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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.


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.



@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?




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


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. )



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.




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