BIG SANDY BECOMES A STOP ON THE VIRTUAL RAILWAY!
Last week, Big Sandy became one of 50 to offer live footage of trains via virtualrailfan.com. Train enthusiasts from all over the world log in to virtualrailfan.com to watch 22 railroads across 25 states and 4 countries and see the trains go by. Because of the Big Sandy switch, located behind the Big Sandy Heritage Center, hundreds of trains come through weekly and now they can be viewed by hundreds of viewers around the world.
Mayor Sonny Parsons shared that the two cameras have been live for just under a week and "we have already seen many visitors come to our tracks to watch the trains go by in person. The camera investment is already paying off by bringing tourism to our town." Big Sandy is one of only two locations currently featured in the state of Texas, the other being Fort Worth.
VirtualRailfan.com, who was recently named the #1 Railfan destination by Union Pacific, approached the City of Big Sandy to participate in their livestreaming experience. Railfans from around the globe log in each day to explore railways and watch the non-stop rail action happening in real time. Viewers can see and hear the trains as they approach the Big Sandy switch along with the surrounding area.
Keep in mind that when you are near the tracks behind the Heritage Center, anything you say may be broadcasted live around the world. According to their website, "if you are having a super secret conversation, it's best to move away from the cameras to ensure total privacy." A warning sign is clearly posted on the pole where the cameras are mounted.
This project was sponsored by the Big Sandy Municipal Development District (MDD) with one-time purchase of the camera equipment for about $5000. At any given time, between 200-450 viewers from around the world are watching the awesome power of the railsystem in Big Sandy's backyard.
With the notriety through this program, Big Sandy could possibly become a vacation destination for train enthusiasts from other states and even from other countries. Trains are fun to watch, but nothing beats seeing their awesome power in person and feeling the rumble as they go by.
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