Spotting report

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

Quite simply, a spotting report is a record of the location of a specific piece of railway equipment. At its most basic, it shows when and where the equipment was spotted and could include the train number or name, operating direction, a photo, the spotter's name and any other relevant information.

For example, an entry for SP 8033 could look like this:

Date/time Location Train number Direction Photo Spotter Notes
1992-10-06 Eola Yard, Aurora, Illinois westbound SP 8033 19921006 IL Eola.jpg Slambo leading two other locomotives on a general freight

Each row of the table is one spotting record. In this example, the locomotive was seen on 1992-10-06 at Eola Yard in Aurora, Illinois, leading two other locomotives on a westbound train by Slambo. The user has uploaded a photo of the spot to show what was seen at that time. Since the train number was unknown to the spotter, that column is left blank for this record.

How do I create a spotting report?

Easy. Grab this table. It looks like this:

 | date = [[1992-10-06]]
 | location = [[Eola Yard]], [[Aurora, Illinois]]
 | direction = westbound
 | photo = SP 8033 19921006 IL Eola.jpg
 | spotter = [[User:Slambo|Slambo]]
 | notes = leading two other locomotives on a general freight

Now, if you're not sure what to do, the parts {{spot-start}} and {{spot-end}} are templates, created by one of our admins. You can see what they do by clicking them. {{spot-line}} is another template that deals with the row in the table.

If you just saw GWR 6959 Class 6998 Burton Agnes Hall you would search for its page (or create a page for it of one is not present already) and add a section for Spotting reports. Then copy the table in, or, if the table is already there, just add a row,

The finished part of the page will look something like this as you edit it:

==Spotting reports==
 | date = [[2007-02-18]]
 | location = brief description of location
 | direction = westbound
 | photo = Image:MY OWN pic of Burton Agnes Hall.jpg
 | spotter = [[User:Tim Trent|Tim Trent]]
 | notes = whatever you would like to say about it.

You should also add a category relevant to the spotting reports (or create one if one does not exist. see Category:Spotting reports

Page name conventions

For equipment operating in North America, use the equipment's most recent (or current) AAR reporting mark and road number. For example, for Canadian Pacific Railway's AC44CW that pulled the holiday train through the United States, the page is located at CP 9714. Where overlaps exist in reporting mark and number combinations, just add another table into the spotting report section of that page to list the additional equipment.

When equipment changes hands, or is renumbered, the page should be moved to the equipment's new identification; using the "move" action on the page preserves the update history and creates a redirect to the new page at the former page location. For example, CBQ 9227 became BN 524 at the time of the BN merger; the locomotive was later sold to the Midland Railway becoming MLRX 524. The first two of these links are redirects to the third link, which is the most recent reporting mark and number for this locomotive.