Re: Photo: Watermelons In Livestock Car (Undated)
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I'd guess that ventilated box cars, which were well represented on various southern roads, were also commonly used for shipments of all kinds of melons and other produce not needing refrigeration. They show up in photos, usually as singles, in photos of trains in the post war period at locations far from home.
I have no information as to how common their use was but in my 1-1-50 ORER there were 9968 such cars total with most - 9146 cars - belonging to SAL, ACL, CG, and L&N. The remaining 823 cars were owned by C&WC, C&O, D&H (!), DL&W (!), SOU and N&W. Tony Wagner
On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 05:30:10 PM CDT, Steve SANDIFER <steve.sandifer@...> wrote:
I thought this was from the Freight Commodity Statistics from the ICC, but that does not add up. Looking at the original documents I photographed it shows the 1956 Total carloads of livestock to be 785,994, considerably higher than I quoted. That document also does not break the statistics down my car type. There were 70815 carloads of watermelons, but the FCS does not indicate the type of car used.
I’m sorry I can’t put my fingers on where the original numbers came from.
J. Stephen Sandifer
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave Nelson
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2022 8:48 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Watermelons In Livestock Car (Undated)
Steve, which ICC report had that data?
You could always limit the use of the stock cars for watermelons to the month of May or June, then put them away until the next year.
A lot of melons came out of Hempstead, TX and Luling, TX. Luling still has an annual celebration known as the “Watermelon Thump.” http://newsite.watermelonthump.com/ Both of these were on the SP and the SP used stock cars for this purpose.
In researching my stock car book I found documentation about the construction of a siding and stock pen in Peters, TX, just north of Sealy, on the ATSF. The railroad later removed the stock chute when there had been no shipments of cattle for 6 years in order to reduce the taxable value but kept the siding because it was used to ship carloads of watermelons every year.
In 1955 the ICC reported that watermelons were the #4 product shipped in stock cars. But again, a very small number in comparison.
J. Stephen Sandifer
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Betz