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Rail-Marine Information Group
Rail-Marine Background

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photo of the barge Amboy
New York City Rail Road covered barge Amboy at a New York City pier (the mast and boom are not part of the barge, but belong to the stick lighter behind it). This photograph is in the collection of South Street Seaport Museum Library.

The Challenge Meeting the Challenge Our Publication Modelers vs. Historians Future Directions

THE CHALLENGE:photo of John Teichmoeller   The Rail-Marine Information Group (RMIG) was formed by John Teichmoeller in 1993. He is currently the RMIG coordinator. It began with a small group of people who were interested in the connection between rail and marine transportation.

While some articles on the rail/marine topic make their way into various railroad and maritime publications, often material written is considered "too shippy" for the railroad magazines, "too railroady" for the ship publications, and may have too much modeling-specific material in it for either audience. Rather than continue to be frustrated by the sparse and occassional coverage of these subjects by the other commercial and enthusiast group publications, John founded RMIG in 1993 to resolve this problem directly as well as to provide a medium for amateur writers, enthusiasts or collectors who wish to share something in writing but who are not interested in going to the extra effort to hone the material for the commercial or academic publications.

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MEETING THE CHALLENGE:   Since its founding, RMIG's objectives have continually been satisfied. Moreover, other writers have used RMIG to present preliminary versions of their works in an open forum. The group also reports relevant news items and mentions and/or reviews publications and videos, as well as being continuously mindful of scale modeling aspects of the subjects covered. RMIG devotes attention to running corrective or additive material to articles that have been published. Realizing that we can't and shouldn't publish or reprint everything about the subject, RMIG tries to serve as a clearing house for sharing information on rail- and marine-related publications.
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OUR PUBLICATION:   Transfer was the group's primary medium of sharing information. It combined a mix of submissions from members and citations of other relevant current works in print and video as well as descriptions of products relevant to the modeler. Members provided reader and writer feedback to previously published material. RMIG encouraged first-time submissions; some articles were enhanced and published in railroad historical society magazines. Recognition of the important nature of rail-marine has grown sharply in recent years. More and more articles on the subject are being published in the commercial press. Modeling products are becoming available to the extent undreamed of when RMIG was formed.
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MODELERS vs. HISTORIANS:   While many members are modelers, many are not. There is a fair amount of crossover membership with other historical societies and special interest groups.Therefore, RMIG tried to maintain a balance of material that contains both historical content as well as physically descriptive information that can be used by modelers. Our policy has been that a detailed, graphical description of the physical entities is essential to understanding the subject even if you are not a modeler, therefore we reproduce drawings, site plans and photos, when possible, even though size may preclude their use directly for modeling purposes. In these cases we let our members know how they can arrange to obtain usable drawings for modeling.
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FUTURE DIRECTIONS: RMIG has assisted in meetings of other organizations wanting to include material on rail-marine subjects. The group does not rule out the possibility of a stand-alone meet in the future.

As noted on the Membership page, RMIG has sunsetted as a paid membership group, and publication of Transfer as a paper magazine ceased with Issue No. 44. At some time in the future, separate stand-alone publications are contemplated as an electronic version of Transfer that can be downloaded.

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