Boxcar Dimension Questions for a Decal Project

Matt Goodman


My father recently got the itch to reproduce a 1907 American Strawboard boxcar (as seen here and here) and has given me the job of researching decals.

I used Photoshop Element’s perspective crop tool (learned from Ted Culotta’s Lightroom clinic and discussion on this forum - thanks!) to straighten the image at the first link, with I thought decent results (see first attached image). The second image, when straightened with the same tool turned out oddly compressed left to right. I spoke to my son (UX developer/designer) and brother (graphic artist) about this, and both were initially perplexed about the result (see the second image).

With that background, here’s my question. I can fix the second image by specifying the ratio of height to length when using the perspective crop tool - if I have dimensions.

  • Is the 36’ dimension for this car the inside length, the outside “box” length or over the strike plates?
  • Is there a standard dimension for the siding board width? 

  • Is there a standard door-opening height?
  • Is there a known/standard sheathing height?
  • As a stand-in for the second point, what is the inside height of these cars? It’s not listed on the car side.

Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio, US

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