All railway cars are equipped with ladders, handholds, and other attachments that
trainmen use while working on cars in yards, on sidings, or on main lines. These
attachments are especially designed and specifically located to increase the safety of
trainmen while they are working. Because of the difference in the construction of the
various types of cars, the safety appliances are placed on them differently. Each type of car is discussed in a
separate paragraph. However, before describing where the appliances are, what their functions are, and how
they are constructed and applied, this chapter first explains how the ends and the sides of cars are distinguished,
one from the other.
7.2. DESIGNATION OF ENDS OF CAR
The two ends of a railway car are designated the A end and the B end. The end on which the handbrake
wheel and shaft are located, or, more accurately, the end toward which the brake-cylinder piston rod is pointed,
is the B end of the car. The left and right sides of the car are determined by facing the B end. Some cars have
handbrakes on both ends but they are not common; the ends of these cars have the letters A and B stenciled on
both sides of the car near the respective ends.
7.3. ENCLOSED CAR
A typical enclosed car, the boxcar, is illustrated in figure 7.1. Some of the safety appliances and their
locations are shown.
The discussions in the following subparagraphs explain the locations, construction
requirements, and descriptions of the safety appliances. Handbrake equipment, discussed in the previous
chapter, has some safety features; they are also described.
a. Handbrake. The handbrake wheel must be located so that it can be operated safely while the car is in
motion. It is generally located on the end of the car, on the left side, not less than 17 inches