NMRA Standards for Containers

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Jim de Bree, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. Jim de Bree

    Jim de Bree Member

    there was a post on the Trains.com model railroading forum about the need for NMRA standards for containers. The post reads as follows:

    "The latest (July) NMRA bulletin has a letter from a Dutch modelers who points out that while ALL international containers are 100% compatible, NONE of the HO models of them are! And it goes beyond how they mount and fasten to each other (although that is itself an annoyance -- you cannot double stack different makes of container) he showed photos of just about every make of container of what is supposedly the same size -- and they are all different! I mean, 40 feet should be 40 feet, right? But not for containers. Not in HO. Makes you wonder what else we buy is "close but no cigar."
    He asks if this is an area where the NMRA has a role to play -- with a standard for mounting (I don't know what the NMRA can do about manufactuers claiming everything between 38 feet and 42 feet is 40 feet other than to deny scale conformity on their warrant, which few manufacturers even seem to care about anymore)."

    I too have found the problems discussed herein to be an issue. Does anyone else have any thoughts?
  2. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    I believe that they do need to be interchangable, but as it has nothing to do with the 'Interchange' of model railroads, I can't see the NMRA getting involved. Their thrust is trackage, wheels, weight, clearances, electrical operation, etc. I can't think of any case where the NMRA has recommended the modeled details of a piece of rolling stock.

  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I have to take Roger's stand, and agree that this is an area outside the control of the NMRA.
    I've been modeling HO scale since the middle fifties, and the one constant in this hobby is that there are always variances from one maunfacturer to another, in dimension, and detail. An example, staring me in the face as I sit here, is the tender for the Allegheny. The Rivarossi tender is two scale feet longer than the Arbour models tender. The Arbour models tender measures 45', the Rivarossi tender is 47'. The prototype tender is 47'-8". You used the term "close but no cigar", but in reality, unless we scratchbuild everything to exact scale, we have to settle for "close enough for government work".
    To the individual who posted the complaint on Trains.com, I can only say that while the person may get some sympathy, nothing will change. If container compatibility is a major issue, then contact the manufacturers directly and register the complaint. If enough complaints come in, they might change. The best chance for change comes with the offering of a viable alternative. Suggest an easy ( inexpensive ) fix, and it will happen.

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