Running, maintaining and updating steamlocomotive.info has been a fascinating obsession these last twenty (20!) years. The site came on the air in September of 2001 in a very primitive form. We had about 1400 locomotives in the database, and pictures of about 800 of them. Initially we included just the United States. Since that inauspicious beginning, we’ve expanded to include the whole world with the help of an enormous list of contributors.
Let us take a look at what is currently on the website:
Complaint: You list scrapped locomotives. Why? You shouldn’t!
Yes, we list scrapped locomotives. These are almost universally locomotives whose scrapping was reported AFTER we started this website. So they were listed at one time, because they existed. Rather than have them vanish magically when scrapped we chose to simply change the locomotive’s status to Scrapped and retain whatever information and photos we had for the locomotive. This has the charming advantage of preventing a particularly annoying question: “You don’t list locomotive XYZ that was at Left Overshoe, West Dakota. Why?” Well because it was scrapped.
So to put this in short form. We list scrapped locomotives because we think it is the best way to record the pool of locomotives that existed when we started this project.
If this truly annoys you, click on the Custom View button on the website’s front page, change Show Scrapped Locomotives to ‘No’ and click Submit. Voila! Your problem is gone. Curiously in the seven years since I implemented that feature, not one single user (other than me) has used. it.
Complaint: You Don’t Have a Picture of Locomotive XYZ!
You are undoubtedly correct. But we do have pictures of 13466 locomotives. We are deeply saddened that we don’t have a picture of your favorite locomotive. If you have a photo of the locomotive it is extremely easy to submit it. If you’ve seen the image below:
Simply click there and follow the instructions. Of course that assumes that you actually have a photo of it yourself. And believe it or not, after 20 years I just noticed how idiotic the content of the image above actually is. Grammatically incorrect. Just added this to my list of things to fix. Sigh.
Biggest Complaint: You Never Update Anything!
Umm. Okay. Here’s a summary of what got changed each month in 2021:
Well, okay. So I didn’t include August. Through July, we’ve made 3,444 changes to the database as summarized above. If you’d like more information than I’ve presented here, click the ‘Change Report’ button on the site’s front page.