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@palallin posted:

If I had to choose between CrewTalk and absolute silence, I would take absolute silence.

Perhaps I should note that I don't like CrewTalk

One of these days you'll have to tell us how you really  feel. 

I’m curious… for those of you who “hate” crew talk. Why do you hate it?

Is is because of what they say or is it crew talk in general?

I don't "hate" it, however it does bother me because it is not at all prototypical. I worked in railroading for many years and never heard anything on the radio that sounds even remotely like the stilted and awkward conversations you hear from these locomotives.

This could have been an opportunity for the model industry to do a little teaching by making Crew Talk sound like the real world, using proper railroad terminology. But that didn't happen. They just forged ahead without any research into what the real world sounds like, and we are left with the comical nonsense that passes for Crew Talk.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

Largely idiosyncratic:   I deplore the implausibility of it (note:  not the impossibility.  It goes to the ancient literary dictum:  The plausible impossible is to be preferred to the implausible possible).  The list of unrealistic aspects of 3R O Gauge is as long as the list of Casey Jones' rule infractions.  3R O's tongue is often planted firmly in cheek, but CrewTalk's tongue is nowhere near its cheek.  It takes itself seriously.  Were it applied to  Mickey Mouse handcar, I'd grin and ignore it, maybe even find it cute.  As is, nothankyouverymuch.  Even the Kickapoo Valley Express is more plausible.

If you enjoy it, please do so!  I'd never try to argue it shouldn't exist.  I'll just beg you to spare me!

I’m curious… for those of you who “hate” crew talk. Why do you hate it?

Is is because of what they say or is it crew talk in general?

Because it's silly. I'd rather Lionel had gone through the effort to have the locomotives play preprogrammed whistle signals (forward, reverse, crossing) than talk to me about getting beans when I shut the locomotive off .

I dislike crew talk for the same reason I don't like movie editors who feel that every time a horse appears the have to edit in a whinny, or every time there's a dog we have to hear a whimper or a bark, or every time a tree is in the shot we have to hear birds chirping ... etc.  It doesn't depict real life for me.  I don't hear the chatter of the crew on the radio when I'm watching a train pass by, why should I have to listen to it with my model railroad?

IMHO, crew talk was invented for the people who have the TV on in the next room as they're doing dishes, on in the bedroom as they're sleeping or have the radio on in the car at a volume one can't possibly understand what's being sung or said.  It's audio clutter to me, and just unnecessary. 

Yup, I don't mind silence once in awhile ...

I do not care for crew talk, however my nephew does.  I have not hooked up my TMCC yet.  He thinks crew talk is great and gets on me about the one room schoolhouse I cannot get it to light.  He said schoolhouses back in the late 40's and early 50's period were not lighted at night in rural areas.  Thank you, third rail and barrister.2u for reminding me that they used hand signals, flairs etc. in that period.  I like to run trains in the evening its relaxing at the end of a day.

just curious, to rich and all the real railroad engineers. retired or active. why could you not be asked to help with the crew talk dialog by mth or lionel?

rich as you said you did some of the voices for lionel. surely they asked for your input on the various dialogs they were using? if not they were foolish and missed a real opportunity there.

mth and especially lionel keep pushing there engines to greater levels of detail and smoke features to make them as real as possible for a model train.. maybe the sound department needs a little help from some experts like you and other retired engineers.

I use them sometimes, but not all the time. they do get old after a while.

just curious, to rich and all the real railroad engineers. retired or active. why could you not be asked to help with the crew talk dialog by mth or lionel?



My personal opinion is that they are afraid that they will have to pay somebody! Other than that I have no idea. Probably the same reason they do not ask for help getting details right...NIMBY!

just curious, to rich and all the real railroad engineers. retired or active. why could you not be asked to help with the crew talk dialog by mth or lionel?

rich as you said you did some of the voices for lionel. surely they asked for your input on the various dialogs they were using? if not they were foolish and missed a real opportunity there.

I did offer some suggestions about the script used in the Lionel NKP 765 Berk. Some were accepted, others were not.

For example, there is a sequence where you push a certain button on the Legacy remote and I ask the dispatcher if we are good to go. Using this button, the answer is always no. If you push that button several more times, the dialog changes slightly each time, but the answer from the dispatcher is still always no. I think it is the fourth level where I actually sound a bit upset and say something about outlawing (running out of time on the hours of service rule) right where we sit, or something like that. The original script did not have anything like that in it.

As I said above, there was a teaching opportunity  here, but none of the manufacturers chose to take advantage of it. What we got instead was comical, toy train nonsense.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

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