The Bachmann HO Scale Silver Series 40' Stock Car Southern Pacific models the classic 40' stock car used for many years on North American railroads. A stock car is a box car with louvered sides to enable the livestock to breath while the train is en route to its destination. While railroads had transported livestock since the 1830s, it was the 1870 patented design for a stock car by Zadok Street that gave the railroads what became the stock car design. In the 1880s Alonzo Mather improved the stock car by enabling watering and feeding the stock en route. During the 20th Century and the advent of refrigerated cars the cattle were processed on the plains and just the meat was shipped east. However, improved highways and unregulated trucking spelled the end of this traffic- stock cars have long vanished and railroads move very little processed meats either. In the early 1960s the Northern Pacific experimented with a huge "Hog Palace" livestock car, but even this new technology could not rejuvenate this business.
Road Name and History:
Southern Pacific Railroad: Southern Pacific started as a land holding company in 1865. Under the direction of Collis Huntington, SP absorbed the original western end of the first transcontinental railroad,Central Pacific. The Southern Pacific grew into a major Western railroad, with routes extending from California to New Orleans and Portland, OR, by 1900. SP was by far the dominant rail carrier in California, where their alleged heavy-handed policies incurred public wrath. Also around 1900 the Southern Pacific came under the control of E. H. Harriman who also controlled the Union Pacific. Natural merger partners, the Supreme Court broke the two rail giants apart in 1913. In 1932 Southern Pacific gained access to St. Louis by gaining control of the Cotton Belt. Once a Western railroad powerhouse, an aborted merger with Santa Fe in the 1980s left the carrier weak. In 1988 it was purchased by Rio Grande Industries, which also owned the Denver & Rio Grande Western. Operating under the name Southern Pacific, the merged company struggled to find its footing until rescued by Union Pacific in 1996. E. H. Harriman's dream had at last come true.
Historic Fact: The Southern Pacific building east from California met the Texas & Pacific Railway building west from Fort Worth in Sierra Blanca, TX, to become the second Transcontinental Railroad in 1881.
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.