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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Old Kent Biker, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Yes, there is of course a difference between permitted clearance work and not-yet-permitted construction work. Unfortunately there may be those who will seize upon such activity, and any possible associated problems supposedly caused by it, to generate unwarranted 'bad press' about the railway and whip-up anti-L&BR local feeling. The problem is trying to nip such 'fake news' in the bud before it spreads :-(
     
  2. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    From what I recall about the previous clearance weekend, the trees cut by the working party were well within L&Bs curtilage, mostly overhanging the track, and several described as "diseased'.
    The most recent working party was almost exclusively involved with restoring the fence line on this stretch. We all know what good fences make, but it does sound like a simple courtesy call to Heddon Hall would have made all the difference. It does remind me of the old proverb about "for the sake of a nail.."
     
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  3. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    Further to the Planning Application for the Old Station House Inn - the agenda has now been published for the 11th March Planning Committee meeting and the application does not appear. So it looks like there will be further delay.
     
  4. MartinBall

    MartinBall Member

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  5. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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    I suppose that we will get used to it but my initial reaction is that it takes longer to find the updates which used to be one click links on the front page.
     
  6. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    A big improvement in look and feel, and it doesn’t look as though content’s been ditched either.


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  7. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    That may be true, but that's not why the majority of people visit railway websites - at the very top you need where, when and how much, which this new site does really well
     
  8. Axe +1

    Axe +1 Member

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    Be patient. The L&B website is being separated into two parts, a commercial website essentially for passengers detailing train running information, ticket pricing, our location and such like, plus a separate part with other information of interest to members and railway enthusiasts. Currently, only the first part is online and is far from complete.

    Watch this space!
     
  9. Axe +1

    Axe +1 Member

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    Just to clarify my previous posting, the 'commercial’ website which will primarily target the tourist passengers will continue to be accessed at the familiar URL of https://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/

    For the time being, the old website will remain accessible at a new URL of https://www.lynton-rail.org.uk/, but this address will be updated in due course to include the ‘non-commercial’ aspects of the railway, i.e. information for L&B members and railway enthusiasts about the railway and stock, extension plans and progress, etc.
     
  10. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    This is not the first railway to set up separate websites for different aspects (although one other is the WSR, which is notorious here for being not joined up in various ways). Separate sites are OK, but only if each site has a clear link to the other one, appropriately named so anyone can see where to look for whatever particular information they are seeking.

    I acknowledge that the L&B sites are work in progress, so we shouldn't complain too loudly about lack of perfection, but a quick look just now shows me two completely different "visitor information" sections and no obvious cross links.
     
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  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I do have to say that, at the moment, I find the situation rather confusing and I'm trying hard to remember exactly where to look for latest news updates etc each time.

    No doubt the end result will be well worth the wait, but I do feel that it would have been better to have waited until the 'whole package' was ready and then launched it as a single event.
     
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  12. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I know that the Bluebell have (or had) a similar problem, with their "public" website often giving out misleading or out of date information, and has been a source of much frustration, particularly for the working membership.
    That said, and particularly with everything else that is currently going on, I believe this issue is what is known as a "First world problem".
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In principle, I don't think a "two website" solution is inherently a bad idea - that is, a public website that concentrates primarily on the visitor side - the where, when , how much questions, ideally with ability to buy tickets - and an enthusiast website wrapping up everything else.

    The difficulty - and I speak having worked my entire career in and around web development and operations, from the very early days of the web in the late 90s - is that generally organisations, when thinking about websites, concentrate far too much on the process of acquiring one, and far too little on what happens thereafter. It is the ongoing ability to resource keeping it up to date in content that is critical to the long term success, not the last nuance of design or logo. Too often, the response to "why isn't our website working" is "we need a new website" rather than "We need to understand the processes by which it is currently managed", because changing the website without changing the processes just carries on the old failings in a shiny new design.

    To be fair to the Bluebell commercial one you cite, my sense is that it has improved of late; but that is a result of behind the scenes work resourcing, not an immediately obvious technical and visual revamp.

    Tom
     
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  14. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    From my long experience in the IT sector (not specifically web) one important, but sadly often overlooked or dismissed, element of introducing anything that looks/feels reasonably radically new is to ramp up the 'customer support' resource for at least the first couple of weeks. Otherwise the process crumples under the weight of countless "where is..." or "how do I do.." queries and the users rapidly become frustrated and/or dis-illusioned.

    I don't have a problem in principle with the '"two site" approach provided that there is a single customer-facing interface 'portal' which takes them easily to whichever of the two information streams best meets their needs. Why make your customers need to understand the difference between two URLs? The whole edifice should be designed and tested and then introduced as one update, but not without having first primed your regular users with adequate information beforehand. The fact that the advent of a new website may have been mentioned some while ago did not help to avoid the fact that many users seem to have been 'caught out' and had to resort to social media to find out what was going on.

    Still, let's wait and see how the 'finished product' turns out.....:)
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In practical terms, very few people these days start at a website home page and navigate to the content they want. So the single customer-facing portal you want already exists - it is called Google (or Facebook). In other words, the key thing is to make sure that if you start from Google and type in something like "Lynton and Barnstaple timetable", then are you getting the correct results should be what you are concerned about.

    Tom
     
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  16. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and there are a lot of people out there who don't know the difference between their browser's address bar and the Google search box.
    I have been trying to explain the difference to a couple of my friends for years, and they still don't get it!
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I increasingly find there’s no meaningful difference as terms entered in the address bar pull up a search.


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  18. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Quite. But the point I'm trying to make, and clearly not very well, is if you know the URL why type "http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk" into the Google search box and then have to pick one of the results when you can type it directly into the address bar and go straight to the L&B's website.
     
  19. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed completely. Though I have a long list of favourites that also play a role.


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  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Then there are the people who insist on typing "google.co.uk" in the URL bar in google chrome rather than just directly searching for what they want...!
     
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