A Group Research Project

North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).
Post Reply
Randy Hees
Posts: 464
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:07 pm

A Group Research Project

Post by Randy Hees » Sat May 19, 2012 9:46 pm

Andrew and I spent last weekend camping in the desert... along the route of the C&C...

While camping we had many discussions... at least one about an idea for this board...

We are considering a series of group research projects. Collectively this group has a great deal of information, much not published. We are also researchers. When a question is raised, we research, and find stuff... published stuff, results of internet searches... Newspaper searches... research files...

We are proposing raising a question... maybe a railroad... maybe a specific topic... collecting information from the various posts and such, to update this sites pages on various railroads or history subjects.

How do folks feel about this idea?

Randy (and Andrew)

PS... while in the desert, the mosquitoes were viscous, and that may have affected my memory of discussions...
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/

James
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:00 am

Re: A Group Research Project

Post by James » Sun May 20, 2012 5:31 am

Sounds like a good idea if you ask me, provided the site owners/admins are okay with the extra organizational work. The forum already contains a great deal of information, but that information is often scattered across multiple threads and sub-boards. The use of specific threads for directed research seems like it should fit well with the existing site structure.

John Coker
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Bayfield,CO
Contact:

Re: A Group Research Project

Post by John Coker » Mon May 21, 2012 5:49 pm

I think this an excellent idea. Unlike the Colorado narrow gauge, the historic record is still evolving. While some historians are still gleaning a few rare photos of the D&RG out of the ether, unpublished photos of the Far West narrow gauges and short lines are still coming to light. There are some good historians here, and each of us have some specialty.I know some technical stuff like about air brakes and r.r. practice, and where preserved n.g. locomotives still exist. I frequently need information for modeling and paintings, so I do my share of trolling here. There are a number of mysteries, like how did the NCNG get away with running straight air on an ICC-regulated common carrier railroad? Where did all the F&CC box cars go?
Most important is collating the information that is already on this site. There is already over a hundred unpublished photos as well as information on obscure equipment transfers like to the USN at Pearl Harbor, Skagway and Old Mexico. Plus new information coming up all the time. Anyway a great idea, and one that increases the value of the site for serious modelers and historians.

Ed Weldon
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:43 am
Location: Los Gatos, CA

Re: A Group Research Project

Post by Ed Weldon » Sun May 27, 2012 5:58 pm

Randy - What kind of subjects do you think you'll start with? And how to admin it? Wiki style? Single contributor "owner"? Or?
How much space can you/we afford to allocate to specific topics? How to admin that?
How will it fit the present site format?
Please don't try to answer my questions at this point. This is just stuff to think about.
I have a little bit of unique stuff to contribute somewhere along the line. (not counting last night's brain dump on the lost Soda Lake narrow gauge.)
Maybe some face to face chat at the Ardenwood SPNG get together next month would be fun....... Ed Weldon

John Coker
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Bayfield,CO
Contact:

Re: A Group Research Project

Post by John Coker » Mon May 28, 2012 3:56 pm

A couple of proposals...
1.- Pick a railroad that has a historic record, like the NCNG, and ask subscribers to do a "photo dump", i.e. contribute some unpublished photos of the road, its engine, rolling stock or present-day locations, preserved equipment and artifacts. Many of us have unpublished or rarely published photos of well-known roads like the NCNG, SPng, WP&Y, Westside and others. El Minero and I could go to a museum in Jerome some time and extract some photos of the narrow-gauge UV&P and other roads that served the district.
2.Start a "dossier" on a railroad-like the Pioche Pacific. Already, Greg Maxwell submitted an unpublished photo. I can put together a "then and now" post on Jackrabbit terminal. Do the dossiers as a post under an existing topic, so Andrew doesn't have to retool the site.

Down the road if Andrew has time, a dossier can be edited and placed in the histories as known information.

User avatar
Andrew Brandon
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: Grass Valley, Ca
Contact:

Re: A Group Research Project

Post by Andrew Brandon » Tue May 29, 2012 7:55 am

John, you've got the right idea here. This site was always proposed to be a group effort, by "us" rather than any "I". In the past I've been trying to do exactly what you've suggested and move data to the relevant portions of the site. I think the idea of keeping a series of threads for specific roads is a great idea and lets us hammer out the details together. This will mean that appropriate credit will be given for any shared images or documents, with photos specifically I tend to reduce the quality slightly for the images that go into the gallery. Watermarks can be added if preferred of course. I very frequently watch for information here on the forum and then adjust the site accordingly. Roster information has been skipped for a project I have on the table for later in the year, but that does not mean it isn't welcome until then.

There are countless areas on the site that need to be flushed out. An example falls right into what you suggested, you and Duane would be invaluable in your help researching those roads as I have little in terms of resources on them at this time. If any of you would like to contribute a basic paragraph or two history (or more if you like) for any of the unfinished sections on the site, by all means DO. Randy once described the site as a modern day Western Railroader Magazine, and I agree with the sentiment. Our intent has always been to make this a shared project between railfans, railroaders and historians. I know I have 5 road histories on my plate (Watsonville Transportation Co. is almost finished) and many more that I've put on hold. I must have another historic 100 images to scan for the site. Don't get me started on the detail photos, Craig and I have full sets of image walkarounds for the M&SV combine, NPC "Sonoma", the "Silver State" and more. Finding the time to do it all is a challenge. :)
Andrew Brandon - PacificNG Webmaster
An End To Red Domes In Our Lifetime!

Randy Hees
Posts: 464
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: A Group Research Project

Post by Randy Hees » Tue May 29, 2012 8:21 am

The concept as discussed (by Andrew and I) was to post THE question about a single railroad… then collectively gather information, including;

Any published (secondary) sources (including what this site already has on that road)

Map information… a general route map as well as maps of various “sites” (from Sanbourn maps?, from USGS maps or maps of a station site based on photo interpretations )

A roster…
locomotives (if possible with order sheets, dispositions, and paint and repainting information) Cars, rosters, orders, other information.

Railroad Commission and Poor’s reports. Any identified court cases. Of course, these will also feed rosters.
Any identified archival records… either researched, or to be researched.

Any newspaper reports, preferably, transcribed...

A history, possibly a timeline.. (this may fall under the published sources above)

Photos… published, known photos, unknown photos, unpublished photos… all with a source… we must have a source to use it (we can probably note photos that we don’t have the right to use, with hope that someone knows a proper source

Beyond that, As much as possible, we would ask for a reference for any contribution. A newspaper article would include the paper’s name, the date, and where found… If you make a supposition, say so in the post… “I have heard” works if passing a rumor… If you find a “fact” which doesn’t smell right, post the fact, with the source, then explain the stink…

We assume that one of us will take on the task of assembling the information from the posts… to be added to the page about that road on the site.

As our first project, you will find a separate post asking for contributions on the Sonoma Valley Railroad… Little known, short lived, legitimate 3’ common carrier narrow gauge line… Of course, Andrew is planning to rebuild a “Ruby” into their No 1, the Sonoma… so there is an agenda… there is always an agenda…

We are likely to revise these instructions with experience.

We are likely to close a topic at some point… we may set a deadline when posting the question. We should probably only have one group project at a time.

Randy
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
http://randyhees.blogspot.com/

Post Reply