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Bob Mintz and Thomas.Staying Current

A Word from the Editor

By Bob Mintz

 

I would like to explain the process of how articles are updated.

When e*Train was first developed, then TCA President Gordon Wilson envisioned it to be an extension of the National Toy Train Library. 

As TCA is the "Standard of the World,"  what better way to promote our hobby than to have up to the minute information available to anyone who would like to have that type of access? 

We continue to believe that it is very important to keep e*Train as a current resource. Train collectors are especially interested in accuracy. That's why each of our quarterly editions not only presents new articles, but updates old ones.


We go to great lengths to acquire missing pieces. The last time that I saw this IETCA mint car for sale on Ebay was in Feb 1997. It was the only mint car that I did not own; the photo was from collector/e-Train author Mike Stella. It took fifteen years to get it, but we did! Read about it in our Mint Cars article here.

Busy readers may not always spot the changes we make in earlier articles and we don't always have time to enumerate them.  The changes range from corrections in a SKU number to the actual photograph where a manufacturer-issued image (CAD) was originally displayed.  Other times we receive a better photograph of an issue and we share that with the viewing public.

We first acquire images from current manufacturers' catalogs or their websites, and later when the actual item is finally produced, it is purchased and photographed and an update made.

There are other times that an item is "NOT MANUFACTURED" and the item is listed as so.  So if an item is impossible to find for purchase, there may very well be a legitimate reason for this.  When this information becomes available from official sources, the readers will be informed as such.

Perhaps there has been some discussion amongst other toy train collectors and it was mutually decided that an item may have been misclassified, so changes are made.  Mint car collectors, for example, have debated whether only "bullion type" loads should be an official mint car.  Then the question arises about paper currency, or coins, savings bonds, and even gold nuggets, which are all forms of currency.  So it was decided that there was where we were drawing the line -- anything that is not a form of currency or a representation of a form of currency was not to be included as an official mint car.  There are and can be exceptions to every rule.  That is what makes the hobby interesting.  Nothing is strictly black or white, there are many shades of gray.

Southern boys.
Our field research can be fun. Seen here are former TCA Gulf Coast
Chapter President Jim Herron, Southern Division President
Brad Woodward, and Editor Bob Mintz.

Some examples of updates in this issue include material from the last two Lionel catalogs and the inclusion of new but as yet unmanufactured 6464; aquarium; Budd car; Hand car, mint car; Monopoly, Maintenance of Way; olive drab; ore cars; ultimate Lionel Lines; vat car and window display cars.  In fact, there is a whole new category listed in the MOW article of small motorized units, including a special "Lionel Railroads Club (LRRC) "MEMBERS ONLY" issue, just to make this series interesting!

We are always looking for new articles and authors.  Our Editorial staff is here to help you in developing your article and can enhance photographs for greater clarity. We also take pride in publishing larger and clearer versions of the photos on our pages -- all it takes is a click!

Second Decade.
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