Live Stock Operations: History, Equipment, Facilities & Modeling


By J. Stephen Sandifer.


Before The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe drove its first spike, it was understood that the shipping of live stock would be critical to its success. One of the first actions was to intercept the Chisholm Trail, 65 miles south of Abilene near Newton, where over 40,000 head were shipped in 1871. By the end of the 1872 the majority of the rail cars owned by Santa Fe were stock cars. As the Santa Fe continued to move west, it caught more cattle at Great Bend, Dodge City, and Granada, Colorado. In 1884, Santa Fe shipped 800,000 head of cattle from Dodge City alone. The railroad maintained a Live Stock Department catering to cattlemen, ranchers and packers. But live animals were trouble to ship. Damage claims were higher than any other commodity, and government regulation were stronger. The shipping of live stock peaked in the 1920s, but by 1930 things had begun to change. Trucks proved to be more convenient and often faster transportation for small shippers and short distances. In the end, Santa Fe loaded just 62 cars of stock in 1972, the last year of live stock operations. But for over a century, live stock, birds, fish, and a myriad of other animals went on Santa Fe all the way. Painstakingly researched and liberally illustrated, this is the story of Santa Fe’s live stock operations, from its history, to equipment, to infrastructure—such as stock yards and feeding stations required to maintain the business. Along the way this volume touches on the rules and regulations governing the traffic, rodeo and circus trains, Railway Express shipping, as well as modeling this fascinating part of Santa Fe’s legacy. This book combines features of both the rolling stock reference series and the commodity series.  256 pages 11×8½ soft cover, over 300 over 300 black & white photos and diagrams and over 140 color photos, appendix, roster, plus modelers notes.

Supplemental information on Santa Fe live stock operations is available to individuals who purchase this book.  The password is the first word of the second paragraph of the second chapter of the book.

Additional information

Weight 2.1 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 11 × 0.56 in