Help! Need meat packing plant info

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TR-Flyer, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    One of our club members is developing a stockyard operation on his modules. Another has an operating, read “action accessory”, stockyard on his module. I have recently decided to expand my trailing siding, with its barrel loading operation, by adding a "6-inch" deep backdrop. This backdrop will have several industrial and warehouse fronts on it that will expand my siding into a small industrial area. One of these “fronts” is to be a meat packing house. I just spent the last hour & a half cruising the web and haven't been able to find any good data on the general layout of one of these operations.

    I assume, and we all know what Felix Unger had to say about that, I will need a cattle offloading ramp and pen, then a suitable old building into which the cattle are taken. Then I’ll need a loading dock to send the “beef” on its way. Am thinking that one of the other buildings could be an icing station, another a refrigeration plant. And then another “cool” building/warehouse that’s there just because the refrigeration system is available.

    Another thought, is to have the cattle cars and refrigerated packing cars back into the buildings, so I could change out the cattle and put in the “cargo”. Could also mount my operating cattle yard as the unloading pen and actually unload the cattle from the cars.

    Does anyone know of a site where I can some info/pictures of typical meat packing operations? P.S. something a little smaller that “IBP” would be useful.

  2. kartguy91

    kartguy91 New Member

    meat packing plant

    advice some other fella gave me was to get copies of oct & nov
    2004 issues of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN concerning your
    inquiry. I've a similar concern: I would like to do something like
    asimple rail siding and a cattle loading ramp/pen/yard onto rail
    cars, sort of "period" stuff ( 1890 - 1910 ) or so. Do you have
    suggestions that might help ?

    Bob Blackburn
    Lakewood, Co.
  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    My dad was a meat cutter for over 40 years, but I would still have to plead ignorance on a lot of the technical details of the industry itself...

    I do know that for any kind of realistic operation, you will want two seperate loading areas for livestock in-packaged meat out...the two don't's very dirty, the other very sterile. Two seperate buildings would be even better, with perhaps overhead coveyors/passageways connecting them...but by at least having the two seperate spurs, you would be providing yourself with vastly better operating potential...a switcher bringing in empty reefers could remove empty stock cars from another track on its way out, or vice-versa...
    For even more interest, you could have a tank track for various chemicals & by-products...
  4. KATY

    KATY Member

    Something like this?
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't work in the meat packing industry, but I work on truck refrigeration units. I work at a small meat packing facility. Any packing house that uses rail service would be huge. As was said, you would need a track to an unloading chute on one end of the facility. Then you would need pens to hold the cattle. I think a large slaughter house probably handled over 100 head of cattle per day. The pens are divided up into a bunch of small pens, so that they can isolate a few cattle at a time for slaughter. then the cattle are run down a narrow runway with a fence on each side, up a ramp, and into the slaughter room where they are killed, hoisted, and bled out. The small packing house where I work on refrigeration has a pipe coming out of the building that dumps blood into a tank truck. There is also a conveyor coming out where excess fat, some bones, intestines, hooves, etc. are dumped into what looks a lot like a garbage truck to go to a rendering plant to be made into soap. they also have a large smelly trailer that is loaded with the fertilizer that the cattle leave behind in the pens. Finally they have a loading dock on the other side of the plant where the meat is loaded out of the refrigerator boxes into trucks to go to restaurants and stores. I think a slaughter house would have similar needs in the days of rail service. Oops, I forgot to mention that the hides also need to be dealt with. The hides are valuable, they are the primary source of all the leather we use for any purpose that we use leather for in the world. Now they are loaded into refrigerated trailers to go to tanerys, or dry containers to go overseas. I think most of the shoe industry in this country before 1970 was probably in New England, so you wuld have a lot of hides shipped out of any slaughter house district to New England.
  6. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Ted what era are you doing there is a vast difference is a 30 year time span.

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