NWP Baggage Car 605
By Mike Manson
When we rescued Baggage Car 605 from its enclosing structure the platform roofs were conspicuous in their absence. They had been cut off flush with the end walls. Skip Ruekert and Project Manager Scott Bowdish have been examining the end wall framing to determine exactly how the platform roof timbers were anchored into the walls and clearstory roof. Scott built a 1:24 scale model of one end of the car floor and walls to aid in understanding the joinery. Complicating the situation is the one-piece deck end panel above each end door. These panels are full width across the car end wall, extending up to the base of the clearstory deck and about 4 inches thick, with curved upper edges that follow the car’s roof line. Fortunately these panels are in good condition, for they must support the weight of the clearstory deck. The deck sills are the longitudinal planks supporting the clearstory sides, while the deck plates are the longitudinal planks supporting the clearstory roof. Deck posts extend upwards from the deck sills into the deck plates. The clearstory windows are fastened onto the outside of the framework of sill, posts and plate. Rafters extend inboard from the wall plates (along the top of the car wall framing) to support roof planks and the deck sills. Carlines are the cross boards that rest on the deck plates and support the clearstory roof planks.
All of the rafters needed replacement due to rot and nail damage. A few have already been replaced with salvaged lumber, and the remainder will be replaced this work season. All of the existing deck posts and deck plates will be replaced. The upper ¾ inch of the deck sills will be cut off and replaced with wood strips due to damage from paint removal by sand blasting.
The wall plates, deck plates and deck sills must be extended at each end of the car to reconstruct the platform roofs. To gain the necessary length, boards will be spliced together using a scarf joint or half-lap joint. When the extended deck sills are fastened to the replacement deck plates and posts, roof rafters and carlines along the walls, the resultant car body framework will be very strong.