Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

Stokes John


Finally got some response other than the repetition of the studies. No, not meant to be insulting at all, but I think correct for the notion that this "data" applies absolutely. I don't think Tim is saying that the equal distribution accurately depicts the status on every railroad in the country on every day of every month of every year I do not recall his making the claim that was the case, or that every freight train or groups of freight trains on any given railroad would always have the predicted percentages. What I think flies in the face of reality is the notion that this formula works every time and that it directly and specifically applies to modeling situations on most people's layouts.

I believe what some people are saying is that the idea that there was this perfect mathematical distribution of box cars to every railroad in the land in proportion to ownership is hard to see in light of the almost infinite variables that would affect such distribution, and photographic and personal observation evidence to the contrary. Who made this happen, or how did it happen. Some unseen guiding hand? What did Mark Twain say about statistics?

Actually, this all has little direct effect on most modelers, since none of us, except the virtual guys and really large clubs, even begin to approach the traffic potential to allow any one to follow these theories.

And I have looked at the facts, and they are more than statistics based on small samples, and they say that this mathematical precision did not occur in real life. But I would like to hear why that is not correct. Tell those who disbelieve, in a good concise paragraph again, the meat of the theory and the facts that back it up. I am willing to try to learn.

John Stokes
Bellevue, Wa

To: STMFC@...: thompson@...: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:40:08 -0700Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: freight car distribution - rejecting the equal distribution hypothesis.

John Stokes wrote:> I agree with Malcolm. The very notion that box cars were distributed > on all railroads across the country in proportion to ownership is > patently absurd on its face.Gosh, John, this sure saves you from doing any data analysis or for that matter, even looking at any data. To call Tim Gilbert's work "lahlah land" is insulting and ignorant. But hey, opinion trumps facts, right?Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@... of books on railroad history

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