It’s Heritage Jim, But not as we know it…..

Heritage railway cameras have always been a very popular side to Railcam, over the years we have welcomed aboard such locations as the Swanage Railway, West Somerset Railway and more recently the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, covering both standard and narrow gauges.

But one thing was missing……. A heritage tramway camera.

We are delighted to announce that we have now ticked off that target with the addition of a camera at Seaton Tramway.

Seaton Tramway is a 2 ft 9 in (838 mm) narrow gauge electric tramway. The 3-mile (4.8 km) route runs through East Devon’s Axe Valley, between the coastal resort of Seaton, the village of Colyford, and the ancient town of Colyton.

It operates over part of the former Seaton Branch Line, which closed in March 1966. The tramway was established in 1970 by Claude Lane, founder of Modern Electric Tramways Ltd, which had previously operated in Eastbourne between 1954 and 1969.

Fourteen tramcars are part of the visitor attraction, which sees about 80,000 visitors per year. All of the tramcars are based on classic British designs, and vary in size between half-scale (1:2) and two thirds-scale (2:3). Most were built from scratch by Claude Lane and/or his successor Allan Gardner, but three were rebuilt from full-size cars which originally ran in London, Bournemouth and Exeter.

3 miles of unspoilt countryside along the beautiful Axe Valley

Seaton Tramway operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon’s glorious Axe Valley, travelling alongside the River Axe estuary through two nature reserves and giving an unrivalled view of the abundant wading bird life.

The coastal resort of Seaton is now a gateway town to the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whilst the historic town of Colyton is described as “Devon’s Most Rebellious Town” for its part in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.

Our camera is situated on the depot and overlooks the Riverside Halt, with the beautiful River Axe estuary as a backdrop. A truly stunning vantage point which covers trams starting and finishing their days work in the depot yard, services to and from Seaton Station, passing loop and tides coming and going in the River Axe in the background. Something to entertain you whenever you watch!

Our camera, mounted on the depot at Riverside Halt. Give us a wave when you pass……

Josh Castree, Marketing Manager & Project Officer at Seaton Tramway added,

“We are really excited to launch our first ever public webcam in partnership with RailCam. It is the perfect addition to our offer to make Seaton Tramway more accessible onsite and online. Overlooking the Depot yard and our new Riverside Halt with the backdrop of the beautiful Axe Valley, we know people will love getting a little more behind the scenes at Seaton Tramway”

We go LIVE on Monday 5th April 2021, which should see plenty of driver refreshment activity in the lead up to the return of visitors on Monday 12th, with the Orange timetable in operation for the rest of the month,

Booking is not essential but is recommended, You can book now by clicking Booking Information and any questions you may have about the re-opening are answered at Re-Opening FAQ

As things, hopefully, begin to return to normal, the roll out of events and experiences will begin after the 21st of June, but a date for your diary will be the 24 hour LIVE Tramathon on the 5th-6th June, Find out more here

The camera will be available to all Railcam members on the Railcam Website & YouTube channel as well as the Seaton Tramway Webcam Page

Find out more by visiting the Seaton Tramway Website and follow on Facebook and Twitter

About Railcam

Railcam UK Ltd operate a network of railway themed live streaming cameras, based in the United Kingdom. Since 2009 we have grown from a small enthusiast group with a single camera in Preston, to a globally accessed rail enthusiast hub with in excess of 100 cameras both owned and maintained by Railcam, and guest cameras from around the world. The Railcam portfolio has expanded to include access to train schedules and live signalling diagrams to accompany the viewing experience. Despite the growth, Railcam UK is still run by a dedicated group of rail enthusiasts and relies on the sterling efforts of its team of volunteers.

An extremely popular social media community has grown over the years and now boasts 25k+ Facebook, 15k+ Twitter and 45k+ YouTube followers/subscribers, this to add to 40k+ Railcam members.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube

Email –

Railcam Data allocations, an update…..

Why does my name no longer appear against an allocation in RCData?

Sadly, some people seem to treat RCData as some sort of competition as to who can add the most number of allocation (often leading to people guessing based on what ‘my mate said’, where a loco was last reported, services it usually runs etc….). We’ve had numerous cases of people removing then re-adding identical information under their own name, which in turn seems to upset people whose names are replaced. Likewise, the Notes section seems to be treated by a minority, as a sort of chatroom, flooding it with discussion rather than clear, concise information. That’s not what the Notes section is for – we have a chatroom for that!

RCData is all about information. The only thing that matters is that the information is reliable – really, there is no need to know who added it. Username information is still added in the background and is available to the Admin team in case of dispute or misuse.

We are saddened to have to take this line of action, but we have been left with no option as the number of complaints are stacking up and as a small admin team, we have better things to be dealing with.

Railcam Senior Admin Team

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway cameras come to Railcam

We are absolutely thrilled to finally announce the addition of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway webcams to Railcam.

Another project that has been long in the making, and was made even longer by the Covid pandemic, has finally come through. We welcome the already very popular trio of cameras at Porthmadog Harbour Station, Minffordd and Tan Y Bwlch to our already extensive heritage offerings from across the UK.

The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway with almost 200 years of history, taking you on a 13½-mile journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Our historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round tight bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain or tunnelling through it.

The Welsh Highland Railway is the UK’s longest heritage railway and runs for 25 miles from Caernarfon, past the foot of Snowdon and the picture postcard village of Beddgelert, then through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. Passengers ride in some of the most comfortable carriages on any heritage railway in the UK, including first class Pullman luxury and freshly-cooked food delivered to your seat.

Porthmadog Harbour Station
Tan Y Bwich

The webcams are available to all Railcam members now, and also via the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway website at, where you can also keep up to date with all the very latest news from the railway.

Fingers crossed for the return of services to both the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, and all our heritage partners, later this year.

Railcam Sheffield is LIVE!

We are delighted to reveal our latest installation, Railcam Sheffield.

For the last 10 months Covid-19 has limited us to very few installs and upgrades, dodging between lockdowns and travel restrictions, we have struggled to keep up with the mountain of locations we have to install with brand new cameras, or upgrade existing equipment.

One shining light has been the small number of hosts who are able to self install pre-configured equipment, and our host at Sheffield is one of those.

Shipped just last week, our host has got the equipment set up in his office window in no time, and we now have a stunning overview of the north end of Sheffield station, which has the added bonus of the Sheffield SuperTram thrown in for good measure.

Due to the camera being inside, we unfortunately can’t offer audio, but the PTZ (Pan, Tilt & Zoom) functionality of the camera gives us the option of the stunning images displayed below,

Railcam Sheffield will be available to Railcam Supporters from 10am on Friday 29th January.

Fancy becoming a Railcam Supporter?

For £4 a month or as little as £23 for the entire year, you can take advantage of many addition features, including Live Signalling Diagrams, addition Premium Cameras, Schedule information and much more…..

Find out more at

Are you getting the most out of your Railcam subscription….?

We have seen comments many times in the past from Railcam members and subscribers saying ‘Oh, I didn’t realise I could do that’ or ‘I didn’t realise that was a feature on Railcam’. So we have put together our first 3 tutorial videos to explain a few of the options you may not realise are available to you…

Firstly we look at Registration, Login and Subscriptions….

Secondly we explain all about the cameras and chatroom options….

And finally we look into the often daunting Diagrams and Schedules…. (It’s a lot easier than you think!)

Are there any other parts of the Railcam site you would like explaining in more detail? Drop a comment below and we will see what we can do.

#SpottingFromHome & #SpottingFromWork 2.0

Once again we move into ‘lockdown’ restrictions across the UK, and many of us now find ourselves at home for at least the next few weeks…… We have already been asked if we intend to resurrect #SpottingFromHome / #SpottingFromWork to enable rail enthusiasts who are now restricted to where they can safely travel to, to continue enjoying the hobby from the comfort of their armchair. Well we can, but it will be on a smaller scale…..

#SpottingFromHome hasn’t ever really stopped, the hashtag has been ticking over slowly on Twitter since we officially called an end to the campaign after the first national lockdown in March 2020, but we have been delighted to see members still sharing their captures from across our cameras as Covid-19 has still left many of us unwilling or unable to travel, except where necessary.

So, will we bring back #SpottingFromHome? Well the answer is of course yes, but it won’t be on the scale of last time. With home schooling and people working from home, our social media team are not sat at their desks all day, we have children to teach and commitments we have to attend to away from Railcam, so #SpottingFromHome 2.0 will work a little differently……

We will continue to like each and every post, as we did last time around, but the retweeting will be a little different. We will retweet a number of posts throughout the day, as time permits, but we won’t be able to go into the detail we did with all the retweets previously, this time we will pick a selection to retweet in detail.

What do we ask when you share your #SpottingFromHome or #SpottingFromWork captures? Simply tag Railcam and the TOC in your capture, and include the hashtag #SpottingFromHome or #SpottingFromWork, it’s that simple. If you want to add detail of the number and working of the train then please feel free.

We must stress that you follow all social distancing measure set out by the government, and do not make unnecessary journeys to take photos to share with us. #SpottingFromHome is exactly that, you are using our cameras to screen grab images to share with fellow Railcam members, from your home.

If you are #SpottingFromWork, please do so by following your companies safety guidelines.

Railcam arrives at Newark

We are delighted to announce our second camera launch in just over a week! Hot on the heels of Crewe Camera 5, we can unveil our latest camera at Newark, on the East Coast Mainline, just south of Newark North Gate station.

This camera is a PTZ model which gives us the opportunity of views in both the north and south directions, where we expect to see ECML express passenger workings from LNER, Grand Central and Hull Trains, along with various freight workings.

We hope for a little better weather on launch day!

Railcam would like to extend a huge thank you to our very generous hosts for allowing us to bring this wonderful view to our members, and for their enthusiasm right from the initial contact. As ever we also wish to thank our install team, headed up by AndyJ, for tracking up to Newark and doing a cracking job, along with GWSimon for the initial site visit and survey.

Railcam Newark will spend a period of time featured on our YouTube channel at the link below, before reverting to a ‘Supporter Only’ camera after the preview period ends.

Become a Railcam supporter, it couldn’t be easier!

For as little as £4 a month, and a bargain £23 a year, you can get access to numerous additional premium cameras, live signalling diagrams, schedule and allocation information and much more. Railcam Supporter, What do I get? Click here for more

All Change for Island Line – Competition to win Ryde Rail by Richard Long

Railcam is delighted to bring you another competition. This time, respected railway author, Richard Long has offered a copy of his book, Ryde Rail, to one lucky winner.

To enter, simply comment on the post on any of the Railcam, Facebook or Twitter posts by answering the following question:

How long is the Island line?

The winner will be drawn at random on Sunday 22 November 2020.

Ryde rail: A History of Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight by Richard Long Published by Crecy Publishing

Richard has kindly written the following piece for us to give an insight to the tube trains in use on the Island line. We would like to thank Richard for his time and generosity.

In January 1967 the Ryde-Shanklin line closed down completely before reopening three months later with a ‘new’ fleet of refurbished ex-London Underground trains.  54 years later, at the start of 2021, the same thing is to happen again.  The full story of those 54 years can be found in my book Ryde Rail: A History of Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight.  But why did the Isle of Wight end up with second-hand tube trains in the first place?

Unit 009 enters Ryde tunnel at the rear of a 4-car southbound train on 31 August 2009.

By the end of 1966 the Island’s former 55-mile network of railway lines had been whittled down to just eight-and-a-half miles of track between Ryde and Shanklin – which local campaigners had forced BR to retain.  Faced with a life-expired fleet of pre-Grouping steam engines and carriages BR concluded that modernisation was the only answer.  New-build rolling stock was out of the question on cost grounds so a decision was taken to electrify the line and employ a fleet of ex-London Underground ‘Standard Stock’ tube cars (to become BR classes 485 & 486).  These were ideal as they were more than suited to the Island’s notoriously restrictive loading gauge and, crucially, were readily available at scrap value.  Around 40 years-old in 1967, the Standard Stock were expected to last about 10 years on the Island but eventually lumbered on until replacements arrived in the form of the current 1938 Stock tube trains in 1989-92.

Already 50 years-old at the time of their arrival, the 1938 Stock (BR class 483) were probably even then the oldest (non-heritage) trains on the national network but, after 30 years on the Island, have now clocked-up eight decades of service.  Nine two-car units were originally delivered to Ryde but today only six sets survive; of which only two are currently operational – and that’s on a good day.  Two working units are required to maintain the two-trains-an-hour timetable meaning that, if one set fails (as has happened frequently in the past 12 months), the service drops to one-train-an-hour.

Unit 008 in platform 1 at Brading with a northbound service on 5 September 2013.  A passing loop is to be installed at this location.

SWR’s replacements for the 80-year-old trains will be the class 484 – a third rail electric version of Vivarail’s Class 230.  Re-engineered from former District Line ‘D Stock’ units these are once-again ex-London Underground trains but, crucially, they are LU ‘sub-surface’ stock (in other words, normal-sized UK trains) and not tube trains – disproving once-and-for-all the myth that only tube trains would fit on the Isle of Wight.  Five two-car units have been ordered; to be painted in SWR livery with ‘Island Line’ branding.  With fully-modernised interiors, disabled access and on-train wifi these will arguably be the closest thing to actual new trains the Island’s railways have experienced in well over a century.  Reportedly the first three units will arrive on the Island by Christmas although none are expected to enter traffic until the line reopens in April 2021.

Unsurprisingly some infrastructure modifications will be required for the new units to operate – including adjusting platform heights for step-free access and lowering the track under some overbridges.  Whether the track in Ryde Tunnel will be lowered remains to be seen – it hasn’t been mentioned and, contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the lowest structure on the line.  The worst sections of track are to be re-laid as well (the famously bouncy ride quality of the current stock probably owes as much to the condition of the track as to that of the trains.)  Perhaps the most significant improvement will be the laying of a passing loop at Brading; allowing a two-train service to run at a regular half-hourly interval, rather than the current 20/40-minute service.  (The present track layout, with no passing point at Brading, is the result of a rationalisation carried out by Network SouthEast in the 1980s, when three-trains-an-hour were operated.)

A CGI image released by Vivarail last year of a new Class 484 unit.

The 1938 Stock are expected to operate their final services on 3 January 2021, after which the line will close until 1 April, but will any survive into preservation?  One unit seems likely to remain on the Island as a static exhibit at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway while another group, the London Transport Traction Group, has been formed with the aim of operating a set under battery power on the Epping-Ongar Railway.  Whether any further units will find new homes remains to be seen. 

Whatever happens, the next few months will see exciting changes for the Ryde-Shanklin line; which enthusiasts should be able to witness first hand on Railcam’s new camera at Ryde. 

Richard Long is the author of Isle of Wight Railways: A New History ( and the bestselling Ryde Rail: A History of Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight (

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 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 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.

Update on Ryde cameras

Railcam UK are delighted to announce that the new cameras are now in position and under test.

Our installers attended last weekend and battled through some inclement weather conditions to complete the job before a second national Covid 19 lockdown could delay the project.

We should hopefully be going “Live” this weekend once we are happy with the quality and sequences.

To whet your appetite, here are a few teasers from the cameras.

Looking across the Solent to the Spinnaker tower and Portsmouth harbour entrance
Southampton docks and Cruise terminal
One of the Solent’s forts
Looking over Appley Beach