Re: New Standards for Freight Cars Models

Pieter Roos

--- In STMFC@..., "Mike Brock" <brockm@...> wrote:
Hmmm. Lessee. You're saying that IF the new accurate standard O
scale gage
is 4'8.5" between the rails instead of the current 5' gage that the new
products...lets say...oh...maybe 100 brass steam locos yearly...will
outnumber the 12,000 brass steam engines currently in use? Do you
think that current owners of layouts using track and wheel profiles
associated with RP-25 Code 110 are going to throw away all their
stuff in
order to use more accurate wheel and track [ frog ] dimensions? Need a
bridge? Cheap?

Obviously it depends upon what the standard is. Kadee #5 couplers do
with their "scale" couplers so applying scale couplers to a fleet of
#5's is
not a problem.

Exactly Mike, the proposals for standard truck dimensions and coupler
box/draft gear sizes would have no effect on existing models and
layouts, nor on the 99% of modelers who would never think of changing
out a truck on a freight car unless it's broken. Trying to force
everyone to adopt Proto 87 standards would undoubtedly be a losing
proposition, yet the standard DOES exist. BTW, if I'm not mistaken
there are a reasonable number of O Scalers who do use the correct
track gauge, and have products available to them that meet that
standard(although most commercial models do require modification).

Thirty years ago the members of the National Association of S Gaugers
decided the existing NMRA track and wheel standards for S scale were
too coarse and established a new standard which was, in fact,
incompatible with all existing equipment. About two years ago NMRA
officially adopted the NASG standards, recognizing that nothing had
been manufactured to the old NMRA standard in about twenty years.
Granted, the installed base was tiny compared to HO or even O scale,
but such a major change can and did happen.

"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."

Not really. 99% of the buyers won't know or care. IMO.
Also true, but why should a manufacturer like LL Canada invent a new
bolster height for their Fowler cars if a recognized standard exists?
While we are at it, how many of those 99% really care about the
accuracy of models. Yet the manufacturers HAVE responded to those who
do and improved the accuracy of their models.

"Is it fair? Not entirely, but that's business."

Correct. A manufacturer is going to respond to his market. I can see
manufacturer accepting a standard that 100% of his market can use. I
think he'll respond to one that 3% of his market can use.

Mike Brock
Yep, standards for the sake of standards will not work. Standards that
render new models incompatible in operation with a large installed
base probably won't fly unless there is a very clear advantage to the
new standard. I don't know if the bolster height, axle length and
draft gear standards would be economically persuasive. On the other
hand, the position that such standards shouldn't be considered because
manufacturers might actually have to change something is a call for no
standards or improvements.

Pieter Roos

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