Bi level autoracks didn't have bridge plates?

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Aug 18 21:23:55 EDT 2015

I was just informed by Athearn that their research on bi level autoracks 
showed that N&W cars didn't have bridge plates on them (I thought my 
model got shipped without them). I'm not doubting their research (well, 
ok...maybe just a little), but how we're autoracks unloaded? Were the 
bridge plates kept at the unloading facility and moved to whatever cars 
they were unloading? That seems like time consuming and probably heavy 
work for the laborers at the unloading facility. If the bridge plates 
weren't stored in their upright, visible, positions on the cars, maybe 
they were laid flat...that would make them out of sight from normal 
railfan photo angles and make them look like they weren't there. Maybe 
they were stored inside the trunk or backseat of the cars that were 
being transported?

I understand you might not be able to answer my question, no problem; I 
was just hoping to understand the prototype practice a bit better and 
make my models more accurate. Were the bridge plates stored under the 
cars somehow?...maybe they were stored out of the way in hidden 
compartments built into the decks?...maybe tied up underneath the decks? 
Sorry for all the speculation :) I just can't imagine the bridge plates 
didn't travel with the car...of course I may be wrong, I just figured 
you guys would be the best source to ask!

I hope everyone has a good day! :)

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