Topics

Terminology


Mikebrock
 

The "discussion" regarding terminology is both interesting and amusing.
Various people have commented on different aspects. Tony Thompson notes that
the industry has already defined terminology for our freight cars as can be
seen in the Cycs [ wow, a hundred years ago? Scary ]. I would suggest that
Tony is correct for our freight cars and, of course, that's what we are all
about. However, I would urge caution when considering trying to establish a
standard vocabulary for the industry as a whole. For example, is a 4-8-4
steam locomotive a "Northern"? Or is it an "FEF" or perhaps simply a "2900"
or perhaps a "GS-4"? In about 2 years we may actually see a "Big Boy"
operating on UP tracks again and the various media will address it as a "Big
Boy". Back when the class was operational it was referred to by those who
ran them as "4000's", not "Big Boy's".

Of perhaps more interest to us, I can hardly wait to see the arguments
favoring "solid, plain and friction" bearings on our freight cars. And, of
course, what do you think about the term "Turnout"?

Mike Brock


Charles Peck
 



On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 7:33 PM, 'Mike Brock' brockm@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 


​ 


Of perhaps more interest to us, I can hardly wait to see the arguments
favoring "solid, plain and friction" bearings on our freight cars. And, of
course, what do you think about the term "Turnout"?

Mike Brock

​ Being known as a nonconformist or a gadfly (depending on your agreement with me),  I often use

​the term "babbitt bearing".  Or I might tell someone that crummy needs some brasses changed.

As for "turnout", I saw South Louisville Shops turnout a lot of rebuilt two bay hoppers.

Chuck Peck  (hiding somewhere in the redwoods this summer)
 





Chuck Soule
 

I just took a gander through the index to Mel Iszley's Northern Pacific standard plans in the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive collection.  His collection has a few plans for track components from the 1900 - 1915 era, and they use both "switch" and "turnout".  There are not enough plans and enough time span for me to interpret a nuance in the choice between the two terms.

Chuck Soule


Craig Zeni
 

On Jul 2, 2017, at 12:20 AM, STMFC@yahoogroups.com wrote:

And, of
course, what do you think about the term "Turnout"?

Mike Brock
A turnout discussion? On a freight car list? Now that's a switch.

I'll get my hat and show myself out.....


Craig Zeni
"Bother..." said Pooh as he chambered another round.


Arianne Coble
 

 Oh man, why in the world would you want to bring this up again? The terminology discussion seems to come up from time to time and to what end. Are we filling out legal documents? Are we on trial or giving a deposition? I find these discussions to be circle arguments. For example, as has been mentioned and references sited, the term switch and turnout are accurate and appropriate to describe the same piece of track arrangement, so why must we argue over which one to use? It does little in the way of promoting clarity, help us model better, or for that matter discuss issues. Here in the real world we are trying to communicate with one another, so as long as the listener or reader understands what the speaker or writer is communicating what on earth does the “proper” term matter? It tends to remind me of someone during a conversation who mid sentence corrects you on the grammar error you made.
Kyle Coble Auburn Indiana


Jim Betz
 

Hi,

I'm a little surprised by the fact that no one has mentioned this (this
time around) ...

There were definitely two 'languages' regarding a lot of the terminology
in use by railroaders. Specifically the use of different names for things
that occurred between the road/field crews (the guys on the 'ground')
and the engineering departments (the guys in the 'offices'). Neither
was "wrong" - it was just what words they used - every day.
The 'industry publications' tended to use the same terms that the
guys in the offices used ... it was who they were dealing with daily.

****

I'm also considerably surprised ... and even a little bit disappointed ...
that guys I consider to be 'giants in our hobby' have -again- deemed it
important to roll out this recurring topic and opine at length on the
'correctness' of one term or another.
To me - both sides are well known and understood by the members
of this list and we should just give it a rest.
In addition - whether I call it a switch or a turnout ... you all know
what I'm talking about ... so what's the big deal about which word I
use? Are you a brakeman or a 'suit'? I try to modify my usage based
upon the role I think you fill.

****

On the other hand - if I call something a "ponger" just because I
find it difficult to spell/type/say "diaphragm" when the entire
industry and most other hobbyists call it by only one name ... I'm
'wrong' (although you still know what I'm talking about).

BUT - when we, as hobbyists, use our own term within the hobby
for something that the industry (either segment) didn't ever use ...
I agree that it's 'wrong' for us to do so. Even though I know what
you are talking about when you use those terms - I tend to correct
you.

===> Hopefully, when I do so, I do it in a way that doesn't
offend you and you learn and start using the correct
term rather than an incorrect one.

My preferred method of doing that 'correction' is to simply use
the correct term when responding - without pointing out what I'm
doing nor even without my emphasizing the correct term - and
you 'pick up' on it without having had it "pointed out to you".
- Jim B.


David Payne
 

 
 
In a message dated 7/2/2017 12:20:42 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
For example, is a 4-8-4 steam locomotive a "Northern";? Or is it an "FEF" or perhaps simply a "2900" or perhaps a "GS-4"?
 
Or "K Class" ... or "Big Apple" ...
 
DPayne
 


Jason Kliewer
 

Here are the track specs.  Notice they are for UP and BNSF.


The section of track is called a turnout.  The switch is the movable part of the turnout.  It's even labeled right in the drawings.

Why this is so hard to grasp, baffles the mind.

Jason Kliewer
Colorado Springs, CO


Alexander Schneider Jr
 

Niagara.

Alex Schneider 



Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: "davidcofga@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...>
Date: 7/2/17 11:04 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Terminology

 
 
In a message dated 7/2/2017 12:20:42 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
For example, is a 4-8-4 steam locomotive a "Northern";? Or is it an "FEF" or perhaps simply a "2900" or perhaps a "GS-4"?
 
Or "K Class" ... or "Big Apple" ...
 
DPayne
 


Geodyssey
 

Technically correct, but practically incorrect.  This time around, Tony and most of the others got it right.

Even the civil engineers called turnouts switches much (most?) of the time.  And transportation people never call it a turnout.

I'm switching channels- 'till next time.

Robert Simpson
ex-conductor & RR suit including manager for track multiple improvement projects...


---In STMFC@..., <wcfn100@...> wrote :

Here are the track specs.  Notice they are for UP and BNSF.


The section of track is called a turnout.  The switch is the movable part of the turnout.  It's even labeled right in the drawings.

Why this is so hard to grasp, baffles the mind.

Jason Kliewer
Colorado Springs, CO


Mikebrock
 

Kyle Coble says:

 

Oh man, why in the world would you want to bring this up again? The terminology discussion seems to come up from time to time and to what end. Are we filling out legal documents? Are we on trial or giving a deposition?”

 

Note the STMFC rule:

 

“Emphasis is to be placed on the study of the prototype with a goal of producing models of them with as great a degree of accuracy as possible.”

 

Assuming one pursues the above criteria, a similar goal of seeking as great a degree of accuracy in terminology seems warranted. Just as a term such as “turnout” might have different meaning to different people [ note that two entire chapters are dedicated to “turnout’s” in the book Elements of Railroad Track and Construction, by Wilson, published in 1915  and considerable discussion regarding “turnouts” can be found in the book Freight Terminals & Trains, originally published in 1912 by John Droege which includes turnout design effects on freight cars ], clearly, the term “turnout” is not a model railroad defined term. . OTOH, while the STMFC DOES have a goal of producing “accurate” models AND [ putting on my Head Judge robes { damn hot too } their associated terminology, members will not be prosecuted for failing to generate either “accurate” models or their associated terminology. Thus, if you refer to the paint scheme on a UP box car built in 1950 as being black, you might not be asked your opinion again but you will still be a member in good standing on the STMFC.

 

To emphasize that when someone decides to specify the terminology of freight cars they might be opening a large can of worms, consider UP car #1 [ in 1951 ]. This car is a “covered hopper” to borrow a term from the local operating crew. It’s official AAR designation is “LO”. The official UP class designation is CH-70-1.  What would a a brakeman call it? Probably #1.

So, to conclude, I would speculate that, if you stopped at trackside at the entrance to Cheyenne yard waiting on UP 4-8-8-4 steam engine #4014 to come by in 2019 or later, and you asked someone if the “4000” had left yet, they would likely respond with “4000” what? The point being that you would be well served to use the terminology of your audience. Now, having said that, what department do you associate most with…ops or engineering? I guess that depends on your objectives…building accurate frt cars or running them like the prototype did.

 

Kyle continues with:

“… so as long as the listener or reader understands what the speaker or writer is communicating what on earth does the “proper” term matter?”

 

Well, an analogy might be that, if someone builds a model of UP CH-70-1 but neglects to include the hatches, does it really matter? I mean, the car is lettered for a UP CH-70-1 so it must be one. Right? I would say it depends again upon the objective. I think I’d put hatches on the car and as accurately as possible. Also, I think I’d refer to the CH-70-1 as a covered hopper car as opposed to a gondola.

 

Mike Brock


Tony Thompson
 

Kyle Coble wrote:

“… so as long as the listener or reader understands what the speaker or writer is communicating what on earth does the “proper” term matter?”


     This is kind of like the old saw, if you're going to do something, it's often no more trouble to do it right than to do it wrong. Why not do it right? Applies to freight car models and to terminology, IMO.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
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