The STMFC...Objectives, Reasons and Processes

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

There have been several messages regarding the objectives, reasons for
initiating and methodology of the Steam Era Freight Car Group including its
relation to the current FCL. A few answers are probably appropriate. First,
let me present the description of the group that I have placed in the Egroup
description area:

"The purpose of this list is to discuss all aspects of North American
freight cars of the steam era [ 1900-1960 ]. The objectives include the
sharing of information about railroad freight cars including their operation
and various techniques of building models of them. Emphasis is to be placed
on the study of the prototype with a goal of producing models of them with
as great a degree of accuracy as possible."

As I mentioned in my introductory message, I have felt for a year or so that
a steam era FC list might have advantages. The obvious one is that the range
of historical subject matter will be reduced. Currently the completely open
range of the FCL allows many more posts than might be produced by one
confined to a specific period. A second and, perhaps, more significant
advantage is that there is a more specific objective than merely having
discussions about freight cars. To use an analogy, one might consider the
FCL as the NMRA and the Steam Era Freight Car Group as a SIG.

Some have expressed a hope that messages might be greatly reduced. I make no
claim for this. After all, I am not exactly innocent of producing strictly
technical posts and can run my keyboard with the best. I will attempt to
generate an archival capability to perhaps provide a solution for those
preferring reduced numbers of posts.

It has been pointed out that we see the same subjects discussed every now
and then on the FCL. This will no doubt continue but probably to a lesser
extent on the STMFC. Jeff Aley asks, "should I just commit the ACF book and
RPC to memory?" [ Actually, Jeff is one that just might be able to do it ].
I don't think so.

Dave Nelson mentions that we should have "adult opinions and skins." I
believe those are admiral traits which we should emulate. However, I would
add that we are discussing a hobby. I strongly suggest that we not overlook
the value of humor in our discussions.

Currently, membership is open without restrictions. As moderator, I can
require approval at any time.

There has been mention of the time period. I based this on the sad fact that
the last Big Boy ran in 1959. I added one yr because I wanted to [ and
Richard suggested it ].

I would appreciate any suggestions you guys have regarding the above
comments and any other views.

I would also mention that, while I will be acting as moderator, I am asking
Richard Hendrickson, Tony Thompson, and Tim O'Connor to be unofficial
"board" members to keep me in line. I would also ask Jeff Aley and Tim to
assist in using the Egroup technical capabilities.

Mike Brock
STMFC those N&W hoppers...

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