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if we take this practical issue and extrapolate to its impact on train crew, i wonder whether it would result in some thought about placement of those treacherous loads in a train. Maybe where front and tail end crew shake hands in the middle? Just wondering - I have no reason to think this was seen.
I wonder if trainmen did walk through empty gons (or even loaded ones).
I think the most common inside height of 40 ft. gons was 4'8". I wonder how many men could lift themselves up over the end, especially if the train is moving.
I am a little taller than average and worked out with weights for many years. I entered weight lifting contests and once did 35 chin ups. At my most efficient weight I would have had difficulty getting over the end of a gon.
Stepping into a gon loaded with scrap metal could be treacherous if you slipped. Trying to walk on a load that could shift could be dangerous too.
In photos Lehigh Valley steam era trains have rows of empty gons. Erie fast freights don't have any gons or hoppers.