Standards and Recommended Practice
What is a Standard and how does it differ from a Recommended Practice
By Ken Shattock
A Standard is a figure, relationship or dimension that is mandatory, it is "cut in stone" so to speak and must be followed to facilitate interchange or interface, whichever the case may be. Standards can be changed from time to time but ONLY by the vote of the IBLS member clubs after proper policy procedures have been followed and the membership has been fully informed.
Recommended Practices (RP's) are those figures, relationships or dimensions that an IBLS blue-ribbon select Committee has established through actual tests and feel are beneficial to operation. These are not required to be voted on by the membership but are presented to the IBLS Secretaries for their study and approval.
I believe that the idea of Standards is a good one. So are the RP's. There has to be "something" to allow all of our locomotives and other equipment to be able to interchange on each other's physical tracks, and to do it Safely and without any damage to equipment, track right-of-way's, and locomotive operators.