By B. Smith:
In the mid to late 1960’s the LCN was still moving some livestock by rail. In the Spring the Lazy W Ranch would move sheep from their low ranch to the upper ranch for the summer, then back to the low ranch in the Autumn for the winter. Since the LCN’s track ran by both ranches the sheep were moved by rail. The LCN would also spot cars of cattle from west Texas for the Lazy W feedlot.
Sheep being loaded in the Spring for relocation to the high country as the Sanderson local gets the days train together.
Not an easy task but they seem to be cooperating today. Maybe they know green grass awaits.
Trying to get the sheep up a ramp and into a stock car didn’t work. So the local sheepman got the LCN to spot a cattle car and he loaded them from his truck. Worked much better! Sheep normally are loaded into double deck stock cars but the absence of a loading ramp required just a single deck car.
Two cars of sheep bound for the high country.
Cattle bound for the feedlot.
Another view of the MP stock car.
The stock car is an Athearn Blue Box that I’ve had since the early 60’s! I never ran it as I never had any cattle loading/unloading operations on any of my previous layouts. I added better couplers, air hoses, pin lifters and stirrups. I also cut off the Athearn door hinges . The cu ft stenciled on the side and it being built by UPRR are incorrect, but surprisingly, the car number is correct for the MP.
MP had almost 300 cars pretty much just like this Athearn car in October of 1969. This car number was from 100 originally built for the International-Great Northern Railway, a Texas railroad that became part of the MP. By 1976 MP no longer had any stock cars listed, so this scene is 60’s/early 70’s.