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Mather stock car doors

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Mather stock car doors
Posted by tstage on Friday, June 2, 2023 11:47 AM

I just finished assembling my 4th Proto 2000 Mather stock car kit.  The first three were double-deck versions.  However, the latest one was a single-deck.

I understand that the interior deck could be removed or installed, as needed.  Was this also true for the exterior door(s)?

From the model the single-deck stock cars have a single door and the double-deck two half-size doors?  The single-deck also only has one sliding door rail vs two with the double-deck.

Were the door and door rails reasonably interchangeable with the Mather cars like the interior decks?  Or did RRs generally just keep them in the same configuration for service?

Thanks,

Tom

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, June 2, 2023 1:30 PM

tstage
I understand that the interior deck could be removed or installed, as needed. Was this also true for the exterior door(s)?

I'm not sure, but I seem to recall that the upper deck could be raised (more-or-less) to the car's roof, allowing it to transport larger animals, making it very similar to the single-deck cars. 
It would require, though, that both the upper and lower doors would need to be opened for loading and unloading, and both upper and lower doors closed for in-transit movements.

It looks like I have only two double-deck Mather cars, and two double deck ones that are considerably taller, but from an unknown manufacturer.  All of the others are single deck, from a variety of suppliers.

Here's one of the taller ones...

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, June 2, 2023 1:34 PM

My understanding, from my single book on freight car design, was that double deck stock cars could have the upper floor moved up as Wayne described, and used as a single deck car.

A single deck car was not convertable to a double deck car.

I suppose the two doors on a double deck car would be opened together when using it as a single decker.

-Kevin

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Posted by tstage on Friday, June 2, 2023 3:57 PM

Thanks for the responses, fellas.  The problem is that - at least on the Proto 2000 Mather double-deck cars - there is an upper door rail and a lower rail for sliding both sets of doors to the right:

The lower door rail spans right across the middle of the opening.  That would need to be removed somehow to accommodate larger animals.

Tom

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, June 2, 2023 4:37 PM

I have a few of these cars, too.  I built them as designed.  My stockyard holds hogs, so the double-deck cars are exactly what I need.  I have a 50s era Suydam Swift packing plant, so I assume I might have cattle or sheep in there, too.

The meat reefers get iced on the far side of the yard,and the hides go in some old HIDE SERVICE ONLY boxcars for shipping to the tanning factory across town.  It's nice to be able to link industries like that.  Glad I don't have to smell it, though.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, June 2, 2023 6:35 PM

tstage
The problem is that - at least on the Proto 2000 Mather double-deck cars - there is an upper door rail and a lower rail for sliding both sets of doors to the right:

With that said, you have gone past any knowledge I have on this subject. I see what you mean about the center door tracks. I can't imagine the cows would just duck under.

-Kevin

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Posted by tstage on Friday, June 2, 2023 7:40 PM

Yea, that's what's got me scratching my head.  I do appreciate your previous comments, Kevin, as I didn't realized that the 2nd deck was raised to make it a single-deck.

And, given that the RRs used them for transporting hogs and hogs are a bit heavier than chickens, that 2nd deck decking must have had to have been pretty substantial to support that amount of weight.

Tom

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Posted by maxman on Friday, June 2, 2023 8:09 PM

I'm wondering if there is a simple explanation.

Is it possible that the straight double deck cars had an upper and lower door, while the single deck cars and the "convertible" cars had only one large door?

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, June 2, 2023 8:37 PM

My take on the 'convertable' cars is that in reality they weren't 'converted' very often, perhaps not at all. If there was a reason for a surge in sheep or hog shipments the traffic department would be aware of the need and cars could be modified at the railroad's car shops and the necessary changes to the door rails and other hardware done at that time.

There must have been a notation in the latest ORER specifying whether the car was indeed a two-deck or a single deck so that the freight sales department and the car forwarding clerks would get the correct empties moved to the consignee.


Here's a look at a double deck C-P car with a neat arrangement of upper and lower doors:

 CP 277111 at Dearborn, MI by Bruce Gage, on Flickr

Some stock cars had drop doors in the floor and were used in coke service.

 1909 stock car-Ralston by Edmund, on Flickr

 Stock by Edmund, on Flickr

Several photos of Mather built stock cars (including photos of open half-doors) are found on this site:

https://www.richyodermodels.com/mather-stock-car-reserve.htm

One of the innovations of the Mather company was the fact that they leased many of their cars to the railroads, a rather progressive idea at the time. Mather had a plant in Chicago. The company was later merged with North American Car Corp.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by DrW on Saturday, June 3, 2023 1:49 AM

Here is a pic of a double-deck Santa Fe Sk-S stock car at the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The car was not built by Mather, but by the Pennsylvania Car Company. You can see well the mechanism used to lift the floor of the upper deck for conversion to single-deck. And here is no rail between the doors. Instead, the doors guide each other.

http://www.rgusrail.com/album/txcbq4994/atsf_68970_02.jpg

JW

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, June 3, 2023 9:08 AM

DrW
You can see well the mechanism used to lift the floor of the upper deck for conversion to single-deck.

I guess it might be possible the Mather built cars were not convertable.

-Kevin

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, June 3, 2023 10:37 AM

Stumbled across the following link to an interesting and informative .pdf download written by Steve Sandifer on stock car models:

https://sfrhms.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/stock_car_models.pdf

Pg. 16 gives the following general description for the Santa Fe stock cars that supports DrW's photo above: [Underscoring mine]

Lettering was all white.  The sides carried only the reporting marks and the car number. Contrary to several model manufacturers, the name Santa Fe and the emblem never appeared on the stockcars.  Dimensional data and car class were carried on the sill and reporting marks and road number were carried on thedrover’sdoor on the ends of the car.

The double deck cars were convertible to single deck cars by means of a winching mechanism on the side of the car which would lift the upper deck up to the inside of the roof to get it out of the way if the car was to beused to carry horses or cattle.

Given that the Mather double-deck stock cars don't appear to have an external mechanism for raising the 2nd deck, is Kevin's hypothesis correct that they were not convertible and merely built as is?

Tom

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, June 4, 2023 8:08 AM

Mather cars are not convertable, at least the ones put out with the Proto name (not sure any Mather stock cars were), others were convertable but don't know how many had this feature. Remember though that if needed, cars were rebuilt many times to other uses as labor at times was dirt cheap.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, June 4, 2023 3:21 PM

tstage
Stumbled across the following link to an interesting and informative .pdf download written by Steve Sandifer on stock car models:

"Interesting and informative" is almost an understatement...Steve's coverage is one of the most thorough assessments of livestock cars that I've ever seen.
It is also a relief to me that my stock cars are allmost all lettered for my free-lanced roads, so any discrepancies that I've made are "totally accurate".

I completely missed out on the Proto 1000 Canadian stock cars, but managed to score ten Proto 1000 Fowler boxcars for only a couple of bucks apiece, due to the fact that they had been incorrectly lettered.
After stripping-off the lettering, I noticed that the free-standing plastic grabirons were grossly overly thick.
I hemmed and hawed about that for a few days, then decided to redo them.  The first step was to remove them to the trash bucket, and I then used Evergreen styrene rod (I can't recall the diameter, but with the brush application of some solvent-type cement, it was easy to force the rod tightly into the holes, then, once the glue had set, snick-off the excess material protruding from the bodyshell.

The next step was to drill suitably-sized holes in those plastic "plugs", and to keep them more-or-less centered on the plugs, I used a two-prong set of dividers to "walk-up" each row of plugs, creating a dimple in each, to indicate where the drill bit should be placed.

Counting all of the grabirons (including those  on the laterals for the roofwalks), each car required the drilling of 74 holes...all done manually.

Here's one that's been re-detailed, but still needs paint and lettering...

I later bought a dozen of the Accurail Fowler boxcars, but left the moulded-on ladders as-is, and replaced only the separate grabirons (on the left end of the car shown below...

...and for the lesser items on the cars' ends, along with formed wire for the grabs on the roof-walk laterals.

Long before any of the above items showed-up, I had scratchbuilt four similar versions of these freelanced Fowler boxcars, with roof hatches and underbody discharge gates...



Apologies if I've put anybody to sleep with this post.

Wayne

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, June 4, 2023 9:27 PM

doctorwayne
"Interesting and informative" is almost an understatement...Steve's coverage is one of the most thorough assessments of livestock cars that I've ever seen.

Glad you enjoyed the article, Wayne. Big Smile

Tom

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 6:20 PM

FYI - AAR classificatiobs

 Class "S" - Stock Car Type

SA Car for transportation of livestock (except horses and mules), equipped with roof, slatted sides and side doors, and fixed deck located sufficiently high to permit the loading of cattle on the lower deck. With or without feed and water troughs

SC Car for transportation of livestock, equipped with roof, slatted sides and side doors, and convertible single or double deck. With or without feed and water troughs.

SD Stock car having drop doors in floor and means of closing in sides to make drop-bottom box car

SF Car for transportation of livestock, equipped with roof, slatted sides and side doors, and fixed double deck. With or without feed and water troughs.

SH Horse car. A car specially fitted for the transportation of horses in freight service.

SM Car for transportation of livestock equipped with roof, slatted sides and side doors and single deck. With or without feed and water troughs.

SP Stock car. Used in poultry trade, fitted with roof and sides usually of wire netting, fitted with shelves for storing crates of poultry and leaving space for poultrymen, feed bags, and watering facilities.

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