Stock (Cattle) Cars

Discussion in 'Weathering Forum' started by ocalicreek, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    I've seen numerous MODEL cattle cars weathered with a white spray pattern from the bottom fading up the side of the car. Why is this, and why can't I find any prototype photos of this effect? It looks really cool, and I'd like to know more about it.
  2. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    It is supposed to simulate the streaking from the lime that apparently was used to disinfect stock cars. I say apparently because I have only come across references to simulating it, never anything on the prototype practice, so I have no idea whether or not it really ocurred, and if so, to what degree it showed on the cars.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I remember stock cars having this. I think it was a lime whitewash that they applied. Both CN and CP showed it.

    Train Miniature released a CN stock car where the white colour was applied to the top part of the sides. I only saw one set and wasn't smart enough to buy it as a collector's item.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I don't know about the regulations in the U.S., but in Canada, government regulations required the use of lime as a disinfectant in stockcars. This was usually applied by spraying, and as you can imagine, made quite a mess. Eventually, both the CPR and CNR opted to paint the lower carsides white, which at least made them look a little neater. This also necessitated moving the reporting marks and dimensional data higher on the carside. Here's a picture of a similar car on my layout.

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    There is (or was several weeks ago) a bunch of those upside down cars at my local hobby shop. If you are interested, call Jeff at www.larkspurline-trains.com They were priced at approximately $6 or $8 each, IIRC.

    Andrew
  6. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for the helpful suggestions and info! Reason I ask is because I have been looking through all the rolling stock that's been boxed away for so long now (kits, and older cars in need of tlc and upgrades) and have run across a couple stock cars. Since weathering is one of my 'standards' for rolling stock that sees any action on my rails, I thought I'd better find out more about this before proceeding with these cars. Thanks again, and if anyone finds out any more, please let me know.
  7. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    My wholly unscientific guess is that the lime residue is grossly over done by modellers. To wit, here are all the in use photos of stock cars, as opposed to posed builders' photos, that I could find on images.google.com:

    http://www.railpixs.com/up/UP_cattlecar_nearGreelyCo_Nov76.jpg
    http://www.railpixs.com/up/UP_cattlecars_nearGreelyCo_Nov76.jpg
    http://www.answers.com/topic/op-13219-jpg
    http://www.answers.com/topic/santa-fe-stock-car-train-rev-jpg
    http://www.answers.com/topic/op-19552-jpg
    http://www.answers.com/topic/unloading-a-stock-car-rev-jpg
    http://www.answers.com/topic/live-poultry-car-jpg
    http://www.answers.com/topic/hogx-july-1994-jpg

    There appears to be only traces of lime on the exterior of the cars, not the massive amounts usually added by the weatherers.
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    As I said, the regulations in the U.S. may have been different from those in Canada. Here's a photo of stockcars in service, from the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  9. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Cool pic, Wayne. I'm gonna surf a bit more and see what I can find in the books/magazines I've got. Anybody got a clue where I can look up those US regulations?

    Thanks
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    The lime disinfectant wash on the Canadian cars may look "overdone" in part because the bottom two thirds of the car was painted white. It would be easier to tell how much was actual lime if the car was a darker colour.

    The Canadian rules concerning livestock were quite stringent, and included specifications about how they were to be switched (usually first!), how often they had to be unloaded, rested, watered & fed, and so on. Many stations had cattle pens not because cattle were shipped from there, but because "through cattle" had to be unloaded and rested there.

    Andrew
  11. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    When I mentioned overdone, I was referring to model stock cars that aren't partially painted white, but have extensive simulated lime deposits.
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Sorry - my misreading...! hamr


    Andrew
  13. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    So was the Canadian white painting on the bottom two-thirds an intentional choice to hide the lime stains, or just a cosmetic choice?
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I do not know for sure (maybe try doctorwayne...!) but I would guess that it was there to give a neater appearance to the car, despite the lime wash. I know that Canadian National (and most railways in by-gone days) tended to be a lot more picky about how they appeared to the public than they are today.

    Andrew
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    The white paint was intended to give the cars a neater appearance, although it makes me wonder how easy it would've been to see where to spray the lime. :rolleyes: Unless the car's white paint had gotten pretty dirty, who could tell if had been sprayed at all? I wish I could recall where I read about this, though.
    Andrew, you're right about the railroads being fussier about their public image than they are nowadays. I think that most of the grafitti on freight cars was done with chalk, so it didn't last too long. A lot of roads also used their boxcars and reefers as rolling billboards for their name trains, or even to advertise their fast freight service, so the cars weren't allowed to get too shabby.

    Wayne
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    You spray the lime where the *ahem* non-white fertilizer *ahem* is... ;) :D

    Andrew
  17. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    All this talk about spraying the cars (from inside and out, if you know what I mean) raises the question - just where and when did they do this spraying? I'm assuming it was while the car was empty after unloading and before loading again, but was it done at the packers, or by the railroad somewhere in a yard? That'd be a neat detail or mini-scene to include on a layout.
  18. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I'm just guessing, but I think that the railroad was responsible for applying the lime. When an industry orders a car, they expect it to be suitable for its intended commodity and ready-to-load.
    As for cleaning the cars, I had to hunt for the article that mentioned this. In the October and November 2004 issues of RMC, there was a feature on modelling a packing plant. Part I dealt with the prototype and background information, while Part II covered modelling this industry. At least at this particular plant, after the livestock was unloaded into the holding pens, the cars were sent to a separate area, within the plant, to be cleaned.
    If you want to model an industry, there's a good chance that RMC has covered it, in depth, at one time or another. I was surprised to learn that this packing plant, the Jacob E. Decker & Sons plant, in Mason City, Iowa, required 48 stockcar loads of hogs, plus six carloads of cattle and one or two of sheep everyday! In addition to these, there would be reefers, boxcars, tankcars, gondolas, and hoppers. This could be a layout-size industry, if you were so inclined.
    Also included in the article is table showing capacities of 36' and 40' stockcars, depending on the size and type of animal being shipped, and a thorough look at cleaning, cooling and loading meat reefers.

    Wayne
  20. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    It'd probably be easier to model the loading point (I think GC Laser has a nice covered livestock pen/loader) than the full-size packing plant. As you mentioned, it could be a full layout unto itself. But it would certainly be interesting! Thanks for looking into this.