Sunday, January 15, 2012

Route cards — 7

As I mentioned last month in the prior post in this thread (accessible at: ), Guy Wilber was kind enough to dig into his AAR and other materials to answer questions about the dimensions and arrangements of route card boards on freight cars. Guy has now sent me the actual prototype items, so I will provide them here for those interested.
     I quoted the AAR Manual language on route card boards (and placard boards) as of 1954, but it is always interesting (and in a way reassuring) to read the statement exactly as it appeared. I show it below, and would point out that right under the heading is the legend “Recommended practice,” emphasizing the point I made earlier, that this set of dimensions and arrangements was not mandatory but was a recommendation. As always with these blog images, you can click on it to enlarge it.

As can be seen at the bottom of the image, this was page C-42 in the Manual.
     Guy also sent me a copy of the Plate 250 drawing, cited a number of times in that prior post (“Route cards-6,” link above). Here it is, with the lettering slightly rearranged but with all drawn and dimensioned items in the drawing exactly as originally published.

Note that the “clear” space of the wood board to post cards is in fact 5-5/8 inches by 9-1/8 inches, in accord with the minimum of 5-1/2 x 9 inches cited in the foregoing prose text from 1953. I was also interested that provision is made for using a board like this on wood-sided cars, I suppose to reduce the surface damage due to stapling, which would otherwise occur on the side sheathing on such cars.
     This seems to wrap up what needs to be said on this topic for the time being. I hope these actual documents are of value to some readers. And thanks again, Guy, for the help.
Tony Thompson

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