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Text Alerts?

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by buseng, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. wehaveaproblem

    wehaveaproblem Member

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    I have used this system since it started and I must say it is working well and will continue to use it. Problem being is the lack of updates from the lineside. Whenever I see the train pass (or I am on board) I send a text to the system. Some people have not graspt the concept yet. I missed the black 5 near Ouse Valley Viaduct a few weeks ago as I gave up because I thought i had missed it, and no messages on the system. Only to find whan I got home someone had posted on this forum it was running 40 mins late at Hassocks, but did not send a text message. Yesterdays trip is another case where there were no updates on the text system but a few on the forum. Without slating people for being lazy, is there a chance someone at Nat Press forum or even anyone else for that matter to look on the forum and then send a message to the text system to keep everyone updated? It seems to be working the other way around... I mean there a posts on the forum repeating what was sent via text messages, can we not start doing the same the other way... send a text when an update occurs on forum but no updates for a while on the text system. Does that all make sence? Perhaps someone running the forum or even the text system admins could check and pass on updates to the system??? Or would the admin be accused of making money by sending lots of messages. It is suppost to be used by the enthusiest for the enthusiest to help each other out. Lets get it going better. Thanks for the system guys, keep up the good work, and keep up the messages. Cheers

    Darryl
     
  2. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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  3. Steve from GWR

    Steve from GWR Well-Known Member

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    Quite agree. I posted this on the 6024 thread, but I'll repost it here:

    Hello

    I do not wish to seem to be carping, but what is the point of these messages?........

    NatPres has recently started a text alerts system to help inform people who are out at the lineside what is going on. It's a really good system. It sends an almost instant SMS to your mobile when someone posts a message like the ones above.

    Tonight I was stood in a field at Waltham St Lawrence getting absolutely soaked in a torrential downpour, where KE1 was due to appear at 19.00 hours. I had subscribed to the tour code via NatPres, yet I had absolutely zero information about whether she had even left Bristol, or been diverted via Edinburgh, or been magicked away en route by the Klingons, or anything at all. Yet I get home and find you've all been posting messages on here telling each other about her progress and how nice she looked and whether it was rainy or sunny. :Cry:

    If you are one of the many people who have a phone contract with inclusive texts, please could I ask you to support the text alerts system for this instead of posting here, or as well as. All it takes is a text saying "NATPRES t0714a Dauntsey Bank 30 mins late" (for instance, using today's tour code). Not only is it actually useful for people waiting to see the train, it helps make (a small amount of) money for NatPres when you do it, and (tonight) it would have meant I could have taken shelter from the storm knowing she was running late and not ended up like a very cold drowned rat.

    End Of Plea :frusty:
     
  4. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    If you want to encourage people to use the new text alerts, then why not send them a polite PM if you notice that they've posted something on the forum. That way, the "linesiders" can help to get more people using the system - the admin/mods have got enough to do.

    Richard
     
  5. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    Err Steve - had I known how to use the system (which as I go linesiding maybe 4 or 5 times a year, is probably not a good investment of time/memory cells), by the time I'd enjoyed watching 6024 etc out of sight at Oldfield Park, composed a text, sent it, the system passed it on, I suspect anyone waiting at Newton St Loe would at best have got the text right on top of the train coming out from under the A4, at worst they would have got it after the train passed or found it a distraction just when they needed to concentrate. Sending a text that a train is running 20 minutes late, from a position less than 20 minutes from the terminating station (and about 2 minutes from the last usual linesiding spot) is a waste of time and both parties money!
     
  6. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    Your text would not just go to the next person down the line. It would keep anyone subscribed informed.
     
  7. wehaveaproblem

    wehaveaproblem Member

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    I do like to hear how the tour is going. I usually leave the message system going on my phone to see any developments.
     
  8. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    Must admit, can get quite addictive waiting for a tour update to come it. Could be useful for the industry also, tracking the tours getting live information as it happens.
     
  9. wehaveaproblem

    wehaveaproblem Member

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    Pity you can't put GPS on the loco (or support coach, or steward) that updates and sends text when it passes stations automatically. They have asystem in the states where you can track engines on a map on the internet....
     
  10. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    I have an option to add the location of where you sent the text message from.
    And then maybe to track the tour visibly on a map.

    However 12p would not cover the costs by a long way.
    The text's would have to cost between £1 and 50p
    As the setup would be nearly £500 and i would have a monthly cost.
     
  11. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    As for a GPS based system. I have been looking into this for a few weeks now as a bolt on to the current system.
    Watch this space.
     
  12. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    It must be possible as we were tracking a friend a week or so back live online whilst he was cycling in the Manchester to Blackpool race. If whatever he was using could be carried on a bike, survive without power for around 4 hours, and not require any user input, it could surely be used on trains. However the question is whether the tour operators could be persuaded to carry it, and for that it would need to be operated by a commercial company that split the revenues with the operators.
     
  13. wehaveaproblem

    wehaveaproblem Member

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    Would be good to have a speed read out as well? Although I could be asking for too much.
    (and a eject button for the diesel on the back)
     
  14. Steamage

    Steamage Part of the furniture

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    I think the point that needs to be made is that this forum and Railtours Live are complimentary services. At different times, we all might find one more useful, and more convenient to update, than the other. Railtours Live is still a new service with a limited number of users and a few wrinkles to sort out. Contributions are rather patchy. Looking at the messages posted last Saturday, the central Wales trip was very well covered, with a certain amount of duplication, but there was no mention of 6024's run.
     
  15. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    I think once RailTour live's membership grows, and we reach a saturation point, that where is pretty much going to be users line-side and on the train, update will be much more complete. However there will always be gaps.

    It's a big ask, however it's a question not yet asked.

    Nat Pres Ltd is a commercial company.
     
  16. GWR

    GWR Member

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    How do I put this !
    Has it ever accrued to you that some of us are not supposed to have are mobiles on at work, Ok yes I have mine on silent, but wouldn't be able to keep looking at the text's !
    But I can look at the internet whenever I want with in reason, which is how I know where the train is or it's running late.
    I can then pop out down the road to see what ever is coming through. Also I can check on posts while I'm out as I get free internet on my mobile.
    When I have ever look at the RailTours Live page it doesn't seem to update till after the event !
    Seems that may be the text system works for some & not for others.
    Think if I were to registers I'd post on both & look at both just in case, as last night I got in from work with 15mins to spare but by looking at the posts I knew it was 30mins down.
     
  17. Steve from GWR

    Steve from GWR Well-Known Member

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    Hi, thanks both of you for responding, it wasn't meant personally. I just randomly quoted a bunch of posts that I would have found useful to see at the lineside waiting for the train.

    Regarding the lateness of posts, I think from what Admin has said before, they go pretty much immediately out to linesiders' mobiles, but take a few minutes or maybe more to appear on the Forum page. Out at the lineside, I've always found it to work quickly enough, I've used it quite a lot and am now on my second top-up of messages. So the more people who are willing to text in updates, the better the system will be.

    Regarding typing out the post after the train has gone, what I usually do now is compose the first part of the text while I'm waiting for the train (eg NATPRES t0714a passed Sonning ), just leaving me to quickly add "10 mins late" or "10.45 on time" or whatever as soon as it has passed, and send straightaway.
     
  18. admin

    admin Founder Administrator

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    Yes your quite right, the text messages are on a 10 minute delay (Not by choice) to post onto the forum. The message get sent out instantly to other mobile phones.
     
  19. GWR

    GWR Member

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    Strange that as this one has only just come up on my PC at work (15-07-2010 10:50 AM t0715b this tour has been cancelled.)
     
  20. belle1

    belle1 Part of the furniture Moderator

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    Are you using Internet Explorer by any chance? This has been noted before that there seems to be lag at times with this browser but not on Firefox or Google Chrome. If you click new posts it should be in the new posts list at around the time it was sent in.

    Neil.
     

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