Re: Freight Car Distribution on smaller RRs


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Feb 4, 2009, at 12:49 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
.... even the "G-B Theory" would predict an extremely low
PROBABILITY of a Muncie & Western box car appearing on the YV in 1939!
So it's no surprise that you can't find one in such a small sample. If
you had a sample of several thousand cars, I'd be very surprised if
there was no M&W box car.







Oh, come on, guys, get real. I've fast forwarded through most of
this discussion as being a tiresome rehash of the same old arguments
about car distribution, but instead of this endless speculation, how
about considering some facts, starting with fact #1: the 10/38 ORER
shows exactly 75 box cars under MWR reporting marks. Fact #2: The
1940 Car Builders' Cyclopedia shows a total of 738,509 box cars in
service on the North American railroads in 1/39. That means that out
of 9,847 box cars, one was an MWR car. And y'all think that one car
had even the most remote likelihood of turning up on the Yosemite
Valley RR? Yes, theoretically its possible; it could have happened,
even though the odds against it are astronomical. It's also
theoretically possible that the planet Jupiter is made of green
cheese (we can't say that any more about the moon or Mars, because
we've been there so we have concrete evidence of their composition).
Fortunately, Jack Burgess has a stronger grasp of reality than
numerous others on this list and is sensible enough not to run a
model of a MWR box car on his YV layout and then have to explain and
rationalize it to every halfway knowledgeable person who comes in the
door and raises an eyebrow when they see it. In addition to
accuracy, one objective of prototype modeling is plausibility. If
something is implausible, don't do it. Even if you have evidence
that it actually happened, it will destroy for your viewers what 19th
century poet/critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge aptly called "the willing
suspension of disbelief." That suspension of disbelief is what makes
it possible to plausibly recreate history in 1:87 (or whatever other)
scale. If you're going to do things that are highly implausible
because they're interesting or "cute," you might as well go back to
running Lionel around the Christmas tree.

Richard Hendrickson

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