Railcams “Spotting from home campaign” success

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.

#SpottingFromHome or #SpottingFromWork – Let’s get involved http://news.railcam.uk/index.php/2020/03/28/spottingfromhome/

Contact: media@railcam.uk

Diablo’s Railcam Rock Show is back!

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 diablo33@hotmail.co.uk

We will post out the link to the show on Friday evening ready for the launch of the show at 20:00.

#SpottingFromHome or #SpottingFromWork – Let’s get involved http://news.railcam.uk/index.php/2020/03/28/spottingfromhome/


Dovey Junction / Dyfi Osprey Project Camera

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.

© Dyfi Osprey Project

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!

You can find out much more about the wonderful Dyfi Osprey Project and Core Dyfi Nature Reserve by visiting their website at https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com

York South Cameras – Sadly we have to say goodbye….

Sadly, due to changed circumstanced, our York South host can no longer accommodate our cameras. The precise time is in the hands of BT, but they will be switched-off in the coming days.

We are already in advanced discussions with a potential new host in the South York area, but for now, we are throwing both cameras open to all viewers, on Railcam and on YouTube.

These cameras have bought some fantastic entertainment in the time they have been online, Hopefully we can enjoy them for a few more days….Enjoy!

York South (Holgate Jn) Camera 1
York South (Holgate Jn) Camera 2

Remembering David Rochelle

David Rochelle – Dave539 on Railcam was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of our website, but sadly passed away in December.

In 2015, we arranged to have a memorial bench installed at the Crewe Heritage Centre, on the viewing gallery area, in honour of Michael Rochelle, David’s son, who had died some years earlier. The two of them had shared an interest in railways and David thought that having his bench at the CHC was a fitting way to remember him.

With David’s passing, we thought it would be nice if we could get a second bench at the Heritage Centre, to remember David himself. The two benches will be placed close to each other at Crewe and will hopefully help many other Fathers and Sons to enjoy the railway as David and Michael did.

Railcam would like to thank John Pepper for his work refurbishing the older bench so that they both look like new, ready for the 2020 season.

Happy New Year from Railcam

We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the very best for 2020.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of the Railcam story, not just in 2019, but for the entire 10 years we have been broadcasting. This is just the beginning of our journey, and here’s to the next 10 years!

We can’t name everyone, as we would no doubt miss someone out, so keeping it simple,

To our members, supporters, heritage partners, camera hosts, admin and moderators, everyone who has supported us with even the smallest thing, those who have spread the good work we do, liked, shared and commented on our social media posts and supported us in the launch of our news & features section. Thank you, you are all part of our history.


Railcam Remembers ‘Seahill’

The week just gone marked the first anniversary of the passing of our dear friend Jon Condell – “Seahill” to all at Railcam.

Please take a moment to read the first piece in Cheggs Corner, for a personal view on Jon’s passing and what he brought to Railcam before he was taken by cancer one year ago.

Railcam Store – Winter Collection **Coming Soon**

As the weather is turning colder our online store turns towards our winter collection.

Returning are popular items including branded fleeces and beanie hats, which sold out very quickly last year.

New items this year will include scarves, Thinsulate gloves and a superb Railcam branded insulated tumbler, which are sure to fly off the shelves.

Another addition is a handy shoulder bag, or mini reporter bag to give it its proper name, ideal for the small items when you are out on a journey, or by the lineside.

Our stunning engraved whisky glass is also still in stock, enjoy your favourite tipple as you watch the snowfall (possibly) across our cameras this winter.

Some items are already listed on our special ‘Winter Collection’ page, which can be found at https://railcam-shop.myshopify.com/collections/winter-collection

Railcam’s 10th Anniversary/Christmas meet up

It’s that time of the year again, when we plan a little get together, over a few drinks, for the annual Railcam Christmas Meet Up.

This year we will be meeting in York on Saturday 30th November to see friends old and new, so if you would like to come along then we plan to meet at the superb York Tap, on Platform 3, before heading in to town.

Make a note in your diary, come along and say hello, it will be a cracking day out.

An added bonus will see two railtours visiting York,

GB Railfreight’s 50007 & 50049 provide the traction for Pathfinder Tours The Festive York & Durham Explorer, expected to arrive around 12:00 and return at 18:00. (Provisional timings)

Railway Touring Company’s The York Yuletide Express arrives at 13:22, lead by A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa, with the return leg departing at 16:55 with Princess Coronation Class No. 6233 Duchess of Sutherland in charge.


It is now confirmed that admin will be arriving in York from around 09:00, and we will meet in the York Tap from 10:00. We will take the rest of the day from there…..

Come and join us for a pint or two if you can.