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Stock car placement in a train

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Stock car placement in a train
Posted by tstage on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:24 PM

Generally, how far back in a train were stock cars placed behind steam locomotives?  Did that change much with the advent of diesels?  If so, how much further up did regulations allow?

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:28 PM

Steam or diesel, they generally go at the front of the train.  It's been said that that was to make it easier to switch those cars out if the animals needed their mandated break time.  I've seen a LOT of photos with stock cars behind the locomotive. 

Oddly, I was just wondering this morning what happened with empties.  The mandate was not in force.

It has also been mentioned that conductors didn't like stock cars (full or empty) ahead of the caboose, and would make life hell for anyone who chose to do that.

 

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Posted by DSO17 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:17 PM

Back in the mid-1960s B&O used to have a train come east out of Baltimore almost every day with a block of 10 or 12 loaded stock cars right ahead of the caboose.They were consigned to a packing plant in Philadelphia and their placement at the hind end made shifting them out easier. You could smell them coming. It was fairly common for the conductor to ride the head end, but the flagman had to be back on the caboose.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:22 PM

I read somewhere, probably the Kalmbach book on the subject, that the reason for putting the stock cars at the head end was two fold, one was switching out for watering, the other was reduced buffeting from slack action at the front of the train?  Which results in fewer deaths in transit.  I might not be remembering that correctly. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:39 PM

That's what I understood too, from what I've read.  Easier on the animals, the crew, and for the cattle brokers, and owners.

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Posted by mlehman on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:52 PM

It's not always the case that loaded stock cars are loaded with stock. Other commodities could also be shipped. Hay and straw were common as uncommon loads. The Rio Grande even used them to load coal in the off season. Can't be anything too fancy, because even a clean stock car is pretty low class transport, but it did happen. Wouldn't matter where it went in the train under those circumstances.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:59 PM

mlehman
It's not always the case that loaded stock cars are loaded with stock.

And then theres that, I seem to remember that MEC used theirs for pulpwood? When not hauling sheep...I think it was sheep.  Hmm.. the memory banks are getting full.

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Posted by ACY Tom on Sunday, March 12, 2017 11:45 AM

Bricks, clay tiles, & similar fired clay products were hauled in stock cars in the off season. I first became aware of this in reference to AC&Y cars, but later found out that it was done by other roads as well.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:34 PM

Another consideration when discussing these non-stock stock car loads...

Local traffic in stock was some of the first business lost to an improving road system. Because of the requirements to water, feed, and rest stock, the quickness of moving stock by highway enjoyed a competitive advantage.

This made a lot of stock cars surplus to the needs it was originally designed to meet, making it available for these alternative uses year-around in some cases. The closer to retirement age, the more likely a stock car would be in this category, too, in part because interior repairs would otherwise be needed to avoid injuring animals, etc.

 

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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, March 12, 2017 3:10 PM

As far as I know there are/were no regulations re where in a train a stock car with animals in it had to be placed. However, there have been regulations for many years saying that stock had to be removed from the car at a set number of hours (it changed over time, think it was usually around 16 hours?) and be fed and watered. Because of that, it might be easier if the stock cars were up front - easy to set off the car from the train.

BTW stock cars were often used on logging railroads for hauling creosoted railroad ties. The creosote fumes could be deadly if containted in a regular box car.

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Posted by angelob6660 on Sunday, March 12, 2017 4:37 PM

DSO17

They were consigned to a packing plant in Philadelphia and their placement at the hind end made shifting them out easier. 

How were they packaged? I think with all that fatty tissue and other things would fly out between the opening boards.

It seems like a good idea to air out the materials than trapping that odor in a normal boxcar.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, March 12, 2017 4:54 PM

wjstix
As far as I know there are/were no regulations re where in a train a stock car with animals in it had to be placed.

There were not regulations per se, but its kind of hard to sell already dead cattle to the packing company, and its really hard to unload 1200lbs or more of dead weight (or live weight with broken legs) from an 10ft wide car.  The slack action is reduced at the front of a train, so thats why they put them there.

Just the 28hr rule, nation wide since 1906.

If you want to read more check out Livestock and Meatpacking, by Jeff Wilson.  (I obtained my info from page 69 and 70).

Edit:

He did say with few exceptions.  I imagine a local freight would be one of those.

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, March 12, 2017 5:18 PM

Thanks for the "feedback" everyone.  This thread has turned out to be a lot more informative than I had originally anticipated.

I had thought that the stock might have been placed further back in a train because of the noise and smoke from a steam locomotive would be detrimental to the animal's health and safety.  The slack action issue with the couplers and the need to feed and rest the animals at regular intervals makes a lot of sense.

I also didn't realize that stock cars were used to move non-animated commodity.  Being familiar enough with the smell of creosote, hauling rail ties in a ventiliated container like a stock car would help dissipate it's powerful fumes.  I'm assuming that flatcars were also used for that purpose when stock car demand was at a premium during certain times of the year.

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, March 12, 2017 5:43 PM

mlehman
Local traffic in stock was some of the first business lost to an improving road system.

Not to mention the race to develop an economical and reliable refrigerated car.

I would imagine that the refrigerator car did more to hasten the demise of the stock car than anything else.

A little duscussion regarding tie-cars here:

https://lionelllc.wordpress.com/tag/track/

I seem to recall some of the newer B&O stock cars that were converted to tie service and the roof had been cut off.

Interesting,

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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, March 12, 2017 7:13 PM

gmpullman

 

 
mlehman
Local traffic in stock was some of the first business lost to an improving road system.

 

Not to mention the race to develop an economical and reliable refrigerated car.

I would imagine that the refrigerator car did more to hasten the demise of the stock car than anything else.

A little duscussion regarding tie-cars here:

https://lionelllc.wordpress.com/tag/track/

I seem to recall some of the newer B&O stock cars that were converted to tie service and the roof had been cut off.

Interesting,

Ed

 

Interesting.  The most unusual "tie car" I ever saw was a whole train of articulated container cars on the Soutern Pacific in West Sacramento, CA. Every well was loaded with ties.  It was at night and I was not able to get a picture.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, March 12, 2017 7:36 PM

Good stuff, Ed! YesCool  Thanks for the link!

Tom

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Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, March 12, 2017 8:19 PM

One elevator operator in northwest Iowa many years ago during a car shortage leased some surplus RI stock cars.  He had them lined with plywood and loaded grain into them.  I think I've heard of this done elsewhere, too.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, March 13, 2017 5:13 AM

BMMECNYC

I read somewhere, probably the Kalmbach book on the subject, that the reason for putting the stock cars at the head end was two fold, one was switching out for watering, the other was reduced buffeting from slack action at the front of the train?  Which results in fewer deaths in transit.  I might not be remembering that correctly. 

 

If those was the older wooden frame cars then they would be placed toward the rear. Railroads wanted out of the stock business due to the cost and was reluctant to buy new stock cars or rebuild their aging stock car fleet.

Slack action runs both ways and as a rule engineers did their up most  to limit any hard run in or out of slack--a broken coupler knuckle required a explanation since a broken coupler knuckle could tie up a busy main line.

Larry

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, March 13, 2017 11:08 AM

BRAKIE
 

If those was the older wooden frame cars then they would be placed toward the rear. Railroads wanted out of the stock business due to the cost and was reluctant to buy new stock cars or rebuild their aging stock car fleet.

 

I think by the time the railroads wanted out of the stock business, wood frame cars were illegal in interchange.  Around 1928, I think.  I'm talking about wood UNDERFRAMES here.  But since the stress on the car is through the underframe, I think that is appropriate.

 

 

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Monday, March 13, 2017 11:27 AM

One other non animal use for stock cars was the movement of golf carts up and down the east coast as the seasons changed.

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Posted by tstage on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:36 PM

DS4-4-1000

One other non animal use for stock cars was the movement of golf carts up and down the east coast as the seasons changed.

Ah, yes - the great golf cart drives.  I remember reading about them in Weekly Reader, in my elementary school days...

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, March 13, 2017 1:47 PM

7j43k
....I think by the time the railroads wanted out of the stock business, wood frame cars were illegal in interchange.  Around 1928, I think.  I'm talking about wood UNDERFRAMES here.

....

Steel underframes were required on cars built after Jan. 1, 1927 or rebuilt after July 1, 1928.

All-wood underframes, including steel-girthed centre sills, were prohibited in interchange after January 1, 1940, but truss rods were still allowed on composite underframes.
On July 1 of that year, arch bar trucks were prohibited from interchange.

Cars with composite underframes were banned from interchange on Jan. 1, 1952.

Note that these cars could still be in service as long as they didn't leave home rails.

I'd guess that loaded stock cars immediately ahead of the caboose  could be an issue, as I recall reading of passengers on open platform observation cars sometimes enjoying the results of washroom patrons using the hopper. Ick!

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Monday, March 13, 2017 4:54 PM

BRAKIE
If those was the older wooden frame cars then they would be placed toward the rear. Railroads wanted out of the stock business due to the cost and was reluctant to buy new stock cars or rebuild their aging stock car fleet. Slack action runs both ways and as a rule engineers did their up most to limit any hard run in or out of slack--a broken coupler knuckle required a explanation since a broken coupler knuckle could tie up a busy main line.

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/539327/

1993, loaded stock cars on the head end. 

9/9 photos showing stock cars in trains in the Livestock and Meatpacking book show loaded stock cars on the head end of trains.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Monday, March 13, 2017 6:29 PM

Funny how other threads sometimes tie into each other.

December 1979 issue of model railroader, interview on Switching Prototype Style, lessions from a retired railroader by Alan L. Bates:

"On my old railroad, we had to haul cattle cars at the head end of the to avoid slack damage, flammable loads as far as possible from the engine....."

As an aside, its a really good article about prototype switching practices.

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Posted by NDG on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 4:44 PM

tstage

Generally, how far back in a train were stock cars placed behind steam locomotives?

 

 

Often as Here.

CP 5114 climbs the grade from the waterfront and Hochelaga Yard bound for Angus Shops and St Luc Yard in Montreal.

https://rockontrains.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/cpr-no-5114-montreal-qc-6-23-59-credit-bob-krone.jpg

The three cars behind the engine are for transporting livestock, The second car built c. 1912.

Similar Car.  36 Ft. Stemwinder brake.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cpr_rolling/273365.jpg

Within months CP 5114 was on the dead lines and went out on the same assignment to be cut up at Angus Shops.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/pictures%5C67684%5CCanadian%20Pacific%202140.TIF-1.jpg

Stock Car, As Built.  Date upper right. 

http://static.pwrs.ca/product_images/259736_1.jpg

Stock Car rebuilt from Mini Box.

http://yourrailwaypictures.com/oldrollingstock/27077.jpg

Stock Car. Two level.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cpr_rolling/278508.jpg

After cleaning, stock cars were often sprayed with a lime solution on lower level.

 

Stock cars were also used to transport ties from the creosote plants to out on line for betterment work and tie renewal. The ties were pickarooned out the side doors as directed by a Foreman, a Trainman riding in car to give Hand Signals to Engine.

Pickaroon.

http://www.sherrilltree.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/4/0/400_16127.jpg

Stock cars breathed better and made working conditions more pleasant than unloading ties on the go from inside a steel boxcar on a hot summer day.

Creosote is an ugly substance. as is Crater Grease.


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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:21 PM

NDG

 


Creosote is an ugly substance.

 

 

I certainly don't doubt that.  But I sure wish I could find a quart can of it so I can take a "gentle sniff" once in awhile to remind me of summer trackwalking long ago.

 

 

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Posted by ACY Tom on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:41 AM

Ed --- Check for a PM from me about creosote.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 3:38 PM

BMMECNYC
 
BRAKIE
If those was the older wooden frame cars then they would be placed toward the rear. Railroads wanted out of the stock business due to the cost and was reluctant to buy new stock cars or rebuild their aging stock car fleet. Slack action runs both ways and as a rule engineers did their up most to limit any hard run in or out of slack--a broken coupler knuckle required a explanation since a broken coupler knuckle could tie up a busy main line.

 

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/539327/

1993, loaded stock cars on the head end. 

9/9 photos showing stock cars in trains in the Livestock and Meatpacking book show loaded stock cars on the head end of trains.

 

CR haul some stock cars to but,IIRC that ended around the late 80s. So,two railroads hauled a limited number of cattle cars into the 80s and 90s..Cool..

Also those was privately owned cars-HOGX.

Larry

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Posted by Trynn_Allen2 on Friday, March 24, 2017 11:41 AM

One of the other members mentioned exceptions:  Here's another.

 

Back when the railroads actually held to scheduals, and the state fairs offered a fair premium to exhibitors there were a small segment of cattlemen that would ride the circuit from state fair to state fair.  My grandfather was one of them.

When attached to a passenger trains (never the flagship trains) they were always behind the engine alone or with other cattlemen.  It was only when they reached the fair city that being at the front of the train rule suspended.  He had a no few short words on some switch engineers that treated the cattle cars like box cars, which was easy to do. Most of the cattle cars weren't stock cars, but modified 40' woodsiders or 50' auto woodsiders.  After an earful most yard managers would put the more careful engineers on those trains. 

Railroad Bulls were a pan in the keester as were the Pinkertons/railroad police, a pitchfork was always useful in speaking with them.  Preferably dirty.  Grandpa always thought the best of them were the ones that kept the bums away and made sure the better hobos found the cattlemens car.    But the people that he had the most distain for were the conductors that just didn't care or realize how much money was on the hoof in those cars.  Those were ones that couldn't be talked to, or reasoned with.

Hobos were to be tolerated.  After all a little bit of money meant that the three of them wouldn't have to muck out the car and the hobos were smart enough to realize that the gains were greater working with the cattlemen than trying to rip them off like the bums.  He had some great stories (usually involving pointy objects) about post war infantry men dealing with some of them trying to steal cattle, money, or booze from the showboxes.

So as the show opens the cattlemen cars would be gathered up, as the cars would generally be scattered in twos and threes near water spigots scattered around the edges of the yards.  This is when the skill of the engineer and his abilty to do slow jerkless starts was appreciated (and often times rewarded).  As the cars were shoved into the state fair grounds the conductors would gather up the lead cattlemen to find out when the cars would be needed to be shifted.  The good news for the conductors was that the majority of the cars would actually be traveling to the next show on the circuit.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Friday, March 24, 2017 4:12 PM

I would place them up front like two cars behind the locomotive or somewhere in the middle.

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