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They made later versions of the 1877 car for sets and I think seperate sale too. They didn't give you an impossible goal

I don't think they actually did that "coral on flat car" bit too often outside of the movies.

Stock cars were regular equipment by the mid 1800s.

If you wanted an early roofless car, nobody made one yet that I know of. Maybe take the roof off a common wood boxcar or stock car?

  Many earlier stock cars just had bars over plain old boxcar doors and holes cut for more ventilation. 

Drovers cars/cabooses might be of interest to you too.

IMG_20200814_030512~2

Head um up🤠 Move um out...

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As mentioned, the car that was issued for the General Set is perfect for what you want, except they were horses not cattle. Mine is below on the layout. 

I found the flat car on Ebay for a song as it was totally buggered up. Cleaned it and looks like new. I bought the repro yellow stakes and horses from another Ebay seller.

Substitute cattle and you'd be good to go.

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Last edited by johnstrains

I found a very easy solution.

Buy an old Lionel 6656 metal closed top cattle car.  (Looks like a freight car, but with slats on the sides.)

Take my metal cutter, and cut the top half of the car away, all of the way around, just above the fat center horizontal slat.

Repaint the slats from yellow to brown.

Voila, instant high quality, metal, open top cattle car.

Thanks,

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

Thanks for the advice.

Yep John, the car you show in the picture is what I'm looking for.  

Is there a reason you left the railings yellow, instead of painting them to look like dried out, distressed wood?

Mannyrock

 

Well...

The yellow was one of the two colors that Lionel produced for the stakes and cross pieces. I specifically wanted the yellow ones because I think they look great as a color contrast with the brown flat car.  Also matches up well with the yellow General Set rolling stock.

So, just a personal preference.

 

Last edited by johnstrains

Moran,

Thanks for the correction. Because the box cattle car was made between 1950 and 1953, I just assumed the upper section was metal.

But, if it is plastic, then all the better.  It will be much easier to cut the top off.

I don't mind yellow in general, but I doubt if any open top cattle cars in the old west had the rails painted bright yellow.  If you have ever raised cattle or horses (I have), then you would find that they just love to chew on and kick wooden rails.  The paint would certainly not have lasted .   Add in the cattle horns and dust, and you've got bad looking weather beaten rails in a hurry.  (My home for 16 years was on 60 acres, 45 miles outside of Memphis. )

Mannyrock

 

Nope.   As long as cattle have water, they can take any and all of the brutalized heat that the west can dish out.

They thrived on the open deserts, especially the Longhorns who roamed wild in Mexico and bred by the tens of thousands.

Evolution at work.

They weren't on the trains long.  Traveling on the trains from from Dodge City, Kansas, or Sedalia, Missouri, to Chicago by rail was not an overly long trip.  And, all major rail stops had cattle pens  to unload the cattle, feed and water them.

The problem with open cattle cars would have been that cattle is spooked fairly easily, and if they decide to get out, then nothing can stop them.   Thousands of pounds of muscle in one car, pushing against wooden slats.

 

Mannyrock

 

@Mannyrock posted:

Nope.   As long as cattle have water, they can take any and all of the brutalized heat that the west can dish out.

They thrived on the open deserts, especially the Longhorns who roamed wild in Mexico and bred by the tens of thousands.

Evolution at work.

They weren't on the trains long.  Traveling on the trains from from Dodge City, Kansas, or Sedalia, Missouri, to Chicago by rail was not an overly long trip.  And, all major rail stops had cattle pens  to unload the cattle, feed and water them.

The problem with open cattle cars would have been that cattle is spooked fairly easily, and if they decide to get out, then nothing can stop them.   Thousands of pounds of muscle in one car, pushing against wooden slats.

 

Mannyrock

 

I must admit that this thread has to be one of the most unusual ever on OGR. I'm not sure what you consider the "old west", but back in the mid 1870s through the early 1940s, none of the cattle EVER traveled in "open top cattle cars"! The various railroads in the mid-west and west ALL had enclosed open-slatted cattle cars for all sorts of cattle, hogs, and sheep. The use of "open top cattle cars" is simply a toy train fantasy.

The great cattle drives of the Longhorns from Mexico and Texas to  Sedalia, Abeline and Dodge in the old west that we are talking about were by and large  over by the mid to late 1870s.   They started just after the Civil War, around 1867,and only lasted a few years.  These cattle were wild Mexican and Texas Longhorns, rounded up on the plains and driven cross country. Not the Herefords that came to replace them later

They were driven hundreds of miles, and then put on trains to go east.  Texas Longhorns are vicious animals, both cows and bulls, with horns spanning up to six feet in width.  I could imagine that it would have been mighty hard  to load up  40 or 50 of those wild cattle into an enclosed slatted boxcar.  Seems to me that some of them would have killed each other.

So, I have no doubt that some open cattle cars were in use in those early years, though I have no railroad records to document it.  

Personally, I don't consider the mid 1880s as the old west. The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the Frontier was officially over (closed by population density) in 1890.

Mannyrock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know how many stalls are in an old west stock car. I know there was room for 8 in old European wagons "40 or 8"... 40 soldiers or 8 horses.

I think one of eastern roads (B&O) made a roofless stock car pre 1850 for a while, but it didn't last. (Neither did slings and a few other practices)

High sided gondolas got mentioned for moving cattle sometimes in some reading you had inspired. But no mention of corrals on a flatcar anywhere.

Water and feed enroute were the main concerns and the design changes that mattered it seemed.

@Hot Water posted:

I must admit that this thread has to be one of the most unusual ever on OGR. I'm not sure what you consider the "old west", but back in the mid 1870s through the early 1940s, none of the cattle EVER traveled in "open top cattle cars"! The various railroads in the mid-west and west ALL had enclosed open-slatted cattle cars for all sorts of cattle, hogs, and sheep. The use of "open top cattle cars" is simply a toy train fantasy.

No, it's not fantasy, at least not a little earlier.  Throughout the '60s, at least, open top cars (such as DMASSO provided a pic of) were pretty common.

Also we have to consider the pathetic, dilapidated state of rail cars and track in Missouri and Kansas following 4 years of Civil War.  Vast numbers of cars were half burned, broken down, abandoned on sidings.  As is the case with any devastation following a war, these vehicles would have been quickly repurposed, cobbled together, mixed and matched, with lots of ingenuity,  for immediately practical use.  So, I very much agree with Pallalin on this

Another point worth mentioning, is that one cannot confuse the born-in-the-wild murderous Longhorns of the Mexican and Texas Plains with their descendants 10 years later, who were born and raised on huge ranches in Texas and New Mexico, where the young bull calves were branded, often de-horned,  and neutered at age 3 months to become much gentler steers.  The large heathy cows on those ranches were retained as breeding stock, not shipped away to become meat.  So, the Longhorns riding trains in that later era were steers and old decrepit cows.  They could probably be loaded into closed cars with some ease.

And remember, those wild Longhorns thrived in the deserts of Texas and Mexico, and were quite accustomed to going without water for 2 or 3 days.  A train trip from central Kansas to St. Louis, Missouri, would have been what?  24 hours or less?

 

 

Koojock,

You make an interesting point, in saying that most cattle cars were closed by the time most railroads reached the west.

But, you have to take into account, that we are talking here about the rail lines ending in Missouri,  Kansas, and north Texas, not New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado or California.  I believe the rail line reached Sedalia, Missouri in late 1866 or so, and Dodge and Abilene a few years after.

 

I believe this is the car that DMASSO posted, and the kit is available in O scale.  http://www.btsrr.com/bts9521.htm 

Sorry Hotwater but open top stock cars were a thing for railroads for American Railroads in the 19th century.  They were cheaper to build and they were lighter.  They could easily be improvised from flat cars.  With much animal traffic being relatively short distance there probably wasn't much concern that the animals would suffer excessively from lack of a roof.  They would probably have had walls higher and more substantial than the Lionel version due to the fear the animals might try to escape in transit.  I don't have access to my White's American Railroad Freight Car at the moment. I suspect though that it is the need for transporting animals over longer distance on western roads coupled with the fact that a roof made it easier for brakemen to move from car to car that drove the replacement of open top stock cars with roofed cars, although shipper concerns may also have played a role.

Memphis has a 2,000 acre city park (yep, two thousand acres).  It used to be the Penal Farm.

They have a small herd of longhorns in it.   (At least when I left 12 years ago.)  The longhorns were incredibly big and dangerous looking. There was a big sign on the double fence, that said: "Dangerous Animals.  Do Not Approach the Fence."

You can’t saw off mature horns without severe consequences. Longhorns are not by nature vicious. If truly wild, they would be more difficult. If they could be driven hundreds of miles though, they would be loadable. Lionels car is pure fantasy with the low sides and flimsy fencing. In the 20th century there was a 36 hour rule for feed and water. Without the tops, there would still need to overhead support to brace the sides. 

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