Webcam Opportunities for Heritage Railways

Wilts Wanderer

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Many of you may be aware of the various railway webcam feeds available online, including Dawlish (x2), Crewe, York, etc.

I was wondering today whether there is an opportunity for heritage railways, that will be clearly be desperate to maximise their revenue over the coming months, to provide an ‘armchair photography’ opportunity online, for a suitable subscription fee.

A well-positioned webcam, for instance adjacent to Deviation Shed at Grosmont, or at the south end of Bewdley yard, or overlooking Boston Lodge Works, could provide an interesting view on operating days allowing those who would normally make the journey in person to safely reconnect with their interest from inside their home (and possibly generate new interest.)

A quick look at Dawlish webcam shows upwards of 180 users viewing it, thats for a lineside location with a sprinter, Voyager or IET passing every 20-30 mins or so. For a locality with an engine shed or station to observe, even when trains aren’t in sight, this could prove a source of income for even nominal subscription fee? Round trip tickets tend to be about £20 on the larger railways, so even a nominal £1 fee could generate the equivalent of another few dozen fares without the problems of actually carrying them.

Im not a business person but even with modest overheads this could make sense on operating days?
 
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wheeltapper49

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Wilts Wanderer, as you are probably aware there are many heritage railways that have live cams,(incidentally currently showing rusty tracks and looking a bit like the post Marple era!). Pre Covic 19 my most recommended were WSR, Swanage, NYR, NVR, SDR, RHDR and various narrow gauge operations in Wales. Notable absentees are SVR, GCR, KWR, ELR and quite a few more. I believe your suggestion as a source of extra income is a good idea, but, I believe those not having public access are loosing out. Certainly the WSR accepts their cams add more visitors and therefore more ticket sales. I must also say the RAILCAM.UK site encouraging 'stay at home train spotting' to be a brilliant idea. Once this terrible Covic has settled rail cams will always have their use. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Stay safe.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Wilts Wanderer, as you are probably aware there are many heritage railways that have live cams,(incidentally currently showing rusty tracks and looking a bit like the post Marple era!). Pre Covic 19 my most recommended were WSR, Swanage, NYR, NVR, SDR, RHDR and various narrow gauge operations in Wales. Notable absentees are SVR, GCR, KWR, ELR and quite a few more. I believe your suggestion as a source of extra income is a good idea, but, I believe those not having public access are loosing out. Certainly the WSR accepts their cams add more visitors and therefore more ticket sales. I must also say the RAILCAM.UK site encouraging 'stay at home train spotting' to be a brilliant idea. Once this terrible Covic has settled rail cams will always have their use. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Stay safe.
Some of them already have them? Railcam lists a few.....?
I wasn’t aware of that! Although I appear to have come across the concept of rail webcams quite late in the day, LOL. Sounds like some railways are potentially missing out on something they could exploit...
 

Llanigraham

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Locally the Talyllyn has 3, The Ffestiniog, 3 (Porthmadog, Minfford and Tan y Bwlch) and to be honest one overlooking Blodge wouldn't be that interesting, Bala has 1, Corris 2, but the Welshpool none.
 

50039

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I wasn’t aware of that! Although I appear to have come across the concept of rail webcams quite late in the day, LOL. Sounds like some railways are potentially missing out on something they could exploit...
I’m new to railcam.. it’s an easy way to waste time though....
 

wheeltapper49

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50039, railcams to you maybe a 'waste of time' but as explained in my in message No 3 above, there are benefits to those of us who cannot leave home.
 

50039

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50039, railcams to you maybe a 'waste of time' but as explained in my in message No 3 above, there are benefits to those of us who cannot leave home.
Oops - bad choice of words on my part, but it’s very easy to have it on in the background when I should be doing other things..... Perhaps ‘while away the hours’ would have been a better choice of words..

i fully agree with what you said in #3...
 
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North Yorkshire moors railway have two webcams Grosmont/Goathland hope they will be back when railway opens again 1st august
 

wheeltapper49

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Oops - bad choice of words on my part, but it’s very easy to have it on in the background when I should be doing other things..... Perhaps ‘while away the hours’ would have been a better choice of words..

i fully agree with what you said in #3...
Thanks. I agree with your 'second thought'!
 

Bedpan

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Horsted Keynes would be a good site for one. There always seems to be something going on there, but I'm not aware of the Bluebell having any webcams at all. Nor Mid Hants for that matter.
 

LowLevel

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I wouldn't mind putting a webcam somewhere on the open line where there is nothing to potentially steal.

I'd never be up for putting one at any site where there is the potential for people to attempt to steal things though. Giving scum the ability to observe your assets and then see when no one appears to be around to grab them would be a fatal error for me. I've had enough fun chasing them off over the years, equipping them with Intel for the task seems remarkably counter productive.
 

Titfield

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I wouldn't mind putting a webcam somewhere on the open line where there is nothing to potentially steal.

I'd never be up for putting one at any site where there is the potential for people to attempt to steal things though. Giving scum the ability to observe your assets and then see when no one appears to be around to grab them would be a fatal error for me. I've had enough fun chasing them off over the years, equipping them with Intel for the task seems remarkably counter productive.
Thats an interesting point. I view the webcams at the railway I support and have noticed (and alerted the railway) to some "trespassers" on the line on more than one occasion. I tend to agree that they have the potential to allow someone to stake out the property and allow theft to a far greater value than any revenue from pay per view.
 

UP13

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I wouldn't mind putting a webcam somewhere on the open line where there is nothing to potentially steal.

I'd never be up for putting one at any site where there is the potential for people to attempt to steal things though. Giving scum the ability to observe your assets and then see when no one appears to be around to grab them would be a fatal error for me. I've had enough fun chasing them off over the years, equipping them with Intel for the task seems remarkably counter productive.
I don't think that the sort of people who steal things are the sort of people who watch web cams on a niche railway website.

If anything I think a webcam would help spot or deter thieves.
 

LowLevel

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I don't think that the sort of people who steal things are the sort of people who watch web cams on a niche railway website.

If anything I think a webcam would help spot or deter thieves.
You've obviously never had to deal with thieves stripping parts to order or making large scale targeted metal raids then. It's not all just kids or Johnny the smackrat looking for a bit of metal to fund his fix.

We don't need webcams to spot or deter thieves, we have large numbers of live monitored obvious and covert CCTV cameras, motion sensors and other equipment to do that.
 

Joel_F

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RailCam has a number of preserved railway cams.

Llangollen Railway - Glyndyfrdwy
Nene Valley Railway - Orton Mere and Wansford
RHDR - Dungeness, Dymchurch, Hythe, New Romney and Romney Sands
South Devon Railway - Buckfastleigh
Swanage Railway - Corfe Castle and Swanage
Talyllyn Railway - Abergynolwyn, Pendre and Tywyn
WSR - Bishops Lydeard, Blue Anchor, Minehead and Williton

Additionally the NYMR has a cam at Grosmont.
 

UP13

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You've obviously never had to deal with thieves stripping parts to order or making large scale targeted metal raids then. It's not all just kids or Johnny the smackrat looking for a bit of metal to fund his fix.

We don't need webcams to spot or deter thieves, we have large numbers of live monitored obvious and covert CCTV cameras, motion sensors and other equipment to do that.
I'm not saying there aren't thefts but do thieves use the railcam website to plan raids?
 

LowLevel

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I'm not saying there aren't thefts but do thieves use the railcam website to plan raids?
Who knows what they do? If it occurs to me surely it might occur to them. As far as I am concerned it carries numerous pitfalls.
 

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