Railcams ticket to Ryde – New cameras and the chance to win a weekend at the Royal Esplanade Hotel!

Railcam UK is delighted to announce the latest location to its ever-increasing portfolio which is being launched with an incredible competition prize! Full details are at the end of this article.

To enter, you need to share the social media post from Railcam on either Facebook or Twitter and follow our YouTube channel where these streams will be a permanent addition.

The latest addition sees Railcam joining with the Royal Esplanade Hotel at Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The Royal Esplanade hotel is a characterful Victorian Grade II Listed building that has been lovingly and sympathetically restored by its current owners. It offers a range of rooms to suit most budgets, from smaller Classic rooms through to larger Superior Sea View rooms, all rooms have ensuite facilities.

The main entrance to the Royal Esplanade Hotel, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Royal Esplanade Hotel General Manager, Bobby Oddy said:

“We are delighted to be hosting these cameras for Railcam UK. To share this view over the Solent with the World is exciting and can only encourage more people to come and visit our wonderful hotel and island.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Railcam for letting us be part of this exciting project and we look forward to welcoming you all to the Royal Esplande Hotel”

You can email info@royalesplanadehotel.co.uk or call on 01983 3562549 for booking inquiries.

The first camera, Ryde Esplanade & Pier , will be a localised view that will focus on Ryde Pier and the South Western Railway operated Island line with its class 483, 1938 ex tube stock trains. These will soon be replaced by 5 class 484 ex D78 underground stock which have been converted by Vivarail. The new trains are due to begin service in April 2021 after a 3-month blockade to update the line.

SWR Island line Class 483 Ex 1938 tube stock on Ryde Pier

The camera will also give great views of the Hovercraft landings and departures, Wightlink Fastcat arrivals and departures, and the busy bus stand to make this an unprecedented transport enthusiasts haven.

The second camera, Ryde Pier & The Solent Scenic Camera, will be providing much wider views of the Solent including the commercial, cruise, and naval shipping movements that operate into Portsmouth and Southampton. The camera will operate on a pre-programmed sequence to take in as much as possible from this exceptional location on the hotel roof.

A few months ago some of the Railcam team visited the Island to get a last run on the old tube stock before its retirement. During their stay, a temporary, “Pop Up” camera via an Ipad ran for two days. This was streamed via our YouTube channel and proved to be so popular that it gave birth to the idea of a permanent camera being set up.

The view from the Railcam test run

Adrian Bradshaw, Railcam Director said:

“After our team visited Ryde recently and live-streamed the wonderful view from the Royal Esplanade Hotel, we were inundated with people asking if we could do something permanent there. We are delighted to be able to do just that, with not one, but two live cameras offering stunning views of trains, hovercraft and shipping…”

In addition to the two new cameras, Railcam is delighted to announce that it will now be featuring the Isle of Wight Steam Railway webcams on its main site. This is a fabulous addition to the heritage section and is perfect timing with our Ryde cameras launch.

Isle of Wight Steam railway webcams will now be available via the Railcam uk site

General manager Steve Backhouse said:

“Our webcams are already a very popular feature on our website. We’re excited that these will be available to a wider audience via the Railcam website, and look forward to welcoming more digital visitors to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.”

To launch the exciting addition of Ryde cameras, Railcam UK is delighted to offer one lucky winner a stay at the Royal Esplanade Hotel.

The winner will receive return tickets from London Waterloo to Portsmouth courtesy of South Western Railway.

Departing from the cathedral-like station of Waterloo our winners will be able to sit back and relax as South Western Railway takes you through the busy Clapham Junction, Surrey and Hampshire countryside and arriving at Portsmouth Harbour in around 2 hours.

We believe the fastest and easiest route for rail enthusiasts is from Portsmouth Harbour Station to Ryde Pier with the Island line Station. To accommodate this Wightlink Ferries have kindly offered two return tickets on their Fastcat service.

The journey takes just 22 minutes and will leave the winners with a gentle walk along the pier to the hotel.

Two nights B&B in a Superior Double Sea View room at the Royal Esplanade Hotel, Ryde for dates in March 2021.

Use the Royal esplanade as your base and jump on the bus just outside to go exploring! Sadly the Island line is likely to still be under its upgrade blockade but you may just get to see test runs and engineering work taking place. There are many places to explore including the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.

To complete the package, what could be better than a Railcam goody bag? worth over £100, containing – Hoodie, Tassel Scarf, Gloves, T-shirt, Bag Baseball Cap, Thermal mug, Pen. Keyring, 10-year anniversary pin badge. (Items subject to change)

To be in with a chance of winning this prize you must be aged over 18, UK resident, and share the social media post from Railcam on either Facebook or Twitter and follow our YouTube channel. We really would like to see you use #RailcamRyde too but that’s not essential.

Competition rules:

The prizes are kindly donated by The Royal Esplanade Hotel, Ryde, Wightlink ferries, and South Western Railway and are not transferable.

The winner must be available for the agreed dates in March 2021.

No cash alternative is available.

The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Sunday 15th November.

The winner must contact admin@railcam.uk within 24 hours to claim the prize or it will be redrawn.

Expenses for additional travel, accommodation and food is the winners liability and will not be covered by Railcam UK.

Railcam UK decision is final in all aspects and no correspondence will be entered into.

Railcam UK reserve the right to cancel the competition without reason at any stage.

Railcam returns to Devon with its new Teignmouth location.

Devon and in particular the South Devon coastline has long since been a favourite for both rail enthusiasts and travellers alike.

Some days the Railcam volunteers really do have the best views

When Railcam was approached by a potential host living track-side in the area, they took notice and sprang into action! Conversations took place, photographs and videos were viewed, and very quickly a date was penciled in to attend site and install the newest location to the Railcam portfolio.

Railcam is delighted to be offering two cameras. The first will be available via the Railcam site and available to subscribed members. Focusing on the mainline, a few hundred yards from Shaldon Bridge is the first of the Dahua PTZ cameras. Although it is a PTZ, the view will be static for most of the time to give the best vantage point for passing traffic on the rails.

Railcam’s dedicated railway camera is one of two installed on site

There should be plenty of GWR action featuring class 800/802 IET trains, local sprinters, and of course the HST Castle sets! Also featured will be the CrossCountry services using Voyagers and HST sets. Railcam will also be able to show the many steam and diesel tours that pass and return on tours to Paignton, Plymouth, and Penzance.

The second camera will pan from the Ness in Shaldon to the edge of Dartmoor

Railcam’s second Dahua PTZ will be available on YouTube and is the first specialist scenic camera. The stream will cover the Teign Estuary, giving views from the Ness in Shaldon, Shaldon Bridge, and Ringmore as it pans from 7 am until dusk, to the edge of Dartmoor and back. There will be some railway within the view but the focus is based much more on the beautiful scenery.

The Scenic camera is available here https://youtu.be/oifSqg6GheA

Teignmouth to Newton Abbot was opened in 1846 by the South Devon Railway Company and was originally an extension of the Broad gauge Atmospheric Railway. The South Devon Railway was amalgamated into the GWR in 1876 and the broad gauge was converted to standard gauge in 1892.

Both cameras secured and being tested

Teignmouth itself boast’s a little bit of history. Teignmouth was the last place in mainland UK to be invaded by a foreign power when the French raided. Shaldon Bridge was once the longest wooden structure in Europe and is 1671 feet in length, and Charles Babbage, the mathematician who originated the idea of a programmable computer, also lived here for some years. His thoughts on Railcam and the internet would no doubt be very interesting!

This is how much “kit” is involved for a 700 mile, 3 day, 3 installer Railcam location.

Railcams camera installations take a lot of work and equipment to achieve. In all, the installation team had a round trip of over 700 miles, a large car filled with equipment and three team members spending the best part of three days to complete the task. There was also a kind host who not only provided the location but, supplied cups of coffee and bacon sandwiches to keep the team fuelled.

Once on-site final positions need to be agreed, safe working access risk assessed, internet speed checked, routers checked, electricity supplies checked and then the unpacking begins.

Microphones complete with windproof “Rats” are located as near to the line as possible to give some privacy to the host.

An installation is far more complicated than it sounds. Once the cameras and microphones are secured the installers can begin the process of connecting the new location to the Railcam system. Sometimes it’s smooth and other days little glitches are sent to test the most competent installer. From start to finish the team spent around 8 hours on-site for this installation.

The magic of the little black box

The end result is what the Railcam supporter gets to view and has now been achieved many times to provide the huge choice of locations now available.

Railcam Director Andrew Jebb said, ” We are delighted to be adding another new location to Railcam’s extensive UK coverage. The Teignmouth cameras give our viewers the chance to enjoy both the railway and the beautiful scenery of the Teign estuary.”

He continued, ” As always, Railcam and its supporters are indebted to a generous host who has a passion for sharing a personal view with the rest of the World. The launch of our first specialist scenic camera, as well as a railway one, just shows how much Railcam loves this location.”