The Future of this forum

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DarloRich

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What i have to say will not be popular with many but i feel it needs to be said.

I have only been a member of this forum since October 2012 and in that time there has been a decline of standards and quality of threads and debates. It has accelerated in the last few months.

It now seems that this forum has become a haven for trolls, the malcontents the jealous,the bitter, the angry, the failures, and the never will bes but worse of all it appears to have become a bastion of the know it all spotter.

This forum used to be a place where people could gather to sensibly discuss railway matters or have interesting technical questions answered. In recent months the level and quality of posts seems to have hurtled towards banality and at times total and utter wibble and gibberish.

I have discussed this matter with several members recently, the majority of whom are railway professionals, some of many years standing. They like me are becoming disenfranchised with this forum.

In particular these thoughts have been generated by the way in which railway professionals are treated (or abused) by other members of this forum. A unhelpful and at times nasty body of opinion has built up amongst some members that they know best regarding the operation of the railway even when it is manifestly clearly to anyone with even half a brain that they do not. They then proceed to abuse and belittle anyone who tries to set them right, particular those with any form of operational experience.

If this approach continues you will drive away anyone with any kind of operational experience and this forum will become nothing more than a place for malcontents to bash the railways ( while professing to support them)

It is up to the moderators to try and sort this out, if they have any desire to do so. However, i know of at least 3 railwaymen who are stepping away form the forum for a period. Their knowledge will be missed and they will not be the last to do so.

I am now on holiday for a period and intend not to post for a time after today to see if anything improves.
 
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yorkie

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DarloRich - I am sorry to hear that you feel this way, and would like to reassure you that the behaviour you describe by certain members is not acceptable.

However, the forum does rely on posts being reported for moderators to act. With over 1,000 posts per day we can't read them all, so you have to assume each post goes unread unless you have reported it. The report button (
) can be found in the bottom-left of all posts (or top-left for PMs). All reports are read, and I would encourage you to consider using it whenever you have concerns about a post.

If you're aware of any posts of the type you describe that have not been dealt with, please do inform us of them using the report system so we can act on them.

In addition we're currently consulting members on the wording for our new forum rules, we have several volunteers providing feedback (including yourself). The suggestions you have given so far have been excellent and just about all of them have been incorporated into the latest draft, however if you can give us additional suggestions that correspond to the concerns you raise in your post above, then they would be most welcome!
I have seen some bad comments in the past on this forum so I do have some agreement with you.
Please do report the bad comments that concern you using the report button. We will treat the reports in confidence, we look forward to hearing from you.
 

O L Leigh

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The mods/admins already know my feelings on this matter, as I have been discussing it with them for almost a year. So much so that I have a fairly good idea what their response will be (and I was correct ;)).

Broadly I support what DarloRich is saying (and no, I don't believe that I am one of the railstaff to whom he has spoken), but I believe that it is not just railstaff that feel the effects of the current approach to moderation.

There is currently a consultation going on to help develop some new rules that might help to improve things, but even within this the scope of the discussions has been limited. Speaking personally I have found the entire process to be frustrating as I feel that not all the issues have been addressed. For some time have waited for the discussion to be opened up but it looks like it won't happen (especially while the mods/admins ignore/do not reply to my PMs).

The future of this forum remains in the balance. I have also noted that railstaff are posting less and less, as I have been. Lets see what happens next.

O L Leigh
 

yorkie

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There is currently a consultation going on to help develop some new rules that might help to improve things, but even within this the scope of the discussions has been limited. Speaking personally I have found the entire process to be frustrating as I feel that not all the issues have been addressed. For some time have waited for the discussion to be opened up but it looks like it won't happen (especially while the mods/admins ignore/do not reply to my PMs).
The scope of the consultation is the forum rules. All issues relating to rules can be addressed, so if you have any suggestions for rules that will protect rail staff, or other members, then please do make those suggestions.
 

O L Leigh

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However, the forum does rely on posts being reported for moderators to act. With over 1,000 posts per day we can't read them all, so you have to assume each post goes unread unless you have reported it. The report button (
) can be found in the bottom-left of all posts (or top-left for PMs). All reports are read, and I would encourage you to consider using it whenever you have concerns about a post.

If you're aware of any posts of the type you describe that have not been dealt with, please do inform us of them using the report system so we can act on them.

This was the bit I predicted.

At this juncture I would like to suggest again that the moderation team should include a member of operational railstaff to give greater depth of understanding and to help guide the response of the mods/admins in the event of a post relating to operational matters being reported, especially as some of the exchanges between members of operational railstaff and others do seem to get adversarial. It's just like having former F1 drivers on the panel of stewards at all Grands Prix.

In addition we're currently consulting members on the wording for our new forum rules, we have several volunteers providing feedback (including yourself). The suggestions you have given so far have been excellent and just about all of them have been incorporated into the latest draft, however if you can give us additional suggestions that correspond to the concerns you raise in your post above, then they would be most welcome!

See, you say that but you seem to be selective in what you want to discuss. I am still awaiting a response with regard to the consultation process, but you seem intent on winding it up.

O L Leigh
 

WestCoast

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In particular these thoughts have been generated by the way in which railway professionals are treated (or abused) by other members of this forum. A unhelpful and at times nasty body of opinion has built up amongst some members that they know best regarding the operation of the railway even when it is manifestly clearly to anyone with even half a brain that they do not. They then proceed to abuse and belittle anyone who tries to set them right, particular those with any form of operational experience.
.

Interesting, that's the exact opposite of what seems to be going on on a popular aviation forum that I post on, where I was belittled by an industry clique for asking a (perfectly sensible) question!
 

DaveNewcastle

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I too, find the way in which some matters are treated to be hightly irritating. Perhaps for different reasons, but I recognise the posting style in which someone states something with absolute certainty while only having 'heard it', 'read it on another forum', 'in a magazine' or dreamt it, but certainly never carried the responsibility for doing it; and the utterly pointless and clearly uninformed attacks on professionals.
. . . . I would like to suggest again that the moderation team should include a member of operational railstaff to give greater depth of understanding and to help guide the response of the mods/admins in the event of a post relating to operational matters being reported, especially as some of the exchanges between members of operational railstaff and others do seem to get adversarial.
. . .
Now that really is a sensible proposal!

It won't solve everything, but it would be a step in a constructive direction.
 

Simon11

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Hey

I just wish to say a few points:-

While its always worth updating and improving the rules, but to the general public here, they won't read these rules or pay much attention to them. The only benefit being is when a member is disciplined and the mods have the rules to back themselves up.

"At this juncture I would like to suggest again that the moderation team should include a member of operational railstaff to give greater depth of understanding and to help guide the response of the mods/admins in the event of a post relating to operational matters being reported, especially as some of the exchanges between members of operational railstaff and others do seem to get adversarial. It's just like having former F1 drivers on the panel of stewards at all Grands Prix."

Without knowing who the mods are, I would have thought there would have been some staff on the mods/admins panel with a good mix of knowledge of the railway and IT knowledge. If there isn't as your post suggestions, I suggest we would need more than 1 "operational" staff as the railway is very complicated and there needs to be a member of staff experience in each different type of function of the railway like Operational, Engineering, Customer Services and Fares/retail etc.

Finally I agree with Darlorich, that sometimes the people who actually work on the railway views are completely disregarded and the other members go on a tangent ending up just moaning about the railway without having an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. An example is the topic about the diamond jubilee and overcrowding. I work for a TOC (Although, I don't make this explicit in my posts as I don't wish to mention for whom/ what my role involves) and have made a few comments to provide information to what happens with event planning however this has been completely ignored.

Simon
 
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VTPreston_Tez

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What i have to say will not be popular with many but i feel it needs to be said.

I have only been a member of this forum since October 2012 and in that time there has been a decline of standards and quality of threads and debates. It has accelerated in the last few months.

I understand this and I believe we need more sophisticated talk. I am learning more about trains so I will be able to debate better soon.

It now seems that this forum has become a haven for trolls, the malcontents the jealous,the bitter, the angry, the failures, and the never will bes but worse of all it appears to have become a bastion of the know it all spotter.

Even I have to admit I fall under this category.

This forum used to be a place where people could gather to sensibly discuss railway matters or have interesting technical questions answered. In recent months the level and quality of posts seems to have hurtled towards banality and at times total and utter wibble and gibberish.

I have discussed this matter with several members recently, the majority of whom are railway professionals, some of many years standing. They like me are becoming disenfranchised with this forum.

We can't afford to lose our top members. I understand that the forum is declining so people will be leaving to find a better place. We do talk gibberish and this is why I think we do need a dedicated chat but it may get attacked, but if we want to chat wibble it may be a strong start.

In particular these thoughts have been generated by the way in which railway professionals are treated (or abused) by other members of this forum. A unhelpful and at times nasty body of opinion has built up amongst some members that they know best regarding the operation of the railway even when it is manifestly clearly to anyone with even half a brain that they do not. They then proceed to abuse and belittle anyone who tries to set them right, particular those with any form of operational experience.

My god. I've never seen this happen in my time on the forum.

If this approach continues you will drive away anyone with any kind of operational experience and this forum will become nothing more than a place for malcontents to bash the railways ( while professing to support them)

It is up to the moderators to try and sort this out, if they have any desire to do so. However, i know of at least 3 railwaymen who are stepping away form the forum for a period. Their knowledge will be missed and they will not be the last to do so.

Again you have clearly stated the big problem with the forum and as a forum I believe that we are driving away members from the forum. We certainly must take action and have ways to be more fluent at it.

I am now on holiday for a period and intend not to post for a time after today to see if anything improves.

We will welcome your return with open arms.

So, anyone think that we need more moderators to attack the problem quickly, and I'm beginning to think about leaving the forum as my posts don't get approved quickly enough and I think that the forum is too strict in the places where I cause trouble (with no intention to cause any harm and this having no deliberate offense to anybody) and maybe too lenient on trolls and such.
These are my opinions supplemented with yours, and I'm sure other people will also be able to add to this so we can find out where precisely we as a forum are faulting and work out the exact measures needed to rectify the problem.
I hope I didn't offend or cause any deliberate harm with my opinions, and thanks for taking the time to read all that I have done. :p
 

ainsworth74

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Without knowing who the mods are

You can find a list of them here.

I find the suggestion of having member of railway staff on the moderation team to be interesting but there are issues with that. The first and perhaps main one is who do you pick to actually take the position and is there anyone who'd be willing to give up their time to do it? Another might be is there even space for another moderator we already have nine (four admins five mods)?

Further more I'd appreciate it if those that have an issue with the response that they get from the rest of the membership could actually highlight some examples. As from what's been said here it sounds as if the entire forum are turning against those members who are staff, this is not my experience. For example in the ongoing thread about the FCC train departing whilst a woman was trapped there was one perhaps two posters that took what I would consider to be an anti-staff line. Everyone else was engaging in an open discussion in which criticism was leveled at the behavior of staff but this is to be expected as the official report wasn't exactly glowing but there was also plenty of criticism for the woman herself. So I'm curious to see what sort of posts are actually an issue for the railway staff here.

From what's been said here and elsewhere I'm almost starting to get the feeling that some members of staff would prefer it if comment on operational issues was banned. I get almost a feeling of 'if you don't do the job then you shouldn't be making any comment on operational matters'. Would this be accurate? Is this what you want? Do you want a forum where the only people that are allowed to make comments on an operation issue are those with first hand experience? Or am I misreading the sentiments that have been posted?
 

GB

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From what's been said here and elsewhere I'm almost starting to get the feeling that some members of staff would prefer it if comment on operational issues was banned. I get almost a feeling of 'if you don't do the job then you shouldn't be making any comment on operational matters'. Would this be accurate? Is this what you want? Do you want a forum where the only people that are allowed to make comments on an operation issue are those with first hand experience? Or am I misreading the sentiments that have been posted?

Not at all, I think all that is asked is that people show a bit of respect for those that do the job. If someone has a genuine question and want's to learn, I don't think there is a rail staff member on here that wouldn't be willing to help out and answer or try an explain why something is done a certain way.
 

ChristopherJ

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I'm going to add my two-pence worth.

Recently, I've also became irritated with the forum due to the likes of trolling and low grade posts from members who are determined to aggravate others.

In the past couple of weeks I've received some derogatory replies to my posts by others who think they know better. Presently there are several threads on the forum at this very instance of which I could actively answer but I'm not going to bother - based on the fact that if there are others who think they're more clued up than I am - let them do it. That's fine by me. What do I loose? They can take their time out to reply whilst I'll just sit back and relax and not bother.

I've came to the conclusion that if my knowledge isn't valuable then it's not worth sharing. I know the answer you and you don't. Tough.
 

Oswyntail

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I would echo what Ainsworth has just written in his last paragraph. Like all industries, rail has its good and bad, efficient and inefficient, clever and downright stupid sides. Sometimes, being within an industry can blind one to the negative aspects, and the attitude of "you can't comment until you've done the job" is as unacceptable as "I've been a spotter for three years now, so I know". It is frustrating to be trying to explore a theoretical approach, to be met with a barrage of "That's not the way it works", just as much as it is to have ignorance of a concrete situation passed off as truth.
 

4SRKT

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Are 'malcontents' just people one happens not to agree with? Is this thread simply an attempt to stifle open debate? Maybe, maybe not. It is itself a legitimate topic in a liberal environment where discussion and debate are encouraged. It even opens with the phrase "What i have to say will not be popular with many", but then goes on essentially to moan that "what many have to say is not popular with me". What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and the right to annoy goes hand in hand with the right to be annoyed. I steer well clear of threads that annoy me: it's a big forum and it's not hard to do. I also try as hard as I can not to visit the Fares Ticketing and Routeing folder at all unless I am starting a thread asking for advice because if I don't then I'm going to end up getting banned!

It's a public forum and so long as people don't disobey rules on courtesy etc, they should be allowed to post what they like. And you should be allowed to ignore what you like. After all, if what some people post is drivel (and a good deal of it is), you and other railway professionals will spot this and the offending poster will look like a berk. I do sometimes feel that there is a lack of humour among *some* posters and mods, which results in throwaway comments being misinterpreted. I certainly have had many posts deleted and shots fired across my bows because I've gone a bit too far without really realising I was doing so: I have been posting on forums all over the web for more than 10 years and am used to much more vicious environments than this. That is a GOOD thing for ths forum BTW because it's generally pretty courteous and if my apparently sharp tongue has hurt anyone then I'm sorry.

What we can't have is a forum where 'railway professionals' (which can mean almost anything really) are accorded greater respect, priveleges even, than those not working for the railway. Railway users have just as valid a perspective on the system.
 
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Ascot

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I too have to agree with the OP and it's something I've discussed with the mods at various times. I can't see what can be really done as many of the posts are people defending their views & others taking the bite to someone showing self arrogance. Until people get over themselves there's always going to be that circle of post > disagree > objection.


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O L Leigh

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From what's been said here and elsewhere I'm almost starting to get the feeling that some members of staff would prefer it if comment on operational issues was banned. I get almost a feeling of 'if you don't do the job then you shouldn't be making any comment on operational matters'. Would this be accurate? Is this what you want? Do you want a forum where the only people that are allowed to make comments on an operation issue are those with first hand experience? Or am I misreading the sentiments that have been posted?

I'm hopeful that others will comment, but that is certainly NOT what I am suggesting.

However, it does rankle when there is an assumption made about operational situations when the facts have already been laid out. To give a recent example, I posted a theory to possibly help explain what might have happened and another member came along and debunked it based on an assumption. Unfortunately for that member, the assumption they made was incorrect. This is small beer and not worth troubling the mods/admins for, especially in the context of some of the threads I've been involved in. But this does happen quite a lot.

I don't think that railstaff should be above criticism, but there one or two caveats to that.

Firstly, where there has been a performance or discipline issue the railway will deal with that using it's own policies. I don't believe that there is any need for "trial by forum" or some of the stronger suggestions sometime made (e.g. that the FCC driver "chose to ignore" the rules regarding a PCA activation). Railway incidents sometimes happen for the most unusual of reasons, but almost never because of a deliberate conscious decision to ignore any rules or instructions. "Human Factors" is a huge area and not easily understood, but sometimes all it takes is a moment's distraction or indecision or something slightly out of the ordinary to happen to start a chain of events that leads a member of staff to have an incident.

Secondly, there is often a misunderstanding about some fact or aspect of railway operation that can lead to misinterpretation and incorrect assumptions. It was clear to me that not everyone commenting on the FCC incident at Kings X understood train dispatch, either for DOO or fully-manned services.

My own posting style is to try and be educational and give information to help people understand situations better, but once I've explained something in as many ways as I can it is hard for me to understand why I am endlessly questioned or even criticised (the quote in my signature line comes from a post by another member speaking directly to me). I am happy to share my knowledge if I can.

Frankly I would never criticise another professional without first understanding the situation completely. Sometimes I find that by asking and listening my criticisms and questions are dealt with. But this isn't always a courtesy we get on this forum. I'm not suggesting that our status is higher than anyone else's, but we do have a level of knowledge and experience that helps to make this forum interesting. If we all stopped posting en masse the forum would suffer.

In short, please do post comments and questions on operational matters. If someone can post an authoritative answer then it enriches and informs the thread. But please take time to read and understand, as sometimes your questions and comments have already been answered. Also, please try to understand that incidents are not always black and white.

To bring this back on-topic, my reasons for my suggestion should be clear. Yes it may be tricky to find someone who is railstaff and has the time and interest to become a moderator, but I don't think that invalidates the idea. I believe that someone with operational experience would be an asset and hopefully will give railstaff the confidence to post here. As I have said already, the posting rate of railstaff (and number of active members) has dropped off. For myself, part of the reason for this is the moderation of the forum. Until the new rules are rolled out there isn't really a mandate to report aggressively anti-staff posts, but equally there isn't anyone on the mod/admin team that I currently feel confident to report such matters to. I think it would be fair to say that perhaps other members of railstaff here feel the same.

O L Leigh
 

DarloRich

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For the avoidance of doubt i do not suggest:

1) That this site be an enclave for staff to pat themselves on the back and bask in a self congratulating glow
2) That operational matters are not discussed. I encourage debate about Railway matters. I simply ask that there be a bit more respect from all sides
3)That people, both staff and passengers, should not understand that we live in an imperfect British railway world!
 

ushawk

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Throwing my hat in the ring, i have noticed that staff bashing as increased recently which of course can seriously annoy people for obvious reasons. Someone replies to these kind of posts, the OP doesnt like the responce and gets more abusive - of course the report post exists though so if things do come up, mods can sort it.

Perhaps if it was outlined more on what kind of posts can be reported (IE if members suspect another member is "trolling" or if they think another member is deliberately "fishing" (like trolling, but deliberately trying to get people to reply angrily to the OP, therfore "taking the bait"). Maybe if a member thinks something is starting to get out of control too.

All this said, the amount of posters on here does seem to of increased recently, but with in increase in members, will come an increase in people wanting to "have a laugh" (there are some who dont have a good knowledge for example and will ask what other members will conceive to be silly questions, but they shouldnt be treated like an idiot just because they dont know something).
 

Failed Unit

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I do find the staff bashing odd on here, the response to a railway member of staff that they did not know what they are talking about this morning was a casing point. The one in question is big enough and "ugly" enough to take care of themselves, but others would stop posting with that response.

I tend to stop reading the thread when that kind of thing breaks out.

I just find it odd that people think that railway staff would cut corners which at best could result in the loss of a job. At worse their own life.
 

4SRKT

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On other internet boards and forums I have experience of if someone is making himself look a Charlie he is just let get on with it to the amusement of others, and those with knowledge of whatever subject it is get stuck in. Running to the moderators is something I see more of here than anywhere else. We're all adults aren't we (well, except the kids ;)), so we ought to be able to sort out stuff for ourselves. Which necessarily includes not feeding trolls, but taking on genuine ignorance if served up in a belligerant manner.
 

Max

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Personally I don't feel anybody should be 'untouchable' and I can imagine it being difficult for railway employees (or employees of any industry for that matter) to consider what it is like on the 'other side'. However, the same also applies the other way round and people can rush to conclusions without knowing the facts.

Putting my moderation hat on, it is not acceptable that anybody should feel abused or belittled. I will reiterate what Yorkie has already said - if something offends you, report it via the appropriate channels. We have taken action against some prolific trouble-causers recently and we will continue to do so where we are aware of problems.
 

klambert

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I have only been a member of this forum since October 2012 and in that time there has been a decline of standards and quality of threads and debates. It has accelerated in the last few months.

In particular these thoughts have been generated by the way in which railway professionals are treated (or abused) by other members of this forum. A unhelpful and at times nasty body of opinion has built up amongst some members that they know best regarding the operation of the railway even when it is manifestly clearly to anyone with even half a brain that they do not. They then proceed to abuse and belittle anyone who tries to set them right, particular those with any form of operational experience.

Hmm one thing I have noticed, is a lot of rail forums are going down the pan lately, with some of them, the rot set in years ago and have degraded into a sounding board for Admins, mods and their close friends.

This one I wouldn't say from a first is in decline, I have noticed though in the past couple of years a lot of the traditional posters have 'upped sticks and moved elsewhere' a few of them I have on my friends list, I mean whatever happened to Death, his musings were always a good read. To be replaced by whom I find to be far more generic users.


Generally though I haven't noticed any deterioration of the forum of late, I mean the 'know it alls', ones with unshiftable opinions and crap talkers have long been an established part of any forums.

Generally though I find this to be one of the most level headed forums I'm on, its the complete opposite of for example the Deviant Art forums; where its dominated by fangirl armies who, if you go against there mass opinion you will be shot, or those looking for an argument even if they do entirely agree with what your thread is saying or trolls etc etc.

I, myself haven't engaged in any full on forum debates for months, mainly because I cant find any threads of extreme interest for me and I don't go out looking for an argument any more.
 
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IanXC

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Perhaps if it was outlined more on what kind of posts can be reported (IE if members suspect another member is "trolling" or if they think another member is deliberately "fishing" (like trolling, but deliberately trying to get people to reply angrily to the OP, therfore "taking the bait"). Maybe if a member thinks something is starting to get out of control too.

The current draft of the new rules does help to clarify this, but really if you think a post is inappropriate then report it. So long as you explain in the report what your concerns are, then they will be read by the moderators and acted on if appropriate. All the reports from a particular thread are grouped together for them so you're not "filling up someones inbox" and if there are lots of members concerned about a post or thread this also becomes clear.

 

Schnellzug

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i wasn't going to say anything, because I've had plenty enough of Controversy in various palces to be lasting me quite long enough, but i do think that anything that one may wish to complain about or criticise (and there's plenty of that, to be sure) is almost invariably the doings of Politicians or Senior Management, so criticisng staff on the ground is usually criticising the wrong people. So there's not really much point having a go at staff, as any complaints that people may have is usually out of their hands. That's what I say.
 

tbtc

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I have only been a member of this forum since October 2012 and in that time there has been a decline of standards and quality of threads and debates. It has accelerated in the last few months.

It now seems that this forum has become a haven for trolls, the malcontents the jealous,the bitter, the angry, the failures, and the never will bes but worse of all it appears to have become a bastion of the know it all spotter.

This forum used to be a place where people could gather to sensibly discuss railway matters or have interesting technical questions answered. In recent months the level and quality of posts seems to have hurtled towards banality and at times total and utter wibble and gibberish.

I have discussed this matter with several members recently, the majority of whom are railway professionals, some of many years standing. They like me are becoming disenfranchised with this forum

The future of this forum remains in the balance

I understand that the forum is declining

TBH I found these comments a bit surprising - I think things are good on here, and (maybe it's just because I pick and choose the threads I contribute to more nowadays? *) don't think there's been the same level of aggressive argument that these used to be - the additional staff members (Greenback etc) seem to have helped things there.

Now, I'm self aware to accept that I may be part of the problem - I don't have a "typical" enthusiast's approach to things (i.e. I don't want every Beeching cut reversed, I'd rather we diverted resources to where they are needed than spend money propping up the likes of Breich, I've argued with a few posters who are under the impression that their local line is the poorest/ underinvested/ ignored line in the UK) which can ruffle feathers.

But, honestly, I think things have been pretty well run - there are good enthusiasts and bad enthusiasts, sure, but then there are some in the industry who I rate/respect/read and some who I ignore. Not just for the "big" stuff, but also the little details (like Flamingo's insights on the "rogue" Peter Young or Anvil1984's explanation for seemingly erratic Northern unit allocation that makes sense when the rotas are known).

Honestly, given the mix of staff/ enthusiast, the mix of young/old, the mix of spotters/ bashers/ route people, the mix between "up to date" and "historic" focuses etc... the Mods we have do a good job in blending things together without much aggro.

(* - for example I've given up on threads about rail staff conditions because they always turn into angry debates - not a lot you can do about that so I accept I can't change anyone's mind)
 

ushawk

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The current draft of the new rules does help to clarify this, but really if you think a post is inappropriate then report it. So long as you explain in the report what your concerns are, then they will be read by the moderators and acted on if appropriate. All the reports from a particular thread are grouped together for them so you're not "filling up someones inbox" and if there are lots of members concerned about a post or thread this also becomes clear.


Think this needs to be made clearer as it is so right !!!

Oh, i missed out to say that the forum certainly isnt in decline, if anything its the opposite. There is no problems with the current staff either as they do a good job, but i do agree with what O L Leigh has said by having a member(s) of railstaff on the moderating team.
 

DaveNewcastle

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- if something offends you, report it via the appropriate channels. We have taken action against some prolific trouble-causers recently and we will continue to do so where we are aware of problems.
Thanks for the reassurance, Max. Though I for one never doubted it.

However, there are recurring issues and it would probably benefit all of us if they could be managed better (and that does not have to mean more work for the Moderators).

I have a suggestion, albeit incomplete. It is based on the 2 assumptions that a) there are more categories of posters on here than just 'rail staff' and 'rail users', there are enthusiasts of various flavours, there 'armchair experts' in every arcane subject, and more, and b) people will want to post in a quite different style if they (staff or passenger, and by way of example) have got home hours later than expected following some disruption. Feelings may be stronger than usual, the rhetoric of uninformed blame may be rampant, and the value of any posts may be very short-term. The same subject discussed theoretically another time will result in quite different posts.
Would the forum benefit from a change of structure? Perhaps a section for current operational news (which would include the angry and short term responses as well as any relevant news on the issue), a Section for enthusiasts and interest in livery, numbers etc, and a section for Railway Procedures which is where the simple (?) facts of how and why can be explained and explored.

I'll repeat, the details of my suggestions for additional forum sections is a quick first attempt at a proposal, but my more substantial question is to ask if some further alterations to the forum structure might divert some posts away from others and group them in a more appropriate manner?

- - - -

An additional thought refers to thread drift. Its not exactly appropriate to use the report button on a thread that seems to be drifting, and certainly not to see where the right time would be. I'll illustrate with one of the few threads I've started myself recently, referring to the remarkable incidences of Southend Airport Station tickets being refused on board. It became a discussion of planning issues around Southend Airport. Where would the right time have arisen to 'report' the drift?

- - - -
. . . . i do think that anything that one may wish to complain about or criticise (and there's plenty of that, to be sure) is almost invariably the doings of Politicians or Senior Management, so criticisng staff on the ground is usually criticising the wrong people.
Indeed. And I would like to think that I do my bit in directing attention to where, perhaps, it would be most appropriately directed!
 
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