Trains.com

I don't like this New Trains Websites Now. Bring back the old website.

6023 views
131 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,388 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 10:27 PM

Lithonia Operator
At seems like at first, after the change, News articles didn't count against your monthly allotment, only feature stories. But now News stories seem to count also.

Mainly what they are accomplishing in regards to me is chasing me away from their digital content. So I'll miss ads for stuff they wish to sell me.

Most of what the Unlimited membership offers is stuff I don't care about. To me it's not worth the bucks to get the remainder.

My print subscription is all the funds they are going to get out of me.  Antagonizing me about the number of 'looks' at something does not make me a happy camper.

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 940 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Thursday, April 8, 2021 12:39 AM

BaltACD

 My print subscription is all the funds they are going to get out of me.  Antagonizing me about the number of 'looks' at something does not make me a happy camper.

As a long time (since Jan 1970) Trains subscriber, I thought it was a nice perk to have access to the Newswire and would have been upset  if that access was curtailed. Having sprung for the unlimited membershp, I get the unfettered access to the Newswire, but still would expect to get it with the print subscription.

I have a new computer which I first fired up last night and had run into problems with the logins on one part of the site not working on other parts of the site - had to do two or three different logins to get things working right.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,589 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, April 8, 2021 2:05 PM

So a print subscription doesn't get me full fledged access to the Newswire now?

I hate to say it, but maybe it's time. The issues are so flimsy these days and lacking in much of the content that I traditionally subscribed for. A substantial part of why I was keeping up the tradition in the last few years was because it also provided access to the Newswire. 

I hope Classic Trains stays healthy. I haven't detected any degradation over there and will happily continue to subscribe as long as that continues. 

Not even sure I want to try out Trains Unlimited. Access to the Model Railroader, Classic Toy Trains, and their Garden Railways online archives would be interesting (I own their DVD collections for Trains and Classic Trains). But what good does it do me when 24 hours later I still can't even log-in here outside of the forum.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,996 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 8, 2021 2:39 PM

Would they dare charge print subscribers for access to the Newswire?  And start doing so arbitrarily, without notice, in the middle of an agreed subscription term?

There are words for that sort of "business" practice, none of which are particularly positive, quite a few of which are, fortunately for their originators at Kalmbach Media, not family-friendly enough to give here.  Let's hope this is just a temporary Bangalore glitch like the access confusion.

  • Member since
    April 2021
  • 1 posts
Posted by PassengerTrainMan on Thursday, April 8, 2021 3:01 PM
The good news is that they are not charging for News Wire access. The bad news is that something is wrong, at least with Chrome on Android. I tried to access News Wire today using Chrome on Android and nothing worked (password resets, etc.). I then tried on my Windows 10 PC with the new password and all is well. Back to my phone I can login and get to News Wire with an incognito tab but not in a normal tab. I've cleared browsing history, cleaned up password manager and it just won't work. But since I can get in incognito I am not going to worry. Someone mentioned Bangalore. I went there a few years ago to train my replacements. Actually a very nice place and not at all what I expected from India.
  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,768 posts
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, April 8, 2021 4:54 PM

Yes. I was incorrect. Newswire is still free. (I don't know if that's because I am a print subsciber, or not.)

Last night on this forum, each time I posted anything (a new post or just a comment in a thread), I'd have to log in again. That was on my phone. Each time I checked "remember me," but that didn't help. Maybe that's been resolved now. I'm not on my phone right now.

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 5,169 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, April 8, 2021 7:05 PM

I can get to NewsWire now.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 99 posts
Posted by motor on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9:08 PM

MidlandMike

I can get to NewsWire now.

Lucky you.

Three password resets in the last 2 minutes and I still can't get to NewsWire.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 10,201 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9:36 PM

motor

It is a good thing I cannot hire some one to shoot IT.  Still cannot log in even when site sent me a email to reset  GRR____________RRRRRRRRRRR

 

 
MidlandMike

I can get to NewsWire now.

 

Lucky you.

Three password resets in the last 2 minutes and I still can't get to NewsWire.

 

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 10,201 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9:38 PM

motor

It is a good thing I cannot hire some one to shoot IT.  Still cannot log in even when site sent me a email to reset  GRR____________RRRRRRRRRRR

  IE 10.1

 

 
MidlandMike

I can get to NewsWire now.

 

Lucky you.

Three password resets in the last 2 minutes and I still can't get to NewsWire.

 

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 5,169 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, April 9, 2021 6:45 PM

I get it again on Google Chrome on both my Windows laptop and Android smartphone.  I skipped a day rather than try to change my password.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 99 posts
Posted by motor on Friday, April 9, 2021 10:21 PM

MidlandMike

I get it again on Google Chrome on both my Windows laptop and Android smartphone.  I skipped a day rather than try to change my password.

Tried another tweaked pw on Chrome on my laptop.  Still not getting in.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,589 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, April 10, 2021 1:49 AM

Still no luck here and customer service hasn't yet bothered to respond to my support ticket. 

Not even being able to log-in sure makes one want to rush out and subscribe to their expensive premium digital service...

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 1,768 posts
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, April 10, 2021 8:44 AM

Leo_Ames
Not even being able to log-in sure makes one want to rush out and subscribe to their expensive premium digital service...

Why would you say that?

Wink

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,388 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 10, 2021 11:13 AM

Lithonia Operator
 
Leo_Ames
Not even being able to log-in sure makes one want to rush out and subscribe to their expensive premium digital service... 

Why would you say that?

Wink

Yep - nothing quite like defective 'cheap service' to entice one to convert to 'more expensive service' form the same organization that can not make cheap work. [/sarcasm]

What a marketing plan!

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • 6 posts
Posted by Santa Fe Fan on Saturday, April 10, 2021 12:19 PM

Leo Ames

I had same problem with signing in. Customer service responded with suggestion to clearing the broweser history/cookies for "all time" and using alternate browser. i cleared history and used same browser, and have not had any troble since. 

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 99 posts
Posted by motor on Saturday, April 10, 2021 5:50 PM

Santa Fe Fan

Leo Ames

I had same problem with signing in. Customer service responded with suggestion to clearing the broweser history/cookies for "all time" and using alternate browser. i cleared history and used same browser, and have not had any troble since. 

I followed the instructions that you mentioned, cleared my history, opened a different browser, created yet another new pw, and logged into NewsWire with no problem.  Santa Fe Fan, I thank you and the CS rep you talked to. YesYes

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • From: Germany
  • 122 posts
Posted by Sara T on Sunday, April 11, 2021 8:57 AM

What I am not so enthusiastic about is: when I have opened the site and I want to choose 'trains.com' and then the forums. All of a sudden this big fat red advertising!!! pops up and covers everything. I first have to delete this and then can I choose a forum, or almost, because before I can click on it - woosh - it dashes away and I have to bring it back. 

That sucks! Oh, just before anybody tells me "This is a commercial site and they need to do some advertising" I tell you that this way I will never answer to that big red plate in any other way but to click it off. So where is the advertising effect?

 

Sara

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,996 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 11, 2021 9:46 AM

Sara T
What I am not so enthusiastic about is: when I have opened the site and I want to choose 'trains.com' and then the forums. All of a sudden this big fat red advertising!!! pops up and covers everything. I first have to delete this and then can I choose a forum, or almost, because before I can click on it - woosh - it dashes away and I have to bring it back. 

It is because Kalmbach Media decided to repurpose "trains.com" as a particular kind of both pay service and 'basis' for their development, or exploitation, of the enthusiast communities represented by the various Kalmbach publications.

There is really nothing 'bad' about this, because Kalmbach initially set up 'trains.com' as a forum, but also one for Trains Magazine separately (it was trainsmag.com, as I remember) and the latter became more popularly accepted and then became the dominant 'place' for posting.  For a while I still went over from time to time to see if something interesting had been (mis)posted on trains.com and would invite the poster to crosspost on trainsmag.com to get better answers or more 'eyeballs' on the discussion.

At some point Kalmbach themselves put up a note in the description of the trains.com forum, saying (paraphrased) "this is not the Trains Magazine forums -- railroad discussions ought to happen over there" and apparently reserving the trains.com forum for discussing things about the magazine itself, or the general setup of the Kalmbach 'internet presence'.  All they are really doing is finally getting around to using their valuable domain name "trains.com" for more valuable purposes -- and I see nothing particularly wrong in their using that particular domain to actively promoting their $6.99 does-it-all offer for the associated 'portal service' they want to promote.

Naturally, they want to announce this transition as memorably as possible, and they have chosen to do it with that big red popup for people who select the "www.trains.com" URL.

One relatively easy way to get around having to put up with that (or with what I suspect will be directed advertising to anyone who comes to have cookies set to that particular URL in their browser after visiting!) is to go to the forums here directly via a Google search.  I do this by default because I dislike clicking through their menus to find things, and I use a range of devices and browsers some of which do not work well with Kalmbach pages.  I find that using "trains forum" as a Google search term produces the forums for Trains Magazine, Model Railroader, and Classic Trains within the first four entries (the other being a direct link to 'General Discussion' on the Trains Magazine forum) -- this may be the result of a 'trained' algorithm, but I recommend that you try it, and repeat the search and selection of the 'right answer' URLs presented in the Google results, until you have 'optimized your copy of the search engine' to give you the forum links you want at the top of the first page that opens on any device you're "signed into".

I don't know if you have set up a 'Google signin' to coordinate your search history, etc. across multiple devices, which may simplify how this would work, but I do find that it works even when accessing the forums from random devices (such as login from phone or computer store 'demos' with wireless access, or public computers like those in libraries here).

In Kalmbach's defense: they now have considerable experience in different 'community' platforms, and have been through at least three complete back-end provider changes (it may be many more than that; I only know by peripheral message generation and a little market searching for the products that produced them).  In addition, they have gone through what appears to be management shakeup, not at all for the best, and are having to 'find their way' just as Yahoo did ... hopefully much better, or at least commercially more successfully, than Yahoo did.

You might find it informative, as I did, to Google Kalmbach Media around January 2018, when they conducted a sort of 'media blitz' in the trade press about their 'then' plans for leveraging the enthusiast communities.  You can find later hints here and there about their strategy; for example they won an award last fall for a promotional effort associated with another Kalmbach community (astronomy) and in trade-press accounts listed the various groups, including tech support, that had carried on that effort.

For the record, I think $6.99 for what they're offering is not out of line; the problem is entirely with 'customer relationship management' and the particular perceptions of those who are only at Kalmbach sites for participation in free forums.  And it is (at least, it is to me) a severe, and growing, and alarming problem.

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • From: Iowa
  • 3,290 posts
Posted by Semper Vaporo on Sunday, April 11, 2021 10:12 AM

Sara:  Next time you start the sequence to get to the forum you want; once you get to that forum, click the "Save URL" icon in the browser to add it to your "Favorites".

Then, next time, instead of starting where you presently do, use that saved URL to come directly to the forum... the page will have a button to Log-In.  This will save some steps and you might skip that obnoxious advertisement.

I, too, refuse to do business with any company whose advertising I find objectionable.

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • 6 posts
Posted by Santa Fe Fan on Sunday, April 11, 2021 12:03 PM
You are Welcome.
  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 21,980 posts
Posted by tree68 on Sunday, April 11, 2021 2:17 PM

Semper Vaporo
Sara:  Next time you start the sequence to get to the forum you want; once you get to that forum, click the "Save URL" icon in the browser to add it to your "Favorites".

I have dozens of sites in my bookmarks.  The most used are across the top of the screen - mail, Trains, both Deshler YouTube cameras, several others.  Others are listed under "other bookmarks."  In fact, I created one folder within that folder for my on-line bill accounts.  Makes life so much easier.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,996 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 11, 2021 2:37 PM

.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • From: Germany
  • 122 posts
Posted by Sara T on Sunday, April 11, 2021 2:40 PM

Note April 2021: in view of recent developments, for my own safety I replace my picture that showed myself with this one avatar picture. 

Wink

 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,996 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 11, 2021 2:43 PM

adkrr64
Is that a developer problem, or a browser problem?

The point is that it is both their problem until it can be resolved.  The problem is usually a bit less simple: who's going to pay to get the problem resolved.  But it can certainly be insistence that each admit the other's system caused the 'break' and, like train meets in Texas, 'each shall not proceed until the other have gone.'

The issue with Firefox and the forum software security updates is a very good example of the issue.  I am assuming they will resolve this in stage 3, but it is not as simple an issue as it looks (or would be to resolve with small but critical decreases in Internet security...)

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 5,169 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, April 12, 2021 9:14 PM

I got stopped again by the 8 article limit.  I cleared my cookies this time and after signing back in, got to look at NewsWire again.  But there were a lot of NewsWire articles today, and after 8 articles got stopped again, and had to log in again.  Are we going to have to sign in after every 8 articles?

  • Member since
    June 2019
  • 228 posts
Posted by Juniata Man on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 9:08 AM

I'm having the same exact issue and it is growing tiresome.

CW

MidlandMike

I got stopped again by the 8 article limit.  I cleared my cookies this time and after signing back in, got to look at NewsWire again.  But there were a lot of NewsWire articles today, and after 8 articles got stopped again, and had to log in again.  Are we going to have to sign in after every 8 articles?

 

  • Member since
    April 2021
  • 14 posts
Posted by FanOfTheRail on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:00 AM

Something else, why isn't this website secure? Ever since they started showing ads on the website, the page says 'not secure'. I am concerned about this because if someone were to hack into your account, they would gain access to your e-mail address and possibly post inaproppriate/irrelevant content and get your account terminated. I apologize that this post isn't about railroading, but every single forum member could be at risk with this unsecured connection. Browsers even tell you specifically not to enter passwords on unsecure sites, so why is this website not secure?  

~FanOfTheRail

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,996 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:33 AM

If I try linking to a Trains Magazine reference directly from a Google search it gives me the big red 'you've exceeded your 8 article limit' immediately... even though I haven't read any articles via trains.com or accessed any Kalmbach feature but these forums.  I think it may be possible to figure out where the glitches in changing their access-control system might be by looking at the way thinks keep breaking...

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,996 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:46 AM

FanOfTheRail
Browsers even tell you specifically not to enter passwords on unsecure sites, so why is this website not secure?  

The 'not secure' is related to still using "http://" rather than "https://" in the link Kalmbach uses to connect.  I expect this to be updated when the 'new Forum experience' gets here, but not before.  It doesn't mean there is actual malicious exposure via malformed ads or whatever -- just that the secure hypertext-transfer protocol isn't being used.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy