Norm Dresner wrote:
> Despite the way they're typically modeled, especially on N- &
> HO-gauge models, freight car roof walks wouldn't very likely have
> been made from car-length boards (36'-40') but rather butted
> end-on-end from shorter lumber. Based on drawings in the Train Shed
> Cyclopedia, it looks like each longitudinal roof walk was composed of
> three parallel boards, each ~6"-7.5" wide [I'd guess 2x6 or 2x8
> lumber was used]. But what's the practical length limit of the
> individual boards? These days we can usually get 2xsomethingx16'
> boards at the local lumber yard. Would this have been typical in,
> say, 1900-1920?
The dimensions for wooden running boards were set by the Safety
Appliances Act of 1911. They were to be at least 18" wide, and were
typically 1x6 boards with an inch gap between the individual boards,
giving a 20" wide running board. I have no idea what the practical
length limit would be, but I note that various industry publications of
the period advocate using less than full car-length boards. The
rationale of this being that if a portion of the board was damaged, it
could be replaced without having to replace the entire 40' length.
All the best,