Trains:Welcoming committee

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

Welcome to Train Spotting World's Welcoming Committee. We are a group who greet new users and help them to get started here. There are no requirements for joining us except a good attitude, a degree of patience, and a willingness to answer questions and show newcomers 'how to'.

This page shows how you can help...

Welcome new users

Our main activity is to greet new users. The system starts that off pretty well. It includes the following greeting:

==__NEWUSER_NAME__, welcome to Train Spotting World==

If this is the first time you've used a wiki you may have a few questions. Most of the answers are obvious. To learn to edit, why not just dive in? At the foot of the editing window there is a help link. This opens in a new window and gives you a good overview of wiki syntax and stuff.

If you would like some introductory help, look at being adopted by an experienced user.

Getting started
  • Get started with editing articles. Just type in the title of anything you might want to edit in the search bar on the left. If an article does not already exist, feel free to create it.
  • Why not have a look at some of this month's highlights?

If you need help with anything, try the FAQs or the Help pages, or pop over to the Station Cafe, and ask there.

The Community
  • Best yet you have a Spotting World Blog if you want it. Have a look at your User page. There is a link to let you create your blog. This is part of what Spotting World does for you. Or just go to You can use your blog for any lawful purpose. It's yours to do with as you like. Anyone can read your blog once you create it, but only you can write to it.
  • There is also a live chat room - see the left hand menu
Policies and guidelines

There are very few rules here. The best summary is:

  • Respect other people's Copyright
  • Behave to others as you would like them to behave to you
  • Do no harm
Things you can do
  • We have several workforces online to collaborate in editing articles of various different topics. Go to Trains:Workforces for more information. You may also create or propose a new workforce. Remember TrainSpottingWorld is what you want it to be.
  • Is Fan Fiction your thing? Check out our Fan Fiction area for further information.
Some advice
  • This is not an encyclopedia. Pages here do not need to comply with encyclopaedic notions or citations or neutrality. Just dive in and start.
  • One of the first things you might want to do is to place {{talktome}} at the top of your talk page (this page) above this welcome message. Taking heed of what it says will make it much easier for you to follow discussions on talk pages.
  • And while you browse the site, and especially when you've created something truly worthwhile, why not Digg and also tag on – the tools are in the left hand menu. The more Diggs (etc) we have the better, because Diggs and links add to our findability. The best way to find out about them is to click on the tool. Each is different and each gives you the chance to "rate" any article here. Or anywhere else come to that!
  • For the latest goings on, take a look at the current issue of our newsletter, The Transport Journal here. You can subscribe for the newsletter to be delivered to your user talk page here.
  • And don't forget to tell your friends about us!

That's a great start, and most new users will only need that message to get started. Even so it's nice to drop by and welcome someone personally

To do that we post a welcome message on their talk page. Often, it is best to post a personalized greeting composed directly from you to the new user. But to save time, you can use a pre-made greeting template or a cut-and-paste greeting.

Welcome templates

Be sure to place greetings on each user's talk page, not their user page; this will ensure they will receive the "You have new messages" automatic alert.

Click the link provided here for a full list of welcome templates.

Standard templates

The traditional template is {{Welcome}}. To use it, type this on a new user's talk page:

{{subst:welcome}} ~~~~

An updated version, with corrected links, optional message, and an eye catching formatting is {{Welcome!}}. Replacing "Yourusername" with your user name, post:

or replace "message" with a comment and use:

The Welcoming Committee's shortest greetings is {{Welcom}}, which provides a link to our welcome page. Type:


Greeting anonymous new users

When welcoming new users who don't yet have accounts (their edits are logged by their IP address rather than a user name) it is best to suggest that they create one. To welcome such a user, type:

{{subst:anon}} ~~~~


{{subst:anon-welcome}} ~~~~

{{Wel}} automatically identifies anonymous users or registered users and provides the appropriate message:

{{subst:Wel}} ~~~~

List and gallery

The Welcoming Committee's complete collection of templates for welcoming new users is located at Trains:Welcoming committee/Welcome templates; this includes adapted templates in the user space.

Trains:Welcoming committee/Welcome templates/Table provides a visual gallery of welcome messages.


You may come across a new user who has done nothing but vandalise articles. If their vandalism is minor, you might add a welcome and a warning to their talk page. For more serious cases, you probably should just add a warning. But whatever you do, please don't add a template that simply thanks them for their contributions — this sends the wrong message.

Making templates

If you would like to learn to encode templates, see Help:Template, Help:Magic words, Help:Variable, and m:ParserFunctions.

Trains:Welcoming committee/Finding newbies

Help new users

If the new user responds to the welcome message (you may wish to put his talk page on your watchlist), follow up with more help. You may wish to suggest adoption.

Members of the Welcoming Committee should be especially careful not to bite newcomers.

Help staff, maintain, and improve Train Spotting World's newcomer resources

In addition to greeting new users, we also design and help maintain pages specifically to assist newcomers in various ways. The pages we help operate and/or maintain are:

  • Welcome to Train Spotting World — our main welcome page.
  • Trains:Introduction
  • Tutorial
  • Trains:Questions — the "where to ask a question" directory.
  • FAQs & VFAQs — quick answers to the most common questions.
  • Trains:New contributor's help page — this is a place for new users to post questions and get an answer ('soon') by volunteers who monitor or frequent the page. We like to hang out there and assist the best we can.
  • Trains:Help desk — where volunteers answer questions on how to use Train Spotting World. Many new users go there for help too.
  • New user log — where new users can introduce themselves and meet other new users. It's nice if we respond to what they post there, especially if we can point them to pages or projects they'll be interested in.
  • Trains:Adopt-a-User — where a new user can be adopted by an experienced user who will be his or her mentor/tutor.

Plot and plan

As an active team, we discuss and implement new projects from time to time. We also discuss new users in general and try to keep in touch with the experience a typical new user is likely to be subjected to upon discovering and participating in Train Spotting World. Sometimes the treatment they receive from veterans can be confusing or even traumatic. So we try to come up with ways to prevent this sort of thing. To participate, please see the talk page.

Add yourself to our member list

If you would like to see who we are, or add yourself to our noble ranks, check out Trains:Welcoming committee/members.

See also