Re: Terms For Freight Car Parts


Well on steam locomotive factory drawings the side walkways are referred to as Running Boards. In the era of boxcar with wooden roof walks, the factory drawings refer to them as Running Boards. 

Many freight manufacturers refer to the steps below the underframe line as Stirrups on their factory drawings. 

The Car Builders Dictionary defines that running board is a wooden board, applied to rolling stock, that men can walk on. The stirrup had ties the horse and saddle stirrups and was typically made of iron stock. 

Personally I don't see much resolution coming from this definitional name chasing. 

Other examples might include:
Single sheathed vs outside braced boxcars
Turnout vs switch
Bettendorf ( a manufacturer) vs a truck style (made by many mfrs )
Or what we and the rr's call the vertical side posts on gondolas

Mark Landgraf
Albany NY

On Sat, Aug 24, 2019 at 12:54 PM, Bob Webber
<rgz17@...> wrote:
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

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