Re: Those interested in stock cars and their associated stock yards

Douglas Harding

They are early CMSTP stockcars, perhaps as early as the 1880s. See attached photo taken at Murdo SD shows car with roof hatches. And a photo of double deck car 8327, the caption mentions the cars have roof hatches. It’s possible the second deck was removeable, some cars were built that way, where the floor came out in sections. Convertible cars had the second deck supported with cables or chains so it could be raised to roof creating. These MILW cars do not.


Prior to 1906 many companies and railroads designed features in stockcars with intentions to feed animals while in transit, ie the common roof hatches. It didn’t work. The 1906 28 hr law was created to feed and rest livestock outside the car because the 1874 law was ineffective in preventing animal injuries and death while in transit. The 1906 was a beefed up version that had teeth, no longer were animals feed in transit.


The Santa Fe built stockcars with dual purpose, the roof hatches used to load coal or coke for return loads and off season use.


Doug Harding


From: <> On Behalf Of James SANDIFER
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2020 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Those interested in stock cars and their associated stock yards


I don’t KNOW that this is the answer. This is a very early photo, probably 1900. Note the cars have no corner posts and the trusses are stuck in pockets like those on a flat car. Some of the early cars had an upper deck that could be removed or manually lowed by human beings by removing cross bracing. IF that was the case with these, they could be used for backhaul of coal or coke. Santa Fe cars with roof hatches were regularly used for coal, coke, and sugar beets, however none of those were double deck.



J. Stephen Sandifer


From: <> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2020 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Those interested in stock cars and their associated stock yards


Livestock Car With Roof Hatches

The first photo on the link is (to me) very interesting as it raises several questions:

My take on the hatches is that for these particular cars the hatches were for feeding and watering the stock. But there seem to be a problem.

These are double deck cars so unless there was a way to retract the upper level the hatches would not allow feeding and watering for the lower level, or the loading of bulk commodities for non-livestock transport.

Does anyone know more about these particular cars?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

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