Re: Livestock through Chicago



Lighten up. Your post mentioned that animal products were much more than livestock, so I provided additional data to show a breakdown in animal products between livestock and other shipments. Thought that might be interesting to others. The possible ratio of stock cars to meat reefers might be interesting to eastern STMFC modelers. It surprised me because I have mistakenly fallen into the photo analysis trap - I see a LOT more stock cars in photos of PRR freight trains than I do meat reefers... 

Specific to the IT RR, per the 1941 annual ICC Steam RR report I have, in 1941 the IT only originated 52 tons of cattle, which also terminated on the IT.

I wasn't questioning your post - I am wondering what happened? Did something drastic change in Illinois, and specific to the IT, between the date of your data, and the 1941 ICC report I have?

Or did the two data reports use different data sources or categorization methods? The ICC reports I have include lots of "N.O.S." categories, which I think means Not Otherwise Specified. Inquiring minds want to know - don't take it personal.

Actually I did indicate a drop in traffic from the late 20's into the 30's, but it recovered during WWII, likely in part due to the reduced use of trucks in long distance commerce during the war - and I noted even in 1945 that there was a drop as the war ended. In many ways that supports the premise that trucks were taking business from the railroads before the war, but it may not have been, on a national basis, that significant - yet. Illinois may have been different since a significant part of the state is not that far of a drive from Chicago.

As for car loadings, the ICC report also includes tons per carload, and in this area, you and others might find some surprises:

Horses, Mules, ponies and asses - 11.8 tons/car, 10,887 US originated car loads
Cattle and calves, single deck - 11.3, 305,555
Calves, double deck - 12.6, 6, 830
Sheep and goats, single deck - 6.8, 20,691
Sheep and goats, double deck - 10.1, 80, 052
Hogs, single deck - 8.0, 68, 701
Hogs, double deck - 12.8, 117,358
Fresh meats, N.O.S. - 12.7, 268,042
Meats, cured, dried or smoked - 18.7, 41,607
Butterine and Margerine - 13.7, 2,046
Packing house products, edible, N.O.S. not including canned meats - 18.7, 48,320
Poultry, live - 8.5, 2,068
Poultry, dressed - 12.2, 21,795
Eggs - 11.4, 34,310
Butter - 12.6, 38,829
Cheese - 14.7, 20,066
Wool - 15.0, 36,872
Hides, green - 24.4, 34,960
Leather - 19.2, 9,201
Fish or sea-animal oil - 27.7, 7,792
Animals, Live, N.O.S. - 12.84, 149
Animal Products, N.O.S. - 24.13, 74,274

Looks like tons per stock car and tons per reefer may not have been that different.

DaVe Evans 

---In STMFC@..., <timboconnor@...> wrote :

Dale, if you're going to deliberately misunderstand what I wrote,
there's no point in continuing. Or perhaps you really don't understand
what ORIGINATE means.

Elsewhere in the document I have are numbers on (1) originate and terminate
on line (2) originate off line and terminate on line (3) origin on line
and terminate off line (4) and originate and terminate off line (i.e. bridge

Livestock car loads were very light -- similar to LCL loads. I remember a
PRR document I examined once that showed the number was around 12-15 tons
per carload. As a result, tonnage can't be directly compared to carloads
for many different kinds of cargo. The numbers I gave were for tons only.

In any case, your original post said there was no data that showed a decline
in animal traffic during the 1930's. I provided that data for you.

Tim O'Connor

The 1941-1945 ICC steam RR annual reports break "animals and products" into 22 categories.

While livestock movements are only a portion of that category, it is interesting to see the relative proportion of Livestock freight movements compared to the overall "animal and products" category.

In 1941, for the US overall, horses, cattle, sheep, goats and hogs were:

610,074 car loadings, representing 49% of all "animals and products" car loadings

6.7M tons, representing 40% of "animal and products" tonnage

$55M in freight revenue, representing 30% of all "Animal and products" revenue.

While the tonnage for "fresh meats, N.O.S." was only 1/2 of livestock tonnage, the revenue was $52M, only about 6% less than livestock revenue.

Perhaps an interesting number for modeling purposes is that, nationally, 2.3 stock cars were loaded with livestock for every "fresh meats" car loadings, which one would presume were meat reefers.

Specific to some railroads:

The PRR handled 1.3 stock cars with livestock for each car load of "fresh meats", which one would assume to be meat reefers.

For the ATSF, this carload ratio was 9.5 to 1.

For the NYCentral, the ratio was 0.79 to 1.

For many of the mid-size and smaller eastern roads, "fresh meats" outnumbered livestock moves by significant amounts - ratios of 5 to 10 to 1 or even higher the further east the road.

According to the ICC report, in 1941 the Illinois Terminal RR only handled 15 car loads of livestock and one car of "Fresh meats", while the CB&Q handled 67,207 carloads of livestock, and 22,474 carloads of fresh meat.

Not sure the percentage changes within Illinois tell the full story.... Perhaps the Illinois report counted cars moved in interchange by a terminal RR differently than the ICC did?

Dave Evans

---In STMFC@..., <timboconnor@...> wrote :

"Animal products" is a huge category -- from hides, bone meal, tallow,
whole animal carcasses, milk, butter, cheese to processed meats, etc --

A total of 183 cargo categories according to the July 12, 1941 "Report on
the Alton Railroad Company"

Total Originating in Illinois (on 12 major railroads) --

  1928-1920 inclusive: 4,098,376 tons
  1937-1939 inclusive: 2,225,570 tons -- average decline 46%

The largest percentage declines are shown for several railroads that did a
great deal of business in Illinois: ALTON 68% CB&Q 58% WABASH 61%.

A lesser decline is shown for IC - 37% - which by 1939 was originating more
"animal products" in Illinois than any other railroad. The CB&Q had been the
leader in the 1928-1930 period.

Only one railroad shows an increase in originated tons: Illinois Terminal.

Tim O'Connor

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