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 Post subject: How has Rail Preservation "Pivoted" in 2020?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 788
Have any rail preservation organizations actually attempted to pivot in 2020?

Digital Museum displays?

Limited Edition merchandise?

Socially Distanced events? (Cass did this in May when they fired up all of the locomotives and operated them while guests were encouraged to watch from the parking lot).

Let me know your organization has adapted to 2020.

 Post subject: Re: How has Rail Preservation "Pivoted" in 2020?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1574
The primary change I have noticed from my very limited view is a significant increase in requests to generate content for websites and articles for print media. Unfortunately (for the historical and preservation organizations) this arrived at a time when it competes with many incoming requests for technical support for the development of Request For Proposal packages, technical manuals, and shop procedures for the commuter rail industry. It seems that the Coronavirus emergency sent many organizations scurrying, looking for people who could work from their in-home offices using InDesign and other desktop publishing formats, generating a high demand for website and publications support coinciding with a shortage of people who provide the services.

I had expected more interest to develop for new electronic display and presentation technology, but the preservation industry does not seem to have recognized its potential yet. That is very unfortunate, they are years behind the times. We have been using BrightLink style close distance digital projectors very effectively in railroad industry teaching for several years now, they are a great tool, allowing you to project a full wall size image from a little as 12 inches from the screen. Some of the early non-interactive models are now available at very low prices from schools that have replaced them with the newer interactive machines. I have seen prices as low as $50 for machines with a couple hundred hours of bulb time. But I have yet to see one being used in a railroad museum.

Relating presentation technology to the organization of meetings, prior to the pandemic, some of the local history groups were still operating in the Kodak Carousel era, now most of those groups are not having meetings any more. Mass Bay RRE has done a great job of transitioning to digital conference meetings. The others are going to have to do that if they are going to continue to exist, particularly if we are required to return to full time mask wearing for Coronavirus protection.

One potentially good thing about digital meetings is that it has flushed out the people who endlessly brought the same magazines of upside-down, sideways, and reversed slides. To go digital they at least have to put some effort into getting the presentation right, the picture placement features of the software tend to enforce it.


Advice from the multitude costs nothing and is often worth just that. (EMD-1945)

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