NX-01 catwalk

The nacelle catwalk in an NX class starship

Catwalk highlighted on nacelle

A schematic showing the location of the catwalk (highlighted)

For the ENT episode with a similar title, please see "The Catwalk".

The catwalk was the unofficial designation for the lateral access conduit running the entire length of the warp nacelles of an NX-class starship. Located at the center of the nacelle, just below the ship's warp coils, the catwalk was accessible through a single vertical Jefferies tube.

Protected by an outer shell composed of an osmium alloy, the catwalk was used as a maintenance shaft, though it was only operative if the ship's warp drive was shut down. With warp systems online, the catwalk was subject to extreme high temperatures and was not suitable for habitation. The catwalk was divided into several compartments. (ENT: "The Catwalk")

In 2152, the crew of the starship Enterprise NX-01 took refuge from a deadly neutronic storm within the catwalk. Utilizing a makeshift command area which the ship's Chief Engineer Commander Charles Tucker III prepared, Captain Jonathan Archer, First Officer T'Pol and Helmsman Travis Mayweather were able to control Enterprise's navigation through the storm. (ENT: "The Catwalk")

Later in 2152, Archer once again led his crew into the catwalk when Enterprise was invaded by non-corporeal beings. Unable to penetrate the catwalk's protective deflector shielding, the beings were kept at bay long enough for Archer and his crew to repel their attack. (ENT: "The Crossing")

In January 2153, Mayweather told his mother, Rianna, about how the crew had, a few months beforehand, needed to "squeeze into one of the nacelles for a couple days" due to a storm. (ENT: "Horizon")

The USS Enterprise-D also possessed a catwalk. In 2368, when Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge experienced dizziness due to a phase shift in his visual receptors caused by the ship being in a temporal causality loop, he stated that at first he thought the catwalk was spinning. (TNG: "Cause and Effect")

In the final draft scripts of ENT: "Fortunate Son", "Vox Sola", and "Horizon", walkways in cargo bays (aboard the ECS Fortunate, NX-class Enterprise, and ECS Horizon, respectively) were also referred to as "catwalks". The final draft script of ENT: "The Xindi" likewise referred to an unseen area in a trellium mine as a "catwalk" and the final draft script of ENT: "The Council" referred to a thin walkway inside a Delphic Expanse sphere as another "catwalk". Similarly, the final draft script of ENT: "Countdown" referred to a walkway inside the Xindi primary weapon as yet another "catwalk".
In "A Close Look at Enterprise NX-01" from the website Ex Astris Scientia, scenic artist Doug Drexler stated that his original intent for the design of Enterprise would have had the ship's nacelles, pylons and double hulls uninhabitable. He also stated that these sections would have been accessible only in environmental suits from the outside of the ship, through an engineering EV staging area located at the extreme aft portion of the saucer section. [1]
From the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 125), "The catwalk was a large set constructed on Paramount's Stage 8 for the episode of the same name. It was left standing for several weeks until it was taken down after it was used for "The Crossing".

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