Charlie Vlk <cvlk@...>

The NMRA never was in the "Enforcement" business....
The thing that made the NMRA work in the first place (and the thing that the "Foamers" in their vests drove out) was a cooperative relationship with the manufacturers.
A dirty little secret is that the creation of interchange standards made the Model Railroad Industry possible. Without it we would have the situation they have in Europe, where one company (Marklin) dominates the market and forces its standards on the industry. Manufacturers have backed off from the NMRA for a long time because of its lack of movement. The last Standards Chair I talked to was anxious to establish a "Prototype Gestapo", requiring manufacturers to reveal exact dates of prototypes, application information, etc.. in order to achieve NMRA Certification..... which caused us to run, not walk, for the exits.
Strange thing is, we DO need the NMRA. Kalmbach is trying to step into the vacuum with their "World's Greatest Hobby" campaign and should be commended for it. To have the NMRA sign up for the program a year into its existence is an embarrassment in so many different ways.

----- Original Message -----
From: Eugene Deimling
To: Yahoo Freight Car Group
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 10:00 AM
Subject: [STMFC] NMRA

This is one of my favorite subjects.
You guys should't be so harsh on a bunch of old men playing train engineer
and wearing strange clothing. It is there hobby. Too bad that they can't
go off and play their games and not mess with people who enjoy doing scale
models of actual freight cars and such.

My last involvement with the NMRA is when a contest "official" refused to
let me enter one of my scratchbuilt O scale car in a contest. His reason
was simple: The car was equipped with Proto48 (1/4"AAR in those days) wheels
that didn't conform to the NMRA standards. The gauge was too narrow as
were the wheels. I guess they must have adopted the Russian 5' gauge with
extra wide wheels as their prototype.

The moral of the story is the organization does not encourage innovation or
change they don't want to deal with it. While else would the HO standard
RP-25 be still the standard after 50 years or so. It took several years of
arm twisting to recognize wheel contours other than NMRA. They lack the
ability to enforce their standards. They served a purpose once upon a
time. They never evolved to meet the needs. They have been a social
organization for retired folks who once played with trains in their

Dr. Hendrickson points out a real trends in the hobby. Speciality groups
are having their own meets and publications (including electronic media).
They don't need the NMRA.

I am curious as to what the financial crisis was at the "National"

Gene Deimling
Learn more about Proto48 modeling

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