Re: How about creating a model prototype database?

cvsne <mjmcguirk@...>


You seem to think I was picking on you which certainly wasn't my intent.

To clarify - I wasn't attempting to suggest that you not ask a
question of the list. My reply was regarding the comment that people
make on this list on an almost annual basis suggesting "we" - being
the members of this list - create some sort of massive database where
they can locate whatever they want to know about steam era freight cars.

Someone suggested this be a "wiki" - my point was to show we discussed
that very idea 2 years ago, in detail. To date nothing has been done
to create it - and I'm not in the least surprised by that since the
people who have the knowledge and resources to create these detailed
Wiki entries on each railroad have other things to do with their time.

My comment reflects one pet peeve I have. I know how many questions I
get on a monthly basis on Central Vermont items - I can't imagine how
many Richard Hendrickson gets for the Santa Fe. I have no problem
answering the questions for folks, but over time my initial answers to
inquiries have gotten more curt -- I don't' have the time to do all
the research and modeling I want to do for myself and spending time
replying to fishing expedition questions ("Tell me about CV freight
cars in the 1950s" and "I'm interested in building a layout based on
the CV between White River Junction and Essex Junction - can you tell
me about the traffic, track arrangements, locomotives, and schedules"
are two actual examples of questions I've received in the past year.

These are examples of poorly asked questions - they simply aren't
specific enough. The only way to answer them is very broadly, a
lengthly tome, or to suggest the person spends some time researching
things and asking specific, targeted questions. I actually enjoy
researching and answering those.

Another pet peeve is the idea some folks have that simply by paying an
ISP and getting a computer they have some sort of right to expect to
get information that I've spent years (and not an inconsiderable sum
of money) accumulating . . . but I won't go into that any further.


--- In, "Steve Lucas" <stevelucas3@...> wrote:

A little explanation is in order---

What my orignal posting was about was in reply to Marty McGuirk's
posting regarding people asking about stuff in a group such as STMFC
without first checking the archived messages. Being first a CN/proto-
freelance railway modeller, I am way out of my depth exploring
nuances of steam-era IC hopper cars, and know it. But I also know a
list or two where I can get some solid info to start me in the right
direction ;)

If I was after instant gratification, I'd have left this hobby a long
time ago. So I too make the trips and calls to the archives and
photo sellers (they know my interests, and tell me if they have any
new Lindsay, ON photos every time that I see them at a train show) to
get info on stuff such as that GTR/CN slide-valve 2-6-0 that I want
to build in HO before I die.

To me, research has become a hobby in itself. Every new photo or
piece of information helps me mentally assemble the jigsaw puzzle
that was that location, car, or loco that is now gone or changed
forever. Consequently, I have way too many books, binders, and files
of RR stuff (unknown linear footage, and accrued over many, many,
years) for my wife's liking. I'm lucky to have been married for 21

Hope that you enjoyed that Scotch, and no offence taken. I have big

Steve Lucas.

--- In, "Schuyler Larrabee"
<schuyler.larrabee@> wrote:

Eventually I found it, but it took a bit of looking

Steve Lucas.

"Took a bit of looking." Well, geez, yeah, finding information CAN
take a bit of looking. It can
take a LOT of looking. I did drawings of ERIE 0-6-0s, for my own
pleasure and eventually, for
publication in The Diamond, the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society
magazine. I started having basic
erecting drawings, side elevation and a couple of sections, plus
the rear end. But it took me THREE
AND A HALF YEARS to get all the info I really needed to do the
locomotive in both the Stephenson and
Baker valve gear versions, plus two tender variants. I wound up in
three archives (California
State, SMU, and another one that escapes me at the moment, as well
as significant help from Ed King,
who actually >understands< how valve gear works, and more personal
photo collections than I can
remember. I have a binder with over 120 images of ERIE B5 and B6

Sorry to blast YOU, Steve, but you tipped over my apple cart on
this issue. I'm amazed at the
impatience of people if the information they want isn't available
Right Now, Right Here.

OK, OK, I'll go get my glass of Scotch . . . tough day at the
office, sorry . . .


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