• RAILROAD.NET News, Site and Content Updates

  • General discussion about the RAILROAD.NET site, forums, or content ONLY. Please do not post your general railroading questions, please choose an appropriate forum. For help using the site, please post in the Help Using RAILROAD.NET Forum.
General discussion about the RAILROAD.NET site, forums, or content ONLY. Please do not post your general railroading questions, please choose an appropriate forum. For help using the site, please post in the Help Using RAILROAD.NET Forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by Otto Vondrak
2006 marks the tenth anniversary of RAILROAD.NET. Original founder and webmaster John Stewart turned over the reins to us in 2002, and we look forward to serving the railroad enthusiast community in the future as we have in the past! We are working hard to not only bringing you quality discussion and new feature articles, but also upgrading and maintaing the site for increased reliability and an enjoyable visit.

We would like to thank our visitors and registered members, as well as our volunteer moderators who have helped us grow to what we are today. Your continued support is appreciated! While we don't like to mention it often, your continued donations will help keep us running far into the future. Thanks also to all our loyal advertisers who support this site, we look forward to working with you in the future!

Thank you, and we look forward to another great ten years!

  by Mike Roque
The wonderful folks behind phpBB, the software that powers the RAILROAD.NET forums, have released phpBB 3.0.

This release offers many new features that have long been desired by our visitors and/or our site admins, including:
  • Forum subscriptions
  • Post reporting
  • Various private messaging improvements
  • Improved moderator tools
  • Moderator action logging
  • Per-forum rules
  • Warnings and suspensions (in addition to bans)
  • Various performance and security improvements
We plan to upgrade the RAILROAD.NET forums within the next few weeks. Although there will be many changes from the current forums, we believe these changes will make the forums a much better place to talk about trains!
  by Otto Vondrak
We've been kicking around an idea to further streamline the forums and offer a new place for conversations:

- Southeastern Railfan Forum - would cover Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennesee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and Loiusiana. DelMarVa & Washington, D.C. Railfan Forum and West Virginia Railfan Forum would continue to have their own separate forums.

- Pacific Northwest Railfan Forum - would cover northern California, Oregon, Washington, and parts of neighboring northern Idaho. Appropriate topics from Western Railfan Forum would be moved into the new forum.

What do you think? Voice your opinions...

Last edited by Mike Roque on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:28 pm, edited 3 times in total. Reason: Want to get opinions.
  by Otto Vondrak
Please enjoy our three newest forums:

Milwaukee Road: http://railroad.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=175

Southeastern Railfan Forum: http://railroad.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=174
Now includes the former West Virginia Railfan Forum.

Pacific Northwest Railfan Forum: http://railroad.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=173

Midwestern Railfan Forum: http://railroad.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=125
Now includes the former Ohio Railfan Forum and Illinois Railfan Forum.

  by Otto Vondrak
Our history with RAILROAD.NET stretches back to 2002, when we assisted in the transition from the "old" to the "new" with the blessing of founder John Stewart. In fact, we had been using the site since its earliest years, way back in 1996. We've seen a lot of changes in the way people communicate, and we have always tried to make this site easy to use and to navigate. As we approach our tenth year of development, Mike Roque and I have decided to begin the implementation of our long-term plan for the future of RAILROAD.NET.

Recently, we have been the victim of some attacks by rogue users who are intent on ruining this site experience for everyone. In light of recent events, it has come to our attention that we simply have too many specific forums for our staff of volunteers to manage. In the next few weeks, we have decided to consolidate a few of our sub forums so that they are easier to manage and develop. To put it simply, we don't want to waste our time (and our volunteer moderator's time) managing the forums and refereeing fights.

At this time, we have decided to consolidate our three Model Railroading sub forums (Garden, Live Steam and Backyard Railroads; Scale Model Railroading; and Lionel, American Flyer, and other Toy Trains) into one forum. The current moderators are invited to continue for as long as they are willing to engage the community.

We are also looking to consolidate the following forums:

- General Discussion: Computer Gaming & Simulations

- Rail Travel & Trip Reports

- Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV, and Movies, and other Media

- Railroad Radio and Communications

- Railroad Photography & Video

The new title would be "Railroad Travel, Media and Technology." The current moderators of those forums would be invited to continue for as long as they are willing to engage the community.

We expect these changes to take place on or about August 1, 2010.

Big changes are in store for this site. Mike Roque and I have had several discussions regarding the future of this site. As you may know, we both have successful day jobs in our respective fields. We want to make sure that this site continues to operate as a benefit for ourselves and the railroad community at large. We would much rather spend our time developing new features and content for this site rather than settling petty arguments. This will not be the last round of forum consolidations, we have some more planned for the coming months, but those will take some time to execute properly.

As always, we look forward to serving the railroad enthusiast community with the best discussion forums and quality content that we can establish.

Your comments are welcome below.

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  by David Benton
What would you call the consolidated rail interest forums ??? Actually , i would think it would be better to promote these forums to attract more users .
i have no problem working with the other moderators in these forums , i just cant see how consolidating them makes less work .
Why not just make the moderators of the forums been joined , moderators of all the forums been joined ???
In my Example , Aart3 becomes a co moderator of the rail travel , and i become a co moderator of rail photography , media etc . ???

i think we have enough moderaotrs in good standing to cover the lower use forums in this way .
  by Aa3rt

I've refrained from commenting until now but must say I'm in agreement with Mr. Benton on this one. While I have absolutely no qualms or misgivings regarding sharing duties with any of my fellow moderators, I believe that lumping a group of dis-similar forums into one common forum would only serve to make things more confusing and possibly even drive away traffic from some of these less trafficked forums.

For example, the Railroad Radio & Communication forum is visited by many amateur radio operators and most, if not all, of the discussion is focused on railroad radio monitoring and technical radio topics. I feel it would be counterporductive to lump these discussions in with discussion of railroad photography (A forum I rarely visit.) or rail travel and trip reports which I think should remain a stand alone forum.

Regardless of your decision(s) I will continue to support the site but hope you will reconsider the consolidation of some of these forums.

My two cents. Art
  by gp80mac
I wish there was more forum consolidation here. It takes 10 seconds to scroll down the list of forums, and many are on overlapping subjects. Let's say someone has a question on what a conductor did on a NS train in PA. Do they post that in the employment forum, the general RR operations forum, the NS forum, or the PA forum?

I (and I suspect many others) just browse through a couple of forums that are of interest to us. Every once in awhile I get bored and start browsing through other forums, and I usually find an old post or two from a couple of months ago that I could have contributed and gave information in a timely manner, if I would have seen it 2 months ago.

I could have used the "new posts" button (I'm guessing we have one, I never looked), but then I'd have to scroll through posts on Garden Railways, Union Pacific, or Pan Am southern (which I have little interest in).

I'm a fan of the KISS Principle. I'd rather see fewer forums that are busy, than many that grow cobwebs.
  by Otto Vondrak
After discussing with the moderators of the Metra, South Shore, and CTA forums, we have decided to combine the three into the new "Chicago Area Commuter & Transit." Nothing would change except that the existing topics from all three forums would be combined into a single discussion.

This change would take place on or about August 7, 2010.

Your feedback is welcome.

  by Otto Vondrak
Aa3rt wrote:I believe that lumping a group of dis-similar forums into one common forum would only serve to make things more confusing and possibly even drive away traffic from some of these less trafficked forums.
Art- Good feed back, and appreciated. Our idea is that there are many topics related to the act of being a railroad enthusiast- observing railroad radio, filing trip reports, taking pictures, etc. Rather than give each topic its own lightly patronized forum, we would rather encourage discussion by bringing them together. Because RAILROAD.NET is a highly indexed text environment, all of our content regularly shows up in search (Google and others). Folks seeking information about radio will still be able to discover topics as they did in the past, consolidation won't destroy that ability.

  by mtuandrew
oknazevad wrote:To throw in my 2 cents:


I sometimes wonder why Tri-Rail even has its own forum. It's not a particularly well used forum, and the line isn't all that more notable than other single line commuter operations. I think it could probably go, or at the least also officially cover Metrorail and Metromover (which are unofficially discussed) as a "Miami commuter and transit" forum.

One thing I would actually create is a separate "Canadian Commuter and Transit" forum. Conceivably, posts on AMT, GO, TTC etc should be in the general commuter and transit forum, but often wind up in the Canadian Railfan forum (or VIA), where they get lost.

Lastly, though not really a consolidation, a move of the fallen trolley and interurban forum to the fallen flag section might draw a few more viewers. As it stands, it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the forums under the commuter and transit heading, which are mostly about the past and present operations of currently operating systems. It's more akin to the various fallen flag railroads under that header.
I could get behind these three changes. There's not enough traffic in General Commuter and Transit to be unmanageable, and I can't imagine that the Tri-Rail posts would be too overwhelming. No real opinion on the Canadian forum. I agree with the original poster quite readily on the Fallen Trolley and Interurban lines though.
  by jamesinclair
I also agree that more forums should be consolidated by region, like Chicago, southern florida etc, such as the MBTA forum currently covers all light rail, subways and commuter rail in massachusetts . The reason being, someone riding the metrorail in miami is likekly to use trirail and metromover. Another example would be the DC area - Metro, streetcars, VRA and MARC.

I also think Amtrak and high speed rail forums should be consolidated into one "American Intercity passenger rail" forum. Both forums are active, yes, but most of the topics overlap.

An international high speed rail forum could be created for those topics.

As you can see, I think of rail in terms of region, not operator.
  by Otto Vondrak
It begins:

Enjoy the new Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam Forum:


  by Otto Vondrak
I have a feeling that we are going to merge the CNJ, LNE, LV, RDG and LHR forums into a new Anthracite Railroads Forum.

Might even happen this weekend...