Friday, December 11, 2015

Freight Car: Stock Car

John Stell -> Peoria Illinois Railroads Trains & Shortlines
TP&W 1518 East Peoria Yard 4-1-55 Monty Powell slide.
Note the outside bracing and the handbrake wheel on top of the car. This was a rather old car by 1955. According to the comments for this posting, stock cars were used into the 1960s. David Jordan contributed an exceptional comment:
Hogs or cattle? I wonder. The 1954 annual report was the last to break down freight tonnage by commodity. That year, TP&W originated 5,375 tons of livestock and received 11,002 tons from connections. If you go by the car capacity chart in Kalmbach's LIVESTOCK & MEATPACKING book, then 40' cars could be handling anywhere from 10 to 15 tons of cattle or 19-20 tons of hogs. An average of 12.5 tons of cattle per car would equals 430 cars originating online and about 880 carloads received from connections. "Originating online" might refer to the railroad's own East Peoria stock yards just east of the yard. I know these were in use in 1947, but industrial development began here in late 1956 so the stockyards were probably gone by then.

"Received from connections" probably refers to traffic coming off the Santa Fe at Lomax. An agreement signed between the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and P&PU on 9/20/57 states, "The TP&W may continue to set out livestock at Bridge Junction as provided in Supplement J of the current Schedule Agreement." This arrangement apparently started in 1947 as part of the settlement with the unions to return to work after McNear's murder. Previously, livestock coming off the Santa Fe at Lomax was taken to the East Peoria Yard then either delivered by a TP&W switch crew to Bridge Jct. or first to P&PU at East Peoria.

A few years ago, discussion on the TP&W yahoo group revealed the carrier was still handling cattle as late as 1964. Animals were fed, watered and rested at Effner before being handed off to the Pennsylvania RR. I've wondered if TP&W participated in the movement of cattle from King Ranch in South Texas to King's southeast Pennsylvania grazing lands each April.

"Received from connections" probably refers to traffic coming off the Santa Fe at Lomax. An agreement signed between the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and P&PU on 9/20/57 states, "The TP&W may continue to set out livestock at Bridge Junction as provided in Supplement J of the current Schedule Agreement." This arrangement apparently started in 1947 as part of the settlement with the unions to return to work after McNear's murder. Previously, livestock coming off the Santa Fe at Lomax was taken to the East Peoria Yard then either delivered by a TP&W switch crew to Bridge Jct. or first to P&PU at East Peoria.
A few years ago, discussion on the TP&W yahoo group revealed the carrier was still handling cattle as late as 1964. Animals were fed, watered and rested at Effner before being handed off to the Pennsylvania RR. I've wondered if TP&W participated in the movement of cattle from King Ranch in South Texas to King's southeast Pennsylvania grazing lands each April.
I think this was a cattle car because hog cars would be double-deckers, and I can't spot any evidence of a floor in the middle.

Update:
Carl Venzke posted
An Alexander Gardner photo taken about 1870 at the stockyards in Abilene, Kansas. Shows cattle cars of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Each car would hold about 20 head. The first shipment of Texas Longhorns, twenty carloads, left Abilene September 5, 1867, bound for Chicago. The loading pens at Abilene were large enough for 3000 head but thousands more were held on grazing grounds outside of town, waiting their turn. As cattle were driven up the loading chutes, cowboys would often use poles or prods of some kind to encourage them along. It is from this practice that the term "cow-puncher" arose.


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