Ken Akerboom stated:
There is a roofwalk support just next to where the lateral(?) roofwalk attaches.
If you zoom in, it seems to me that the hinges are set up so the hatches open lengthwise (toward the end of the car) rather than crosswise (toward the side)
Which then begs the question – what are all those supports outboard of the hatches????
Stabbing in dark… You take the whole running board from the center of the car, place it on the supports outboard the hatches, then you can open the hatches?
I was thinking along the same lines. It appears that the hatches double as roof walk supports and the additional brackets on the car top are directly in line with the edges of the hatches. It looks as if there is a structural support (angle bracket) in line with each set of open brackets (no cross bar) and that the brackets with cross bars align with the latch side of the hatch cover. I'm guessing you undo the bolts or pins retaining the roof walk angle brackets and the end bolts you can then relocate and secure the roof walk to the alternate brackets. I think the metal straps at the B end of the car are extensions of the lateral supports and allow you to just slide the roof walk over to the other set of supports. Not sure what the deal would be with the A end lateral. All told, quite labor intensive just to have centerline hatches and walkway. Perhaps there was some unique loading requirement.