Posted by Diana
Date: October 5, 2010
Temperature: -14 degree Celcius
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Temp with wind chill: -20 decrees Celcius
Sunrise: 6:07 am
Sunset 9:22 pm
If you go to any major harbour around the world or have sat at a railway crossing waiting for a freight train to pass, you will be familiar with containers. Also known as intermodal containers, ISO containers the dimensions of which have been defined by ISO: 8-ft(2.4m) wide x 8-ft(2.4m) high and in 10 ft (3m) increment lengths. They are constructed of .98in (25mm) thick corrugated steel. These containers are used to move freight using multiple modes of transportation from rail to ship to truck without ever having to be opened. The design incorporates a twist-lock mechanism atop each of the four corners, allowing the container to be easily secured and lifted using cranes. At New Zealand’s Scott Base they have many containers which arrive by ship in the summer months. They have multiple uses as readymade storage and shelters.
Outside view of summer lab © AHT/ Diana
The Antarctic Heritage Trust conservation lab is made of three refrigerator (reefer) style containers ingeniously attached together and equipped with electricity, windows and heat.
Inside view of summer © AHT/ Diana
There is a historic northern connection with this southern use of containers; one of the pioneers of intermodal containers was the White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&YR), an isolated narrow gauge railway which linked the port of Skagway Alaska with Whitehorse Yukon. In 1955 WP&YR acquired the world’s first container ship the Clifford J. Rogers.
Next week I will talk about some of the other uses of these containers in Antarctica.