Stock pens

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Doug Harding writes:

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".
Hmmmm. The pen I modeled is actually quite small. In fact, the real one I modeled was at Sherman, itself. Another was at Hermosa but since I modeled Buford [ population of one...the station agent ], I exercised modeler's license and moved it there.

Out west,
where it is dryer, I suspect you see more "dirt floors".
I had assumed as much but now I guess I'll have to take another look.
Rural stockpens, esp. here in the
Midwest, received livestock as well as shipped them out.
Now here you raise an interesting point. As far as I can figure it, I think the small pens on Sherman Hill were for shipping rather than receiving although I wouldn't bet much on it. One rather odity is a photo in Turbines Westward showing a turbine switching the Hermosa pen. For those that don't know, swiching with a turbine would be about as economical as using one of those open pit drag cranes to pull a box car. The turbine was basically a zero or a or full bore. Anyhow, the Sherman pen could handle 28 cattle, horses, hogs or sheep, had one chute and no water. This last part is important because, obviously, stock trains were not stopped there for cooling with water. Incidentally, the Laramie pens could handle 760 cattle or 1046 hogs or sheep. Those pens had 29 loading chutes.

Mike Brock

djm1141 <dmueller183@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

Doug Harding writes:
One rather odity is a photo in Turbines
Westward showing a turbine switching the Hermosa pen.
Anyone found that pic yet ?? If so what page ??

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Dave Mueller writes:

"--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

One rather odity is a photo in Turbines
Westward showing a turbine switching the Hermosa pen.
Anyone found that pic yet ?? If so what page ??"

Dave, first, please sign your important rule of the STMFC. I had to search to find out who wrote you were.

Now, in response to your 169. Unfortunately, this is a second edition supplement which I procured separate from the original book [ no idea how I got it ]. The photo shows engine 56 with about 20 stock cars either pushing them into a siding at Hermosa or pulling them out in 1955. This photo might also be in Wolff's Turbine Era book [ I'll check later ]. Regretfully, this photo leads to more questions than it answers. The pen at Hermosa had a "capacity for immediate loading" of only 12 animals [ in 1946 ]. The photo appears to show possibly 2 stock cars down at the pen [ maybe ]. It is possible, then, that the train is picking up these 2 cars and putting them adjacent to stock cars on the head in. The train is headed east. That doesn't necessarily mean that the cars are loaded or MT but the live stock despatch trains would have been going west. Anyhow, if you have access to this photo, you might consider putting on a coat. Temp that November 2 day was -8� according to the caption...and it looks like it. Incidentally, #56 is a straight sided single unit tender.

Mike Brock

Douglas Harding <dharding@...>

Mike the photo sounds intriquing. It is possible the Turbine was simply
dropping off mty's for loading the next day, esp if it was a westbound.

As to capacity, it was common at western pens to have ranchers drive the
cattle to location, hold them on the near by grasslands via horses and
riders, and load multiple cars, one at a time. No need for large capacity
pens or multiple chutes at a location that loaded once or twice a year. Cars
would be dropped off in advance

By the way it is minus 9 this morning, windchill a minus 34 up here in NW
Iowa. And folks thought the temps at Cocoa Beach were brisk.

Doug Harding

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