About these FAQ’s

Overview

The Maine On2 FAQ’s is essentially a repository for peer reviewed knowledge provided by fellow enthusiasts to be shared within the group and the FAQ for the benefit of all, on a self-service basis – the FAQ is not a research bureau. It is very much a co-operative effort, and if you can help then please do, see the section “You can Help” towards the end of this page.

A Brief History of these FAQ’s

When we (the editors) launched this site in the Spring of 2013, we hoped that these FAQ’s would eventually develop into a valued online resource for modellers of the Maine Two Footers across different times and places, and even scales. It is now some nine years later, and we will let you be the judge of those hopes and this site.

The core content was developed from an updated version of the original text based Maine On2 FAQ’s first published in the Summer of 2003 by the late Bill Kerr (pictured below), and we have now added to and expanded the scope to related areas and topics.

BillKerr-01

Bill Kerr and a fellow hiker enjoying a joke before sitting down for his birthday lunch out in the boonies.

Bill’s own modelling is featured in these FAQ’s: click here to see Bill’s layout and here to see his scenery extra.

Bill originally published the FAQ’s on a stand alone web site, hosted at his own expense to overcome limitations on file sizes and linking of files then available within the Yahoo! Groups format. He named the site “The Maine On2 FAQ’s” and is on record as referring to them as “this groups FAQ’s” on both of the Yahoo! Groups that he moderated (Maine On2 and Maine Two Footers. Note that the Maine On2 group migrated to io and is still active, but sadly the Maine Two Footers did not migrate and disappeared when Yahoo pulled the plug.) When suitable information arose from discussions in the public domain, Bill and others collected and edited the content to add to the FAQ’s. Bill published the following as a header to his original version of the FAQ’s;-

This FAQ will attempt to answer most questions new members may have about modelling in On2.  Standard disclaimer about information. It is more than an FAQ.  Some information will address some common misconceptions, or update previous published information that has been determined to be in error. Information will be incorporated as it is provided.  In many respects this will be used to alleviate the problems of attempting to search past postings at the Yahoo site for previous request for information.  My thanks to the Maine On2, Maine Two Footers,  HOn30, and 7-8 Inch Scale Trains Yahoo! groups where I have obtained much of the information from posts to those sites. Thank you to Walter Orloff, Terry Smith, Robert Werner, John Hitzeman, Trevor Marshall, Keith L. Lewis-Jones for their contributions.

The stand alone website was inadvertently lost whilst Bill was changing ISP in 2010.  At the time, Bill was focussing on his Selkirk Scenery business, but still found time to search his old PC’s and build up a rough working version of most of the FAQ’s in HTML web format from assorted backups dating from 2005 to 2007.

Bill asked a small group of trusted friends (Trevor Marshall, Terry Smith and Herb “Matt” Mathews) for help in bringing this version up to date as some topics had moved on considerably from the back-ups. During this updating, Bill expressed sympathy for authors who had given their best shot in difficult circumstances with restricted information when better information was later discovered;-

“…..be aware that new photographs and other information are still turning up, and that this may cast new light or interpretations on what in all intellectual honesty (or by professional research standards) have been guesses by knowledgeable amateurs (at best) in the past. Try to understand what various people write or say and make your own decisions about their evidence for supporting their positions and comments. Recognise that a photograph may be wrongly captioned or mis-interpreted, even if it has been published a number of times”.

In 2005, Bill also established a separate Maine On2 pictures FAQ using Fotopic as the hosting service. In March 2011, without notice, Fotopic went offline and it was believed that all the picture collections had been completely lost. However, in the Fall of 2012, Fotopic allowed temporary access to a back-up copy from several months earlier than the shutdown. This access enabled most of the Maine On2 FAQ pictures to be downloaded and re-published here under the original album titles with updated content.

By this time, (the Fall of 2012), Bill was fighting a return of the cancer which would ultimately result in his demise in July 2013, and he asked the friends to ensure that the material collected was still made available to interested parties, and he expressed  particular concern that the original authors should be credited for their contributions.

After some discussions and trials, we took a group decision to use this blog format for re-publication, as it was more accessible for us as a group, avoiding the need to use HTML coding (which none of us then knew) and could be used to re-publish both the pictures and much of the original content of the written FAQ’s. Bill saw the first topics and pages posted, gave his approval and encouraged us to continue with this format.

Our initial work in the Spring of 2013 focused on re-publishing the pictures FAQ’s as this was the simplest way to get started and established both a framework for the blog version and an online presence. Later in the first year, our focus changed to checking, updating and re-publishing much of the written content of the original FAQ’s, in sections, configured for this blog format.

We were fortunate in our second year that both Maynard Stowe and Mark Hall wrote about their work producing the Putnam & Stowe and The Forney Co/Portland Products 0-4-4T Forney locomotives respectively; and to receive permission from Chuck Collins to reproduce his Maine Two Foot prototype locomotive information previously published on his now defunct website.

Our third year continued the focus on consolidation and more prototype information; we transferred Trevor Marshall’s track schematic’s to this blog and were fortunate that Dwight Smith allowed us to publish the pictures of his visit to Bridgton in the 1940’s. Terry Smith finally managed to update the posting about Tin Roofs and Colour Schemes.

In our fourth year, we were loaned collections of old magazines which led to a number of new topics filling in the history of the smaller suppliers active in the early to mid 1970’s and additional photographs allowed us to show exceptional layouts and modelling from Ric Collins, Peter Barney and Bob Harper.

We felt that our fifth year was notable for us passing 100,000 viewings which we felt was a significant milestone for such a minority interest. Some new topics were posted and some older topics were updated.

Our sixth year was fairly quiet but Terry Smith found time to re-check and update his personal tests on Maine On2 Locomotive draw-pulls, rolling stock and truck friction and grades, and present the updated information on this blog. A number of older topics were updated with additional pictures and links.

In common with a number of model railroad related blogs, our seventh and eighth years were fairly quiet, and our ninth year continues the same way. The editorial focus has been to re-write or update a number of older topics with additional information, pictures and links, rather than to write up new topics. The biggest issue for the Group in this period was the withdrawal of the Groups facilities by Yahoo! and the member crowd funded migration of the Maine On2 group (and their records. files and photo albums) to the io platform. The change has vastly improved access to past messages using the robust io search capability and we feel this has reduced the need for these FAQ’s for the diligent researcher.

Sadly a number of groups referred to here , such as the Maine Two Footers, HOn30, and 7-8 Inch Scale Trains do not appear to have migrated and along with their records disappeared when Yahoo pulled the plug.

You can help;-

We welcome any on-topic comments about the content and presentation of the current FAQ’s and in particular corrections for any pictures and/or posts which have been incorrectly attributed. We also welcome any offers of additional information or pictures.

Please advise us if you find links not working as expected, or if external referenced websites are no longer valid. We welcome any suggestions for improved links both within these FAQ’s and to external sites.

Please contact us via the Maine On2 io group message board.

And finally, we hope that you enjoy your visits here, and find the information useful,

Trevor, Matt & Terry

3rd August 2022.

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