Refrigerator Car 501 is on the move!

I am very pleased to report on the successful move of another major NCO artifact, our refrigerator car! After much work, the last remaining reefer car is resting safely in the car barn awaiting its turn for restoration. This particular move offered some unexpected and unique challenges which we have been working on for some time now. The biggest challenge is where it was placed. For nearly 100 years the car has resided on top a grassy knoll surrounded with a group of willow trees on a ranch in Likely, California. This beautiful, tranquil landscape also offers one major drawback, namely, mud. Mud is a major issue when it comes to bringing in a truck for moving the car and since we would be using a tractor-trailer for this move, getting stuck was a real concern!

Previously, we had jacked the car up and slid it over to facilitate the move, but the ground underneath was a soupy mess. So, we waited. Finally, our day came, a long cold spell that froze the ground (and the adjacent fields!) into a solid, truck friendly surface. With all these factors combining, we scheduled a work party, borrowed a truck, and went to work. In no time at all we had it loaded and secured to the trailer, and after turning it around on the frozen field and conquering the narrow driveway with its sharp turns, we hit the road with our prize! But the challenge was not quite over.

Once at the car barn, we would have to maneuver it into position. This proved challenging, the truck was long enough and the building was narrow enough it proved difficult to get into position. But after much back and forth from a dozen different angles, we found one that worked and rolled forward safely into place. Unloading went smoothly and now the reefer car is placed safely in its new home. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to make this move happen!