Questions, answers, Google and Trolls.
#1
I had a couple of questions that I wanted to post here, then I remember back when someone would ask a question on a train forum and invariably, someone would reply, “hey, are you too lazy to look it up? Just Google it fool.” I don’t every remember seeing that kind of response on Big Blue or it’s predecessors. One of my questions was about the capacity of an Auto Carrier car; there is a vehicle staging yard that I drive by almost every day and frequently see some 50 empties waiting on one track to be picked up. There are several more tracks with empties and a bunch of cars inside the fence being unloaded. I’m guessing maybe 150 cars in all on any given day. Anyway, I decided to do a Google search first, and sure enough, I got my answer. Then, a few days ago I was watching a show on TV and it answered my second question, “how long can a train be?” I could have asked these questions here and I’m sure I would have answers within a short time, but it was fascinating to find that this information was lying around and I could have tripped over it if I wasn’t careful. The one thing that attracted me to these forums back when I started in the hobby, was that regardless of how simple or how often a question had been answered, someone would always jump in to help. The one thing I didn’t get from either Google or the TV was the good feeling or the little smile that goes along with reading an answer on Big Blue. So although those trolls may have been right, it really wasn’t the best answer.

What’s my point? Well, you can always find the answer to your question somewhere, but you miss out on the camaraderie, genuineness and friendship if you don’t ask on train forums where trolls may lurk, but don’t dare challenge. Thank you all for your participation, your insight, your knowledge and most of all, your friendly smiles....

Oh, the answers I got:
1. A two-tier car can hold around eight trucks, vans or full-size SUV’s, while a three-tier car can hold up to fifteen automobiles, depending the type. That means there could be between 1500 and 2000 vehicles on this lot awaiting distribution to parts of Arizona, which is why I was curious in the first place. That’s a lot of new cars.

2. A 1.6 mile consist with 240 iron ore cars in Canada is the longest pull in North America on record, and they’re doing it several times a day with two EMD F40’s and a mid-consist helper. The load is 24,000 tons.

Posted with a smile....
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#2
You're exactly right Don!

I haven't been active but I still like to look around from time to time.

Early on, it was made clear that there's no such thing as a stupid question.

When I answer questions, I often have to google it first myself. 

That's okay because:

A. I have the time.

B. I get the chance to learn something myself in the process.

I like to consider myself an ignorant-know-it-all.
Ron Wm. Hurlbut
Toronto, Ontario, Dominion of Canada
Ontario Narrow Gauge Show
Humber Valley & Simcoe Railway Blog
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#3
Hi Days, Number two is no longer correct for train length. NS has started their precision scheduled railroading and trains of 250 cars and over 3 miles long are now running. CSX is tying the same thing. We shall see how that works out. They are using distributed power units. 
I just remembered the N&W ran a 500 car coal train for publicity in 1967. 
Charlie
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#4
(10-21-2019, 08:07 AM)Charlie B Wrote: Hi Days, Number two is no longer correct for train length. NS has started their precision scheduled railroading and trains of 250 cars and over 3 miles long are now running. CSX is tying the same thing. We shall see how that works out. They are using distributed power units. 
Charlie

Thank you Charlie, that was supposed to be a current TV show. I knew I could count on getting the facts here if they were wrong. They might have made that show a few years ago and just now released it, then again, they might have known they were wrong and didn't care. Icon_rolleyes
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#5
2. A 1.6 mile consist with 240 iron ore cars in Canada is the longest pull in North America on record, and they’re doing it several times a day with two EMD F40’s and a mid-consist helper. The load is 24,000 tons.
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Actually 12,000' (just over two miles long) trains is becoming the norm on several railroads. One or two engines on the point with DPUs in the middle or on the end is normally used. I read where CSX and NS is now using some DPUs.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#6
(10-21-2019, 08:29 AM)Brakie Wrote: 2. A 1.6 mile consist with 240 iron ore cars in Canada is the longest pull in North America on record, and they’re doing it several times a day with two EMD F40’s and a mid-consist helper. The load is 24,000 tons.
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Actually 12,000' (just over two miles long) trains is becoming the norm on several railroads. One or two engines on the point with DPUs in the middle or on the end is normally used. I read where CSX and NS is now using some DPUs.

Boy, were they ever wrong. Two and three mile trains sure beats the 1.6 mile one they had the program about. Still, it was interesting since they took you from the mine to the yard and explained a lot about what was going on along the way. It kept my interest, my wife, well, she fell asleep.... Icon_rolleyes
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#7
If someone can't read or write do they get the full effect of alphabet soup?
Mike

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
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#8
(10-22-2019, 06:48 AM)Tyson Rayles Wrote: If someone can't read or write do they get the full effect of alphabet soup?

Only if they're in the woods when the tree falls... Icon_lol Icon_lol
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#9
Don: I still regard the Internet as an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters. ("To be or not to be; that is the gzordensplat.")

I trust the folks on Big Blue to have a good idea of the answer or at least honest intentions in their response. And I can't ask more than that or offer more than that.

I've just been reading a general book on railways and in 2 pages it manages to give dates for the invention of the wheel that differ by about 3000 years.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
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#10
(10-22-2019, 07:57 PM)BR60103 Wrote: Don: I still regard the Internet as an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters. ("To be or not to be; that is the gzordensplat.")

I trust the folks on Big Blue to have a good idea of the answer or at least honest intentions in their response. And I can't ask more than that or offer more than that.

I've just been reading a general book on railways and in 2 pages it manages to give dates for the invention of the wheel that differ by about 3000 years.

Yup, you're right, my example here proves that. I trusted the info I got from that TV show, and it was way out of date, maybe not by 3000 years, but close enough to be wrong. Icon_rolleyes Glad our Big Blue friends set me straight, they always do, and with a smile as well. Applause
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#11
I've always hated when people say "Look it up!" for some of the more particular questions.

Some people don't know enough to ask the right questions. The other day, someone asked if any GG1s ran on the west coast. They were new to trains and just liked the GG1 (I mean, who doesn't?), and wanted to see if one would fit.

True, they probably could have got their answer just googling it on wikipedia, but more effort was wasted with busting on the guy for asking an "obvious" question, then it would have taken for someone to say "No, they only ran between New Haven and Washington DC and between Philadelphia and Harrisburg". Its a quick and easy response and it gets people moving.

You're not gonna have a sudden influx of people asking simple questions just because you answer a few. If its a frequently asked question, it also pays to just link to another thread with the answer, no need to be rude.
Modeling New Jersey Under the Wire 1978-1979.  
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#12
There are lots of times that someone will do a search and not come close to finding what they're looking for because maybe they didn't put in the right search term, had a typo or maybe because the search engine was having a bad day. One doesn't always know why someone has to ask, but those crude "go look", answers always seem to come from some smart alec that has to show that they know the answer but don't want to share it right then. When I first got into the hobby, I went to the Atlas Forums for answers, and it almost drove me away to some other hobby. I wonder if it did, would there have ever been a Big Blue????
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#13
Another peeve along the answered question line is when someone asks a specific question about a model or control system, (or other) I hate the ones that reply :your model is junk, you just need to throw it away and get (their recommendation). 
Charlie
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#14
(11-21-2019, 06:25 AM)ezdays Wrote: There are lots of times that someone will do a search and not come close to finding what they're looking for because maybe they didn't put in the right search term, had a typo or maybe because the search engine was having a bad day. One doesn't always know why someone has to ask, but those crude "go look", answers always seem to come from some smart alec that has to show that they know the answer but don't want to share it right then. When I first got into the hobby, I went to the Atlas Forums for answers, and it almost drove me away to some other hobby. I wonder if it did, would there have ever been a Big Blue????

That really can be the issue to.  Search Engines can be very finicky, and if you don't word your question exactly right,  or know how to efficiently narrow down your searches, it can become impossible to answer even a simple question.   There is also so much "Railfan lore" that doesn't match with reality,  and so you can see several answers that contradict each other.  

Even something as simple as "who build a particular car"  can have wildly different answers, especially for some of those commuter cars and things that slipped through the cracks of railfan attention.  

I will say this, the Atlas forum is particularly populated with rivet counters.   I can't say I'm not a rivet counter, I totally do, but its more due to fascination than any particular need to be a pain in someone's ass or enforce some idea of what is "right".  It is the same reason I am a scientist, I like to find the information then spread it.   Hence me not being please with the look it up crowd. 

If its a simple answer, answer it, move on!

(11-21-2019, 06:53 AM)Charlie B Wrote: Another peeve along the answered question line is when someone asks a specific question about a model or control system, (or other) I hate the ones that reply :your model is junk, you just need to throw it away and get (their recommendation). 
Charlie

This one I struggle with a little.   I have done that to people, but I believe it is sometimes justified.   I had a guy come to one of my club open houses and he was asking me about how to improve the reliability of his train set.  He was complaining that despite cleaning the track, his engine wasn't going.  He acknowledged that he had some brass track and was replacing it, but noted that even after cleaning he couldn't get the train to run reliably. 

Then he showed me picture, and his engine was a big Tyco Alco Century (maybe a C630 or similar).  We actually had one sitting in our junk pile,  and I tried to explain to him that this particular locomotive probably didn't run very well even when it was fresh off the assembly line (pancake motors, traction tires and lack of all wheel pick up).  I recommended replacing it and pointed out we had cheap engines on our flea market, or he could probably get a robust Blue Box locomotive that would last for decades for relatively cheap if he shopped around.   I don't think he liked that answer. 

Here is the thing,  I wasn't trying to be a jerk, and he asked for the advice. Still, the disappointment on the guy's face has bugged me for some time,  and I wonder if there was a better way to handle it. 

I think it is well accepted that most of the old Tyco trains are not meant to last, they are toys meant to survive long enough to occupy a child without also being an expensive loss when the kid inevitably breaks something.  I'm not of the impression that they were meant to run reliably in the long term, and the model is probably older than I am.  At the same time, an inexperienced model railroader isn't going to know that,  and I don't feel right telling people what they want to hear if they end result is that their problem won't be solved.
Modeling New Jersey Under the Wire 1978-1979.  
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