Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum live train camera
October 27, 2018
Earlier this year my neighbors, Mike and Cheryl Butters, installed a camera on their deck. Their home and ours, overlook the UP/BNSF train tracks–the same tracks that run by the Depot. Aimed at the tracks, the camera sends live video 24/7 to a YouTube channel on the internet called Tehachapi Live Train Cam. http://www.youtube.com/c/TehachapiLiveTrainCam/live is the link for that camera. Visitors from all over the world can (and do) view trains around the clock. The site's chat area allows people to talk with one another while watching the trains.
Eventually, the possibility of adding a second camera at a location further east was discussed. It was decided that if the FOTD Board of Directors were willing, the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum would be an ideal location. As with the first camera, the camera would operate 24/7 and send live feed to a YouTube channel.
Viewers on the Tehachapi Live Train Cam indicated they were willing to donate funds for the purchase of the second camera, so Cheryl Butters and myself presented the idea at an FOTD Board meeting. We asked for approval to install and maintain the camera at no expense to the Depot. After receiving Board approval, Linda Gordon, FOTD Treasurer, worked to have a dedicated internet line installed at the Depot. While waiting for the internet service, donations were requested from the Tehachapi Live Train Cam viewers. Very shortly, sufficient money was donated and the camera ordered. Two weeks ago, Mike Butters installed the new camera on the roof of the Depot. You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWGyZpPRRNo. The Depot will use the YouTube site to advertise Depot events and extend an invitation to visit the museum.
Beyond Mike Butters' excellent skills in installing these cameras, it's the computer savvy and many hours of work put in by Robert Mann (another Butters family member and computer engineer/programmer), that ensures these cameras continue to function as needed.
A surprise exposure of the Tehachapi Live Train Cam comes from Kevin Charette, a Newscaster with KGET Channel 17 in Bakersfield. http://www.kget.com/weather/weather-forecasts/kevin-s-thursday-forecast-10418/1497890510. Charrette has been showing the video feed as part of his morning weather report for a couple of months now. This daily exposure for the town of Tehachapi is essentially free advertising and we hope this turns into an increase in visitors to the Depot.
Finally, of direct benefit to Depot visitors is the train traffic information collected by a moderator on the Tehachapi Live Train Cam site. Cashiers are often asked, "When is the next train coming?" or "How many trains pass through here each day?" The train traffic logs are distributed monthly, and show the number of trains, the date/time/road name and type of load that moves through the area. Visitors can look at the logs and see what types of products are handled, and based on previous train records, an educated guess can be made as to when the next train is expected.