Topics

Terms For Freight Car Parts

Bob Webber
 

This might launch a large discussion..but....

Before you define those terms, better define "proper" - esp. which context you wish to use it in.

Proper may mean what is proper within the group, within the hobby, by hobby manufacturers, authors, railroaders (and that's by division within railroad), by railroad correspondence, by car manufacturer..etc. etc..

Sidestep & Sill Step (and corner step) are used by Standard Steel drawings & references. With over 60,000 drawings scanned from Pullman, Pullman-Standard, Haskell & Barker, Standard Steel and others - the only mention of "stirrup" is in the use in conjunction with posts or daft gear rigging - where its function was to support (not step).

Roof walk has not been used in the drawings, running board has been.

(you can add outside braced to the topic and enjoy more opinions)

Why do I say you must define "proper".

I was discussing the term "Harriman" in conjunction with passenger cars, saying it would be better to use the term "Common Standard". One participant, who had spent many years on the C&NW took umbrage, and said he didn't know what "Common Standard" was but he sure knew a "Harriman" car when he saw it!!! "There was a Harriman car in the yards in Chicago that's now at the Illinois Railroad Museum, and everyone called in Harriman rather than Common Standard!". Looking at the car, I found the car in question was an ex-C&O arched roof combine - neither Harriman (sic) nor Common Standard - a completely different design. Yet...this was a man who had spent a lot of time on railroads, insisting the use was proper and more so than the "proper" term. Who was right?

I have heard railroaders, manufacturers and others use all the terms above. Does use in the industry indicate "proper" use? How many authors have used these terms? Many. Proper? How many reference books have used these terms? Many. What then is indicative of a "proper" use? I have my opinion on this one - colored by what I do & see now. I'm not going to say one is more proper. It depends on context and intent. People on this list have tried to instill the use of proper terms - terms used by the manufacturers of the object, and the MCB use (among others). In a sense - just as will clinics and the more scholarly papers there is a certain trust that the use of a term will be proper use. Your mileage may very.


At 10:58 AM 8/24/2019, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:

I noticed two terms for freight car parts in Mr. Trandel's presentation are in conflict with terms I usually see used on this group.

The author used "roof walk" for "running board" and "stirrup step" for "sill step".

Which terms are preferred/correct?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA
Bob Webber

mark_landgraf
 

Well on steam locomotive factory drawings the side walkways are referred to as Running Boards. In the era of boxcar with wooden roof walks, the factory drawings refer to them as Running Boards. 

Many freight manufacturers refer to the steps below the underframe line as Stirrups on their factory drawings. 

The Car Builders Dictionary defines that running board is a wooden board, applied to rolling stock, that men can walk on. The stirrup had ties the horse and saddle stirrups and was typically made of iron stock. 

Personally I don't see much resolution coming from this definitional name chasing. 

Other examples might include:
Single sheathed vs outside braced boxcars
Turnout vs switch
Bettendorf ( a manufacturer) vs a truck style (made by many mfrs )
Or what we and the rr's call the vertical side posts on gondolas

Mark Landgraf
Albany NY


On Sat, Aug 24, 2019 at 12:54 PM, Bob Webber
<rgz17@...> wrote:
This might launch a large discussion..but....

Before you define those terms, better define "proper" - esp. which
context you wish to use it in.

Proper may mean what is proper within the group, within the hobby, by
hobby manufacturers, authors, railroaders (and that's by division
within railroad), by railroad correspondence, by car manufacturer..etc. etc..

Sidestep & Sill Step (and corner step) are used by Standard Steel
drawings & references.  With over 60,000 drawings scanned from
Pullman, Pullman-Standard, Haskell & Barker, Standard Steel and
others - the only mention of "stirrup" is in the use in conjunction
with posts or daft gear rigging - where its function was to support
(not step).

Roof walk has not been used in the drawings, running board has been.

(you can add outside braced to the topic and enjoy more opinions)

Why do I say you must define "proper".

I was discussing the term "Harriman" in conjunction with passenger
cars, saying it would be better to use the term "Common
Standard".  One participant, who had spent many years on the C&NW
took umbrage, and said he didn't know what "Common Standard" was but
he sure knew a "Harriman" car when he saw it!!!  "There was a
Harriman car in the yards in Chicago that's now at the Illinois
Railroad Museum, and everyone called in Harriman rather than Common
Standard!".  Looking at the car, I found the car in question was an
ex-C&O arched roof combine - neither Harriman (sic) nor Common
Standard - a completely different design.  Yet...this was a man who
had spent a lot of time on railroads, insisting the use was proper
and more so than the "proper" term.  Who was right?

I have heard railroaders, manufacturers and others use all the terms
above.  Does use in the industry indicate "proper" use?  How many
authors have used these terms?  Many.  Proper?  How many reference
books have used these terms?  Many. What then is indicative of a
"proper" use?  I have my opinion on this one - colored by what I do
& see now.  I'm not going to say one is more proper. It depends on
context and intent. People on this list have tried to instill the use
of proper terms - terms used by the manufacturers of the object, and
the MCB use (among others).  In a sense - just as will clinics and
the more scholarly papers there is a certain trust that the use of a
term will be proper use. Your mileage may very.


At 10:58 AM 8/24/2019, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:

>I noticed two terms for freight car parts in Mr. Trandel's
>presentation are in conflict with terms I usually see used on this group.
>
>The author used "roof walk" for "running board" and "stirrup step"
>for "sill step".
>
>Which terms are preferred/correct?
>
>Bob Chaparro
>
>Hemet, CA
>

Bob Webber




Tony Thompson
 

Mark Landgraf wrote:

Many freight manufacturers refer to the steps below the underframe line as Stirrups on their factory drawings. 
The Car Builders Dictionary defines that running board is a wooden board, applied to rolling stock, that men can walk on. The stirrup had ties the horse and saddle stirrups and was typically made of iron stock. 

         Mark misstates what is in the Cyc definitions. The term "stirrup" is included, but only for things like coupler carry irons, NOT applied to steps. The defined term "sill step" does exactly match what we are talking about.

Other examples might include:
Single sheathed vs outside braced boxcars
Turnout vs switch
Bettendorf ( a manufacturer) vs a truck style (made by many mfrs )
Or what we and the rr's call the vertical side posts on gondolas

 In each case, Mark, there IS an industry term. You, of course, can ignore them all if you wish, as may anyone.

Tony Thompson



Dennis Storzek
 

On Sat, Aug 24, 2019 at 10:27 AM, mark_landgraf wrote:
Turnout vs switch
No issues there. They are both prototype terms... for different things. A turnout is the whole assemblage of rails that allow one track to become two. A switch is only the movable rails, throwbar, etc. As I always say, "a trainman can line a switch, but it takes a whole track gang to line a turnout."

Dennis Storzek

Nelson Moyer
 

Bob, you forgot the distinction between swing plug door and sliding plug door reefers ; )

This topic has been thrashed to death, and to my knowledge, nobody has changed their usage based upon learned discussion of relevant information. Well almost nobody. I stopped referring to plug door refers for sliding plug door reefers after being educated by Bill Welch, and I dropped the terms outside braced for single sheathed, stirrup step of sill step, and roof walk for running board after being educated by a hose of experts. Unfortunately, until manufacturers and authors use 'proper' terminology, you can't expect the great unwashed to follow suit. But I've made that argument before.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bob Webber
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2019 11:54 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io; main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Terms For Freight Car Parts

This might launch a large discussion..but....

Before you define those terms, better define "proper" - esp. which context you wish to use it in.

Proper may mean what is proper within the group, within the hobby, by hobby manufacturers, authors, railroaders (and that's by division within railroad), by railroad correspondence, by car manufacturer..etc. etc..

Sidestep & Sill Step (and corner step) are used by Standard Steel drawings & references. With over 60,000 drawings scanned from Pullman, Pullman-Standard, Haskell & Barker, Standard Steel and others - the only mention of "stirrup" is in the use in conjunction with posts or daft gear rigging - where its function was to support (not step).

Roof walk has not been used in the drawings, running board has been.

(you can add outside braced to the topic and enjoy more opinions)

Why do I say you must define "proper".

I was discussing the term "Harriman" in conjunction with passenger cars, saying it would be better to use the term "Common Standard". One participant, who had spent many years on the C&NW took umbrage, and said he didn't know what "Common Standard" was but he sure knew a "Harriman" car when he saw it!!! "There was a Harriman car in the yards in Chicago that's now at the Illinois Railroad Museum, and everyone called in Harriman rather than Common Standard!". Looking at the car, I found the car in question was an ex-C&O arched roof combine - neither Harriman (sic) nor Common Standard - a completely different design. Yet...this was a man who had spent a lot of time on railroads, insisting the use was proper
and more so than the "proper" term. Who was right?

I have heard railroaders, manufacturers and others use all the terms above. Does use in the industry indicate "proper" use? How many authors have used these terms? Many. Proper? How many reference books have used these terms? Many. What then is indicative of a
"proper" use? I have my opinion on this one - colored by what I do
& see now. I'm not going to say one is more proper. It depends on context and intent. People on this list have tried to instill the use of proper terms - terms used by the manufacturers of the object, and the MCB use (among others). In a sense - just as will clinics and the more scholarly papers there is a certain trust that the use of a term will be proper use. Your mileage may very.


At 10:58 AM 8/24/2019, Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io wrote:

I noticed two terms for freight car parts in Mr. Trandel's presentation
are in conflict with terms I usually see used on this group.

The author used "roof walk" for "running board" and "stirrup step"
for "sill step".

Which terms are preferred/correct?

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA
Bob Webber

Bob Chaparro
 

Well, your dissertation on the word "proper" is all well and good.

But I never used the word "proper" nor did anyone else in this discussion to date. But I do get your point.

I already knew the Master Car Builders preferred running board(s). Maybe somebody else has an authoritative reference for roof walk. (Athearn doesn't count.)

Sill step vs. stirrup I wasn't so certain about and you appear to have a strong reference source.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA

Greg Martin
 

You know everytime this subject comes up, and it does seem to be often (perhaps because I loathe it) I ask myself how does this improve/enhance my modeling?

I respect the use of the terms -- proper -- but when I am talking shop with the crew models terms see to mean and the use of the terms really don't improve the finished model. When I give a clinic I try to focus on the proper, likely because schools in.

Greg Martin



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "Bob Chaparro via Groups.Io" <chiefbobbb@...>
Date: 8/24/19 11:52 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Terms For Freight Car Parts

Well, your dissertation on the word "proper" is all well and good.

But I never used the word "proper" nor did anyone else in this discussion to date. But I do get your point.

I already knew the Master Car Builders preferred running board(s). Maybe somebody else has an authoritative reference for roof walk. (Athearn doesn't count.)

Sill step vs. stirrup I wasn't so certain about and you appear to have a strong reference source.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


--
Hey Boss,


Somehow I got deleted from this group in late May. I guess someone didn't like me. Jail is a lonely place.

Greg Martin 

Randy Hammill
 

Some of us are more OCD than others. 

I agree in terms of it improving your modeling, other than using consistent terms helps ensure we are talking about the same thing. But part of being a prototype modeler for me is learning about the prototype, and while in times past the colloquial terms might have been used where access to the published terms was more limited, nowadays there is a lot more information available.

But sometimes it also makes a difference in the modeling too. The RP Cyc articles that (finally) identified and detailed the history and terminology of the different offset hopper variations is a huge help in modeling the variations accurately. 

Sometimes terms are non-industry standard, like “post-war box car” which is generally understood to mean “1941 AAR Alternate Standard Box Car with Improved Dreadnaught Ends,” is useful because there were a large number of cars with that configuration.

But sometimes it’s also confusing. For example, what’s the difference between an “Interim Improved Dreadnaught End,” and an, “Improved Dreadnaught End.” best I can tell, they are the same. One is the actual term used by the builder, and the other an invented term, and one that irritates me as well. “Interim” would imply that it is a stop-gap. A temporary implementation until the “real” end is completed. And it was no such thing. It was an end, that also evolved over time like many other things produced over a period of time. But perhaps the person who coined it had a very specific use in mind which has been lost in time. That’s a problem with invented terms, because the meaning can vary over time, where the published term was fixed at the time of publication. It doesn’t mean that it won’t ever change, nor that there may not be multiple terms in use. But at least there’s industry documentation to refer to.

But in general, I just like learning more about the railroad, and once I know the industry published term I prefer to use that.

Randy 
--

Randy Hammill
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954
http://newbritainstation.com

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Randy,

Tell me about it. I believe I was the one who inadvertently introduced the term "Gould Standard" to the hobby some 30 years ago (to my shame!). I used it to describe the Haskell & Barker cabooses used by the various Gould railroads--WP, D&RGW and MP. I put this in quotes, but to my surprise and horror it slipped into the mainstream and has appeared magazine articles and even otherwise well-researched books, implying that this was an official Gould program. Although the Gould roads did use some common equipment designs, AFAIK the commonality was more a matter of purchasing convenience and economies of scale than a serious attempt at uniformity. In short, there was no Gould Standard.

I wish I had never used the term.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff

On 8/31/2019 9:36 AM, Randy Hammill wrote:

. . . But perhaps the person who coined it had a very specific use in mind which has been lost in time. That’s a problem with invented terms, because the meaning can vary over time, where the published term was fixed at the time of publication. It doesn’t mean that it won’t ever change, nor that there may not be multiple terms in use. But at least there’s industry documentation to refer to . . . .


Randy 
--

Randy Hammill
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954
http://newbritainstation.com

mike turner
 

To add to the list of terms, Southern Railway ordered hoppers with U.S. Gypsum 'poking platforms.'

--
Mike Turner
MP-Z35

Tony Thompson
 

mike turner wrote:

To add to the list of terms, Southern Railway ordered hoppers with U.S. Gypsum 'poking platforms.'
All the ore cars on the Minnesota Iron Range once had these platforms, too. Workmen could poke the sticky ore and get it to fall through the bottom doors.

Tony Thompson
tony@...

mike turner
 

In this case, Southern used the poking platform as a brake step and as a step above the draft gear on the other end.

On 9/1/2019 7:27 PM, Tony Thompson wrote:
All the ore cars on the Minnesota Iron Range once had these platforms, too. Workmen could poke the sticky ore and get it to fall through the bottom doors.
Tony Thompson
tony@...

--
Mike Turner
MP-Z35