Re: Train Shed Cyclopedias

Jeff Aley - GCD PE <jaley@...>

On Jan 10, 8:39pm, bhom3@... wrote:
Subject: [STMFC] Train Shed Cyclopedias
"If I was starting from scratch in prototype railroad
modeling and wanted a research library, which items do I absolutely
need that I can readily find at a reasonable price?"
A question, and then a few comments.

Question: What is the Squadron series like? I've never modeled anything
but railroads, so I'm not familiar with the data contained therein.

Comments: It seems to me that there are two questions that the beginning
prototype modeler might ask himself (or herself).

1) What should I model?
2) How do I model it?

The first question can be answered simply by choosing a prototype that is
"cool", or it may require extensive research to determine what is
appropriate for a given time in a given location. It is in this area
where ORER's, videos, and photos taken in the chosen location are helpful.

The answer to the second question is "it depends". It behooves one to
know what kits and scratchbuilding supplies are available and applicable.
For this, one should have a Walther's Catalog, with as a poor substitute. One should also have the
NEB&W Guide that Ben mentioned or at least have a bookmark to their web

Magazines are an excellent resource, as Byron suggests. While in the
process of acquiring magazines, it is helpful to know which issues have
articles you need. To this end, one should make frequent use of the
magazine index at .

The final "general" resource that I would use is a subscription to the
Freight Cars List, where answers to many questions (and sources for
photos) may be found. One may also wish to join the intermodal list, if
one's interests lie in more modern eras.

After these "general" resources, one has to find specific resources, i.e.
those related to the car(s) being modeled. As far as I know, there are no
compact, easily available resources that cover the myriad freight cars
that one might wish to model. There are many books on specific railroads
(Terry Metcalfe's UP book being my personal favorite), and there are many
private collections of information (the Hendrickson Library, for example)
as well as public collections (what's the name of the Canadian library?)
but these do not fit easily onto one's bookshelf. I suppose that this is
why Byron advocates magazines: a magazine collection is the closest thing
you'll find to an archive of specific information on "all kinds" of
freight cars. Next best is the archives of the Freight Cars List, but
unfortunately there are no photos, drawings, or diagrams.

In closing, I will point out the obvious theme of this little commentary:
I rely heavily on resources that are available for FREE on the internet.
I also rely heavily upon the kindness of strangers.[*]



[*] Was that line from "A Freightcar named Desire" or from "Cat on a Hot
Diagonal-Panel Roof"?

Jeff Aley, Development Engineer jaley@...
Graphics Components Division
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA
(916) 356-3533

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