Jubilee Giveaway – free camera access for all

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, all of our Supporter cameras will be available FREE to all for a strictly limited period … starting at midnight tonight!

For those who do not already have a Railcam account:

Register for your free Railcam account here

Go to Cams & Chat drop-down list on the header bar.

Select an individual camera or join us in chat while enjoying your favorite view from the extensive list of UK mainline, UK heritage, or international streams.

There is always something for everyone at Railcam. Whether it is a steam locomotive, freight, or passenger service, it’s all here on Railcam UK

As an additional treat for the aviation enthusiasts, we hope to provide Jubilee Flypast coverage, featuring the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows, from our kind host Andy at Barking. This will also be available on the Railcam YouTube channel.

Railcam expands its location-specific dashboard for the best viewing experience

Following on from the successful and very popular launch of the Crewe Railcam/YouTube Hybrid version, Railcam has expanded the dashboard to include the York and Peterborough multi-cam locations.

The hybrid offers the user the very best experience for a single location choice with the ability to change camera, view diagram, train information, and move between Railcam or Youtube chat without having to change the page.

Railcam roc 1 view including one button change options

All location-relevant camera choices are available to Railcam subscription holders while free to view is available for those who are registered. For a short period, one of the York North cameras has been made available to view free of charge along with the main station view from Network Rail’s Rail Operations Centre.

Peterborough will be available for fully subscribed members only and is accompanied by the Youtube chat from York as Peterborough is not currently available on Youtube.

To find out how to access the multi-cam hybrid version please read the instructions contained within Railcams previous post here.

New multi-choice options for Railcam Crewe users

All the advantages of YouTube viewing, with all the Railcam features too!

Railcam has been busy creating a new option that gives the best of both for the main site subscribers and those who follow on Youtube.

The new option has been brought about by the continued technical issues of broadcasting the Crewe camera 2 to Youtube. The stream failed several times a day causing disruption to viewers due to the link breaking on the Youtube site. The stream then had to be reset by an admin to continue coverage.

This could not be allowed to continue and so the brains trust has created a hybrid, available on the main Railcam site to give an enhanced user experience to benefit all.

The new option allows the user to select the preferred camera view, follow movements on the live diagram, see the next train due and chat on either Railcam or Youtube at the same time.

For those wishing to access the new option, please go to the main menu, cams & chat, Crewe Multicam feature. Select your camera view at the top of the displayed page, select either Railcam or Youtube chat and enjoy!

For those not yet subscribed to Railcam or those who need a little extra help, please follow the instructions below.

Firstly create an account. This can either be a full subscription or the free version.

To create an account please go to the subscribe button

Select your subscription, either paid or free options are available

Once you have an active account you will need to log in to the Railcam site with your user name and password. You need to do this even for free accounts.

Click on Cams & Chat drop-down menu and select Crewe Multicam.

Select your camera view at the top of the page. Two views are available for free accounts, all cameras for paid subscribers. Select either railcam or Youtube chat on the right of the page.

To use the Youtube chat, you first must be subscribed to the Railcam Youtube channel for 24 hours.

Below the camera view is the Crewe diagram with “Live” movements and camera positions for the user to anticipate the next pass to view.

Train “Headcode” will tell you what is expected next on the camera view. Click on the headcode for full details.

This is a trial that Railcam will be monitoring and so please feel free to offer feedback by replying to this post.

Railcam hopes that this will give an enhanced viewer experience and offers a complete package on a single page to showcase what is available to full members.

Auto-pan testing goes LIVE

New experimental feature added to Railcam….. Auto-panning cameras!

We have 4 cameras (Beattock, Bedford, Newark and Thankerton) all set to pan to face certain types of trains as the approach. The same data as we use for diagrams and “Approaching” indicators, is now used to turn cameras when certain types of headcode are about to pass. Freights, light-engine and “specials” (xZxx / xQxx headcodes), should trigger the moves…

We are not turning the cameras for every train because :

  • There would be too many conflicts as two or more trains approach at once
  • It would wear-out the camera mechanisms too quickly

The feature is still under development, but we think it’s a useful feature at some of our camera sites, and we would love any feedback you may have…..

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.

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

Avanti West Coast makes young rail enthusiast’s day

Avanti West Coast has helped a youngster’s dreams come true with VIP tour of Stafford station for an afternoon of trainspotting heaven.

Dillon Jones, 12, has his heart set on a career on the railway and was invited to join the Avanti West Coast team where he got the chance to try his hand at a number of duties including making his own station announcements.

Dillon, who has autism, is a passionate train enthusiast and a regular at Stafford station. On a recent visit, his first since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was presented with his own Avanti West Coast pin badge.  

After his mother, Jo, posted a message of thanks on a local Facebook Group, the pair were invited back by the team for a behind the scenes visit.

She said: “Dillon was made up to get his pin badge. He wanted to show it to everyone and tell them he worked for Avanti West Coast.

“He loves his trains. They play a big part in his life and how he copes with his autism.  The team at the station were so kind, patient and understanding. To get invited back was the icing on the cake. It has really boosted his confidence and his dreams now seem more realistic. Thank you for making my little man’s week.”

Mark Sefton, Customer Service Team Leader for Avanti West Coast at Stafford, said: “It was great to be able to invite Dillon along to the station for some hands-on, real-life experience.

“He did a great job and we hope it’s whetted his appetite for a possible career on the railways. At a time when the world is having to deal with so much, it was great to see that passion and his wonderful smile.”

As part of the afternoon, Dillon was presented with some Avanti West Coast gifts as well as a 12-month subscription to Railcam, the website that allows users to access real time footage of trains throughout the UK.

Simon Deane, Railcam News and Features Editor said: “Railcam is delighted to join with Avanti West Coast in providing Dillon with a memorable day. The COVID-19 pandemic had caused many traditional rail enthusiasts to furlough their hobby. Railcam has provided a virtual world of spotting from home. With over 100 camera streams available we think Dillon may be spoilt for choice.”

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.”