Discussion relating to the B&O up to it's 1972 merger into Chessie System. Visit the B&O Railroad Historical Society for more information. Also discussion of the C&O up to 1972. Visit the C&O Historical Society for more information. Also includes the WM up to 1972. Visit the WM Historical Society for more information.
  by Otto Vondrak
Would anyone object to creating a "chessie" forum where we could discuss C&O, B&O, and WM in one forum? What do you think?

Last edited by Otto Vondrak on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

  by hutton_switch
I would like each forum to remain as is, that is, up until the formation of the Chessie System. B&O, C&O, and WM are all rich in their respective histories up until the formation of Chessie. I have no objection to the formation of a Chessie System forum, as long as it sticks to that particular company, up until the formation of CSX.

  by walt
Otto--- you have just run afoul of the intense loyalty to the B&O among Baltimore area members. Many love the B&O, were ambivalent toward the C&O ( which was Virginia based), tolerated the Chessie System, and can't stand CSX! ( or the PRR)

  by Otto Vondrak
I know it goes against our moral fibre to foul the Standard Railroad of Maryland (heheh)... the only reason was I saw that both forums were lightly trafficked, and I thought combining them into one would help... but if there are strong feelings against it, I will not.


  by WNYRailfan
I definitely have learned, since I moved to Toledo, OH, that thew C&O and B&O are entirely different. I even got lost in Fostoria, OH because I was looking for the C&O trackage and wound up on B&O trackage.
Combination of the forums would be just wrong. The C&O really was not the same type of friendly railroad that the B&O was.
  by Jay Potter
It seems to me that the underlying issue here is what, if anything, can be done to increase the level of participation in this forum and the C&O forum.

I have the impression that there never was a substantial level of participation in the C&O forum and that the formerly substantial level of participation in this forum ceased when RAILROAD.NET was reorganized, as discussed in the "BR&P" topic below.

Since there seem to be a significant number of B&O-related internet sites, including a yahoogroup with many members who are extremely knowledgeable about the B&O, I consider it highly unlikely that the level of participation in this forum will increase in the absence of some major change. I suspect that combining it with the C&O forum and expanding it to include WM and the Chessie System would produce an increase in the number of postings, although I'm not sure what affect that would have on the "quality" of the postings. In other words, I suspect that the change would make people whose interest is limited to the B&O more inclined to gravitate to the "B&O-only" forums.

It's occurred to me that there is one alternative approach that Otto might try.

Unless I'm mistaken, the C&O forum has no moderator; and the moderator on this forum has never made any postings to it. Although I'm not particularly comfortable with moderators who adopt a somewhat possessive view of "their" forums and dun members with postings that imply that all members have some "duty" to participate, I have to admit that forums that have active moderators who are knowledgeable about forum subjects seem to have higher levels of participation than do forums in which the moderators are inactive or less knowledgeable.

So Otto might consider what, if any, changes could be made at the moderator level before deciding whether more extreme changes are necessary. I know that Wade Rice has a substantial amount of interest in the B&O; and I seem to recall that he used to be a moderator for the predecessor of this forum. Perhaps he has some interest in being the moderator, or a co-moderator, of this forum.

  by hutton_switch

Yes, I do have substantial interest in the B&O, and yes, I was the moderator of the B&O forum when it was under the old format.

One of the biggest mistakes made in the transition from the old Railroad.net to the present one was the lack of a mechanism to either move or convert the postings from the old format to the current one. There was a considerable amount of valuable historic information posted (particularly on the old BR&P, which became part of the B&O) there, and the failure to transfer this motherlode of information was a significant downer for me, and I'm sure for many former B&O forum members who no longer belong. I still have not been able to get over the shock of this loss. For that reason, I was, and still am not inclined to want to take on the responsibility as a moderator of the B&O forum.
  by Tony T.
Personally, the B & O/C & O have always seemed as one to me. This is no doubt due to my coming of age as a trainwatcher during the '70's. My dad's side of the family calls Fostoria home, and oddly enough, the two homes were trainwatching was done were located on each line. (NW was 'heard' of, but seldom seen)

I currently model this period of time, where units were mingled together and it just seems right. I say, bring the forums together.


  by walt
The idea of creating a Chessie forum, and including in it discussion of the pre-Chessie C&O and WM might have some merit. I would tend not to favor including the pre-Chessie B&O simply because of the intense loyalty to that railroad of Baltimore area residents. Though the Chessie system combined the B&O, C&O, and WM ( it was not really a merger, as each retained its separate corporate existence), they were significantly different railroads, and especially in the case of the B&O, having distinctly unique characteristics.

  by dti407
It doesn't matter to me if they get combined or not.

(In reference to an above post, I try to keep watch in the forums. Recently, I have I have gotten busier and I am not able to look at the forums as much. I wouldn't mind having a co-moderator in here. :-) )

  by pdman
I worked for the company from 1967 until 1971 at corporate headquarters in Baltimore. I was amazed at the animosity among the former B&O people toward those and anything C&O.

The saying went that at the combination, the C&O gave up the O and the B&O gave up the B, so that is how they got the surviving company name.

  by Otto Vondrak
Regarding bringing the "old" posts into the new site: It is not a matter of making a "mistake" its a matter of the new format and old format not being compatible.

If the current moderator is not active, and would not mind handing the reins over to someone else, or taking on a helping hand, we can always ad co-moderators. Anyone can be a moderator- all you have to do is ask.

I appreciate any and all suggestions on how to improve traffic to these forums. Thank you very much for your suggestions- please keep 'em coming.


  by Trainheartedguy
as for more traffic, its basically coming up with interesting questions that are useful and can recieve input from everyone (Like this thread for example :P :wink: ).

As for combining, There was chessie, but before chessie, I see B&O as B&O and C&O as...(Well thats not in the railfan spirit :P so Ill just say "as the C&O") All great railroads, but far different.

  by hutton_switch
Otto Vondrak wrote:Regarding bringing the "old" posts into the new site: It is not a matter of making a "mistake" its a matter of the new format and old format not being compatible.

I know this is OT, and should be discussed elsewhere, but the subject has been broached. When you were considering replacement software packages for the switch from the older to an updated format for all of Railroad.net, didn't you consider whether or not the software package(s) could convert existing content? Whatever the case, is there any possibility of investigating an external conversion program that could convert the old content?

  by Otto Vondrak
I wasn't really involved in the decision, but I can tell you this: the last version of Railroad.net was buitl from scratch. The decision to switch to this software package came about because people were asking for all sorts of features that we couldn't possibly have implemented on our own. So when we investigated options, we went with PHPBB. It wouldnt really matter which package we chose, because none would be compatible with the way we were storing information on the old Railroad.net.

It would be a manual conversion process too tedious to undertake. Others with database experience have stepped up to offer help- we sent them a few sample passages and then they realize that we weren't foolin'- it would be an impossible task to convert the old data. It's not as simple as converting from GIF to JPG or from WordPerfect to Word or from DOS to Apple... it's a matter of rewriting millions of lines of code.

Feel free to contact the webmaster, Mike Roque, for more details.