B&A Heated Freight cars (State of Maine cars)

Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

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B&A Heated Freight cars (State of Maine cars)

Postby mr. mick » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:03 pm

A long time ago the Bangor and Aroostook had a fleet of charcoal heated freight cars that they used in the winter to transport potatoes to the eastern markets; i saw one of the BAR cars (State of Maine Products )in North Conway. My questions is, how did the charcoal heater work?
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Re: B&A Heated Freight cars (State of Maine cars)

Postby BAR » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:39 am

The heaters were kept burning by attendants, know as "potato bugs" who accompanied the cars to their destinations, usually Boston or New York. Each potato bug tended four or five cars and serviced the heaters whenever the trains stopped for a sufficient time period to get the heaters taken care of. They rode with the train crews between stops and after reaching their destinations returned to Mane on passenger trains at the railroads expense. Source: "The Bangor and Aroostook, 1891-1966" published in February, 1966 by the railroad. On visits to Maine I have seen a few of these heaters for sale at antique stores and some have been known to have seen service heating ice fishing shacks.
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