Re: Terms For Freight Car Parts

Bob Webber

This might launch a large discussion..but....

Before you define those terms, better define "proper" - esp. which context you wish to use it in.

Proper may mean what is proper within the group, within the hobby, by hobby manufacturers, authors, railroaders (and that's by division within railroad), by railroad correspondence, by car manufacturer..etc. etc..

Sidestep & Sill Step (and corner step) are used by Standard Steel drawings & references. With over 60,000 drawings scanned from Pullman, Pullman-Standard, Haskell & Barker, Standard Steel and others - the only mention of "stirrup" is in the use in conjunction with posts or daft gear rigging - where its function was to support (not step).

Roof walk has not been used in the drawings, running board has been.

(you can add outside braced to the topic and enjoy more opinions)

Why do I say you must define "proper".

I was discussing the term "Harriman" in conjunction with passenger cars, saying it would be better to use the term "Common Standard". One participant, who had spent many years on the C&NW took umbrage, and said he didn't know what "Common Standard" was but he sure knew a "Harriman" car when he saw it!!! "There was a Harriman car in the yards in Chicago that's now at the Illinois Railroad Museum, and everyone called in Harriman rather than Common Standard!". Looking at the car, I found the car in question was an ex-C&O arched roof combine - neither Harriman (sic) nor Common Standard - a completely different design. Yet...this was a man who had spent a lot of time on railroads, insisting the use was proper and more so than the "proper" term. Who was right?

I have heard railroaders, manufacturers and others use all the terms above. Does use in the industry indicate "proper" use? How many authors have used these terms? Many. Proper? How many reference books have used these terms? Many. What then is indicative of a "proper" use? I have my opinion on this one - colored by what I do & see now. I'm not going to say one is more proper. It depends on context and intent. People on this list have tried to instill the use of proper terms - terms used by the manufacturers of the object, and the MCB use (among others). In a sense - just as will clinics and the more scholarly papers there is a certain trust that the use of a term will be proper use. Your mileage may very.

At 10:58 AM 8/24/2019, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:

I noticed two terms for freight car parts in Mr. Trandel's presentation are in conflict with terms I usually see used on this group.

The author used "roof walk" for "running board" and "stirrup step" for "sill step".

Which terms are preferred/correct?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA
Bob Webber

Join to automatically receive all group messages.