

Part of my first job on the SP&S as the afternoon laborer at the Hoyt Street Roundhouse was steam cleaning the glass water jugs.  In the powerhouse we had, IIRC, about a dozen vertical open-ended valved pipes extending from a horizontal manifold.  I don't recall having a stated required time on steam for each jug but they were probably only rarely steamed for less than a half-hour.

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