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Loading cattle
Workers loading cattle into a stock car at Peach Springs, Arizona, on the Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in 1972. This is believed to capture the last cattle loading on the entire Santa Fe system. Shipping livestock by rail was once common, dating back to the 1830s. Many railroads ran dedicated livestock trains, which were always given high priority in order to deliver the animals in optimum condition to meatpackers. The trucking industry began taking over livestock transportation after World War II, and except for special shipments (such as circus trains), rail transportation of livestock ended in the 1980s as the meatpacking industry decentralized. In 2008, Trains selected this image as one the "100 Greatest Railroad Photos" ever published in the magazine. The photographer is a presenter at the Center's 2011 “Conversations about Photography” conference.
Alternate Title Loading Cattle into a Rail Car (editor's title)
Source Joe McMillan, Arvada, Colorado
Coverage Spatial, Peach Springs, Arizona; Temporal, 1972
Rights Joe McMillan
Date Created 1972
Resource Type
Extent 2-1/4 in. x 2-1/4 in.
Depicted Railroad
Location Peach Springs, Arizona
Equipment: Cars Cattle car
Creator Description Joe McMillan was raised in the small south-central Texas community of Yorktown, located on a now-abandoned Southern Pacific branch line. He received a civil engineering degree from Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas. Aside from a military obligation with the Army Corps of Engineers, he spent his entire career with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, working his way up from draftsman to assistant director of safety and rules. Following his retirement in 1995, Joe moved his family to Arvada, Colorado, where he stays busy traveling and publishing railroad calendars and books.
Collection Joe McMillan Collection
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