Author Topic: Getting it right...  (Read 1013 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Getting it right...
« on: January 18, 2013, 12:44:08 AM »
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I'm curious what you guys do when there is an information hole. I recently have been looking at intermodal loading equipment for a few reasons: nice stuff is coming from Japan, the Wheels Of Time PC90 is probably the best vehicle ever produced in N and I have been able to get my hands on both the N-Scale-Nevada PC70 AND the GHQ Mi-Jack. So I started looking at what I would need for Boston and Worcester's intermodal ports.

I have verified that Worcester used two Letourneau Le-Tro Porters in the late 1990s:
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?20030912210447949.jpg

I photographed these myself in 2002 still in Conrail paint (as seen here). Well these are not available in N. Model Railroader had an article on scratch building an HO scale one in the August 1985 issue, which I have lost. If I remember, the article did not include line drawings which made construction VERY difficult.

Now to Beacon Park Yard. There was an old article we shared a few months ago about the new PC-70s being used in Boston in the late 1960's. I was able to find this mid 70's photo of Beacon Park with a PC-70 in the backround:
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?2010011812065813558.jpg
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?2009122410270810500.jpg

What I can not find is how long these were used for, and what replaced them. I think I spotted a PC-90 in red/gray a year ago, and some other unidentified lifts. I don't know what was used in the 1990's. I know they would have needed to use a TOFC and a COFC lift, though I do not know if this was a combination lift. What would you do? When should I just call it and just use what I have.

How far is too far?
"My great and unmatched wisdom."

ljudice

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 06:32:55 AM »
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To me it's "plausibility" that counts.  If there there is no good reason why a particular model shouldn't be in a specific place, I wouldn't avoid using it - at least until some better info comes along.

You can always recoup your investment or part of it by selling it back on Ebay if it turns out to be totally wrong.

johnh35

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 09:02:48 AM »
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If there is not data to suggest otherwise, go for it

mcjaco

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 09:42:21 AM »
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It's still a hobby.  Banging your head into solid objects in order to be 100% accurate, when there isn't enough information to prove otherwise, is a waste of the enjoyment you shoud be getting.

Go with what you've got!

wcfn100

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 12:19:16 PM »
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That's only 20 years ago. There's no reason you can't find the correct information.

Real research hasn't started until you've cold called someone.  ;)  You should be able to track down people who worked the yard and saw the equipment.  Whether they remember exactly what that equipment was is another story.

As for equipment drawings.  It sounds like the 1997 Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia may have some of what you are looking for.  I don't have this book so I can't confirm if this is correct or not, but knowing these books, it's worth following up on.

Jason

johnh35

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 12:50:59 PM »
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Always keep in mind the old saying "ignorance is bliss". You can drive yourself nuts trying to be absolutely accurate and then you find something that contradicts what you had already held to be true. Why pour hours into research when you can spend the time on the layout instead?

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 01:12:18 PM »
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How far is too far?

Foul.  Only you can answer that question Daniel. 

robert3985

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 01:50:04 PM »
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I agree totally with Gary.  You are the only one who can determine how far you want to go.  Yeah..."it's only a hobby" but what the hell does that mean? If you want to "get it right", I am sure that somewhere there is information that will assist you in doing so.

As for "banging your head" doing research, some of us would not call it that, since for me, it is one of the sweetest parts of the hobby and something I can do when I am not sitting at the workbench or crawling around under my benchwork.  Also, the reward for finally finding exactly what you have been looking for (usually lurking in the background in a shot of a particular piece of motive power) is a really great feeling, like finding that big piece of dark chocolate in Cherry Garcia ice cream!!

I've still got projects that are on hold because I have not found a particular view or a color shot, and it is not particularly "driving me crazy" because I haven't got it exactly right yet.

You'll note that I said "yet", because I will wait until I've got it exactly right...and ya know what???...I ENJOY getting it "just right"...a lot, and waiting until I find my reference materials just doesn't bother me.

So, I'm not gonna tell you how you should enjoy the hobby.  If getting it right bothers you then that's okay....if you're not enjoying doing the research any more, then you've done enough, and that's okay too...if you want to get it "right" and want to do more research before building or buying your model, then that is okay too.

The hobby is to be enjoyed in whatever way you wish, not to comply to anyone else's vision of it, and if you wish to be obsessive about details, and you enjoy that...then GREAT!!

robert3985

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Re: Getting it right...
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 02:03:47 PM »
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To get back to the subject of this thread, whenever I run up against an information hole when I'm doing research for a project, I'll put it aside for a while, and think about it.  Usually what happens is I'll come up with an idea of where to look further, or I'll run into a little museum, a video I haven't seen before, or a photo of it in the background. 

I also have other resources, such as actually going to the industry that is on the spot of the original industry and see if they've got any old photos of what the operation looked like in the 1950's (I've been pretty lucky with this technique), or I'll ask around and see if the little town I'm interested in has got a "town historian"...I've been lucky there too. 

Also, there's almost always somebody who had done a book or article about something that's related to what I'm researching, and I'll give them a call or write a letter to them explaining what I'm looking for.  So, far, I've been really lucky there too!! (Thanks Don Strack!) 

If I really run into a road block, I'll just set my project aside until something related to it pops up, or, if it's a structure, and I only have views of, say three sides of it (such as my Echo Coaling tower) I'll build it, but only finish three sides until I find a shot of the east side (which I am still looking for).  That way, it'll be on the scene, but I'll be able to finish it off when I get the correct information.

In your case, I'd use what's commercially available for now, then when you find exactly what you're looking for...correct the problem (if there is one).  I agree that since what you're looking for is only 20 or so years in the past, you should eventually find exactly what you're looking for.  I'm always attempting to find the facts about stuff in 1951, which luckily has been fairly easy since the U.P. photographed the hell out of their Challengers, Big Boys, and Turbines in the area I'm modeling.