Re: Wabash S/S Box Car Roadname Lettering Question

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Bruce Smith wrote:
In general, with automobile cars (or any 40' double door car) with the right door centered on the car, opening the left door completely would obscure the reporting marks if they were on the left side, making it difficult for a clerk on the loading dock to identify the car.
As Bruce implies but doesn't say, this is the case for double- door cars with staggered doors (the normal arrangement on automobile cars). By the 1950s, some railroads were beginning to build double- door cars with them centered on both sides, making a different situation regarding the reporting marks.
I'm sure the convenience of clerks was part of the reason for swapping lettering from the two ends of the car side, but given that the number was on the car ends, this seems to me like a minor gain.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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