Re: Frisco “Sawtooth” boxcar photo - North/south, east/west longitude/latitude

Schuyler Larrabee

No Dave, I’m correct.  Yes, longitude in the geographical sense involves a dimension east or west of the prime meridian, and that’s the SECOND definition, but as you say in the first meaning, it’s “running lengthwise.”  As we all know (?) the B end of the car is the back end, the A end, the front.  From this you establish which is the left side and which is the right side, confirmed on many cars with an “L” or “R” painted on the side near the door.


So my understanding is standing at the B end of the car, right side to the right, left side to the left and what is ahead of me is the length of the car, the first definition from the Oxford dictionary.


If you’re looking at this in comparison to the geographical use of longitude and latitude, the East/West lines run across the car, from side to side.  Don’t say “left to right,” as the lines go either way..




From: <> On Behalf Of Dave Parker via
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2020 2:44 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Frisco “Sawtooth” boxcar photo - North/south, east/west longitude/latitude


The Oxford dictionary definition of longitudinal is (1) running lengthwise rather than across (not "length"), (2) relating to longitude; measured from east to west (sorry Schuyler, you're off by 90 degrees).

The comparable definition of latitudinal is "relating to the position of a place north or south of the earth's equator".

IOW, latitudinal does not seem to have a non-geographical definition in modern usage.  But, it implicitly means perpendicular to longitudinal, which is why I have no real problem with the MCB/ARA/AAR usage for those short running boards at each end of many house cars.  It is what it is.
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA

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