Lost in a sea of terminology

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ezdays, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I know I have a looooonnnng way to go, but I'm wondering is there someplace I can go to find out what some people here are talking about, you know, like the basic stuff? I see mention of things like "fiddle yard" or "team track" and I'm sure these are references to prototype things but it would be nice to be in the know. Heck, I even misspelled trestle in one thread., and that's downright embarrasing. Well, my spelling is kinda embarrasing anyway, but that was just going too far, even for me.:eek:

    Anyway, a book, a web site, anything I can do to get educated would help.


    D:cool: N
  2. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Heck. I have worked for the SP back in the 50's and 60's and I still don't know with a fiddle or team track is. What is the difference between switching yard and staging yard??
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah


    Hi guys.
    Fiddle yard and staging yard are pure modelling terms. They both refer to a yard that's not part of the visible layout.
    Fiddle yards are used, usually with smaller layouts, to rearrange the cars before they go back on display. Because it's where you "fiddle" with the cars.
    A staging yard is where trains are stored before and after being run on the layout, sort of a "backstage" area where the actors wait for their cues.
    Team track was sort of a general track in a railway yard where a team of horses and a wagon could come up to unload cars for industries that didn't have a siding. Very handy for sending odd cars that you don't have a destination building.
    Not sure where there's an online glossary.
  4. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Thanks David
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The team track was a siding where freight cars were off loaded onto horse drawn wagons originally, hence the name "team track." By the 1930's, or maybe even in the 20's they were used to off load freight cars onto trucks. There may even be some team tracks still in use as team tracks. It isn't strictly a team track, but the BNSF has a facility that they built in the last 10 years in So Central Los Angeles that has a track on one side of a loading dock, and a parking lot on the other side. They unload all sorts of freight onto the dock, carry it accross the dock on forklifts and load it onto trucks for delivery. It now has a dock in the middle, but the thing functions just like a team track in the old days.
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    A start

    Ahh, that's one small step for man, one....
    well, just say I learned a few things. I found out:
    1. What a fiddle yard is
    2. What a team track is
    3. How to spell trestle
    4. You don't have to know any of this to run a model railroad.:D

      Still it would be nice to find a glossery somewhere.:eek:

      Thanks once again,

  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I don't think most get as elaborat as the walthers kits, but a piccy's worth a 1000 words:



    The second one is only $50 :eek: :eek: :eek: I think a scratch built ramp will do, in fact I already have one from when I was a kid. With ateam track you have an opportunity to show some action (LPB's hard at work) and you can service (small) industires not on a spur.

    The NMRA Beginners page Glossary might be agood starting point.

    And here are a lot more!

    Like you said, you can have a lot of fun without getting bogged down in the details. I try not to worry about that stuff and when I don't know, I usually just ask. And if they call be a beeeeeg dummy, I just say: [​IMG]
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Thanks, nice pics, good links. I should have know that Google would have come through, just one of my denser days. We call those kind of days, ezdays....:D We have so many of them around here that we got personalized license plates so everyone would know what our problem is.:eek:

    My big concern is that I'm going to have a layout that someone is going to say "hey, neat layout but you don't have a ____ (fill in the blank). Every railroad has a ____, where's yours?". And then I've embarrased myself once again.:rolleyes:

  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I'm glad it was helpfull, and no prob. on google, now it's there for those who don't know how to google. My grandfather was jailed for googleing, but that was before it got legal.
    That's when you tell tehm, "Shhhhhhh, the lil plastic folks don't know they can have one of those and I don't have the money right now." or just say, "My railroad, naaaa [​IMG] " And if that doesn't work, show 'em the door. When we're remodeling our home and my wife is worried about some little detail, I tell her, "No one will notice that and if you see them staring at it smack 'em!" :D :D :D
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    There is probably a prototype for practically every arrangement of practically all facilities, features, scenery, structures and so on. I wouldn't worry too much.

    Model Railroader used to have a column called "Ain't prototypical?" or something like that. Showed pictures of things like tunnels coming out under bridges - ever seen a backdrop opening disguised with a bridge (?!), and my favourite, a double main line that had one track weave around an outcropping that the second line tunnelled through.

    The tunnel is so short you can actually see through it in the picture. Rivet counters might say "all the first class roads would blast that whole thing out of the way". Now you know different...!

    Alternatively, you could just go with "_____, we don't need no stinkin' _____!"

  11. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Hurrah, now that's my kind of thinking. I was on another forum where I was taken to task for quoting someone that told me "it's your railroad, you do what you want on it". This is the same forum that someone proudly posted a picture of their newly decorated loco, and someone else responded with "that line never had that model engine". Should anyone really care? Obviously, someone does. I want to do things right, but I'm not going to be fanatical about it. I might however, poke a lot of fun at myself in the process.:D

    Oh yeah, I did download a couple of good glossaries from the above links. Some contained definitions that the others didn't, so it's best to get several different ones.

    D:eek: N
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    It's my railroad and I'll...

    I've always said that "I don't have to make all the mistakes that the prototype did.", usually about getting rid of steam locos, merging, painting diesels solid black, letting raod competition get out of hand. ;)
    If you want to see a ----, there's one on the next division, and it's in a guy's basement 100 miles down the road!
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Never had one

    That's why I like The Gauge! No one really does that here, unless you are asking them to tell you specifically if it existed or not.

    See http://www.the-gauge.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4891 where I am building a galloping goose of sorts. As far as I know, CN (or even Canada) never had these - they were a Rio Grande creation I think. But I like 'em, and I want one on my layout. If anyone asks, it'll be something the little plastic guys put together to pass the time in my backwoods layout. They use it to run into town for supplies and such. Never made it onto any "official" record of equipment owned by the RR... yeah, that's it!

    Sure, some people should care about their own layouts. If it matters to them, fine. Otherwise, let's just have some fun.

    Holy shmoly... time for me to get off the soapbox!

  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Thanks guys, now you know why I settled here rather than that other forum. Much less combative, much more helpful, no criticism and a whole lot of good information and advice.

    You are right, I am concerned about my layout. I am interested in what others do and how they do it and I'm glad no one here cares how prototypically accurate that turns out to be, just how good it looks.

    Who knows, maybe not knowing what something is suppose to look like or how it works can be a blessing to ones inventive spirit.:D

  15. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi Don:
    There's a lot of good information in books about prototypical railroading. I'm reading two currently, mainly because i got tired of not knowing what the rest of these guys/gals were talking about.

    They are: "The Railroad, What it is and what it does" by Simmons-Boardman and "Track Planning for Realistic Operation" By John Armstrong. The latter is published by Model Railroader Mag. I'm sure there are lots more, get out your library card and go see what you can find.

    Now mind ya, I'm not a scaler, nor a prototypical operator. I just thought i ought to know a few things.

    Chewing gum and walkin'....
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Thanks, I'll see if I can find any of these. Worse comes to worse, I can always contact Kalmbach and buy them direct. I've already checked out everything our library has on MRR. Let's see, there was this one MR book on scenery, then there was the... uh, the book on scenery and then, yes, the book on scenery. Oh yeah, did I mention the book on scenery? ;) That and the handful of old MR magazines is it for our library; I have more than they do on the subject.

    I'm not saying our town is behind the times, but occasionally I get the feeling that they are still using old telegraph wires for my internet access:rolleyes:

    D:cool: N
  17. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Let me see now, that "other" forum...wouldn't be the Atlas forum would it? LOL! I joined theirs first, mainly because it was the first one I found but after a few weeks of "the JHSJ827387 had 6 louvres while the JHSJ827388 had 5" my eyes glazed over and lucky for me I ended up here or I may have just given up on the hobby before I really got started!!

    For the record, here are some ways the prototype was different from the model :D :D :D
    - real trains are not plastic last time i checked
    - they ran on coal or deisel fuel, not electricity
    - Chessie, Conrail, B&O, PRR, New York Central, CN, CP etc. never had little teeny-tiny engines you could put in your pocket!!!!
    - crews had fully articulated arms and legs and did not freeze in one position
    - they didn't glue down the scenery or the ballast
    - there is still no part of the world that ends in a giant painted wall

    I could go on (and on but I'm taking pity on everyone here)! Suffice it to say - it's pretend! It's supposed to be fun! Nit-pickers have forgotten how to do that imho and that's just sad for them.

    :p Val
  18. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Great guess. I wouldn't have minded so much but when I posted my findings to answer my own question, they started all over again, some even prodding each other to continue the fight. Someone printed an editorial in one of the N scale magazines criticizing them and I'll be, they started arguing about whether their arguing was worthwhile or not.

    Hey, if I wanted to stay stressed out, I'd have kept working for a living instead of taking up a hobby.:D These people either have far too much time on their hands or they take their hobby way, way too seriously.:p

    I'm pleased to have found this fourm as well.

    D:eek: N
  19. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Oh yeah Val,

    Just a few things that I've noticed about MRR, and I haven't been at it that long:
    • You can tear out a tree without getting sued by the Serra Club
    • You can have an oil spill or a derailment without calling the EPA
    • You can demolish and build buildings without a permit
    • Best of all, it's a piece of cake to walk on water.:D

  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    t. intro'd me to the-gauge a year ago, now he won't come back to IN for fear of getting a big sloppy hug from me! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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