Re: Bob's photos

Richard Hendrickson

On Aug 26, 2005, at 4:13 PM, Fred in Vt. wrote:

I'm trying to find an answer for a fellow modeler up here, and I did not have a clue to the right explanaton. Would one the more knowledgable please indulge me with the difference between Z bracing, and what some call "exteral bracing". Not to be confused with hat section structural members. It's one of those things I should know, and can't recall it. Drat !!!
At last! A genuine freight car question. "External bracing" or, more correctly, "external framing" is any method of house car construction in which the framing is outside the sheathing. In the steam era, this was common to what are properly described as single sheathed cars (NOT "outside braced," a term that was never used in the RR industry). Such cars had a single layer of (usually) wood sheathing applied inside the body framing, which could be either hat section (usually Pratt truss, with the diagonals in compression) or Z section (usually Howe truss, with the diagonals in tension).

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