Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Horse and Scenery express cars.

2145 views
30 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Horse and Scenery express cars.
Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, June 16, 2022 3:42 PM

  Hi good people.

  I was searching for a horse express car to add to the head end cars of my passenger equipment. This got me wondering what other railroads offered horse and Scenery express service? How far did they roam? I know the scenery cars went country wide, but did the horse cars to?

    Pete.

    

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 12,879 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 16, 2022 4:10 PM

I would think the horse cars could go pretty much anywhere, but I don't know how often they would have been used. I believe they were used to move like race horses going to a race, or horse going to another state for stud. "Normal" horses, like horses used in logging, would have just been moved in stock cars.

Stix
  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,311 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, June 16, 2022 4:26 PM

you need to join prrpro and prr group on io.  one member just built a horse car and the prr car is at strasburg.  where it ran can be asked but i assume it was mosty east coast tracks.  believe me you will get more info then you thought existed

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,839 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, June 16, 2022 4:58 PM

Quite sometime ago, I modified a Rivarossi coach into an express horse car, based on a photo of a CNR protptype...

At the time, I wasn't bothering much with underbody details, but a quick look a minute ago convinced me that I should go back and at least add some decent brake gear.

To build the model, I simply remove the car's "steel" sides, then replaced them with Evergreen scribed siding, along with a letterboard at the top and some scratchbuilt doors.  I also fabricated a bunch of stirrup steps, using strip brass from Detail Associates.
The lettering was done with dry transfers from C-D-S.

Since that time, I've converted quite a few "steel" coaches into "wooden" baggage cars, although I've not bothered trying to make a scenery car....some of the real ones had end doors, in order to accommodate oversize items.

I do pay a little more attention to underbody details nowadays...

...but I'm getting to the point where where I have less than a dozen more baggage/postal cars to build...a couple for friends and a few for myself, and   especially fruit-baggage cars, which were very common in my area of Southern Ontario.  Some will be Rivarossi conversions, while others will be mostly scratchbuilt.

Most were re-done as ventilator cars for use throughout the summer and early fall, then reverted to closed-in types for use in the winter, as baggage cars.

This was originally a Rivarossi diner, but the owner wasn't in need of one, so I've converted it into a somewhat shortened baggage car...

...it still needs a few details, along with some paint and lettering.

Wayne

  • Member since
    November 2006
  • From: Folsom, CA (eh, outside the slammer)
  • 205 posts
Posted by groundeffects on Thursday, June 16, 2022 6:42 PM

I think Southern Pacific had 5 of the heavyweight 70 ft. 3 door horse cars.  A nice photo of one (page 103) is in the book "Southern Pacific's Scenic Coast Line".  I'm not sure how many years the SP cars were used for hauling horses, but according to the author of the book, they were eventually converted to regular express baggage service. 

I model N scale, and I bought two of the cars (lettered for Southern Pacific) that were made by Micro Trains.  I like to add one or two to the head of my heavyweight mail train, right behind the engine.

Jeff

DrW
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Lubbock, TX
  • 301 posts
Posted by DrW on Thursday, June 16, 2022 6:45 PM

The Santa Fe had a large number of horse express cars over the years, In the era I model, the 1950s, they had 15 in two classes; 1985-1989 (rebuilt from coaches) and 1990-1999 (built as horse express cars). Their main (only?) use was to transport race horses to the race track, mostly in California. Other horse, even if they were somewhat valuable (like rodeo horses), were traveling in stock cars. Brass models of the 1990 class were produced by The Coach Yard and Pecos River Brass. While the TCY model is clearly superior (also in price), the PRB model has opening doors if you want to model (un)loading of horses.

A question for the OP: What do you mean with "scenery express cars"? Open air cars on tourist railroads?

Thanks

JW

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, June 16, 2022 7:42 PM

ndbprr

you need to join prrpro and prr group on io.  one member just built a horse car and the prr car is at strasburg.  where it ran can be asked but i assume it was mosty east coast tracks.  believe me you will get more info then you thought existed

 

   I used to be a member of the PRR modeling group when they were on Yahoo groups. Been a member of the PRRT&HS years ago and rejoined this year. I remember the Keystone article about the scenery cars and there were some great pictures of one being loaded in Hollywood.

  I'm not sure if the PRR horse cars went past Chicago. I believe they stayed on home rails.

   Thank you guys for confirming that horse traffic was as numerous than I would have imagined.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, June 16, 2022 7:51 PM

 Wayne.

 Superb modeling as always. Truly a world class master modeler.

    Thank you.

  JW.

 Scenery express cars hauled scenery for the arts, Hollywood, plays, operas, and so on. They were like an express baggage car with one end that could open for long items. Some had huge side doors too.

    Pete.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,320 posts
Posted by dehusman on Thursday, June 16, 2022 9:53 PM

DrW
A question for the OP: What do you mean with "scenery express cars"? Open air cars on tourist railroads?

Scenery express cars were baggage cars with end doors designed to accomodate scenery panels from stage plays.  The scenery was on panels/flats 6-8 ft wide and 20-30 ft long.  There were also backgrounds painted on curtains, which would be as wide as the stage and rolled up.  As the theater company would move around the country, the secenery flats and curtains (and props and costumes) would move with them.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,424 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, June 16, 2022 9:57 PM

This PRR B74b is named for the Texas Jockey Club:

https://digital.hagley.org/PRR_9827A?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=03dc4c3e60d89f9d5bb1&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=0

This one for the Minton Hickory Stable in Barbourville, Kentucky.

https://digital.hagley.org/PRR_9828A?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=e7f9878b7ce4e26b9e9f&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=3

I understand quite a few well-off "Snowbirds" would winter in Florida and take their trusty steeds along with them presumably requiring the use of a horse car. Of course the PRR had many trains with through equipment from New York-Washington or Chicago and on to Florida.

There was a pretty extensive article in the V.49 #4 Keystone about the Maryland race tracks and the transport of the Equus ferus caballus required for the sport. Plus the many passenger extra trains the races generated.

 Bowie_PRR_TTb by Edmund, on Flickr

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,839 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, June 16, 2022 11:30 PM

I checked the CNR book on passenger equipment, and found that they had 7 horse baggage cars, with end doors at one end.

They also had 15 horse express cars, with some later converted to baggage cars, and still later, they were fitted for fruit service.

I was surprised that there were no scenery cars listed.

It's only a guess, but in addition to racehorses travelling in horse express cars, I wonder if they also carried show horses, especially for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which began in 1922 at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto, Ontario.  It has been considered the world's largest indoor agricultural, horticultural and equestrian fair.


Pete, your kind and generous comment is much appreciated

Wayne

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,424 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Friday, June 17, 2022 12:15 AM

doctorwayne
—and still later, they were fitted for fruit service.

Road Apples?

Cheers, Ed

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 4,015 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, June 17, 2022 2:00 AM

CN also had another type.  This one lasted long enough to get repainted with the 1961 logo.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cnr_rolling/168104.jpg

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

DrW
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Lubbock, TX
  • 301 posts
Posted by DrW on Friday, June 17, 2022 9:27 AM

wrench567

 Wayne.

 Superb modeling as always. Truly a world class master modeler.

    Thank you.

  JW.

 Scenery express cars hauled scenery for the arts, Hollywood, plays, operas, and so on. They were like an express baggage car with one end that could open for long items. Some had huge side doors too.

    Pete.

 

 

dehusman

 

 
DrW
A question for the OP: What do you mean with "scenery express cars"? Open air cars on tourist railroads?

 

Scenery express cars were baggage cars with end doors designed to accomodate scenery panels from stage plays.  The scenery was on panels/flats 6-8 ft wide and 20-30 ft long.  There were also backgrounds painted on curtains, which would be as wide as the stage and rolled up.  As the theater company would move around the country, the secenery flats and curtains (and props and costumes) would move with them.

 

Pete, Dave,

Thanks to both of you for the explanation. I was not aware that such cars did exist. Well, you never get too old to learn something new.

JW

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,839 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, June 17, 2022 11:22 AM

gmpullman

 doctorwayne

—and still later, they were fitted for fruit service.

 Road Apples?

Cheers, Ed

 
Quite possibly, I guess...the Tragically Hip had a song about that.
 
In the past, the Niagara Peninsula, here in southern Ontario was a major player for fruit growing:  cherries, peaches, pears, plums, berries of all kinds, and a wide assortment of apples.  There's still some of it left, but when the provincial government decided to financially assist farmers to transition to wine-making, many of the orchards and growing fields were ripped out. 
In addition to that, the local towns are continuing to expand, gobbling-up prime farmland for overpriced housing.  I'd guess that in 20 years, the best of it will be gone.
 
Wayne
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,839 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, June 17, 2022 11:27 AM

SD70Dude

CN also had another type.  This one lasted long enough to get repainted with the 1961 logo.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cnr_rolling/168104.jpg

 

Thanks for posting that...I was completely unaware of such cars...almost looks like another scratchbuilding project for me.

Wayne

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Friday, June 17, 2022 2:01 PM

  I really don't think that is an express car. More like the ride going to the glue factory. Whistling

  I found a craftsman kit and decal set. Just have to find a pair of trucks that is a reasonable facsimile. The car is a B-74a and need 3D5P2 trucks.

      Pete.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Friday, June 17, 2022 4:52 PM

  As a side. While researching timelines for paint schemes for the horse car. I ran across this.

https://digital.hagley.org/PRR_11870

  It said the date created was 1939-10-14 on the Cumberland branch. I thought pay car service was done by 1920. When did pay car service end? This would be a nice kitbash.

      Pete.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,010 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 17, 2022 5:45 PM

DrW
What do you mean with "scenery express cars"?

In the days before movies and TV, theatrical productions moved from city to city on tour, taking all the 'flats' for their stage scenery.  These flats were tall, thin, and sometimes wide, and were accommodated in 'baggage' cars that had completely-opening end doors.  Ed will have pictures.

DrW
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Lubbock, TX
  • 301 posts
Posted by DrW on Friday, June 17, 2022 6:05 PM

Just read up a bit on horse transport by the Santa Fe in Stephen Sandifer's book on "Live Stock Operations". It seems that horses for expositions, fairs, and rodeos were transported in stock cars in freight trains, which were required to stop in certain intervals to allow providing the animals with feed and water. The horse express cars were reserved for race horses (which would nowadays ride by plane). These cars could be (and were) hauled in passenger trains, as they contained all the feed and water the horses needed and did not require extra stops. When not used for horse transport (as horse racing is seasonal), the horse express cars were used as baggage express or mail storage cars.

JW

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Friday, June 17, 2022 6:52 PM

  JW.

 The PRR also had the B-74b with an end door like the scenery cars. They were for horse and the two wheel buggies for the buggy races. Horse racing was a much bigger enterprise than it is today. Someone doing a daily visit to the track could drop a whole paycheck betting on the Phillies. Yes there were a whole lot more racing back then. I don't think the horse express cars did much other service.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 904 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, June 17, 2022 9:09 PM

Overmod
In the days before movies and TV, theatrical productions moved from city to city on tour, taking all the 'flats' for their stage scenery. 

And the theater company rode in Pullmans to the next city on the same train as their scenery. The stage had to be set up ready to go for the next evening's performance. Two reasons why the cars were elongated baggage cars equipped for passenger service instead of boxcars. 

IIRC, the horse/scenery cars had collapsible stalls, feeding/watering troughs, etc that could be folded up out of the way when used for scenery. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to locate a shot of the interior - "Who'd be interested in a picture of an empty tube" Well, we would, a century or so later. However, given PPR's habit of documenting EVERYTHING, perhaps if you get a copy of the Keystone edition documenting these vehicles, that interest can be met

 

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 904 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, June 17, 2022 9:13 PM

Overmod
In the days before movies and TV

They didn't even have TV dinners but had to subsist on fresh cooked meals. Quel horreur!

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,424 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, June 18, 2022 7:54 AM
  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 9:42 AM

  Ed came through.

 Loads of interesting shots. It looks as if AC&F was a major supplier of horse cars for the eastern roads. What are the two large cylinders in the roof of the Seaboard car? Steam heat or watering system?

  Wish there were dates on the PRR photos. I'll be shooting for the mid to late thirties. Do I do the 13 inch letters across the top in two sections? Or the 8 inch letters between the doors on the left? Thank goodness no stripes. I dislike doing stripes.

    Thank you Ed.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,010 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 18, 2022 12:57 PM

Ed always comes through, in my experience.

Something I did not see coming was the arrangement for the door in the center of the folding ends.  It's a hinged door, in a frame hung from fairly substantial lateral tracks (like a barn door, but probably with boxcar-door hardware) attached on the backside of the door in question.  That's the best of both worlds:  the door opens as expected from the vestibule when the car is in train, but is easily shifted sideways, locked securely on its hinges, when the whole end of the car opens.  That will be interesting to model.

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,424 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, June 18, 2022 3:30 PM

wrench567
I dislike doing stripes.

I agree! I've had my share of frustration with PRR striping on models. They always seem to fall on belt rail rivet lines Super Angry

 PRR_POC70Rltr by Edmund, on Flickr


 

wrench567
Wish there were dates on the PRR photos.

These three are from the Hagley Collection. They are dated April 12, 1929:

 PRR_B74b_5823 by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_B74b by Edmund, on Flickr

I wasn't aware that the baggage door windows could be opened on these "pre-porthole" style doors.

 PRR_B74b-end open by Edmund, on Flickr

Note the bedding in place, ready for occupancy...

wrench567
What are the two large cylinders in the roof of the Seaboard car? Steam heat or watering system?

I have to say the tanks would be for extra water for the needs of the horses en-route. Surely there would be an attendant who would see to feed and watering and in anticipation of a long trip would need plenty of water. The elaborate piping system seems to show that the tanks are easily drained and also the same pipe is used for the filling of the tanks.

Kept toward the ceiling they would benefit from convected steam heat to reduce chances of freezing. Unless used in horse service the tanks were probably blown free of any remaining water (note the gauge glass). Ordinary passenger cars generally used belly tanks that were insulated and arranged with steam "tracers" to prevent freezing.

The baggage/express cars were more likely to be stored in parts of the coach yard where stand-by steam was not available or if it was, rarely would head-end cars be tied into the stand-by steam.

Steam heating systems relied on below-floor traps that could easily be drained if cars were stored in freezing weather without stand-by steam available.

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 6:07 PM

   Ed.

  Thanks for the explanation on the steam heat system. I'm looking at the Bethlehem Car Works kit. They claim it's a B-74a but it has the roof of a B-74b. I'm not sure if the kit has the end door of the B-74B or the B-74A. I've spent most of my day looking through my vast library of PRR books and Keystone magazines. It appears they started the Futura lettering in 1939. I like the larger fancy font so that is a good thing. Finding trucks will be a challenge.

   The thing that strikes me about the end doors is the thickness and the heavy duty hinges.

         Pete..

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,424 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, June 18, 2022 6:18 PM

Glad that helped, Pete. Unfortunately I can not find an exterior shot of the Seaboard car with the water tanks in the ceiling. I thought the water-fill pipes might be visible. I did find two photos of a B&O and a C-P horse car with belly water tanks. Other horse cars didn't look like there was any watering system other than a small tank for the wash basin and hopper for the attendant.

In december of 1928 the "American Railway Express" company was re-incorporated as the "Railway Express Agency" and eventually cars were relettered to show the change. I haven't been able to find gold-leaf lettering for the "American" version.

I've done a few cars in the "Futura" lettering just to have a small representation of it. It is pretty challenging to keep up with the PRR lettering changes. I have some Fleet of Modernism decals that I'm planning to tackle in the near future. That will be a chore!

I'd love to find a decent PRR Scenery baggage car but the Railworks model sometimes commands several hundred dollars!

I have photos of some of the B70a cars with 3D5P1 roller bearing trucks that look an awful lot like the 3DP1 diner trucks once offered by Walthers.

https://www.walthers.com/pennsylvania-3d-p1-6-wheel-trucks-diner-version-1-pair

I've used these under some diners I have.

Here's some of my Pennsy head end cars:

 Head-End_Dusty by Edmund, on Flickr

https://www.labellemodels.com/series-passenger-trucks-c-32_34_120.html?osCsid=iqlutbt83jgpmjb0ktsrlfqlr3

Here's a 3DP1:

http://prr.railfan.net/documents/PassengerTruckNotebook.html?page=page55.jpg&

 

Good Luck, Ed

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 9:50 PM

  Thank you Ed.

  Very helpful indeed. I have to say, your modeling is exceptional. Nicely done. Brass Trains .com has a NJCB scenery car. I'm shocked to learn that they only made 600 of the horse cars. No wonder they are hard to find.

      Pete.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!