Cattle Car Quandary

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Pitchwife, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    Unfortunately I don't live where I get to see a large number of trains, but I can't remember seeing any cattle cars in the ones I do get to see. Are they there and I just never see them or are they from bygone days?

    In my excursions on eBay I ended up as the owner of a number of said cattle cars. As the era of the layout I am planning will be set in the late 1970's to the early 90's of the Pacific Northwest. I'm not sure if they would be appropriate in that area and time frame. So when did hauling cattle via rail end, or did it? If the practice does still continue is it limited to certain areas of the country?

    So my question is, should I include them as a stable (that would be a pun if they carried horses :mrgreen: ) part of my motley fleet, or do they go back into the eBay hopper to be recycled on another layout? :confused: :confused:
  2. cajon

    cajon Member

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    By the early 1970s shipment of stock by rail had ended. UPs use of stock cars to carry pigs from NE to CA for Farmer John ended in late 1990s. If your layout is freelance maybe you can come with a similar excuse to keep the cars.
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Everyone always brings this one up, and forgets my favorite road! Conrail hauled a small quantity of livestock until around the early 90s. Maybe CN or CP did until your era. But in the Pacific Northwest, there wasn't any that I know of.
  4. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    Thanks for the information. My layout is freelanced, a north/south subsidiary of BNSF with a UP interchange. Still a bit too far north to fit between NE & CA. I guess either eBay can find them a new home or I'll use their trucks as spare parts.

    Or else use them as commuter cars. :evil: :evil: :evil: :cry: :cry:
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    WIth reference to Triplex's CP reference, I can say that the cattle pens in my hometown (Orangeville, ON - a CPR town) had gone by the mid-1970s if not before. And Dufferin County (of which Orangeville is the County seat) was a big producer of beef cattle. But I guess I cannot say with certainty if it was a decline in the beef production or the switch to truck transport that caused the end of railway shipping.

    Andrew
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I'm sure that there was a slaughterhouse still operating in downtown Toronto in the late 70s (when I started commuting) that was rail served.
  7. kutler

    kutler Member

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    CP had a stockpen in operation in Midhurst near Barrie which petered out around 1988. Carloads by that time declined to less than 20, per year! I was riding a Southbound around 1979 with 3 or 4 Midhursts right behind the engines.

    IIRC a lot of CP's later stock business was western cattle sent east for 'wintering'.
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    There were some rules about shipping livestock by train, such as requiring the train to be granted priority, and the length of time livestock could be kept in cars before needing to stop for food and water.

    It's a lot easier to ship them by semi these days, although at almost $100 a barrel for oil, that may not remain the case. :cool: