Re: Foreign Road Stock Cars

Tom Birkett <tnbirke@...>

My wife's grandfather was the Section Foreman at Harlowton, MT Yard on the
Milwaukee from about 1908 until about 1960. My father-in-law worked summers
and school holidays. Apparently considerable stock was loaded in the area,
and the Harlowton Section cleaned the cars. He has told me they cleaned them
all, and at about 5'3" tall that must have been tough work. Shovel out the
dirty sand on one side of the car and then throw clean sand in from the
other side.

Subject: [STMFC] Re: Foreign Road Stock Cars

Guy Wilber wrote:
The minimum resting time of five hours was mandated by The Livestock
Twenty-Eight Hour Act which contains no provisions relating to
cleaning cars or bedding. What is the source for rules stating
livestock could not be loaded into dirty cars? It is plausible that
individuals railroads had such rules, but I have yet to see any
solid information that the US roads were required to clean cars and
add fresh bedding per each loading.
Several writers on freight transportation, such as John Droege,
mention the need for clean bedding and clean cars, and several
railroaders in interviews have said that shippers had the right to
refuse to load stock into any car that was not clean. Certainly there
are a number of indications from Santa Fe and SP practice, to name
two, which are consistent with this. You may well be right, Guy, that
there was no statutory rule on clean cars, but doesn't mean it was not
a de facto requirement.

The pamphlet was revised in 1933 to include all forms of livestock.
Two general rules to consider; (2) Cars containing bedding that
makes them unfit for loading should be cleaned., (3) Accumulation of
winter bedding should be removed from cars in time to condition them
for spring loading. No reference to cleaning cars in general before
loading any type of livestock is within the pamphlet.
Shippers were concerned about both insect infestation in old
bedding and manure, and with disease. The idea that one might put
clean bedding into a dirty car, or atop dirty bedding, would seem
untenable to at least some shippers. And of course the shipper's right
to refuse a dirty or unfit car extended to ALL car types.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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