Confessions of an Engine Illitererate

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Pitchwife, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    My favourite has to be a TV commercial we see from time to time here in Canada. It basically says "if you have trouble reading, look us up under "Read" in the yellow pages..."

    What are these people thinking? :confused: :D

  2. zedob

    zedob Member

    Come to think of it, wouldn't that sign make a great scale billboard? MRR's are pretty good at tongue-in-cheek signage, but to have a prototype blooper to model? What more could one ask for?:D
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Well, I have two favorites from our local TV broadcasters.

    (1). "There is still a power outage in the (ABCD) area and they are working to restore it. If you live in that area and still haven't got power by 9 PM, please call the power company."

    And (2). There is an accident on I-17 backing up traffic for at least three miles, if you're heading that way, take a different route. If you're stuck in traffic on I-17, now you know why."
  4. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    I grew up in the uk and was a super-train-recognising-nerd. I could tell identify everything with a 5 nanosecond glance from the top of a rainy bridge from 2000meters. Now, over the course of time I did two important things. 1. I got a life and 2. I moved to Canada.

    All that hard earned knowledge was suddenly out of date and I'd lost my almost evangelical ability to absorb recognition trivia. However, some ability remained and I'm now "not bad" at recognising many north american locomotives. How do I do this?, well its all about osmosis. I love reading railway magazines, taking pictures, surfing websites and over time I've absorbed a lot of information without really knowing why. I just get a kick out of the pictures and don't set out to "spot" them. So while I don't know the difference between early and late build RS-18's (and lets face it, who cares!) I can get pretty close to most deisels.

    So my advice is, go buy a bunch of 2nd hand magazines, and enjoy some wonderful photographs, just remember to read the captions.

  5. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Trainworm, this has to be the best summation of engine types I have ever read. Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me (us)


  6. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    Duh.........yeah. :confused: :confused:
  7. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    TW, I think its back to school for me, but thanks for the info. it helps a lot, I think!!!:confused::confused: :confused: :D have a good one..steve
  8. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Mikey, this is just the site that I've been looking for. :thumb: Now I can peruse at my leasure and get an idea of what to look for to tell one engine from another. This site is definately going on the Reference Page in my Railroad Links web page. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  9. phoneguy

    phoneguy member

    If you're looking at trains going by at a crossing the numbers under the cab will usually tell what type engine it is. I model the Reading Lines, went out of business in 1976, Conrail. The Reading used class numbers on their engines. A RSE-14 could be a GP30, GP35, or an SD45, the GPs would be 4 axle and the SD was a 6 axle all made by EMD. If you're modelling a particular railroad look at ther historical sight for information on types of engines and pictures.

  10. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I was just trying to figure out how to tell one kind of engine from another, like we used to be able to do with cars, until they started making them all look alike. :rolleyes: :D
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That's why I like to model the 1920s and 30s - everything was shipped in a box car... ;) :D

  12. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Engine Illiteracy updated

    I've been cruzin' the thread's, enjoying the photos and the people talking about this engine and that engine, and it reminded me of this thread I started (My Gosh, could it have been 2 1/2 years ago! :eek: ) and I thought that it might be worth bumping it up to the top of the list again. So many new faces; Someone might at least get a chuckle out of it. You will find it at

    It goes a bit like this:

    And my grateful reply.

    One thing I've done is to update the Reference page in my Link's Pages which you can access via the link in my my signature.

    Plug,Plug. :rolleyes: Actually there in no money involved, no ads, no pop-ups, no spyware or any of the other c--p that you get on other sites.

    You will find links to tons of pictures, railroad histories, along with the all the links on the other pages. I originally made it for myself, but then thought that it might be good enough to share it with everyone else. If the counter (and the SPAM emails :curse: ) are any indication, you are using it. :thumb: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Anyway, I hope that you use it and that it helps you. I'm still pretty engine illiterate, but I'm getting better. :thumb: :mrgreen:

    Maybe it will shake a few more Illiterates out of the branches. They say that confession is good for the soul. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  13. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I think that this sentence pretty much nailed this topic right on the head. Aside from my own roster, I know scant details about other engines.

    On the topic of funny billboards here is a whole slew of them for the layout. I may just have to use a few of these.

    I should add that some of these are of questionable taste and humour. View at your own risk.

    Funny pictures and jokes, funny images, billboards, joke pictures, funny photos, more
  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I just realized something that I think is related to this topic. My real "problem" is that I have a small 4x6 layout and a lot of locos and stock. I probably have enough locos, coaches and freight cars to populate a layout 4 to 5 times the size of mine! One day, I hope to have a much larger layout, but it won't be for several years. Rob
  15. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I know what you mean. "But it was Sooooo Cool!" :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  16. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Nice thing about steam long as you can count you can sound like you know what you're talking about.:rolleyes: "Yeah Frank, that 2-10-2 is quite a puller." "I'm looking to buy a new 2-8-0." "Bob, your 4-8-2 just derailed." See? Easy. :thumb:
  17. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    I don't know how I missed this thread earlier. I can identify with Clark - I can identify steamers, but diesels have always fallen into two categories for me - old ones and new ones. I never really worried about identifying diesels, because I model steam. I do have one VO-1000 switcher - I can identify that because that is what it said on the box!
    I really never had much of an interest in diesels, but I am afraid that is about to change. Because my layout is more detailed than my grandson's, he thinks I should be an expert on everything involving trains. When asked what kind of engine that is (when he sees a real one), the answer - it's a blue one - just doesn't work any more.
    So, like it or not, I am going to have to increase my knowledge base in this area (or, more truthfully, acquire a knowledge base).
    Thanks to everyone for the information and the links.
    So, will hit the books and hope there is still room in my mental filing system to fit this in.

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