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


major_denis_bloodnok <smokeandsteam@...>
 

This is willfully ignoring how Tim went about what he did. He
took the data and analyzed it to see what happened. He often said he
was pretty surprised by the results. But that's not a "leap of
faith,"
it's believing the analysis.
Thank you Tony

I don't think that he ever set out to prove anything one way or
another but rather to find out if there was any thing useful to be
extracted form the data he had.

Tim's work produced results that do seem counter intuitive if we stick
to some long held conventions of freightcar distribution, but ones
that haven't yet been countered with similar studies showing different
results.

Certainly there are some oddities in some wheel reports, but the
overall picture based on his work is clear. Now, if we had other
equally rigorous studies showing different results such as a closer
correspondence with theories about regional or connecting roads we
woudl need to look at these and see if we can find out why

However there are other ideas worth thinking about if we are
considering model railroads rather than real ones.

For example, a collection of freight cars weighted with cars from a
specific region can help provide a sense of time and place as much as
the locomotives and scenery can - it may not be perfectly accurate if
you adhere to the school that says "always model the average and never
the unusual", but it's perfectly believable if carried out in
moderation.

I'm not advocating a complete "build-what-you-like" philosophy, simply
suggesting that Tim's work should be treated as more of a field guide
than a stone tablet. The up and down rythm of varying rooflines and
car types is much more effective in catching the look and feel of a
real steam freight train than an over-disciplined adherence to a
mystical formula of freight car distribution.


Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton

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