Re: 50' Mather stock cars

William Hirt

On the Burlington, the main purpose of the enlarged Mather cars was to haul hogs from western Illinois to Tobin Packing in Rochester and Albany NY. These cars could hold up to 200 hogs, so they were preferred by the packing house and shippers. However, based on a presentation by Steve Holding (a retired CB&Q-BN-BNSF dispatcher and who grew up on a hog farm in western Illinois), most of the Mather 50 foot car use on the Burlington came after the 1960 limit of this list (1965).

Bill Hirt

On 1/4/2021 7:03 AM, Mat Thompson wrote:

The question I remember was simple – didn’t the 50 foot cars create a problem with lining them up with the ramps on older stock pens? My answer was yes but did comment that I have some pens built with ramp spacing for 50 foot cars and that information was included on the note the company rep provide the conductor. I didn’t think about it at the time but many pens had platforms trackside. Drovers would put up temporary fences to herd animals onto the ramps.


The article to build these cars was in the January 1998 Model Railroader, written by Jim Teese. It includes one picture of an NKP prototype. He says Mather began joining cars in 1952. He also said he ordered Bulletin #25 from the Burlington Route Historical Society  which contained some information on the cars. That Bulletin is still listed on their website.


Jeff Wilson has  a picture of CB&Q 50237 on page 17 of his book Livestock & Meatpacking. Jeff notes that most conversions were double deck but a few were shingle deck.



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