We’re steaming towards re-opening. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway have been carefully following the latest Government advice and guidance to leisure facilities and will re-open tomorrow on Saturday 4th July.
Re-opening day locomotives: The two steam locomotives chosen for ‘Back on Track: re-opening day’ are locomotive number 2, Northern Chief and locomotive number 5, Hercules. Capturing the sense of such a momentous occasion these locomotives also originally opened the line in 1927. Northern Chief pulled the Duke of York’s train whilst Hercules inaugural train on opening day.
We’ve implemented a range of additional health and safety measures to protect our passengers and teams. On Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th June we successfully ran three trail steam trains per day to familiarise the drivers with the new timetable and ensure the new passenger flow had been practiced, allowing us to be confident in a safe re-opening.
Our world-famous steam locomotives will still be the same, but our journeys will be a little different.
After 89 days, 9 million Tweet impressions, averaging over 100,000 per day, we have decided that now is the time to start winding down the #SpottingFromHome and #SpottingFromWork campaign.
As Covid-19 restrictions have started to ease across the UK, Railcam’s lockdown status is also starting to ease. We are now able to start picking up on our long, long list of camera installs and upgrades (Where safe to do so under social distancing rules), as well as some of our heritage railway partners also planning for re-opening. Our attention will start to shift over to those new/upgraded camera locations, and supporting the heritage railways through what will be a very tricky and possibly stressful re-opening with welcoming back passengers under social distancing guidelines.
Obviously this doesn’t mean everything is back to normal, we still encourage you to stay safe and responsible whilst pursuing our hobby, and we most definitely still want to see your #SpottingFromHome and #SpottingFromWork captures on our social media pages. We will continue to like all of your posts, and will still pick out a few per day for retweets.
On a personal note, I would like to thank every single person who has taken the time to contribute to #SpottingFromHome and #SpottingFromWork. Every single Railcam follower, train operating company, railway based media outlets, social media team member, rail worker (drivers, station staff, train managers, dispatchers, depot workers, we have had them all), people spotting from their back gardens and whilst taking exercise. Thank you for all doing your part to help rail enthusiasts #StaySafeStayHome during these very difficult last 3 months.
As always, whenever we mention new camera locations, we get the inevitable requests to put cameras here, there and everywhere. We have a list of well over 20 locations on our books to start working through now, some will end up as part of the Railcam network, some won’t. A lot has changed in the last 3 months for everyone, so now our task is to get back in touch with potential hosts for our cameras and work through the backlog where safe to do so.
Once again, a huge thank you to all who have taken #SpottingFromHome this far, it’s been a blast! Remember to #StaySafe and stick to #EssentialTravelOnly and we will hopefully be back to enjoying our hobby again very soon.
‘We’re steaming towards re-opening. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway have been carefully following the latest Government advice and guidance to leisure facilities and will re-open on Saturday 4th July. We’ve implemented a range of additional health and safety measures to protect our passengers and teams. Our world-famous steam locomotives will still be the same, but our journeys will be a little different. Our railway can only open in stages and we have invested in changes to our coaches to enable this. We realise the flexibility we usually can offer is not possible, but we really would value you coming to visit. The railway’s survival will be led by how many passengers we see in the days following Saturday 4th July. The details of the revised arrangements are detailed below as well as how to book. If the situation changes we will arrange a change of date for your visit to suit you or a full refund. There will be no admin charges.
Pre-booking is essential.
All journeys will begin from New Romney Station (TN28 8PL) and journey to Dungeness. Passengers will have 20 minutes to spend at Dungeness before their designated return time. This will ensure we can safely meet social distancing requirements. Our usual capacity will be reduced so we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment. www.rhdr.org.uk
Socially distanced queuing and carriage compartments.
We’re following the Governments 2-metre social distancing guidelines. We’ll try to keep queues to a minimum but where they exist you’ll see 2-metre markers. Partitions between carriage compartments will mean you can see those in the compartment next to you but contact will be restricted.
Additional hygiene measures.
You’ll notice some new additions to the station such as hygiene screens at shop/catering counters, new hand sanitising stations and carriage compartment cleaning between each return journey. Our teams have all had additional briefings on social distancing and additional cleaning measures.
Contactless payments are preferred.
Please pay by card in our gift shops and catering outlets where possible. Gift Shops and Catering Outlets will not be open as we restart but will be available in shortly.
Bring a suitable face covering.
We advise all adults to wear a face covering when possible. Face coverings will be available for purchase in New Romney Shop upon arrival.
Hygiene and safety signs.
To help guide our passengers around the railway and assist with hygiene advice new signage has been installed. Please read it carefully.
Some facilities will be temporarily unavailable.
The Model Railway Exhibition and Play Areas at New Romney are temporarily closed.
Toilet facilities will continue to be available at New Romney and Dungeness.
Thank you for your patience and continued support.
Another three days of driver training is pencilled in this coming week for the Locomotive Services Ltd electric fleet, with runs between Crewe and Preston scheduled for Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th June.
Unless 90001/002 have made their way north, we fully expect this to be either 86101 or 87002, and you can catch the moves at the following times,
0Z86 Crewe Holding Sidings to Preston Shunt Line
10:51 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
10:54 – Crewe Camera 4
11:44 – Leyland Camera
11:52 Farington Junction Camera
0Z87 Preston Shunt Line to Crewe
12:38 – Farington Junction Camera
12:44 – Leyland Camera
13:30 – Crewe Camera 4
13:32 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
0Z88 Crewe to Preston Shunt Line
13:55 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
13:57 – Crewe Camera 4
14:49 – Leyland Camera
14:51 Farington Junction Camera
0Z89 Preston Shunt Line to Crewe Holding Sidings
15:15 – Farington Junction Camera
15:20 – Leyland Camera
16:24 – Crewe Camera 4
16:28 – Crewe Cameras 2 & 3
Remember to pop your screen grabs and videos on our Twitter page (@railcamlive) and include the hashtag #SpottingFromHome
When the UK Government issued it’s Corona virus lock-down guidelines in March it affected every person in the UK. While we all had to think about working from home or making essential journeys the new “norm” is likely to have a long influence in what we can and can’t do.
One hobby that has been forced into isolation with us is Train-spotting. Ever since the first Ian Allen books were published it has been a British quest to get each number of a locomotive ticked off of a list. Usually done at railway stations, the train-spotter has been part of the railway family for many generations. The hobby has drawn many into committing their whole career to working on the British Railways whether it be a ticket inspector, Guard, Driver, Station staff or Senior Management.
With the lock-down in full force the traditional spotter has been forced to think out of the box and Railcam Social Media supremo, Jamie Rowley has been the man to lead.
Using the hashtags #spottingfromhome and #spottingfromwork, Jamie led from the front and gave a new dimension to the old hobby. No longer are spotters crossing off numbers and sharing information within small groups. Instead, they have joined in with the Railcam campaign and taken the opportunity to use social media, Sharing many photographs or videos, some from on-board staff, the internet has been awash with rail related content.
Jamie added, “The #SpottingFromHome idea came after I saw a news article circulating in the very early days of lockdown showing 3 young enthusiasts still out by the lineside taking photos. It occurred to me that we already have the cameras there, we have the enthusiast base already aware of what we do, so why not bring trainspotting indoors. Enthusiasts could use our cameras to take screen captures and share them with the wider railway family by simply including the hashtag #SpottingFromHome and tagging @railcamlive, so we could like and share some of our favourite captures throughout the day.”
Jamie continued “I fully expected there to be a moderate amount of interest in this for a week or so, but it has gone from strength to strength, and shows no sign of slowing down! It has been great to see interaction from the TOC’s social media teams, especially Northern, TransPennine Express and Transport for Wales, as well as industry professionals such as the British Transport police.”
“This interaction from within the industry has expanded so quickly that we have had to start including #SpottingFromWork, for key workers to share what they are ‘spotting’ at work. Train drivers, station staff and depot workers are regularly updating us on what they are seeing passing through deserted stations or from the cab window, and also giving us an insight into some of the areas of the railway we wouldn’t usually get to see.”
Tweets surrounding the campaign on Twitter alone have generated 2.7 million impressions over the past 4 weeks. Other social media platforms have seen similar increases due to the hashtag campaign.
Railcam Director Adrian Bradshaw said, “We’re amazed and delighted at the runaway success of the #SpottingFromHome and #SpottingFromWork initiative. It’s great that we have been able to do our bit to keep rail enthusiasts safe and entertained during these strange and difficult times.”
Railcam started broadcasting just over ten years ago and has 49 mainline cameras to view as well as 22 Heritage, 2 guest and 26 International cameras available. The site has over 32,000 registered users and there has been a huge increase on demand since lock-down began.
The campaign has not only been supported by site members but by social media followers and the some of the Train Operating companies themselves. Train spotting has had a tough time over the years with its image. However, nowadays the community is seen as a welcome addition to the railway family with spotters encouraged to share information and safety concerns with rail staff and police, the hobby has become an extra pair of eyes which helps not hinders.
As we do our best to look toward the future, times and the hobby will be very different. Changes will have to be made with the nation accepting that we are a long way away from reinstating the norm from a few months ago. Maybe the new digital way of spotting from home will become the new normal but, maybe not. Whatever happens though, the Railcam campaign has certainly brought a new way of sharing to the forefront and long may it continue.
Some of our members may remember Railcam regular Diablo putting out some wonderful radio shows and giving us a big shout out last year, well the Railcam Rock Show is back!
Here at Railcam we are continually pushing to help enthusiasts #StaySafeStayHome through #SpottingFromHome, and now we are delighted to bring back Diablo’s Railcam Rock Show, with the first full episode going live this coming Friday, the 24th April.
We hope this will bring a little musical relief (with a rock edge) to wrap up another week of #SpottingFromHome, so why not join us from 20:00, crack open a beer (over 18s only) and enjoy a weekend wind down with Diablo.
The shows are pre recorded, so if you have any ‘Rock Requests’ to get in for next weeks show, then either catch Diablo in the chat room or drop him an email, marked ‘Railcam Rock Show’ to email@example.com
We will post out the link to the show on Friday evening ready for the launch of the show at 20:00.
We are delighted to welcome the Dyfi Osprey Project’s live camera to Railcam.
The railway is very much a secondary focus here, as we get some stunning close up shots of the beautiful Ospreys.
Dovey Junction (Cyffordd Dyfi) is situated on the Cambrian Coast Line and is the junction point for Transport For Wales services to/from Aberystwyth and Pwllheli.
The Dovey Junction / Dyfi Osprey Project camera can currently be found on the Railcam website under the ‘Featured Free’ camera list or by the YouTube link below.
The Dyfi Osprey Project has been running at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve near Machynlleth since 2009. Find out more about the work and history of the Dyfi Osprey Project here.
The Dyfi Osprey Project is part of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. Montgomeryshire is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts in the UK, you can find out more about the work of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust here.
Supporters and Volunteers are key to the success and continuation of the Dyfi Osprey Project.
Becoming a member of the Trust or making a donation are great ways to support the project.
Equally, we rely on the support of our team of volunteers to undertake a range of activities from greeting visitors in the 360 Observatory to keeping the boardwalks clear. We can’t do what we do without them!
As part of our drive to encourage enthusiasts to #StaySafeStayHome during these difficult times we have been focusing on #SpottingFromHome and #SpottingFromWork, but we are going to take a look at the smaller scale railways on Saturday 11th April.
On Twitter we plan to share layout photos/video of our own layouts and invite you all to share yours along with us. We have all had so much time indoors these last few weeks that plenty of layout tinkering has been going on, so let’s see what you have been up to……
All we ask is that you share your photos or videos, along with tagging @railcamlive and including the hashtag #ShareYourLayout Also why not tag in the manufacturer featured in your photo to?
As part of the day, our Barking host AJ, will again be running our April Fools layout Oldgate on our YouTube channel (link will be posted once its live)