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W&H TELEGRAPH SYSTEM: Feedback and Site Info

Welcome to the Webville and Hypertext Railroad Company's TELEGRAPH SYSTEM. This area gives information about the site, it's maintenance and policies. Enjoy!

THE FILE ROOM: General Server Info

The story

Why ever did I go to so much trouble as to create this Web site? Well, I love trains and I love the Web. Put them together and what do you have? WebTrains! Well, that was the idea anyway.

The Webville's base of documents grew from the many hours I spent in the Ohio State Electrical Engineering UNIX Lab (later as an employee) surfing the net. There was no such thing as the Web then, so I spent most of my time on Archie searching railroad terms for possible files and reading Usenet rec.railroad and rec.models.railroad . I compiled a formitable list of FTP sites containing rail related files and kept copies of the best explanations posted to r.r . When Mosaic came out, the first web page I saw was Wes Barris's Steam Locomotive Information (then at http://www.arc.umn.edu/~wes/steam.html). From that moment I realized I HAD to create a Web site. I learned HTML within a week and wrote the foundation for the W&H using the info I had been collecting. Alas I wouldn't have access to a server for a few months yet, so I developed it being it's only patron.

When I started the W&H there was a little over six rail-related web sites in the world and four in North America. The Virtual Railroad was the leader at the time, but it and Rail-Related Internet Resources (RIP) were both primarily concerned with locating and listing railroad information that was already on the net. I was impressed by Wes Barris's Steam Locomotive Information. It was more an archive for rail information. At the time I was heavily compiling The Family Tree of North American Railroads and it became the foundation document for what I wanted to do here, a site dedicated to railroads from a historical point of view.

The W&H went online September 1994, hosted by the new and experimental web server of OSU Engineering Career Services (then at http://watnet10.eng.ohio-state.edu/), which I was building at the time. The server crashed 12 hours later. After a month of software swaps and upgrades the server remained stable. At that time the W&H had only three departments. One for links, one for pictures and one for discussion groups. About December that year the site was reorganized roughly the way it is today, modelled after a railroad infrastructure.

In June 1995, since I was graduating and no longer working for the University, the site was moved to a new location at Hurricane Electric. The move freed me of the responsibility of maintaining the server and allowed me to concentrate on the site. HE, though, had it's problems. Most significantly that in February 1997 it dropped DNS support for the original URL I was given (he.tdl.com) despite their own e-mail saying they would not. In addition, their transfer rates and limited storage space was stifling the W&H and my wallet.

In February 1997 the W&H officially planted its flag at it's own virtual URL, Spike Systems. In that way, should the site have to move again, it can take it's URL with it. Also that enabled me to 'spin-off' other sites that were becoming too large to remain inside the W&H. Namely The EBT Homepage and The GG1 Homepage. Spike Systems has been hosted by:

I love railroads, and love sharing them with others. What better place to share than the Internet?

Server Technical Features

This server space is provided by Railfan.Net. Details on their services can be found at their homepage. Site usage statistics are available for Spike Systems.

Accuracy of Items on the Server

I present this server as a service to the Internet community at large and to the rail interest community at large. I am not being paid for the time invested in site maintenance. All items presented on this server are either public domain, used according to permissions, or assumed in the public domain for lack of a claim of ownership. I make absolutely no ascertains as to the accuracy or safety of the material on this site. I accept no responsibility for its use, misuse or abuse, or any damages resulting. All links to other sites are provided to the user at the users own risk. I make no guarantees as to the content or lack thereof of such sites, their reliability, safety, or anything else.

I rely on those who submit material and links to keep their material accurate, safe, and informative, but I have no way of guaranteeing they do so, except to refuse them links or server space. I make every attempt to keep my own documents and the server as a whole as error free and user friendly as possible. As you might imagine it is quite a task and I don't always succeed. Feel free to offer suggestions and comments, just realize I am likely not aware of the problem (or am trying to resolve it), or else it wouldn't be present.

Guidelines Disclaimer

I reserve the right to change any of these guidelines or ignore them completely, after all it is my site.

Is the W&H Non-Profit or What?

The W&H is my personal web site and is NOT a profit making venture. It is also NOT a non-profit organization. I may from time to time offer items for a charge. Any such income goes first to defray the cost of this server space and Internet access, then to upgrade the computer equipment used to maintain the site. Spike Systems is currently just a front end to the W&H.


Link Submissions

I am happy to add links to Internet sites with rail-related content. Links must be to sites relating to railroads (railways), railfanning, or model railroads. I will make a decision on sites that are marginally related. I do not trade links only for the reason of having additional links to this site. Anyone is free to link to this site, but I will not feel this obliges me to link back. I only link to sites meeting these criteria. In your message include:

If any of this information changes, please notify me. If I cannot reach the site or e-mail address originally submitted I will judge the site to be DOA (Dead, out of Action.) The listing you loose may be your own. Be sure you format your URL correctly. I get a surprising number of incorrect URLs.

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Link Submission
Tips for mailing me.

If I link to your site a reciprocating link it greatly appreciated, but not required. It would alleviate your need to maintain a link list of your own. If I do link to your site you are eligible to display the W+H Listed Herald to show that your site is listed here.

Link Updates

If you change your URL or other link info please let me know, or else I might not find out for months, as where I have thousands of links to maintain. If you feel your site is better listed under a different area feel free to ask, but try to make a case for it. In you message include:

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Link Update
Tips for mailing me.

In the case of off site links, the "Upd Mon" and "New Mon" icons refer to changes in the URL itself, not in the site content to which the URL refers.

Bad Links

If you see a link on this site that consistantly doesn't work or does not work correctly, onsite or offsite, PLEASE let me know. It'll make my job a lot easier. In your message include:

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Bad Link
Tips for mailing me.

Linking to the W&H

I do not wish to nor could I place any restrictions on links to this site. I encourage them. Note though, that only the main page and departmental pages are not subject to URL changes. Other pages may move or disappear. I do ask that if you link directly to a department or specific page, that it is accompanied by a link to the W&H main page http://www.spikesys.com/webville.html so folks know it is part of an overall site.

You may use the W&H herald as part of your link to the W&H. The herald is the property of the W&H and may not be stretched or edited in any way. It must be removed if requested to do so. There are three sizes available:




If your site is listed at the W&H you can also use the W&H Listed Herald as your link. Please do not edit or stretch them. If you really need an alteration, let me know.

W&H Documents - MAIN YARDS

Submitting Documents

The W&H hosts rail-related documents from many authors. Additional informational or entertaining documents are welcome. A few rules do apply to such documents.

Documents may not be copied directly or paraphrased without credit from any copyrighted work, or otherwise infringement on US or other copyright law.

Documents must be reasonably accurate and must be related to railroads, railfanning or model railroads.

Ask about document formatting, especially tables, before submitting.

A valid e-mail address and name or handle is needed at the head of the document for reference for those who wish to suggest changes.

It is recommended that documents are either on non dynamic subject matter or be actively maintained by the author to keep information up to date. If an article is not being maintained and I receive corrections, I will make corrections to it and assume all rights to the newly revised document.

I reserve the right to edit documents as necessary to conform to site parameters: such as headers, footers, and other enhanced elements of a hypertext environment. Such editing is usually minimal.

I reserve the right to refuse or remove any document at any time due to obsolescence, lack of readership, lack of maintenance, or any other reason.

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Document Submission
Tips for mailing me.

Document Problems

Should you see material which is your property and do not wish it to be presented on this server please mail me.

If you see errors in documents please send corrections to the author at the e-mail address listed at the top of the document and encourage them to send an updated copy to me. If the author is unreachable, unresponsive, or is no longer maintaining the document, please mail me and I will make the corrections and assume curatorship of the document.

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Document Problem
Tips for mailing me.

W&H Binaries - RIGHT-OF-WAY

I do not archive pictures here due to their size. There are several good archives for these now.

Sound Submissions

The Big Toot sound Archive is seeking submissions of good quality or unique sound files. Mail submissions encoded. Binhex or Mime coding are preferred but UUencode can also be used. Please send descriptions of each sound's subject. Sounds will be reviewed and the best samples will be included in the archive.

Binary Errors

If you have trouble with the binaries please inform the author if it is an operational problem, and mail me if it is a file corruption problem.

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Binaries submissions and inquiries
Tips for mailing me.

W&H Rail Software Packages - SIGNAL SYSTEM

Submitting Rail Software Packages

If you are the developer or proprietor of a rail related software package please feel free to submit it for listing here. Please include: If any of this information changes, please notify me. If I cannot reach the site or e-mail address originally submitted I will judge the package to be DOA (Dead, out of Action.) The listing you loose may be your own.

I do not have room to archive any demo or freeware software at this site.

I no longer accept or archive reviews of software.

Readers, do not ask for more information on the listed packages. I do not have it.

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Rail software submissions and inquiries
Tips for mailing me.

W&H Forum Listings - FRONT OFFICE

Forums: Usenet Groups, Listserves, BBSs

If you know of or administrate a rail-related forum, feel free to send a listing to the W&H.

These must have a significant rail-related content (say, 30% or more) to be added. Include sufficient information so someone reading the page has all they need to access the forum (parity, stop bits, data bits, baud rate, listserv server commands, etc).

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail for W+H Forum Listing
Tips for mailing me.

Copying the W&H

The W&H is copyrighted as a site and it is thus protected by law from unauthorized copying. Many of the documents and binaries archived here are independently copyrighted to varying degrees.

Site Policy: (abridged by Item Policy) Non-public personal usage of items from this server is allowed. Usage in not-for-profit publications of items on this server is usually permitted upon a usage request. Not-for-profit distribution on the Internet is allowed only on a case by case basis. All redistributions should cite the "Webville and Hypertext Railroad Company WWW Site at URL http://www.spikesys.com/webville.html" as the source for the item. Also consult possible copyright restrictions on the item itself. Usage in for-profit enterprises on or off the Internet including CD-ROMs, magazines, books, Internet Sites and advertizements is strictly prohibited without explicit authorization.

Item Policy: Please consult the individual document or binary first. If no mention is made, you may assume server policy is the minimum protection extended to it. It is HIGHLY recommended that you contact the author directly if it has no statement or if it is unclear in any way.

Graphics: Icons, backgrounds and other graphics used on this site may be used for non-public personal usage. They may not be used in other Internet or non Internet publications without explicit authorization. The exceptions are the Clip-Art Archive which is subject to its own usage restrictions, and use of the W&H Logo and W&H Listed Herald for links to the W&H, as detailed above.

Mirroring: Mirroring the W&H in whole or in part is permitted only on a case by case basis.

Requests for Information

I reply to requests for "general rail info" as time allows, and sometimes it does not allow me time to reply. I have a great deal of rail info but it is highly time consuming to research most questions. I will reply where I can.

Please do not send inquiries about

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail on an Information Request
Tips for mailing me.

E-Mailing the Administrator

Note to senders of prior requests
On November 20th, 2000 a virus attack was successfullly fended off from my system, but my Inbox was lost. As a result all unprocessed inquiries about the site or information requests were lost. If you sent in mail prior to then and have not received a reply please re-send your message.

I get a lot of e-mail. I reply to all inquiries, but turnaround time varies with work or research necessary, its imperative nature and what unnatural disasters are besetting me at the time.

Use the Right Link. This page has a different e-mail link for each popular type of submission or inquiry with a pre-coded subject line. Your request will get processed faster if you use the right link.

Be Patient. To control the amount of mail I send and receive I do not reply to a given message until I have information to send. I will not just send mail saying "got your mail and will be back to you" so do not feel offended if I seem to have forgotten your mail. I'm just working on it.

No Reply? If I never e-mail a response it is because A) Your mail never reached me, B) My reply bounced and I could not find out why, or C) A virus ate it (see notice above).

Stick with e-mail. Please don't ask me to call or write you because your e-mail account is broken. E-mail is free for me, and I spend too much to provide the server already. If you just HAVE to talk to me in person, ask for my phone number and say what you want to talk about. If you want a document snail-mailed to you, contact me for an address to send a Stamped Self Addressed Envelope.

Server Related Mail: I make every attempt to resolve URL additions and corrections, document corrections and software reviews by the server update after the mail is received. Binaries which are submitted must first be tested for basic functionality and several server documents must be edited before they can be added. This will usually take longer than other server mail. Mail concerning server operations is invited. If it is negative, please be constructive about it. All server changes, unless stated otherwise, will appear to the public at the monthy server upload.

Document Related Mail: I maintain several documents myself. I encourage feedback on these. Details can usually be found within the document itself.

Non-Server/Document Related Mail: I'm happy to answer or direct your question or just gossip about railroads, tinplate trains or other things, but try to keep any questions precise so I can answer them promptly. Questions answered after server mail is finished. The more specific the question, the less time it will take me to find an answer (or lack thereof).
Too broad: "Can you send me any info you might have on the Erie Railroad?"
Good: "Can you send me info on what date the Erie Railroad was founded?"

Mail me for further information:
Send Mail on a General Inquiry
Tips for mailing me.

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This page last updated 2-28-02 by Christopher D. Coleman
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