Re: Freight Car Parts

Ed Hawkins

On Jul 23, 2007, at 12:24 PM, Richard Brennan wrote:

Sounds like a great "project" for a future issue of either RP
Cyclopedia or Prototype Railroad Modeling Journal!
I think this would become an indispensable reference. Publishers...
are you listening?
Yes, the publishers are listening. However, I will volunteer some
information about Volume 10 of RP CYC that unquestionably contained the
very best source of hand brake information ever assembled in one place
(59 pages of comprehensive material authored by Pat Wider). Yet this
book has been our poorest seller out of 15 books published to date.
EVERY freight car placed in interchange service had a hand brake and
it's an item that applies across the board, but a lot of people that
normally buy RP CYC didn't purchase this book. The "hard-core" freight
car enthusiasts liked it (i.e., probably many from the STMFC), but it's
apparent that the 59 pages of hand brakes didn't justify the purchase
of the book by others who are less interested in this level of detail.
Would the same hold true for other comprehensive articles on freight
car components such as running boards, ends, and box car doors?

These questions always stick in our minds when we make decisions on the
content of future books. Researching and publishing the information is
one thing. Selling books with subject matter that's of interest to
enough people that will yield a decent monetary reward for the effort
involved is yet another.

It's important to keep in perspective that people in the STMFC are
relatively few in number when considering the audience that may
purchase a book having subject matter of this type. It's sorta like a
TV show that received great honor from constituents within the TV
broadcast community for its technical merits and important message to
society, but was canceled due to lousy ratings from viewers.
Ed Hawkins

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