Railcam Recommends….. The Swan & Railway Hotel at Wigan

Our recently added and hugely popular cameras at Wigan North Western were made possible by Landlady, Shelley and her team at the Swan and Railway Hotel. It is thanks to their kind offer to host the cameras that we can bring you up close and personal to this busy part of the north-west of England.

But the Swan and Railway is more than just a camera host. This delightful hotel boasting views of the WCML and the Wigan North Western platforms, offering fine ales including permanent fixture Bass Bitter, honest food, a great atmosphere and beautiful rooms, including a number with a view of the railway itself.

Built in 1898 this beautiful Victorian pub on Wigan’s Wallgate, immediately opposite North Western Station and just a hundred yards from Wallgate station stands proud retaining many of its original features including a splendid tiled drinking corridor.

We hope we’ve brought you something special as we’ve sought to turn the pub back to how in would have ‘come out of the box’ new in its extravagant Victorian heyday. Bustling and lively but with corners to relax in we hope you enjoy it as a proper pub. At its heart are cask beers served form our magnificent beer engine, complemented by a great range of the finest lagers, stouts, ciders, wines, spirits and a carefully chosen wine list.

Wigan being Wigan we like our pies, so we serve Pieminister pies which are a real treat along with other honest dishes, always with a Vegan option and the best pork pies and Scotch eggs. If you don’t fancy a strong drink we also always offer the best fresh barista coffee or tea and a cake.

If your popping in for a quick escape before or after catching your train don’t worry you can keep an eye on the train times which are on display in the public bar while you read todays papers.

Our ‘Rocket’ juke box is a treat – made in Leeds by the only remaining traditional juke box manufacturer in the world it has a great selection – dig out the Northern Soul if that takes your fancy.

We could hardly call ourselves Wigan’s Original if we didn’t show the Rugby and Football games live and the Rugby League historians amongst you will soon discover why our back room is called the Syd Abram suite.

The Swan & Railway offer accommodation, spread over seven beautifully set out rooms, including two ‘Rail Enthusiast’ rooms, which offer views of the WCML and Wigan North Western railway station.

All rooms have,

  • A luxury en-suite with spacious shower
  • Towel rail razor points
  • Large flat screen TV with Free View
  • Comfy beds with crisp white linen
  • Complementary high speed WI-FI
  • Hospitality tray with kettle, tea/coffee etc
  • Iron, Ironing Board, Hairdryer, Sewing Kit available on request

Check availability and book your stay now by clicking here.

If you are waiting for a train connection or simply passing through and fancy a pint, there aren’t many better places to spend an hour, and with a wonderful selection of local cask ales always available you will be really spoilt for choice. Wines and spirits of course are available, including a large selection of rums and gins. You can check in real time what is on the hand pumps, and also whats in the cellar and even whats coming soon if you are planning a future trip. All this and more is available here.

Feeling peckish? Nothing goes more hand in hand with a pint than a pie, and the Swan & Railway have a wonderful selection of Pieminister pies, including the delicious Moo & Blue. These are served either straight up as a handy snack, or with your choice of mash, peas and/or gravy. If thats not enough, an amazing local patisserie supplies iconic patisserie classic, changing on a weekly basis.

Swan and Railway Hotel Wigan


📍 80 Wallgate, Wigan, Lancashire WN1 1BA

📞 01942 375817

✉️ swanandrailwayhotelwigan@gmail.com

Mon – Thu 12 noon – 11pm, Fri & Sat 12 noon – 12am, Sun 12 noon – 11pm

Railcam are ‘Going Underground’…

Railcam UK Ltd are delighted to announce our next camera install, and our very first dedicated camera on the London Underground. Railcam Epping.

Railcam Epping/Locomotive L11 & Epping Signal Cabin ©Railcam UK Ltd

Epping is the north-eastern terminus of London Underground’s Central Line, and as you can see from the image above, we have a wonderful view for all arrivals and departures. Information from Transport for London can be found here.

Railcam Epping is very kindly hosted by the Locomotive L11 & Epping Signal Cabin preservation group, a dedicated group of volunteers helping to preserve a unique example of  London Transport rolling stock and the redundant Signal Cabin at Epping.

Locomotive L11

Our aim is to preserve L11 as a static exhibit and to reflect it’s use as a departmental shunting Loco by returning it to Engineers Yellow although it was at one time Bullock Maroon. Further information on the L11 page here.

Epping Signal Cabin

Epping Signal Cabin has undergone a massive transformation since 2014, full update as the website is updated. Further information on the Signal Cabin page here.

Find out more about Locomotive L11 & Epping Signal Cabin, including history, future plans and how you can help, by visiting their website at www.eppingmuseum.com

Epping Camera will be available FREE to all Railcam members (Register FREE at www.railcam.uk) this weekend and through until Tuesday 14th February, where it will revert to a ‘Supporters Only’ camera.

Our thanks, as always, go to our camera hosts and the Railcam installation team for pulling together another wonder addition to site.

Major Railcam Server Upgrade – Please Read

Due to the growing number of cameras, features and users – plus a need to keep up-to-date with the latest security, we are planning a major server upgrade next week.

  • The switch-over is planned for around 10am on Tuesday 15th March and there will inevitably be glitches to deal with.
  • We are stopping new registrations and subscriptions from 10pm on Mon 14th, until the new server is live and checked-out.
  • When the change-over happens, the chatroom will probably behave oddly and recent messages will disappear. 

A lot of work has gone into preparing for this upgrade, which is our first since 2018. We hope we have thought of everything, but it’s possible that we have missed something.

If there are any problems, please bear with us and only contact us about problems if they persist into Wednesday 16th.

Thanks for your patience during this essential work.

Model Rail Scotland 2022

Our favourite model railway event of the year is back after falling victim to Covid restriction in 2021, and we can’t wait to get back up to Glasgow and catch up with all the happenings in the model railway scene that have been ticking along through the Covid era….. There has been a lot of buzz around the hobby in recent weeks and months on social media, with manufactures including Accurascale, Bachmann, Cavalex Models and Heljan amongst those bringing new and exciting products to the market.

The Exhibition is returning the SEC Glasgow on the 25th, 26th & 27th of February 2022 and will be open to visitors from;

  • 1030-1800hrs – Friday, 25th February
  • 1000-1800hrs – Saturday, 26th February
  • 1030-1700hrs – Sunday, 27th February

The list of layout and traders is seemingly endless, and there is guaranteed to be something for your layout or collection from traders including Accurascale, Cheltenham Model Centre, DCC Concepts, Footplate, Gaugemaster, JDM Models, Rails of Sheffield, Rainbow Railways, The Model Centre and many many more….

Layouts covering all gauges and eras are also attending, with examples including:

Barton Road (BR Western 1960s-1970s), Glenochil (Central Scotland 1960s) & Tuerland (German Outline) in N gauge.

Beijiao (21st Century Industrial China), 52nd Avenue (American 1950s) & Smartrop (Sweden 1930s) in HO Gauge.

Darlby Lane (British Outline), Blair Athol towards Drumochter (BR 1980s Scotland) & Humphrey Sidings (Southern 1940s) in OO gauge.

Loch Dubh (Scottish Region), Canal Sidings (British Outline) & Hyde Lane (Late 1960s) in O gauge.

A full list of these and many more beautifully built layouts appearing, as well as all the traders, can be found on the Model Rail Scotland website by clicking here.

CLASS 320 EMU Limited Edition Model

To celebrate the return of the show after its enforced absence in 2021, AMRSS Ltd have commissioned a Limited Edition N gauge model of SPT Class 320 306 ‘Model Rail Scotland’ from Revolution Trains.

On 18th  February 1997 at Glasgow Central station SPT Class 320 306 was named ‘Model Rail Scotland’ which was the first occasion when an item of British main line rolling stock had been named after a model railway exhibition and the ceremony launched the introduction of the new Strathclyde Passenger Transport Carmine & Cream livery.

To acknowledge this important part of the shows history AMRSS Ltd have teamed up with Revolution Trains to bring  320 306 Model Rail Scotland back to life in its SPT Carmine & Cream livery as a limited edition model in N gauge. Find out more about our Limited edition 320.

Further information on how to purchase the model at the show will be announced shortly. This model is exclusive to the exhibition and will be available at the show only from the AMRSS Sales stand at a cost of £295.

Advanced tickets are available here and provide the benefit of a saving on the ticket price along with entry 30 minutes earlier than normal opening times

On the door tickets will be available each day of the show from the ticket desk located outside Hall 3 these tickets are priced:

Adult £15 Child £6 Family £32

Railcam Subscription Changes – February 2022

Throughout a very testing 2021, Railcam has continued to grow at a tremendous rate, with installations and upgrade projects delayed by Covid-19 and national lockdowns being picked up and completed. The huge backlog saw Railcam take on our first part time employee, in Barking camera host and technical admin Andrew Jebb, who came on board to help get the mountain of jobs slowly ticked off.

The number of outstanding job was only added to throughout the year as more hosts came forward to offer new locations. The quicker we completed pre-Covid jobs, potential new locations were being added, which still means we have much to do going into 2022….

As we all know, more cameras means more site surveys, more installation trips, more maintenance trips and older cameras being upgraded to more modern standards that our supporters expect, resulting in beefing up our servers to withstand the extra loadings. This unfortunately comes at a cost……

Throughout 2021 welcomed new cameras at Keighley, Kidderminster, Sheffield and Wigan. Upgrades were also undertaken at Beattock, Bedford, Bolton le Sands, Crewe, Flitwick, Newark, Peterborough, Thankerton, Todmorden and Watford.

On the heritage side we welcomed a number of new locations, including the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Seaton Tramway and the Severn Valley Railway our ever increasing coverage of the UK heritage scene.

We have also seen additions to the international coverage we offer, with partnerships from Tampere, Finland and Lyon AHICF Post 1, France, both boosting our coverage outside of the UK.

Additional cameras obviously come at a cost, and this year has been no exception. A third server was required to keep the railcam wheels rolling, along with hardware, travel and installation costs, which saw our small team stretched far and wide. Our overheads have risen significantly, which includes rising server hosting and bandwidth costs, plus we have also installed a number of dedicated broadband connections at some of our sites, including the use of commercial 4G connectivity, each of which involves a contact of its own but will bring a more reliable service to our viewers.

Recent months have seen costs from our suppliers rise across the board, mainly driven by the rise in fuel costs. In particular, power-hungry servers are costing more to run and transport costs for installations and maintenance are rising sharply.

We have done what we can to tighten our belts and absorb rising costs, but like all businesses at the moment, we have no option but to balance the books.

With that in mind, we have made the decision to restructure our supporter package pricing from February 1st 2022, the following will apply,

  • 12 Months £30
  • 6 Months £18
  • 3 Months £10
  • 1 Month £4, which has remained unchanged to offer an introductory taster to Railcam.

These prices remain competitive and great value compared to similar comparable websites worldwide.

Remember your Railcam subscription is not just for the cameras, our highly regarded RCData package includes schedules, live signalling diagrams and user sourced allocation information, by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. More information can be found at https://railcam.uk/whatyouget.php 

Raising the cost of our supporter packages is a decision we haven’t taken lightly, but we believe we are still offering some of the best value for any enthusiast in the UK – or further afield.

Any subscription taken out before the 1st February will be added to your existing package and will not incur an addition charge until that package expires.

Railcam on YouTube – Changes from 3rd January 2022

The idea of the YouTube streams was always to encourage people to subscribe on the Railcam.uk website. Covid-19 and the various restrictions and lockdowns, meant that we have left the streams live on YouTube for longer than we ever intended, but they were never intended to be a permanent fixture.

It’s important to understand that it costs money to install and run a camera, even on YouTube There are server costs, hardware costs, travel to install and maintain the cameras. There is often a commercial broadband service to fund in order to stream the cameras at all. All of this has to be funded and there has to be a benefit to Railcam and our paying subscribers in providing a free service on YouTube.

It’s also important to note the time and effort that people put into the streams; the people that keep the streams running and fix problems when they arise, fix them when they fail – not to mention our volunteer chat moderators who have the unenviable task of keeping order in the chat.

Sadly, it has become clear that instead of being an advertisement for the Railcam website as intended, it has become an alternative to it. The overwhelming majority of YouTube viewers have no intention of contributing towards the substantial costs of operating the service. It’s not fair on our subscribers to expect them to subsidise a free service which doesn’t benefit the main site. It’s clear that we should spend valuable subscription money on improving the service (better servers, more cameras, new features etc) instead of funding a way to avoid contributing.

We won’t be withdrawing from YouTube entirely, but the nature and number of streams will change. Some cameras which have been a permanent fixture on YouTube will only be available on the Railcam website, except for occasional spells as the “Camera-of-the-Week” on one of our Railcam Sampler streams.

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…..

Agreement secures future Railcam coverage on the Settle & Carlisle Line

We are delighted to report that an agreement has been reached with Settle & Carlisle Railway Properties Ltd, for not one but two of the S&C cameras to continue.

Sadly, that means that the Kirkby Stephen and Ribblehead Station cameras will cease broadcasting immediately. The broadband at Kirkby Stephen has been so poor of late, that we had considered its removal anyway. A formal contract is now in place to allow the best two cameras – Ribblehead Viaduct and Horton-in-Ribblesdale – to continue indefinitely with minor adjustments to satisfy all parties involved.

Additionally, we are now in discussions with Settle & Carlisle Railway Properties Ltd about the possibility of adding cameras in the future. We already have a number of options being explored with them and other hosts, so we fully expect that there will be additional cameras in the coming weeks and months.

We would like to thank our friends on the S&C – FoSCL, The S&C Trust and now Settle & Carlisle Railway Properties Ltd, for partnering with us to provide these cameras over the past six years… and into the future.

Adrian Quine – Executive Director of Settle & Carlisle Railway Properties Ltd said: “We are delighted to be working with RailCam UK to continue to bring a small snapshot of this wonderful railway to people at home”