Re: The Steam Era (Was: NYC 4 bay hopper lives too)

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@...> wrote:

Yes, this is the Steam Era Freight Car List. But it's not the Steam Locomotive List. I have no interest in ACI labels, removed running boards, shortened ladders and the Penn Central, but multitudes of freight cars from "our era" served well beyond 1960. I should think we could fudge the end date forward a few years to encompass the period when Steam Era Freight Cars survived and served in close to their pre-1960 condition.
The problem with extending the era is you don't just get discussions about the older cars that were still in service, heck, we get that now to a certain extent. What you'll get is discussion of whole new classes of equipment that never ran during the steam era; Centerflow hoppers, 86' piggyback cars, the beginnings of open auto racks to be mounted on those cars… you lose focus.

I inhabit several discussion groups that pertain to operations and are basically all-era groups. Very often someone will ask a not well worded question and get a whole range of answers that mix the concepts of timetable, CTC, and track warrant operations, and it takes a dozen messages to even sort out which pertain to his era of interest. We see the beginnings of that here. How many times in the last few years have we had people simply assume that covered hoppers were ALWAYS used for grain, and coal always had to be loaded in cross hoppers?

I agree that modern era railfans now know little about the look, texture, and feel of steam era railroading, but that doesn't mean we need to give in to non-ear specific mediocrity. People who want to discuss the removal of roof running boards and the discontinuance of plain bearing trucks in interchange are certainly welcome to have that discussion… someplace else. This should remain the place for discussing the transition from wood to steel running boards, and the retirement of archbar trucks.


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