Trains:Station Cafe (Mess Room)

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere


This is one of the Station Cafe pages. We use them to discuss the technical issues, policies, and operations of Train Spotting World. The Station Cafe is divided into sections covering these different aspects, but if you can't decide which to use, try Left Luggage. You can see all station cafe sections at once here. Please sign and date your posts (by typing ~~~~ at the end).

Station Cafe sections
Buffet Car
post | watch

TSW Policy

The Works
post | watch

Technical Issues

Mess Room
post | watch

Ideas and Suggestions

Guard's Van
post | watch

Requests for Help

Left Luggage
post | watch

Everything else

Community Portal Name

Ok, so we need a name for this, like Wikipedia's Village Pump. So far, ideas have included Mess Room, Roundhouse, Station Cafe, Buffet Car and Guard's Compartment.

Please add yours below. We do not want to press anything onto users, merely guide them. Please let this become your own.

Bluegoblin7 23:37, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Just thought i'd mention: Ballot will close at 20:00, 17 November 2007 (UTC) - Bluegoblin7 15:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Not trying to be a nuisance, but is a ballot comprising solely of the three votes from the three active sysops really representative? (No, I'm not expecting anyone else to vote in the next five days!) EdJogg 00:29, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
It'll do, though. Tim Trent 00:33, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

We should call it 'Main Station'--S.C.Ruffeyfan 17:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I like Bluegoblin7's idea about the name "Roundhouse". However, I was thinking something along the lines of "Train Yard" or "Goods Yard" --Dalek X 18:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Extending time limit to Sunday (Tommorrow) at 20:00, to allow more users to vote. Bluegoblin7 20:01, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
DalekX's idea's are good--S.C.Ruffeyfan 20:17, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


This can also have new entries in it, but add the suggestion above this heading. I suggest 3 mandatory votes. 3 points, two points and one point. Highest total wins. Please update the tally when you vote.


  • Buffet Car: 3
  • Round House 6
  • Station Cafe 6
  • The Works 4
  • Refreshment Room 2
  • Left Luggage 1
  • Goods Yard 2

  • Three Station Cafe, Two Round House (one or two words?), One Buffet Car. Tim Trent 08:42, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Three Station Cafe, Two Buffet Car, One Round House Bluegoblin7 09:59, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Three The Works, Two Refreshment Room, One Left Luggage. 'The Works' could be Swindon Works, Brighton Works, Crewe Works... EdJogg 23:30, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
  • One Train Yard, One Goods Yard --Dalek X 18:33, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Comment - er, we need 3,2 and 1 points, otherwise it's a spoiled ballot paper :) Tim Trent 23:03, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
All right. Three more for Round House, 2 more for Goods Yard, and 1 more for The Works. --Dalek X 19:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

When we settle on this we need to create the page, not rename this one. And I need to work out where to get a + sign from! Tim Trent 17:39, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Just to further complicate matters...:o)
At WP, there are multiple sections to the Village Pump. Here I can see that there also could be several discussion areas, including 'General', 'Technical', 'Admin' (?) etc, and hence it will be possible to use several appropriate names. (eg "The Works" for technical Q's ?)
EdJogg 02:07, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
That is a very good idea. But I think we should cross that path when we get to it: theres no VP yet, so lets get that first! AN idea though: take the ones with the most votes as the subheadings, the ones that would miss out! Bluegoblin7 11:39, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


As can be seen, the ballot has closed: and the results are as follows:

  • Buffet Car: 3
  • Round House 6
  • Station Cafe 6
  • The Works 4
  • Refreshment Room 2
  • Left Luggage 1
  • Goods Yard 2

Therefore, the Village Pump will be named Station Cafe, with various sections taking the other names: Admin info could be Round House' for example. Please add input at Trains_talk:Station Cafe!

--Bluegoblin7 11:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Need for a TSW-wide ToDo list?

A ToDo list page has been created at Trains:Station Cafe (ToDo list). Previous discussion on this page has been moved to the ToDo list talk page. A shortcut ToDo has been created.

EdJogg 13:20, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Special Pages request

I was going to ask if we can have access to the Special:Prefixindex Special Page, as this allows users to browse all articles, templates, categories, images, etc. But I've just seen that we DO have the page, so we need to make its presence more widely known!! (remainder of message edited to suit!)

Also useful, as mentioned somewhere else before, would be Special:Uncategorizedtemplates.

Is this a difficult thing to add? It is available at WP, and selecting the page gives access to the related help page and hence the Mediawiki info.

EdJogg 11:25, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

If you can find out where to get it from then we can see what challenge it may be to add it. Tim Trent Talk to me 13:13, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Ah. shows it is in release 1.11 onwards. we are 1.9.x so it seems it will only arrive if we have a real need to upgrade. And that is not something we will do lightly! The process is "interesting". Tim Trent Talk to me 14:36, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


I propose that we stop borrowing so many processes from WP - processes designed for a large community. WP wasn't that complex in the early days when they had fewer users. It just had to adapt to the amount of users they were getting, an amount we will never get. I propose that we start being creative and create processes to suit our own needs for a small community. This includes pages such as the station cafe which is simply a renamed village pump where messages can be unnoticed for days, RfA, AfD. Lets create simple processes for deletion, granting adminship, resolving conflicts etc. I really hope we don't go as far as creating Arbcom, Medcom etc. There is no need to unnecessarily overload our servers. Thanks very much. :) Tbo 157 12:39, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support unequivocally. We need only what we need in oder to make thsi both useful and a fun playground. Tim Trent Talk to me 13:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support although there are still loads of things that need to be done script wise. (WP seems to be the only source at the mo.) Once the basic needs of the community are met simple is the best route. Especially when it comes to finding help. One thing that really gets to me about wikipedia is it always seems that help is always 30 clicks away. You find a document that you 'think' might answer your question, but before you're done you have 30 windows open and you have to bounce back and forth and remember what window was what. The once you find help there is 2 weeks of bureaucracy to contend with. Maybe that's a little extreme but I'm sure you get the point. General help should always be one or two clicks away. WP is too wound up in bureaucracy there are documented policy's policy's that aren't really policies, etc. then what it all boils down to is what confucious say..

--DP67 (talk/contribs) 14:38, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I can work on some of the scripting. Im trying to find out more about CSS etc at the moment. Tbo 157 15:04, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
For scripting I'm not too good at coming up with things from scratch but I can read into existing scripts and figure out whats going on. I'm not a pro at wiki templates but I'm learning. I don't mind adapting them if there are any we need I'll gladly modify them to suit the local need. Speaking of, one thing that would be really nice is Lupin's Editor. I don't know what you've got running server side so I'm not sure if it will support java applets or not.
--DP67 (talk/contribs) 18:07, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Should we get rid of some of the cafe sections. We don't really need 5 sections. WE could merge some of them and get rid of Guard's van in my opinion as thats just a duplicate of the help desk. Tbo 157 19:38, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support -- I'm all for simplicity. The Station Cafe simplifies discussions by bringing them into one place (well, OK, several places, but I see no harm in separating discussions about Policy and Technical matters, for example) rather than having them spread around user talk pages that most users will not have on a watchlist. Messages should not 'hang around for days', as all admins should have the Station Cafe pages on their watch list and respond as appropriate. I'm not aware that any messages have been ignored for days. I've seen some user talk page messages ignored for days or weeks, while the editor is away from the wiki, but not those at the Cafe.

The Cafe certainly WAS based on the Village Pump, for the simple reason that there was a need for such a beast here. It freed up the 'Community Portal' which was then free to be developed into an area to provide updates about changes at TSW, but instead there's a 'newsletter' being developed elsewhere.

In terms of simplicity, I've been simplifying some of the flowery text that seems to be left around on public-facing pages (such as the Station Cafe subtitles within the boxed header above, and the preceding text). Have you seen the Help Desk page? It's enough to put anyone off using it. maybe the Help Desk should re-direct to the Guard's Van -- that would avoid having two similarly-functioning pages. (Also, most users seem to go to other user talk pages to ask for help, rather than going to the Help Desk.)

So far we have not imported any processes from WP. We have used WP as a model, certainly, as it has been going a number of years longer than TSW and has had time to find out where there are problems that need addressing with processes. But why re-invent the wheel? For example, much of our category structure mirrors that at WP to the letter, but why try and recreate a different structure when the relationships between topics will be the same and the language to describe them is the same?

We do not yet have an 'AfD' process/policy. Since TSW was founded, no-one has needed one! We do not yet have an RfA process, as no-one has agreed what we want. We do have help pages, but they are incomplete copies from WP and need serious copy-editing. We have a tutorial, with two pages missing and masses of redlinks. We have a rapidly growing selection of Portals, Workforces and Userboxes, but relatively little in the way of 'content'.

Simplicity we already have -- what we lack is focus.

EdJogg 01:46, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Social accomodations

One thing I think we can do being a smaller group is develop a social community. WP expects everything to be 100% business and frown on socializing on anything off topic. They claim to have IRC social meets yet I've gone in some of the rooms and you can sit there for hours and nobody says a word. Be it IRC, or a forum type platform is that sort of thing a possibility here?

DP67 (talk/contribs) 14:49, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
We have a chat room if you click on the Live Chat link on the left. It's below Special Pages and above Digg/ Or, if you want, I can set up a message board?
BG7 14:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I think we should have a general forum. Tbo 157 15:05, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
How do you mean? I can pput together a small message board (alas with adverts and an external link, none of which benefits us :-(, unless Tim can add it to the Spotting World Domain?). Please let me know.
BG7 15:07, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
There is some sort of extension that allows forum style operation. I'm not sure if it overrides all pages though. Extensions are relatively easy to add. We need to be really careful about generic messageboards. While I can mount them with ease some are huge spam and security holes.
Have a look at mediawiki for suitabel extensions, and see what you think we need
Tim Trent Talk to me 15:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
We're lookkng at the problem, Bernd and I. Before we go a huge way down this road, how certani are you that we need such a thing? What would be wrong with dedicating a page here as the forum? Surely that is what the cafe is meant to be? Have I missed the point somewhre along the way? Tim Trent Talk to me 15:40, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with things how they are. I just want to see the cafe simplified. Possibly less sections. Does Bernd have an account? Tbo 157 15:55, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
He does, but his talk page is not a priority item for him to check. Bernd Heller. He is an enabler, not a participant, if you follow me. Tim Trent Talk to me 16:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Ye, like a WP developer. It might make his life easier if we all list the prroblems weve encountered at Sworld:SpottingWorld:Bugs and problems. Tbo 157 16:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Be aware that, if something works as mediawiki was designed, that is the answer :) Also, if you are sure it is a bug, 100% sure (unlikely) then it needs to be well documented. If it's a layout issue then, in general, that is under user control and soluble by the community. Tim Trent Talk to me 18:15, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Good to know.. I sit in the WP chat rooms sometimes for hours and nobody says a word. Parts/Quits galore but thats about it. They all must be sleeping or cybering.. Ever think about just a room on freenode or something? It's free and doesn't use up your own servers BW. --DP67 (talk/contribs) 18:02, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
We do have a chat room. And there is no load on our servers :) Left hand margin. Tim Trent Talk to me 18:10, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, wasn't sure if that was running locally or remotely. --DP67 (talk/contribs) 18:12, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh well, Finally got my Linux box back up and running (I think) and found out the chatroom doesn't like linux. Or I'm missing the proper plugin or something. I'll have to use it on Weirdos XP I guess..
--DP67 (talk/contribs) 20:28, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe the people who might visit the chat room at WP are actually spending their time editing articles instead? EdJogg 01:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
But there is time to do both. WP takes itself too seriously. It can make it very "un fun" to edit there. I believe that we need social stuff and good edits. That is, in many ways, our unique over WP. And we're doing it now, with every message we place here.
Gosh, perhaps this is a messageboard or forum!
A great example is we now know what DP67 looks like cos he is at the controls of a loco. Nice pic, BTW. Not hard to find BG7 and his pic driving a DMU and digging a hole.
We may never meet in the pub, but we meet here when it suits us. And we create articles and other stuff too.
Tim Trent Talk to me 01:08, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment. I assume you're talking about the locomotive being the nice part.. lol I think I figured out what was wrong with my Fedora Box, but the bad news is.. The Flash Chat does not like Linux. I tried it earlier on Winblows and it works.. Now I need to go to the store and get another LAN cable so I can run both machines..
--DP67 (talk/contribs) 01:24, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, maybe I've been Devil's advocate here...
At WP, the best friendships I've built up, if sometimes only briefly, have been where I have been working in close collaboration with one or two other editors to develop a page, often in a short timescale to get a DYK entry selected. Other friendships develop over time, but again, usually through the 'additional information' that you glean through talk page conversations.
Each to his own, though, I'm just not a chatroom person, I guess. :o) (although, aren't we chatting now?)
BTW -- Tim, you mention the pub -- I find it a little silly that we work little more than 100yds from one another but we've not met for a pint!
EdJogg 02:12, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
True. We will have to do that soon! Wrt to chatrooms etc, I agree with you, others don't. But we have the facilities here for "to each his own", which is great. Tim Trent Talk to me 07:23, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

A request

I understand the purpose behind the mathmatical spam spam filter, but can it be turned off temporarily? While article inventory is built up ot a pain in the bullions having to complete another step each time you edit a page.

Thanks! --DP67 (talk/contribs) 23:07, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Who sees the mathematical captcha thing? I haven't seen it except when I was not logged in. Or are admins exempt? Tim Trent Talk to me 23:11, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I would suspect admins are exempt.. But it pops up everytime for me. (Sometimes I have to take me shoes off! LOL) --DP67 (talk/contribs) 23:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Do we have any snow experts?

People love rail snow ploughs. A decent article on thenm woudl be awesome. We have some stuff already from last winter (Union Pacific Rotary Plows), but youtube has new vids in abundance.

A really good artilce that is then Digged etc would be great. is a great source and {{video}} of major use

Tim Trent Talk to me 18:42, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Article started at Ploughing snow. Come and play! Tim Trent Talk to me 00:28, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Related question, having added a there a practical limit on the number of video pics on a page? (I'm thinking download times, etc) EdJogg 01:53, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
We can always subdivide the page. The d/l time limit is really imposed by the video server, nothing else. Tim Trent Talk to me 10:28, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Please digg things

Has just been Dugg it is Ploughing snow, and ought to bring traffic to us.

Digging interesting articles will help bring folks to us who may want to stay and join is, or may just enjoy a visit sometimes.

Tim Trent Talk to me 00:06, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Good move there, Tim. Will do so if I remember, but it is far-removed from what I normally do on-line...
EdJogg 00:49, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Pssst. Just a hint to Digg it, too. For everyone. Ok, it means joining Digg, but so what? Tim Trent Talk to me 09:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Multiple Upload

There is a multiple upload extension available unfortunately it is not restricted. I am working on the code to see if I can get it to work for sysop only. If I get it working you are more than welcome to the code. Something like this could come in handy for sysops and trusted users.

--DP67 (talk/contribs) 05:48, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the belated reply!
I say, if you can get it working, GO FOR IT!!! I personally would fid it really useful - what about everyone else?
BG7 12:31, 13 January 2008 (UTC)


I have been placing some shortcuts on here in a similar fashion to the Wikipedia pages - those that are to do with the general running of the website. For example TSW:P. 51mply south 19:02, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

This follows-on from a number of shortcuts I have created. Being free from WP constraints here (no liklihood of 'everything' being an article), it is possible to create really short shortcut names that can seriously save some typing. Hence you will find cafe, FAQ, buffet, works, mess, etc, and new Category:Shortcuts to provide a quick reference for what's available. (Incidentally, Cats takes you to the top of the category tree, and Tcats takes you to the TSW Categories cat....)
EdJogg 00:38, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Video clip descriptions

Is there any way that the descriptive text for a video clip can be placed alongside the clip rather than below it? I haven't checked for available width on a SVGA screen, but there would certainly seem to be plenty of width available.

This would suggest the need for a template...

EdJogg 00:31, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

{{Video}} was started but never finished. This may help. Your first thought will be a table, but CSS would, if you can deploy it, be better. Tim Trent Talk to me 13:39, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Soon after writing the above, I tried a table, and the results are at Slough Estates Ltd, No. 3. Haven't played further yet. {{Video}} is a good idea, and could also identify the categories...
EdJogg 00:38, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Howdy all,

Please comment on image:Wiki.png, seen here: Wiki.png, as a possible logo to be displayed for one day only on the 14th Feb. it will then be found in Trains:Special Notices Archive, a page to keep all such special things!


BG7 17:29, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I think thats a good idea but I don't think it should replace the actual logo on the top left hand side. Tbo 19:42, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I think a suitable message in the site notice would be adequate 'celebration'. -- EdJogg 20:23, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I've been away. Sorry. Ok, Marketing hat on: "However good an idea is, never mess with a logo". Look at Ford, GE etc. Lousy logos but the just do not change, ever.
I'm strongly in favour of something as a banner, just not as a logo change.
Tim Trent Talk to me 14:36, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Moving the Main Page to Train Spotting World or similar?

Hello all,

Would anyone object to the above move? It's has been pointed out to me on my wiki(s) that my Google Page Rank will be higher if my Main Page has the name of the wiki or something relevant to it, especiall for keyword searches as they will be on every page.

Give me your ideas!

BG7 20:53, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I see no objection at all. It can always be moved back if it goes silly on you. Tim Trent Talk to me 16:35, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Are there any MediaWiki concerns? MainPage is presumably a default used by all Wikis. Will there be any software/utilities that expect this name rather than something else? EdJogg 09:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Nope. There is a MediaWiki page (MediaWiki:Mainpage) that you change the page name on and it automatically changes the rest of it. It is better for your Google Page Rank (how high we are yp Google searches) to have Train Spotting World (or Trains) - Trains - (internet browser) in your header bar, and Train Spotting World on every page in the sidebar than how have it now!
I've now used it on several wikis (mine) in different ways, and it works perfectly! Some other wikis just use a redirect, however the correct MW utility should do it better!
Hope this answers you question!
If there are no objections i'll do it later today and we'll see what happens!
BG7 09:43, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, as long as you know what you're doing... :o) EdJogg 09:33, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
;) Of course! I've moved it to and nothing seems to have broken yet!
BG7 09:37, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Quick suggestion...

Hey all,

Just an idea, but is it possible to install Oversight on the wiki?

I think it's needed, mainly due to us attracting a large amount of users who are fairly young, and also that i have noticed a lot of FF things have bad language in it that we might want to remove? (Or rather, the language is in the history).

Just a thought. If it's not possible, don't worry ;). Although i have a feeling it will require us to upgrade our MW version (1.14alpha is very good...)


BG7 17:54, 22 April 2008 (UTC) 15:28, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's wait until we actually need it. Upgrading the version of MW is not, as you know, without major issues. I'm not worried about 'idiot profanity' Tim Trent Talk to me 21:36, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The Custard Cream Cavalry

I was recently upon the bridge of Diss in Norfolk (England) on a gloryously sunny day. Whilst partaking in another offering of custard creams and worthers original i suddenly spotted a train arriving within the distance. All the fellow trainspotters looked upon with amazement and excitement to see a train glide with passion below our feet. It was at that moment i looked at my fellow trainspotters and said "Do u know what?... I think we are the true definition of boring, and we should really consider comptemplating all the wasted years we have spend doing nothing". To that, we all agreed and went our seperate ways. I am now living it up in sunny Las Vagas with 3 beutiful blonde babes, maybe u should all reconsider your direction in lives too :-).