Re: Don't be chicken
These cars are on my to-do list. I bought some shielded flat cable to strip the copper mesh shielding out of for the exterior of the car sides. That is the smallest useful mesh I have been able to locate. I think the trusses behind the screens are a candidate for 3D printing. It's a "someday down the road" project for me, though.
Lincoln City, OR
From: 'Steve Sandifer' steve.sandifer@... [STMFC]
Sent: Mon, May 8, 2017 11:44 am
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Don't be chicken
This morning I pulled out my photos from St. Louis and looked at the other photos people have been posting and decided that there were cages built into the walls of the poultry car and birds were individually loaded into those cases. Close up photos of loaded cars show no secondary cages, just the external wire of the car. Therefore the birds had to be loaded by hand.
However, there were tongue and groove wooden floors to all of the built-in cages, the wood running crosswise, like a shelf at each level. The one at St. Louis is 8 cages high by 4 cages long on each side of the central work room. That makes a total of 64 cages for the entire car. The internal cage doors appear to be made of steel strap, 3 horizon and 2 vertical straps inside an angle iron frame, hinged from the bottom. Separating each cage was a wall that was half sheet metal and the upper half vertical bars. Most of the inside is constructed from angle iron. There was a central corridor, possibly 2’ wide, through the car to give access to the cages. On the end were two doors stack above each other with vertical bars in them and external wood doors to cover them. I assume some of this could be used to control air flow.
The central “work room” was separated from the two cage rooms by a wooden wall composed of vertical boards. I cannot tell if it had a door in it or not. It also has a steel tank suspended under the floor of the work area as well as a box of some kind over that work area. I assume one held water and the other feed, but those are assumptions. Two external side ladders, one on each side of the work area, gave access to the roof.
Unfortunately the St. Louis car is stored in a non-public area (I got special permission to see it) and is about 30” from the loco next to it, so there is no easy way to take photos. I used my 10mm super wide. The car is also in poor condition, but at least it is saved and under cover.
The big pitfall of all of the models I have seen is that they are content with eternal screen walls, which make the cars look like one big bird cage instead of three compartments with two filled with shelf cages. If someone wanted to model these correctly, he could probably simulate it with lots of etched brass parts.
Overland also made a brass model in HO. Having seen the real thing in St. Louis and having studied a lot of photos, the models don’t do them justice. It is very difficult to model all of the internal racks that support the individual cages of birds.
Your comment pose a question, Steve. You state, " internal racks that support the individual cages of birds". Were these individual cages the standard "chicken crate" I'm thinking of that were roughly 3 ft. x
4 ft. x 1 1/2 ft. made from wood dowels and flat stock with a pivoting panel that opened in the middle of the top? That would make sense as opposed to trying to bring chickens into of off of the car for loading
or unloading. I have a photo that Phil Hastings took back in the 1940's here of a Livesay Poultry Car
near the station just across the Connecticut River in Woodsville, NH but was never sure whether the
layered cages on the car were actually the common crates or not.
Cordially, Don Valentine