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Message from Todd Clark, founder of Trainorders.com
Hello fellow train enthusiasts! The story of Trainorders.com began in the Spring of 1997 when while railfanning with a good friend in Tehachapi I had the idea bringing the Tehachapi railroad experience online. That obsession led to the development of the Internet's first web train activated webcam which I called the "RailCam."
In the first week of August 1997, Trainorders.com was launched with the Tehachapi webcam. Within three months Trainorders.com was seeing over 1000 daily visitors. Later that year a second webcam was installed in the town of Dunsmuir on the Shasta Route in successful effort to encourage rail enthusiasts to vacation there.
One year after being launched, Mark Cuban then president and founder of Broadcast.com found the site to be an interesting novelty. He purchased it with the eventual plan of creating an online rail enthusiasts video channel. That plan fell through as seven months later Yahoo! signed an intent to purchase Broadcast.com.
For the next year Trainorders.com's traffic grew, but no additional infrastructure was given to grow the site beyond what it was purchased with in 1998. In many ways Trainorders.com was the step child that nobody wanted. It just did not fit into the mold of the Yahoo! environment.
In August 2000 I reached an agreement to once again take ownership of Trainorders.com and on September 5th the deal closed.
Trainorders.com has grown considerably since I took the site back. Today, the site hosts over 18,000 user sessions on most days. On a typical weekday Trainorders.com serves close to 200,000 web pages to hungry railroad enthusiasts. To keep up with growth, Trainorders.com is constantly being tuned up with new hardware and software.