Originally Posted by Martin H:
Why can't the fixed-pilot kadee-coupler guys have their own forum?
My feeling--and I mean this sincerely--is that those who are focused almost exclusively on the equipment end of things should seriously consider forming a National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) 3RS Special Interest Group. The NMRA is the one entity in the hobby--all scales--that works with industry to develop Standards and Recommended Practices. They are the one organization with a proven record in that regard, and they are best equipped to meet the needs of those who are concerned with the more technical aspects of the hobby, including motive power and rolling stock, control systems, track standards, compatibility issues, etc.
And I don't want to see anyone write that the "NMRA isn't interested in 3-rail." If that's true at all, it's because the 3-rail hobbyists themselves have not shown much interest in making themselves a part of the organization and because they have chosen to remain on the outside looking in. It's their fault, not the NMRA's fault.
I have been a Life Member of the NMRA since the late 1970s and have participated, at various times, as a hobbyist involved in Z, N, HO, O, and Large Scale. Yes, the majority of NMRA members are involved with HO and N scales because those are the largest segments of the overall hobby. But it still is an inclusive organization that welcomes ALL who are devoted to sharing this hobby and improving modeling standards and the products offered.
If my personal modeling interest was in the pure scale aspects of O, I would probably do one of two things: I would sell off all of my 3-rail and go with 2-rail (the most logical albeit expensive route), or I would remain with 3-rail but would align myself closely with the group that is most apt to help affect productive changes that would bring 3-rail closer to my level of expectations. That group is most certainly the NMRA.