Re: 50' Mather stock cars

Richard Townsend

I agree that primary sources would be best, but the ideal primary material - the Mather records - likely do not exist. A wonderful alternative would be an article from Railway Age or similar periodicals showcasing, or at least reporting, the 50-foot rebuilds. ORER records are less desirable, but they are somewhat helpful. 

Lacking the ability to search relevant periodicals, I asked Hol Wagner, the author of the Burlington Bulletin, whether he recalled the source he relied on. Here is what he told me: " The information came to me from longtime BRHS member Bob Landregan who was chief engineer of North American Car Co. when he had the plans drawn up for the construction of these cars, and they bear a 1952 date.  He wasn't sure that the work was actually undertaken that year, so I said "in about 1952" in the BB. "

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Breyer via <rtbsvrr69@...>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Tue, Jan 5, 2021 6:21 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] 50' Mather stock cars

I'm looking for primary source material, not "hobby wisdom". It appears that "the Fifties" as a date came from the Burlington article. Where did that piece get its information from?

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

On Monday, January 4, 2021, 07:23:11 PM CST, Mat Thompson <ocrr@...> wrote:

There is a question of where did the 1952 date come from for conversion of Mather cars to 50 feet.
The January 1998 Model Railroader article by Jim Teese says conversions began in 1952. He also said his source information came from the Burlington Route Historical Society Bulletin no. 25 (April 1992) which is still listed on their website but I have not seen it.
Jeff Wilson, in his Kalmbach book Livestock & Meatpacking, says Mather “In the late 50s, rebuilt some of it 40-foot cars into 50-footers” (page 19). The same Burlington Route Bulletin is listed in the book’s Bibliography but I don’t know if that is the source of the late 50s comment.
Mat Thompson

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