Tonight I drew up the roundhouse doors, which have a pleasingly interesting pattern of cross-bracing. Some panels have an X, and others have a Z. The braces match a Mattingly photo, taken in the 50’s, but the reasons why these shapes were chosen are lost in time.
My friend, Mike Chandler, who worked at servicing locomotives, conjectures that it was because the doors had been repaired by different crews over the years. Well, until earlier images appear that show all panels the same, I’m going to follow the photographs I have. Details like this make for a richer, more interesting model.
The man door served as a bit of a mystery for a while. In the Mattingly photo, it has a deep shadow across its top, indicating that it is set back from the rest of the door. I even spent some time looking for references about framing a door within a door. Finally, I concluded that it must have been a sliding door, hung from a track on the back of the third door. This makes sense: a hinged door would be more likely to blow open and bang into equipment as it passed; also, a hinged door would stop working if the larger door became skewed. A sliding door is much more forgiving.