Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Pieter Roos

The way such a standard would be implemented is in the way I expect
99% of all non-safety related standards take hold. The standard
becomes expected on new products, old products make up a slowly
shrinking pool until they are phased out or re-tooled for other
reasons; or because the pre-standard pool is now so small that
maintaining the old tooling is no longer economical.

Certainly all the manufacturers COULD decide that they want to stick
with their own dimensions to avoid tooling a new truck to go on that
new car kit. If all of them persist, the standard goes nowhere. If the
major players adopt the standard, the smaller manufacturers will more
or less have to follow.

Is it fair? Not entirely, but that's business. The classic Beta-VHS
fight of the more recent HD standards struggles aren't necessarily
"fair" either. Ask the pre-DCC command control manufacturers how fair
the DCC standard was to them. That doesn't mean that hobby wouldn't be
improved by such standards. It seems that the argument below would
oppose ANY standard promulgated after manufacturers had produced product.

Pieter Roos

--- In STMFC@..., Larry Grubb <larry450sl@...> wrote:

If by "very positive" you mean "a can of worms", I agree.
The problem is reverse compatibility. The number of new trucks
that come on the market every year is quite small, and if today
manufacturers adopted a standard going forward, it would be decades
before a majority of trucks on the market met the standard. Retooling
existing trucks to meet this standard would be expensive and result in
no measurable increase in sales. And if the standard matches
manufacurer A's current practice, the rest of the manufacturers will
have an unfair financial burden placed on them. Retooling every
freight car chassis to conform to the standard - well, I'm not even
gonna go there. I understand the desire for these kinds of standards,
and how much they would simplify both designing products and the
modeler's ability to kit-bash easily. What prevents them from becoming
reality is not coming up with a good standard, it is the complexity of
implementing the standard. If someone has an idea for how such a
standard can be implemented fairly and at a
low cost, then by all means spend the time & effort to set the
standards. If not, then even the best of standards won't stand a chance.
Larry Grubb

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