Bridge Traffic and Stock cars

William Hirt


Roseville Illinois was originally on a branch from Monmouth Illinois (on the Q mainline from Galesburg to Burlington) to Bushnell Illinois (on the main from Galesburg to Quincy Illinois). The line was abandoned December 1958 from Monmouth to Roseville. So the local would of picked them in Roseville and taken them to Galesburg.

The Q had two freights a day to Peoria. These were coordinated with the eastbound moves of meat from Omaha and Iowa. Almost all the meat deliveries at Peoria were to the NKP because they had the most direct and fastest east route.

The Q had many meat and merchandise trains a day from Galesburg to Chicago. It was faster to take it to Chicago, transfer to IHB and then out east on the NYC.

To give an you an idea, this what happened on March 5, 1959. Most of these are the through freight making the set out at the IHB to minimize handling:

88 East 127AB-107BA [F3AB-FTBA]
I/C to IHB 0015 05-Mar-59
28 car setout, 3 Stock, 17 Perishable, inc 4 Meat.

74 East 127DC-128CD [F3ABBA]
I/C to IHB 0120 05-Mar-59
27 car setout, 0 Stock, 26 Perishable, inc 9 Meat.

LW68 East 130DC-166B-129BA [F3ABBBA]
I/C to IHB 0245 05-Mar-59
49 car setout, 1 Stock, 31 Perishable, inc 12 Meat.

Congo 9237 [NW2] Condr: Not Shown
I/C to IHB 0720 05-Mar-59
21 car setout, 0 Stock, 0 Perishable, inc 0 Meat.

72 East 164 [F3AB-F7A]
I/C to IHB 0930 05-Mar-59
6 car setout, 0 Stock, 0 Perishable, inc 0 Meat.

62 East 106DC-110CD [FTABBA]
I/C to IHB 1330 05-Mar-59
30 car setout, 4 Stock, 26 Perishable, inc 16 Meat.

LC East 115DC-340-115BA [FTAB-SD9-FTBA]
I/C to IHB 1515 05-Mar-59
36 car setout, 4 Stock, 32 Perishable, inc 31 Meat.

82 108DC [FTAB]
I/C to IHB 1645 05-Mar-59
21 car setout, 2 Stock, 15 Perishable, inc 2 Meat.

Ex East 117AB [F3AB]
I/C to IHB 2030 05-Mar-59
40 car setout, 0 Stock, 0 Perishable, inc 0 Meat.

Back in the day, this was faster than you think. A retired CB&Q clerk has told me of the hot evening freight from Chicago to Kansas City. The Q had a switcher/crew ready to immediately pull the cars off the head end and make the expedited move to the Rock Island in Armourdale for their hot train to the SP connection in Tucumcari. The RI reciprocated on the opposite direction.

Also of interest from Steve Holding's presentation was the amount of lumber moving to Roseville. Alexander Lumber Company had a distribution center in Roseville. Alexander Lumber had lumber yards throughout central Illinois.

Bill Hirt

On 12/18/2014 8:16 AM, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] wrote:

Bill, any idea of the routing? Roseville is 60 miles from Peoria,
where's the NYC (Peoria & Eastern) could have received the cars. I
can't imagine any other route that could have gotten them to Albany
in less than 28 hours.

The abundance of UP cars probably is a reflection of the massive surplus
of stock cars on the UP by 1959-1960 as massive changes in meatpacking
and stock raising was well underway by then.

The OST/OSF is most likely OSL (Oregon Short Line, a UP subsidiary)

Tim O'Connor

Steve Holding, a retired BNSF dispatcher, had a presentation at the fall Burlington Route Historical Society meet using agent reports from the CB&Q station at Roseville, Illinois. The period of available record was from the late 1950s into the mid 1960s. It showed the various commodities shipped and received at the end of a branch line during the period.

Hogs were being shipped from this station to Tobin Packing Co on the NYC in Albany and Rochester NY.

Nov 1959 - 28 cars shipped. 2 SLSX, 21 UP, 4 D&RGW and 1 NYC. Avg 132 Hogs per car. - 3 cars to Rochester.
Dec 1959 - 32 cars shipped. 2 ATSF, 3 SP, 20 UP, 5 D&RGW and 1 ORL? Avg 136 Hogs per car - 1 car to Rochester.
Jan 1960 - 24 cars shipped. 1 CB&Q, 1 NYC, 21 UP and 1 OST/OSF? Avg 134 Hogs per car.
Feb 1960 - 29 cars shipped. 3 ATSF, 2 SP and 24 UP. Avg 124 Hogs per car - 2 cars to Rochester.
Mar 1960 - 30 cars shipped. 2 B&O, 1 NP, 3 SP, and 24 UP. Avg 135 Hogs per car.
April 1960 - 19 cars shipped. 1 D&RGW, 1 OSL, and 17 UP. Avg 130 Hogs per car.
May 1960 - 24 cars shipped. 2 CB&Q, 1 OSL, 1 SLSX, 2 SP and 18 UP. Avg 124 Hogs per car.
June 1960 - 25 cars shipped. 14 CB&Q and 11 UP. Avg 127 Hogs per car.
July 1960 - 18 cars shipped. 15 CB&Q and 3 UP. Avg 132 Hogs per car.

If not shown to Rochester, all the remaining went to the packing plant at Albany. 

Bill Hirt

Posted by: Tim O'Connor 


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William Hirt


You would probably like to see some pictures then:


Bill Hirt

On 12/18/2014 8:42 AM, Arved Grass arved_grass@... [STMFC] wrote:
The "Great Flood of 1951?"

I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for getting me to look it up. Learned something today.

William Keene <wakeene@...>

Good morning Arved,

The Great Flood of 1951. I remember it well. OK… as well as a five year old can. My Dad spent three days away from our house fighting the flood. One of those days was my birthday.

Bill Keene
Irvine, CA

On Dec 18, 2014, at 6:42 AM, Arved Grass arved_grass@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

The "Great Flood of 1951?"

I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for getting me to look it up. Learned something today.

Arved Grass
Arved_Grass@... or Arved@...
Fleming Island, Florida

On Thu, 12/18/14, Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [STMFC] Bridge Traffic and Stock cars
To: STMFC@...
Date: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 9:08 AM

> Along with others examples already mentioned,
frequent sightings of 

> west coast stock cars (SP, UP and even NP) on the PRR
seem to suggest

> that there were certainly plenty of cars that
traveled across the 

> entire nation. 

I think many of the sightings of off-road stock cars are due
to short

term lending, or Car Service Directives, where cars went
from areas where

they were surplus to areas where there was a "seasonal

Livestock movements were either pasture-to-pasture moves
(seasonal) or

they were pasture-to-market or market-to-meatpacker. There
were large

"stock markets" in the west (Denver, Sioux City,
Kansas City, Chicago, etc).

Livestock arrived, got sorted out, and was sold. Then the
livestock was

either slaughtered locally, or was shipped off again to

It's almost unimaginable that a carload of cows would be
interchanged from

the UP at Council Bluffs, moved to Chicago on any of 7
different railroads,

and then interchanged to PRR! But a UP or NP stock car could
easily have been

loaded in Chicago and then travelled on the PRR to
Philadelphia (or wherever)

on a less-than-28-hours schedule to a meatpacker.

Anyone remember the giant Kansas City floods in the
1950's? As a teen I read

an issue of Trains magazine that covered the floods and in
that article they

mentioned that the B&O and PRR had to lend their stock
cars to western roads

because so many western stock cars had been damaged in the
deep waters that

covered so many Kansas City freight yards. That was the
first time I'd heard

of the ICC's power to order freight car

Tim O'Connor

Anspach Denny <danspachmd@...>

In the steam era that we are interested in, trucking was uncommon, centralized feed lots were rare, stock cars did in fact commonly go “off line” when single road routing was not possible between the nearest railheads to the  grassland cattle ranchers (Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas) that raised the cattle, to the midwest farmers that fattened the cattle (Iowa, Nebraska, S. Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois), and the central packers who eventually bought the cattle.  In my own family, cattle were purchased in western Nebraska , shipped to Iowa for feeding (CNW), and then shipped to Chicago markets (CNW).  However, when cattle were purchased in S. Dakota, it was on the Milwaukee/CNW  to Iowa and CNW beyond.  Basically, the nearest railhead  -whatever railroad-  was the guiding force, not an overarching need for single road routing.

One of my favorite photos is of a UP Challenger loping along in Nebraska or Wyoming with a 36’ Milwaukee stock car  behind the tender  leading a long consist.

Denny S. Anspach MD

Greg Martin

I agree with Bruce as there are great examples of Foreign road stock cars on the PRR a long way from the gateways of the west both loaded and empty heading home. Pick up a copy of Don Ball JR's book PENNSYLVANIA RAILROADS 1940s - 1950s and cut the to the Middle Division portion of the book to find photos of foreign line cars on the famous Rockville Bridge. Better yet my favorite photo is in Don Ball's book I REMEMBER PENNSY with my favorite photo of an M1 Mountain class that is captured and directly behind the tender is a L&N Mather STOCK car and behind that a UP S-40-10 in Live Stock Service paint.
I used to say I could never find a photo of a PRR K7 or K8 in a PRR revenue train, just foreign stock cars. I have since found photos to the contrary and now say, "okay they had several revenue stock cars in revenue trains..." I can say I have seen more NP and UP Stock cars separately and collectively in PRR trains than PRR K7 and K8 stock cars in PRR revenue trains. I would love to see a photo of a live stock block that was dominated by PRR stick cars... 
Greg Martin
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean
In a message dated 12/17/2014 11:40:04 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, STMFC@... writes:

This topic comes up almost as frequently as banana traffic.  And every time we come to the same conclusion (or at least those of us paying attention).  Stock cars traveled, certainly to neighboring roads and often much further than neighboring roads. 

I Along with others examples already mentioned, frequent sightings of west coast stock cars (SP, UP and even NP) on the PRR seem to suggest that there were certainly plenty of cars that traveled across the entire nation.



Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."