Category talk:Miniature railways

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Disfavour for rename[edit]

The rename proposal is nonsensical. Miniature railways have no any transportation purpose generally. "Miniature rail transport" don't exist (the existing category "Rail transport modelling" is suitable as upon-category). This category is intended first of all for subcategories and images relating to particular miniature railways. --ŠJů (talk) 22:23, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Revert rename[edit]

I've lost track of what is being renamed to which, but "miniature rail transport" seems ridiculous as a category for almost all of these photographs.
It might in a very narrow and specialist sense be applied to a few miniature railways that are also serious means of transport (the 15" gauge R&ER or RH&DR would qualify). However that's a split the encyclopedia might need, but not one necessary for image categorisation.
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - I know I tend to be a bit too insistent on consistency. But "Railways" should (for good reason) on Commons mean a specific railway - the images here are a wild mix, and presumably some not identified to a specific railway at all, some not showing railway operations at all but rather just rail tracks, rail tickets etc... How about we let the proposed rename back to the old name go forward, and then I will reintroduce a "Category:Miniature rail transport" about the concept (oh yes, it IS about transporting people, even if it is only around a track for fun - racing cars are in a transport subcat too!) which has this as a subcategory "Category:Miniature railways" for all those miniature railways that are distinct Railways rather than just unconnected pictures. Cheers. Ingolfson (talk) 04:52, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
PS, the "Railways" in the last sentence being in italics does not imply that I am going to throw hissy fits whether one specific subcategory really constitutes a railway etc... - just that I would like a concept category to sit above the specific railways categories. Cheers Ingolfson (talk) 04:55, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
As noted elsewhere, I have withdrawn my original intention to request effective deletion of the "railways" subcats. They now exits again, for specific railways, with this category to be the "concept" category sitting above, and covering it for categories like "Category:Rail transport by function".

Symbol support vote.svg Support "Category:Miniature railways" and oppose Miniature rail transport if itsnot too late.KTo288 (talk) 11:31, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose + Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment As I noted before, there is a difference between concept and specific railway. "Railways" categories on Commons are primarily for specific railways. There is no harm in having a "concept" category (this one) sitting above the "railways" category (Category:Miniature railways) covering files that for some reason aren't suitable for the lower cat. They might for example, be for images of people who have built or who operate miniature railways (images which show no railway at all), they might contain files about how to build a miniature railway (which cannot be assigned to a specific railway because it doesn't exist yet) or it could contain a diagram discussing some statistical aspect of miniature railways.

The fact that these images do not exist here yet (but could, as noted above) does not mean this category has to be deleted, because as a "concept" category it logically sits above the "railways" category within it, and therefore is not empty. If we deleted/merge intermediate categories because they only hold subcategories, we would delete half of Commons' categories. Ingolfson (talk) 05:24, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Plus, we already have a different subcategory: Children's railways, as opposed to a minaturised rail transport that all can ride on. Ingolfson (talk) 05:33, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, as noted before as well, miniature railways DO transport people. Even if only around a short track. Ingolfson (talk) 05:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
And another subcategory (Category:Miniature rail transport infrastructure), which I created and populated to show that a concept category makes a lot of sense separate from the specific "railways" subcat. I think I'll stop adding to my argument now. Ingolfson (talk) 05:40, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Unexplained merge decision[edit]

Foroa, can I please ask you to relook at your actions on this cat, which you merged against my oppose (as visible above, I was the only one who commented at all, and I had given good reasons against it). You also merged this without any further comment or discussion, and even though the merge proposal by user ŠJů was not argued for by anyone.

Also, on Category_talk:Heritage_rail_transport you had just a few days ago agreed on exactly the same issue that a "concept" category sitting above the "railways" cat makes sense!

A "merge", sadly, is pretty much impossible to undo except by moving all the elements back by hand. The bot doesn't keep a list of what it chucked into the other cat. Thankfully, this wasn't a cat with dozens of subcats and hundreds of pictures. Ingolfson (talk) 06:02, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

You are right, I have been too hasty. Although, with the current category population, a merge might be in order, in the long run it is better to have a consistent structure. I will revert that later. --Foroa (talk) 07:39, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Clarify cat function[edit]

The description currently states:
Miniaturised rail transport that can be ridden on by human beings.

I'm unhappy about this categorisation for starters (miniature railways are rarely built as serious transport) and this doesn't really answer the question. Is this category now for:

  • Miniaturised rail transport that can be ridden on by human beings.
    or
  • Miniaturised rail transport that human beings would choose to ride on as a means of travel.

A 15" gauge railway (e.g Ravenglass & Eskdale) can be 10 miles long and offers serious transport from village to village.

A 5" gauge miniature steam railway is different. It's built (maybe in a local park) to give space for model engineers who have built such engines (an end in itself) to have somewhere to run them. It has no credible purpose for transport. Although they'll easily pull riding carriages, this isn't their purpose.

10¼" and 7¼" gauge are in-between. They're short-distance lines, chiefly in amusement parks. Although most engines are model engineering exercises, there's a case to be made that "passengers" are "paying to ride" this railway, even if it's only in a 5-minute circuit. So they are "miniature railways", but also can't be excluded from "miniature rail transport".

A 2½" gauge railway is the 5" gauge situation, only smaller. They exist as somewhere to exercise the results of your workshop labours, not to ride behind. They're justifiably "miniature railways" rather than solely "model railways" because they are larger railways shrunken down (self-powered locomotives, controlled from the locomotive) and still emphasise engineering construction above the realistic portrayals of a model.

Now clearly (in the rational world, not Wikimedia) 5" & 2½" gauge are related, and more closely so than they are to 15" gauge, let alone 3' and the whole world of "narrow gauge". The current transport-focussed categories take the opposite, and unrealistic view. Because you can ride behind 5" or 3½" gauge stock, that's "transport" but a 2½" gauge engine you couldn't even identify as distinct in many photographs goes into a whole different category. This is too far from reality.

The problem seems to stem from an interpretation of "railways" in both the specific case and the general case simultaneously. We need to address that, not try pushing the borders of fundamentally wrong distinctions around and hope for a compromise. The general case is that of "miniature railways" as a branch of miniature engineering, akin to boat, traction engine or aircraft making. The specific case ties them to particular "lines", akin to a "railways by location" supercategory. I don't think anyone has a probem with either of these interpretations as such, but we're trying to squash them together into a single category and that's what doesn't fit.

How about splitting the cat, and allowing images or sub-cats to be members of both where relevant. Keep Category:Miniature railways and use it for anything bigger than models (i.e. anything where a locomotive is more important than a "layout" and track is primarily a support for locos rather than a realistic diorama). Also create a separate category that is Category:Miniature railways by location and keep that for this separate notion of "describing a specific miniature railway".
Andy Dingley (talk) 13:34, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Hello Dingley, I understand your concern. I also note that your concern does not disappear whether or not this category is called "Miniature rail transport" or "Miniature railways" (that is a separate issue that has been fought over here, as you may have noticed). It is primarily called "rail transport" because the top cat is called that way, i.e. for consistency reasons.
Could we not ensure that the issue is disambiguated, if you want, by clarifying the description of the category. I would suggest that we could phrase it like this. "Miniature rail transport is any sort of rail transport which can be ridden on by humans, and that is used for amusement purposes." We could then add "see also"s that point to railway modelling and to narrow gauge railways, being the modelling and the "serious transport" equivalents. Ingolfson (talk) 06:35, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
That's precisely the point I'm unhappy about. I can ride behind 5" model engineering work, but not behind 2½" work, yet these should clearly be in very closely-related sibling categories. Attaching all categorisation to either "transport" or "not transport" breaks this. We cannot resolve the issue in a single cat.
We have a need to categorize "railways" (vehicles on rails) that are "minature", and to do this whether they involve "transport" or not.
If we want to identify "transport", then let's do that, but do it separately.
If we want to identify specific "railways" (lines from A to B), then let's do that, but do it separately.
Andy Dingley (talk) 10:57, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
It is a pleasure to read such thoughtful comments. I think we need to document something as stated in User_talk:Foroa#Railways. --Foroa (talk) 14:21, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Dingley, I don't see how your comment makes this category invalid (if that was what you wanted to say?). I was not proposing to put railway modelling categories in here. I was proposing this as concept category for rail transport that can be ridden on, for amusement. Such as what is currently defined under "miniature railways" and possibly such as Category:Roller coasters. I also proposed a "see also" - not a category-structure link - to categories which might be confused with this, such as rail modelling.
If get you right, you are saying that "miniature railways" - which can be both those ridden on, and, at least when not further defined, also those that can't - shouldn't be lumped together under a "transport" cat? Mmmh, "rail transport modelling" IS currently a subcat of "rail transport"! Should we move that as well? Asking, not trying to play "gotcha". Ingolfson (talk) 21:09, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we should rename the above "rail transport modelling" to "rail modelling"? Just not back to "railway modelling"! Ingolfson (talk) 21:14, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Alternative proposal for the main discussion here, to sound it out: would it make sense to remove this category branch (both "miniature rail transport" AND "miniature railways" because the definitions are too wobbly (and merge "children's railways" too, because that is another wobbly distinction!) - and split it up between classic "rail transport modelling" (i.e. keep that structure as it is, for non-ridable play/display/modelling rail) and then create a category like "Amusement rail transport" with subcategories "Amusement railways" and "roller coasters" - PS: If the word amusement doesn't fit, maybe others do? Ingolfson (talk) 21:09, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

New proposal to rename to "railways"[edit]

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - this (again) request to rename contradicts ŠJů's own (successful) request to remove the Category:Railways categories as a duplicate system. I don't see why he now wants to reintroduce this structure. On Commons, this is called Category:Rail transport. Also, as per my previous comments, "Miniature rail transport" is more generic, while "miniature railways" is much more (and unnecessarily) specific. What about miniature trams, for example. Are we to put them under "railways", and have the same old disputes about "railways" vs rail transport for eternity? Ingolfson (talk) 01:58, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

As was many times over written already, this and the similar categories don't create some "duplicate system", but this category should be an unified category intended for all content relating to miniature railways. "Miniature rail transport" is a nonsensical fabrication. I'm evidently not solitary which impugns that this unification is made ad absurdum, see this discussion too. It was resolved that "railways in (country)" shouldn't be a umbrella category of rail transport in country. Categories of specific types of railways wasn't in question in the disscussion which you refer – please don't desinterpretate it. Because the primary meaning of the word "railway" can be mismatched with metonymized meanings ("a railway company" "a net of railways" etc.), it should be periphrastic replaced by "railway line" at this level (i. e. in "by country" or "by area" categories of rail transport). In case of categories by type of railway, this problem is out of the question. "Miniature railway" or "Industrial railway" or "Narrow gauge railway" are unambiguous and established terms and it is no reason to replace them by some euphuistic periphrasis. The whole theme "rail transport" has many sub-themes such "railway employees", "railway tickets", "railway companies", "railway companies" etc., which is the reason why differentiate the "rail tranport" and "railway lines" categories. But in case of categories of railways by type is similar level-making needles. As I wrote already several times, the category structure and naming at en-wikipedia in this theme is suitable. I support to save and preserve such categorization here likewise (besides, as it was before hurried and undiscussed changes). Tramway is a specific type of railway, miniature tram-railways can be categorized as subcategory of miniature railways. --ŠJů (talk) 21:53, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support "rail transport" is somewhat stilted at best, for "miniature rail transport" it becomes ridiculous. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:25, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
ŠJů: it should be periphrastic replaced by "railway line" at this level (i. e. in "by country" or "by area" categories of rail transport). - Incorrect, it is "Rail transport by country", not "railway lines by country". Ingolfson (talk) 07:11, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the matter here - as ŠJů himself say above: "rail transport" has many sub-themes such "railway employees", "railway tickets", "railway companies", - so this does not apply to these more specialised sub-categories? Where do we place categories like Category:Miniature rail transport infrastructure and Category:Industrial rail transport infrastructure? Are we going to call them Category:Industrial railway infrastructure, and bend the category tree out of shape again, away from Category:Rail transport infrastructure? Ingolfson (talk) 07:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Of course, "Rail transport by country" is the above-category of "Railway lines by country", and "Rail transport in Sweden" can be the above-category of "Railway lines in Sweden". Category of a particular railway (or of a partucilar group of railways) can be placed into "railway lines in..." category evidently, not into the fewer specific parent category. If the name of railway (and its category) is identical with the name of a railway company, the category can be placed into the category "railway companies in..." concurrently. Do remember what was the content of the categories which was discussed last time. It was resolved that e. g. the category of all German railways should by named "Railway lines in Germany", but it doesn't follow that everyone railway in Germany should be renamed to "railway line". Let's respect established names and common terms. „Miniature rail transport“ is a nonsens, and infrastructure of miniature railways can be the subcategory of it. Btw, the current content of Category:Miniature rail transport infrastructure is very casual and the category in such conception is useless duplicate again. Images of miniature railways can be categorized by country or by railway or by type of facilities. The placing of photos directly into "Miniature rail transport infrastructure" is useless. "Railway" is the infrastructure in itself, the infrastructure subcategory is redundant. --ŠJů (talk) 22:02, 31 May 2009 (UTC)