A&Y Dave in MD
Bruce Smith wrote:
We're not only talking quality here, but representative cars. Unless you are a western US modeler, that's not a choice I would make.
Tony Thompson responded:
But if we avoid any regional "bias," we have a generic train which wouldn't have run anywhere. Even bridge-route trains differ inside and outside of coal country.
Dave Bott opines:
There’s no right answer to a hypothetical question based upon a fictional situation that never happened. There can only be opinions and choices. I don’t think Bruce suggested that all modelers except western US modelers would make that choice, only that he would not.
I may make a completely different choice because I have a North Carolina regional bias. We can say a particular historical statement is right or wrong, but a thought exercise like Andy Carlson’s, while interesting and can generate thought about the models and lots of posts to the list, it cannot be answered definitively. I don’t think there is any way to rephrase a fictional hypothetical, keep it fictional, and get a definitive answer.
For example, we can pose the question what is the most generic freight car of the steam era, but someone will argue that generic means “most numerous” (all time or on a specific date?) and another will argue “most widely traveled” and both questions will have definitive answers, but that won’t determine which question was “better” to ask.
And 1955 is a slow pitch softball question to this list.
Heck, for a Southern fan, 1955 is not even transition, it’s post steam era, even if the list definition goes further to cover major class 1 steam’s regular running.
And then Dave Bott asks:
What 20 cars would be on a 1935, 1925, 1915 or a 1905 train? Now those will take some thought. And I would argue they are more centrally located in the time frame of steam era than 1955 too.
And hint: Eric Hansmann has a blog entry that might answer the question for 1925…