Re: Chips

Douglas Harding <dharding@...>

Mike, you asked if the stockpens/stockyards were cleaned very often? Yes
they were cleaned, quite often, and for the same reason stockcars were
cleaned, to prevent disease. A railroad stockpen with a history of disease
was avoided by farmers like the plague, with good reason. And railroad
revenues suffered accordingly. So yes they were cleaned.

In my study of ICC valuation reports of RR stockpens, I often saw notations
that showed the larger setups had a hard surface of some sort, which made
cleaning easier. Only the very smallest stockpens and/or the ones that were
seldom used had a "dirt floor". Most were paved with brick, cinders, packed
stone, sand, asphalt, concrete, ties, etc. A porous surface made drainage
easier, a hard surface was easier to scrap clean or hosed down. And if the
pens were not paved, most certainly the alley ways were paved. Any hard
surface that could be scraped off would do. Of course this is related to RR
stockpens in the Iowa/Illinois area which I have studied and where we have
sufficient rainfall to make well used stockpens a soupy mess. Out west,
where it is dryer, I suspect you see more "dirt floors".

Just another little detail to add to your modeling. Get some Holgate
Reynolds brick sheets, cut pieces to line your alleyways. Cover the pens
with your favorite sand or ballast material. Have a shed or old car body for
holding sand and straw for bedding in stockcars (freight car content here).
Hang a few shovels and pitch forks on the shed wall, perhaps a hose coiled
up near by. Make sure some bags of lime are visible, lime was used to
disinfect, and spread it around in freshly cleaned pens. And have a pile of
straw/manure out back, where you put it after mucking out the pens. You
might want to place some smaller piles of used looking sand/straw (you
figure out the correct color) near the tracks where a car may have been
cleaned out after unloading livestock. Rural stockpens, esp. here in the
Midwest, received livestock as well as shipped them out.

Doug Harding

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