Re: 50' Mather stock cars

Douglas Harding

In the May 1997 issue of Railmodel Journal, p 12, Richard Hendrickson writes “In the late 50s, in order to supply some of its leasing customers larger cars, Mather built some 50-foot cars with double doors by simply splicing two 40-foot cars together. Some of these were single-deck cars, but most were double-deck.”


Burlington Bulletin #25 was published in April 1992. It has already been cited regarding the 1952 date. Though the CB&Q did not acquire any 50’ Mather design cars until 63 (after the cutoff date of this list). Author Hol Wagner does note the 40’ cars leased by the CBQ were off lease from the B&O, and came to the CBQ from Mather/North American wearing NAHX reporting marks before being repainted by the Q in Chinese Red. But he acknowledges he did not know the heritage of the 50’ cars, simply mentioning they were identical to NKP and NYC 50’ cars.


Much has been learned since the early 90s, but it appears we are still missing the definitive date as the actual creation of the 50’ Mather design stockcar.


Doug Harding


From: <> On Behalf Of Steve SANDIFER
Sent: Monday, January 4, 2021 6:55 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] 50' Mather stock cars


1952 is he date given in the Burlington Bulletin. However, I searched the 1959 ORER that I have and could not find them in NYC, CB&Q, NKP, or North American listings. The few photos I have found were all taken in the 1966-68 date range.



J. Stephen Sandifer


From: <> On Behalf Of Ray Breyer via
Sent: Monday, January 4, 2021 6:45 PM
To: Steam Freight Car <>;
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] 50' Mather stock cars


I haven't been able to find any evidence of the 50-foot cars being converted in 1952. 1962 is more likely a correct date, but by then Mather didn't exist.


Where did the 1952 date come from? I'm working on a full timeline of Mather from 1880-1956, and I'd love to see that data.


Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL



On Sunday, January 3, 2021, 08:06:44 PM CST, Steve SANDIFER <steve.sandifer@...> wrote:



I assume many of this group are on the OpSig group that discussed Live Stock Operations today. The question concerned the 50’ Mather stock cars.


Mather cars were generally leased cars. Beginning in 1952 Mather spliced together pairs of 40’ cars, retaining the doors of both cars, producing a 50’ stock car. Cars in that configuration were operated by the

NKP (Photo 42023 1966)

NYC (as NISX painted Jade Green in 1966). The NISX cars were frequently seen on the Q. Photo NISX 3169 Freight Cars - Lake States Railway Historical Association ( and Freight Cars - Lake States Railway Historical Association (

CB&Q, 40 cars (50200-50239) for use in sheep and hog service which lasted until at least 1968.

Maybe Doug or someone else can add more details to this discussion.


For more info:

Burlington Bulletin, No. 25

Model Railroader, January, 1998


J. Stephen Sandifer


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