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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:19 pm
by Paddy
There have been comments on the printing of photos and extended panels across pages of the RO. I think this works well for the centre pages. I am not bothered by the staple on pp252-253 of the April issue. it is a splendid shot by Ian Pilkington. I don't think it works well on pages other than the centre. On p 244-245 there is an amusing article by Phil Deaves, who has a knack of making Infrastructure actually readable and interesting ( comments by members at a recent RCTS branch meeting). Unfortunately the middle column is almost impossible to read, and the digital version makes it no easier. interestingly the knock on effect of the misalignment is on p260-261, although it probably does not matter for this image. Is this is a layout problem in printing on A4 then folding for an A5 magazine.?

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:13 pm
by MIKER
Paddy wrote: Unfortunately the middle column is almost impossible to read, and the digital version makes it no easier. interestingly the knock on effect of the misalignment is on p260-261, although it probably does not matter for this image. Is this is a layout problem in printing on A4 then folding for an A5 magazine.?


I understand the problem Paddy but regret I cannot give you a meaningful answer. I realise some members feel we are 'spoiling images or articles by running them across centre of the RO and certainly the printed version of Phils Valentines article did not work as well as i would have wished - I guess I should have aligned the columns with two or three spaceson the centre line to allow for the join. However whilst it suffers somewhat aesthetically, there is sufficient redundancy in the text to ensure that the intended meanings and names are conveyed.
As regards double page images, when space is available and suitably fine images are supplied - as you will see in May - taking advantage of the double page spread does I think outweigh the slight distortion when a non-centre page spread suffers from the binding.
Whilst we do get some negative comments regarding the recent design direction of the RO. the overwhelming feedback from members via Society Officers is that in general the recent style changes and current direction of the RO is very much in keeping with what our membership expect s magazine and that -particularly in terms of product quality and design, the RO is the equal of the best commercial railway publications.
Where we are failing is in getting more members to submit images and/ or new articles of interest to members.To maintain interest we need a constant supply of high quality diverse and interesting images of the current - and in some cases - past railway scene. Hence to fill the magazine with a varied selection of 'different' none repetitive images, last minute calls for material are often made to members who regularly submit images, or are part of the Ed Team, not to mention of course my own archive. We do have tight timescales within which to produce the magazine and such recourse is the only practical way to fill blank pages .
From looking on the web and reading other magazines it is clear that many high quality images regularly appear in such media from RCTS members who NEVER submit anything to the RO. One wonders why this is so - is is simply a wish for financial recompense or is their perhaps something we need to change about our process in order to get their participation?

Anyhow on Saturday we have the AGM in Coventry - an ideal opportunity for all members to let the Ed Team and MC know how you feel both about the Society and the RO - and we look forward to your active participation and hopefully creative comment.


Mike Robinson

2015 AGM Supplement

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:35 am
by MIKER
A digital copy of the 2015 AGM Supplement is now available via the website and will be found in the Archive section of Pagesuite.
My apologies for the delay in making this available.


Regards

Mike Robinson

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:20 pm
by Paddy
Mike, thank you for your reply. I think differences of opinion about printing boxed items across 2 pages are secondary to the main point you make. You have mentioned before, at meetings and in the RO about lack of photographs from members to use in the RO. This challenge seems not to have been taken up, and I like everyone else prepared to take time to use the Forum really need to think more about making a contribution to the RO. Photographs should not be too difficult, and the criteria for publication have been published many times. So why do you have to raid your archive? What is it that holds back members from contributing more to what is their magazine? In my case it is other things in my life, which is just an excuse and probably better stated as I can’t be bothered. It needs a kick start to get people like me to contribute, and the AGM is probably a good time to get this strong message home to the floor and back through Branch Officers to those who cannot attend. Sadly, I will not be attending. For many reasons I had planned to attend this AGM to participate fully in the proceedings, but will unfortunately be at a wedding in Chelmsford wearing an ill-fitting suit. Some of us may not be able to provide the likes of “Plumb’s Ramblings” or “Railway Engineering in the Birthplace of Railways” but may be able to provide a page or even two with a photo? What about “My local station”, with a photo and a potted history of the station? Or an expansion on “Why I joined the RCTS”? I would like to know more about the Cl.68s – can Manufacturer’s publicity details be used in the RO style? I would like to know more about the jobs of contributors/members working in the Railway Industry. Just a few ideas off the top of my head, but maybe an MC statement on what they would like to see from us to help in maintaining the RO would be useful. If not you are likely to get an item from me on “My Local Station”.
Paddy Carey

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:58 pm
by MIKER
That sounds like a good idea Paddy - look forward to it. I am hoping to raise the photo issue at the AGM on Saturday.

Am giving some thought to what might ber called packaged articles - probably drawing on the RCTS Photo Archive for illustration. One thought was 'Locomotive Thumbnails' which effectively is a summary page about a particular Class and its history along with an appropriate image. However a lot of this comes into the 'when I find the time category as the RO task is currently occupying getting on around 10 days a month!

See what Saturday brings!

Regards

Mike R

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:00 pm
by pdeaves
Regarding photos, I sometimes submit some but would be more inclined to do so more often if:
1. more made it through to print;
2. more different subjects appeared in print;
3. more imaginative images appeared in print.

I realise that item 1 is self-fulfilling.

For item 2, we all, I am sure, know what a Cl.66 or whatever looks like; could we have images that focus on less-photographed elements of the railway (yes, I do have a bias for stations and signals and the like and appreciate that others have their own favourite subjects).

What about item 3? I am thinking of things like a close-up of steam locomotive motion, or a driver and signalman exchanging tokens, or an HST with movement blur, or railway staff carrying out their duties (on station or on track*), or passengers lined up waiting for their peak hour train, or a view through bridge struts, or where one key detail is in sharp focus and the rest in soft focus, or a silhouette... the possibilities are endless. For me these are far more interesting visually.

Note * only pictures taken from publicly-accessible vantage points, of course.

Maybe *some* more images of this nature may encourage people to become more involved. Maybe not, I don't know. What I do know is that I can keep submitting pictures when I think something is sufficiently interesting; if I don't try I cannot expect anyone else to!

MAY 2015 Railway Observer

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:15 pm
by MIKER
Digital version now available via website.
Mike R

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 9:50 pm
by GeoffPlumb
Is anyone able to explain the meaning of "Over The Points" in the May 2015 RO? Perhaps it should be titled "Hitting The Buffers"?

Having attempted to read it several times, I have no real clue as to what this article is trying to tell us - it would appear to be something to do with the effect of the general election on the railway network. The initial paragraph seems to be completely unnecessary as the author tells us that he does not intend to bore us with such inanities, so why write it? Especially as it contains such words as "inevitibly" and includes a statement "one of the closest fought elections of since the 1970's".

The article could simply begin at the next paragraph "Whatever the result of the general election..." and perhaps make some sort of sense, as it just seems to be telling us that things will be uncertain for the railways whichever party wins the election.

The next paragraph mentions "wholesale re-nationalistrion [sic] and goes on to say "However in Scotland, with the longer term possibility of independence on the agenda, rail nationalistion [sic] may once again raise its head particularly given the alredy [sic] developing more integrated operational structure may see it emerge." Pardon?

A few lines down and we have this gem: "the 'concession' model, with day to day responsibility for strategic, tactical and service quality objectives effectively shared by both the private operator and the sponsoring public authority, has major potential for delivering a more regionally user responsive model for managing the rail network - just compare the recent Transport Focus passenger."

This sort of gobbledygook may pass muster with the business fraternity these days, but is utterly incomprehensible to many people in the "normal" world.

I realise that some of the above is simply as a result of "typos" in composing the piece and these are all too easy to happen, I also realise that I will be asked to volunteer to help "proof read" articles to avoid these sort of errors. However, I already devote more than the time I have available as Chairman of the Watford Branch.

As articles such as this appear on the front page of the RO, the impression they must give to non-members, new members and existing members doesn't bear thinking about - if the first few paragraphs of the journal are unreadable, difficult to understand and full of grammatical errors, why should anyone believe that things later on in the issue will be any more accurate?

Regards,

Geoff Plumb

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:24 am
by Peter Hall
I am of the view that 'OVER THE POINTS' does not fit well in the journal of a hobby society. Such editorials belonging to commercially produced journals. I suspect I am not the only one of that opinion.

What has become noticeable since the 1980's is how the commercial magazines have become more opinionated towards industry matters and less focused on what matters to those who consider their railway interest to be a hobby, Should society magazines such as the 'RAILWAY OBSERVER' be following suit or bucking the trend? My opinion is the latter.

Finally, I must say I am in total agreement with Geoff when he says "I have no real clue as to what this article is trying to tell us ".

Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:57 pm
by pdeaves
Peter Hall wrote:I am of the view that 'OVER THE POINTS' does not fit well in the journal of a hobby society. Such editorials belonging to commercially produced journals. I suspect I am not the only one of that opinion.


One man's meat is another man's poison. I personally like the 'over the points' section. I suppose a 'perfect' journal would have to include absolutely everything and the reader can ignore whatever they don't like. The RO contains sections that I don't like, and other sections you don't like. I vote we all live with the fact that someone else will like the bits we don't like.