Category talk:Rail transport by function

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It should be easy for any user to find what he or she is searching by starting from "rail tansport". Thus the number of levels within the category tree should be limited. Rail transport has two main functions, passenger transport and freight transport. But then, there are so many things in between. Military transports can be troups (passenger) and/or material (freight). Same thing with mining railways, they transport the miners and the ore or coal etc. Finally we have to deal with vehicle transports, that are considered passenger transports when cars with people sitting in the vehicle are transported (car shuttle Furka tunnel is a passenger train!). Luggage and bicycles that passengers take with them aren't considered to be freight. Thus it would make sense to only use "freight trains" for trains that can't be categorized otherwise and put the other categories directly under "Rail transport by function". I think, this structure would be better understood.Gürbetaler (talk) 23:05, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Gürbetaler, sorry, don't quite get what you are proposing? Are you wanting to move categories like "agricultural rail transport" into "Freight rail transport"? I have already started to do the same thing somewhat. But I am somewhat confused by your talk about "trains" here. A file showing a freight yard might not have a single train in it (or even a single piece of rolling stock at all!), yet would still very clearly belong into the category "Freight rail transport" - yet not into the category "Freight trains". The trains could/should be subcategories of their top categories that discuss the whole concept, crucially including the associated infrastructure.
Maybe I am misunderstanding your explanation?
I also note that many of your comments relate to achieving a simpler structure that is easily understood. That is laudable - but I disagree that we should achieve this by making the structure too flat (i.e. only a few levels- you mentioned 4-5 I believe, which I consider a bit arbritrary. Rail transport itself is deeper than that in the Commons scheme!). I consider that we should instead assist the searching user by allowing access to what he searches for along ALL LOGICAL PATHS / MANY LOGICAL PATHS - which means that some subcategories like "freight trains" could be found via "freight rail transport" OR "Trains" OR "Transport vehicles" OR...
I also note your discussion of the car shuttle with passengers in it. Why should this pose any problem? The specific subcategory goes into BOTH categories (freight AND passenger rail transport - and potentially also in the vehicle transporter categories where applicable). Just as rail-road vehicles (that move on both roads and rails) should go into both "rolling stock" and "road vehicles" - straddling the boundaries isn't only possible, it is sometimes necessary, or we will have to use overly broad top categories only.
(As an aside, I note that we have since removed "Rail transport by freight", so there's one less branch to worry about, though I am not of the opinion that it hurt anything).
Hope we can clarify where we disagree here. Grüsse, Ingolfson (talk) 10:58, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I think we do not generally disagree, but as I said, I try to avoid intermediate categories when a direct relation is possible and clear enough. Some examples (partly mentioned elsewhere):
  • Heritage rail transport - Heritage railways - Heritage railways by country : The Category:Heritage railways doesn't contain anything else than the Category:Heritage railways by country. So two levels instead of three would be enough.
  • A gondola used for log transports can be categorized under Logging rail transport and I can't see the need for a category Rolling stock by function. What would you put there? A Category Gondolas in use for Logging? If somebody would search for this, he would find it anywhere except here...
  • Trains and Rolling stock are of the same importance but trains are even more important for "normal users". They should always be on the same level.
  • Rail transport by function and Rail transport by type do not clearly say what they contain. It is also difficult to describe, as there are Narrow Gauge, Miniature Railways, Rack railways, Monoralis, etc. "by function" isn't very clear too, but I see that this is a wide-spread idea on Wikicommons.
I will add, when I stumble across a debatable category. Gürbetaler (talk) 22:39, 21 February 2009 (UTC)