How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Outside the fence.
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barhamd
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How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:58 pm

Hi folks
Any ideas on how tall the fencing around a cattle dock should be? Does 5' sound about right?

cattle-dock.jpg


4' looks too low and 6' too high! (how do I know, I've printed both). I've drawn a rail section and extruded it to make the posts. I think that if I tried to cut the posts from rail and then drill eight .4mm holes in 20 of them I would get through more than a few drill bits.

IMG_8090a.jpg


thanks
David

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Noel
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Noel » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:18 pm

There are about ten brick courses visible, plus a concrete top, which would produce a height of about 3ft above the top of the rail, which is about right to produce a gentle slope on the ramp when loading/unloading. On that basis, the fence is about 4ft high at most.
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Noel

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:42 pm

4' seems a bit low to keep a cow in to me. The dock was at the end of a long loading dock so there was no ramp leading to it. I've built the dock as 15mm high.

David

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David B
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby David B » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:12 pm

Great Western Railway Journal, No 78, Spring 2011, p353, reproduces drawing No. 20328, prepared in May 1902 for the South Wales and Bristol Direct Railway, of cattle pens which utilised old bridge rails. I appreciate this might be a different era and company, but the overall management of livestock was broadly similar across the country.

The height of the pens, from the level of the pen floor, was 4' 10" so your use of 15mm is a bit low.
Last edited by David B on Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LesGros
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby LesGros » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:15 pm

Noel wrote:There are about ten brick courses visible, plus a concrete top, which would produce a height of about 3ft above the top of the rail, which is about right to produce a gentle slope on the ramp when loading/unloading. On that basis, the fence is about 4ft high at most.


I count thirteen rows of bricks, so five feet seems about right.
LesG

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grovenor-2685
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:03 pm

Noel wrote:There are about ten brick courses visible, plus a concrete top, which would produce a height of about 3ft above the top of the rail, which is about right to produce a gentle slope on the ramp when loading/unloading. On that basis, the fence is about 4ft high at most.

I also think you are undercounting the brick courses. I would put the dock surface between 3'6" and 4' above rail. And hence the fence closer to 5'.
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Keith
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martin goodall
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby martin goodall » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:06 pm

Strangely enough, this same question occurred to me at the weekend, when I was looking at a photograph that showed the cattle dock at Ashburton.

I gained the distinct impression (although not by measurement) that the pens at Ashburton were 5 feet tall.

I have used the Ratio GW cattle pen on my layout, but this is now packed away, so I can't go and check its dimensions.

philip-griffiths
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby philip-griffiths » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:43 pm

Two of the BRM team did a video about Highley and spent some time discussing the cattle dock.

https://youtu.be/Vs1U_jWa-as

Regards.

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Tim V
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Tim V » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:08 pm

In GW Architecture, the height to the top of the rails of the fence is given as 4'8".
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Noel
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Noel » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:23 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:I also think you are undercounting the brick courses. I would put the dock surface between 3'6" and 4' above rail. And hence the fence closer to 5'.


Introducing the height above the rail was probably a mistake on my part, as it is very difficult to judge accurately from the photo, and not really relevant to the calculation I did. However, if you take the height of ten brick courses plus the concrete above them as the equivalent of 12 brick courses you get a height of about 3ft, assuming 3ins per brick. The posts are roughly in the proportion of 14:11 to this, producing a height of about 4ft.

The normal height for goods platforms was about 3ft 6ins above rail top, although lower heights undoubtedly existed. I would question anything much above that, as it would not allow wagon doors to drop properly.

barhamd wrote:4' seems a bit low to keep a cow in to me. The dock was at the end of a long loading dock so there was no ramp leading to it. I've built the dock as 15mm high.


Cows are not very athletic. If given sufficient reason they can run quite fast, but jumping a vertical obstacle is not easy for them, or for sheep. In a small pen like this even a steeplechaser would have a problem, as jumping vertically requires a space in which to take a run at the barrier. There must have been a ramp somewhere close to the pen, as a sloped access is essential for animals, and the access along the loading bank is problematic, unless each animal is individually led, as driven animals are guaranteed to fall off any open edge and using temporary hurdles for a long distance is not realistic as they are likely to be knocked over. If there is no such level or sloped access then this is likely to be a pen intended for watering animals on long journeys, which are then returned to the wagon.

This link shows the cattle dock at Highley SVR https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_09_2009/post-1-12540395962736.jpg from https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/71-highley-svr/. The steps appear to be one layer of bricks laid flat with a second layer on edge, which would be a rise of about 7ins for each step x 6 = 42 ins. At the far end I count 11 layers of bricks, = 33ins at 3 in per brick, plus the stone edging, say 8/9 ins. Total 41 or 42 ins. These are all from ground level. Taking the steps as 7ins each, the posts are about 50-53 ins, taken in proportion.
Regards
Noel

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Tim V
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Tim V » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:47 pm

The problem with Highley is that it is a reproduction. I have pictures from the 70s which show it without any posts/rails, and later quite destroyed. OK the preservationists have put it back - but what was their source of information?
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Jeremy Suter
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Jeremy Suter » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:39 pm

Going back to the original question of how high the post are I suspect there is not a standard height the Rail Posts are cut and drilled in the works at set sizes of probably 8' with holes drilled in at 12 inches apart for the higher and then 6 inches apart for the lower Then they go out on sight.
At that point somebody has to dig a hole it depends on how deep they digs it. It could be 2 or 3 inches either way then build the cattle dock around them and back fill the only measurement that is given is probably that the fence needs to be a minimum of 4'6" or 4'8" above the height of the platform.
then 20 years later somebody comes along and resurfaces it.

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:10 pm

Jeremy Suter wrote:Going back to the original question of how high the post are I suspect there is not a standard height the Rail Posts are cut and drilled in the works at set sizes of probably 8' with holes drilled in at 12 inches apart for the higher and then 6 inches apart for the lower Then they go out on sight.
At that point somebody has to dig a hole it depends on how deep they digs it. It could be 2 or 3 inches either way then build the cattle dock around them and back fill the only measurement that is given is probably that the fence needs to be a minimum of 4'6" or 4'8" above the height of the platform.
then 20 years later somebody comes along and resurfaces it.


I like that, good old fashioned Scalefour pragmatism!
I'm going to got for 4'6" and see how that looks.

David

Paul Cram
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Paul Cram » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:59 pm

scan-200716-0001.jpg

Does this help?

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:18 pm

I reprinted the posts at 4'6" and rounded the tops as per the photograph. They came out pretty well.

IMG_8092a.jpg


It was quite challenging to cut, bend and thread brass wire through the posts but I am quite happy with the result.

IMG_8098a.jpg


IMG_8100a.jpg


I now have to work out how to make the gates, I'm going to try to 3D print these too.

I've been thinking about a couple of Noel's comments and they raise some interesting issues. The detail visible from a mid-1950's aerial photograph shows the cattle pen at the end of the long loading dock. By this time the dock had also had a small grain loader built on it which I presume blocked access to the pens which would have been out of use by this time.

dock.jpg
dock.jpg (52.95 KiB) Viewed 1471 times


You would not have been able to drive a herd of cattle down the dock without them falling off the sides.

David

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Noel
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Noel » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:33 am

I have had another look at the 1960s photo you posted initially, and tried to work out where the water trough is in relation to the far side of the pen. I'm not at all sure, but wonder if it is not in front of where the gate would be if there was one that side (it seems unlikely it ever moved)?

The pen is, given where it is located, intended for local traffic, so presumably there was a gate facing along the bank; how livestock got to the pen I have no clue. It doesn't answer the questions, but I have found https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1412333#contributions-banner which shows that the grain loader and weighbridge(?) weren't there in 1949, which I presume you know about?
Regards
Noel

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:47 pm

I hadn't actually spotted that water trough - thanks for pointing it out. I think it would be in the far corner and would fit between that corner and the gate on the other side of the dock. I knew the grain loader was a post-1950 addition.

David

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:23 pm

Much to my surprise my attempts to 3D print the cattle pen gates were actually quite successful. I honestly hadn't expected these to come out given the size.

IMG_8102a.jpg


When fitted onto the dock I think they look the part.

IMG_8101a.jpg


Now I have to work on the water trough.

David

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LesGros
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby LesGros » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:39 am

David,

:thumb

The surface finish on the gates looks very smooth; which 3D printer are you using?
LesG

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:55 am

LesGros wrote:David,

:thumb

The surface finish on the gates looks very smooth; which 3D printer are you using?


Anycubic Photon

And now I've just spotted the corner of a beet conveyor parked in the dock.
conveyor.jpg


David

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barhamd
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby barhamd » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:38 pm

I put a coat of paint on the fencing and made a little water trough for the corner.

IMG_8104a.jpg


As I am modelling the dock in a disused state I need to add few weeds growing through the concrete.

David

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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby PDS » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:22 pm

Gentleman

There appears to have been a fair amount of conjecture and guess work here, but all in the right ball park! Obviously the actual height would have varied from company to company, and even within a company there would have been slight variations in designs.
I can quote actual dimensions for the dock that used to stand at Alresford (ex-LSWR) that was measured and recorded by Maurie Graves in 1971. The 7x2" wooden rails (four of) were supported on 6" square concrete posts. The top of the posts were 5'3" above the top of the dock, with the top of the top rail 4'8" above dock level.
Hope this helps.

PDS

martin goodall
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby martin goodall » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:03 pm

I came across a copy of an official GWR drawing this morning for their Standard Cattle Pens design (apparently dating from the 1930s).

The dimension to the tops of the supporting posts was 4ft 11ins, which is very close to my original guess of 5 feet.

Rails comprised second-hand signal rodding (1.375 ins diameter). The top rail was slightly lower than the top of the supporting posts. This dimension was not indicated on the drawing, but appears to have been about 3" lower (which would give you a height of 4ft 8ins for the top rail.)

There were, however, variations in practice between different companies, and also within companies due to cattle docks having been built at different dates to different designs.

CeeJay60
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby CeeJay60 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:42 pm

North Eastern Railway Standard Moveable hurdles, used where there was no purpose built cattle dock, were on posts 4' 6" tall with the top rail (of 5) a few inches below the top of the post.

So while there were variations between the companies of a few inches here and there, the model you've built looks convincing, and that's surely the main thing?
Cheers,
Colin

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Alan Turner
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Re: How tall should cattle dock fencing be?

Postby Alan Turner » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:48 am

This is a detail of a Midland Railway pen:

IMG_3829.JPG


regards

Alan


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