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RailCam Video Viewing Information
Trainorders.com has installed a state of the art video capture and compression system. This system is unlike anything else on the web in terms of interest level for railfans and also technology.
The system is a premium feature only open to paid members of Trainorders.com. Thousands were spent on the development and thousands will be spent annually on operation of our three cameras. Without the important revenue generated by our membership fees these cameras would not be possible. To join visit our registration page.
How it Works
The system operates as follows. A high quality security video camera watches the railroad tracks for movement. When movement is detected by a connected imac computer, the system will record a Quicktime video clip about one minute in length. The system then compresses the clip and forwards it to our server farm in Los Angeles, California. Once in Los Angeles another system catalogs the clip by extracting a still image, attaches a date and time to the image, estimates the direction of travel and saves the clip in a library for viewing. Our three cameras collectively capture more 50 trains every day.
You will require Quicktime Player or one of the open source compatible players to view the clips. You need to have Apple Quicktime 6.4 or something compatible to play these clips. You should also have an updated computer and modern OS. We recommend a minimum of a Pentium III 1 ghz to play the videos. On slower machines it may be a hit and miss. For Apple you should have a G4 or faster. If you do not hear sound it is probably because you need to upgrade Quicktime. Not a big deal, just follow the links we have provided towards the bottom of this page.
The videos have been encoded at 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels high. They also have sound so turn your speakers up. Sound quality varies at each system. In Dunsmuir a stereo microphone is mounted inside. In Hyndman the microphone is inside the camera housing. Tehachapi is our highest quality installation with a studio microphone array mounted outside. We retain video clips for 60 days before deletion.
Videos are only available to premium users. We request our users to click the request deletion button for shots that display only middle of the train or images without trains.
Apple's Quicktime Player
The most reliable way to play Quicktime files is with Apple's Quicktime Player. Quicktime comes standard on all Macs, but must be installed on Windows machines. However, if you use the free version they will display an ad banner asking you to purchase an upgrade to Quicktime Pro.
Download Apple Quicktime Player
This free program is available to Windows users only. It has an advantage in that you don't have to be prompted with an ad banner each time you start. We have used and tested both.
Download Quicktime Alternative - Windows Only