Re: research, index,db,yeah, steam era and freight cars, can this group help?

Al and Patricia Westerfield <westerfield@...>

Gordon - One thing to remember is that the plans published in the model railroad press are often far from accurate. The further back you go the worse they get as does the accuracy of the data. When I first went into the business I ran through all the old back issues and made a list of the cars I wanted to do. I eventually made about six out of twenty. My suggestion is to use the Official Railway Equipment Register to determine several cars of significance to the line you're interested in. Then check with the historical society to see what data is available. - Al Westerfield

----- Original Message -----
From: Bushnell.mp77 Account
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 4:50 PM
Subject: [STMFC] research, index,db,yeah, steam era and freight cars, can this group help?

I am considering an article for a historical society publication
related to researching and building a freight car model related to their
specific railroad.

My "criteria" (personal) also narrowed my scope by suggesting that it
must be steam era - I can justify the model on my steam era railroad
even though the prototype is NOT the one I model.

So my first frustration is the fact that WE no longer have the old
"" site to look through previous magazine articles for basic

I'm surrounded by YEARS of Model Railroader magazines dating back into
the 1940's and an entire collection of Mainline Modelers. Barring
looking through each one there is no way to easily glean contents.
(Yeah, I know Hundman published article titles each month for previous
issues- I even complained to him about that AND MRR had a yearly index
but that is a LOT of indexes to look through!) I "wisely" recycled my
old "Stephan's" about a decade ago since it was fast getting obsolete
and I could use the That will teach me!

It would really help to find drawings that I can start with since the
article will be as close to "scratch" as I can get.

As far as I can tell when Kalmbach gave their data (supposedly) to the
NMRA they might as well have tossed it in the nearest dumpster. I don't
have a lot of faith that NMRA will do anything more than committee the
data to death or hold the data hostage for tons of money that few will pay.

I will also state for the record that I'm not enamored with the Kalmbach
management for their decision. I can no longer state that my collection
of magazines is "growing at a steady pace."

So I'm turning to this group. (hope springs eternal and all of that...)

First is anyone (at a minimum) tracking articles related to specific
Are any historical groups tracking magazine info for specific railroads?
How about a listing of steam era freight car articles?
Is there a chance that maybe a group like RPI has the data in an
accessible format?

Does anyone have a good way to locate articles?

A few members are probably "data savvy" and if WE could get the raw data
WE could probably access the data and at least create a few "reports"
that would be MUCH BETTER than nothing. Heck, at this juncture just a
huge PDF file sorted by something as simple as "railroad" is better than
nothing. (what a certain decision gave us)

I hope someone has a better answer than "wait".

I'm willing to join with others to tackle raw data. If I could get the
raw data I might even be able to do create something that many of us
could use.

That all being said, my "selfish" first desire is a way to find ALL
articles related to SOUTHERN RAILWAY. (BTW if and when I create a list
I'll make a PDF and post it in a file section for this group!)

My second hit list would be anything between 1894-1953- after all
that's when Southern and STEAM were together.

It seems to me that members of this group might share a similar interest
and a similar frustration. How about a similar solution?

Gordon Andrews
very frustrated in Richmond, Virginia

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