Upfront aside: Realize, I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here. Otto and Mike had very good reasons for organizing the forums the way they did, whether via creating forums or consolidation thereof. This in no way implies anything other than how I can best provide a forum in an evolving environment for all members to effectively post their railroad-related thoughts and questions, read interesting articles, view railroad events, and learn about railroads while moderators and admins can efficiently moderate the site.
Thanks to John, Otto, Mike, and all of the moderators past and present who've made Railroad.net what it is today. I hope to continue that tradition.
I've been consolidating and reviewing some of the threads from the News forum. Many of these threads had to do with establishment/disestablishment of forums, and the forum index. I'm still reviewing some of the comments and posts to inform my decision on how best to manage forums.
It's apparently a "touchy" subject as I have found out.
However, one thing I've done is simplify the board index, where all of the forums are grouped and listed. I've moved commuter railroads to the top (very heavily trafficked), and followed those with Class I, II (new grouping), and III, Regions, Fallen Flags, Equipment, Employment, Railfanning (more work to come on that later), and General Railroad (a lot of the one-off groupings that we had).
Hopefully, this will make your search for a forum somewhat easier.
I've also added two forums, one as noted above for general dicussion of Class I railroad operations not pertaining to a specific Class I (thinking in terms of FRA, STB, and competition topics). I've added another one today in the same vein for Class II. There already was one for Class III and Commuter. This way, we're consistent accross all categories.
I'm continuing to assess the situation with potential new or previously consolidated forums. At this time, if you want to give some input, I'd be happy to hear it. Please post here, not via PM.