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SVRSevern Valley Railway Unofficial Forum and National Preservation links (March 2018)

There are many links to these sources but both have moved, viz:

Are there any tools that can be run which at least changes the root? Or any clever ideas?

Maybe the SVRSevern Valley Railway Wiki Bot could hunt for those links and edit as appropriate? One for Dan?--Robin (talk) 14:48, 4 March 2018 (UTC)
The bot probably is the simplest answer - I'd usually just run a search-and-replace on the text, but it's all squirreled away in a database, which is a little more difficult! This also happens to be the first I've heard of the change, given that the old link is inaccessible for me due to the security configuration of the old forum address being incorrect. --Danny252 (talk) 10:12, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
Turns out the bot comes with a script for text replacement included - I guess it's not that surprising! It's currently working its way through the wiki. --Danny252 (talk) 19:35, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
I've managed to get the SVRASevern Valley Railway Association forum ones, but the only match the bot is finding for the NatPres link given is this page. Could someone link a page where the link is used so I can see what I've got wrong? --Danny252 (talk) 19:59, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
The Waterman Railway Heritage Trust, reference 5 for example. It normally appears in references rather than the body text if that makes a difference. --Robin (talk) 20:06, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Aha, there's a change at the start of the link (railways.national-preservation vs. www.national-preservation) - I'd only noticed the addition of the number after the thread name. Hence I'd been searching for "www.national-preservation[...]" and only finding the new, corrected link above. --Danny252 (talk) 12:15, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
...having actually done it, the only references to are on this talk page and the one you linked. I can't find any references to the SVRSevern Valley Railway photo guide forum thread that aren't on this page, and all other nat-pres links I can find (by directly searching through a text dump of the whole wiki) look like they should work. --Danny252 (talk) 12:24, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
I noticed that SVRLive links should also be HTTPS, although again they were forwarding automatically. Having decided to do a manual search, hopefully all Nat-Pres, SVRSevern Valley Railway-Online forum and SVRLive links in the Wiki are now HTTPS.

SVRSevern Valley Railway photographic guide

This comes up periodically. There is no published guide of publicly available photo locations. There is an old thread at with quite a lot of info and a thread around PacificLocomotive with a 4-6-2 wheel configuration Power. I'm not a photographer but a guide would be useful. It would need some thought though, so as initial suggestions what it might include: Work north to South Location name GPS OS reference Means of access Particular restrictions Tips - better in the afternoon than morning type thing Example photo

Also a does and don'ts section (trespass etc.)

Thoughts?--Patrick Hearn (talk) 10:55, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

I'd erred away from doing one in the past, in case the SVRSevern Valley Railway considered it to be encouraging people to photograph from lineside (even in legitimate viewing locations) rather than paying to visit the railway. However the SVRSevern Valley Railway itself gave a number of possible viewing locations for PacificLocomotive with a 4-6-2 wheel configuration Power, so maybe not considered an issue? If we do add one, your suggestions would be a good start.--Robin (talk) 15:59, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Official response from Lewis Maddox: "Great idea, if you need any photos let me know." So, going back to the original post, what's the best way of setting it up? Does it need a table with the headings I suggested. Is there a better way? This might be one where a little thought and input from photographers is worthwhile...--Patrick Hearn (talk) 13:06, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Just while thinking about it, on the Current events on the Severn Valley Railway page, I put a comment relating to SVRSevern Valley Railway Live that "Information which is publicly accessible for enthusiasts includes Traffic Notices, Working Timetables, lineside photography policy and application forms, and so on." However I can't see photography policy on the new version, or on the SVRSevern Valley Railway website either. Any idea where they would be found these days?--Robin (talk) 16:50, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
When I looked earlier this year, the lineside photography information available on the old site seemed to be horribly out of date, and upon enquiring directly with the SVRSevern Valley Railway on Facebook, the response I got gave me the impression they were only interested in direct inquiries, rather than advertising it online? --Danny252 (talk) 09:52, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
In terms of setting it up, the unofficial WSR site WSR.ORG.UK has a photography section here. There may be some good ideas to be had from it.--Robin (talk) 16:55, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. A job for when I have some time :)--Patrick Hearn (talk) 12:28, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
As a low grade entry point I have added to the Bewdley Airport page some basic details with an idea to add a simple From The Window type guide page when locations are populated. What do people think?--Patrick Hearn (talk) 10:55, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
Looks good. I've added some directions. It would be good to illustrate each page with a photo taken from that location as well. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 10:34, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Locomotives hired to or visiting other railways

We have sections for locos coming in, are there equivalents for SVRSevern Valley Railway-resident locos going the other way? I can't find any. TIA--Patrick Hearn (talk) 12:28, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Off the top of my head, no section exists yet. The exception would be for main line excursions, which are listed on the linked locomotive pages, but not many of those happen these days! --Danny252 (talk) 13:09, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Some individual loco pages also mention longer term hires to other railways, but you're right in that there is no equivalent section for gala appearances elsewhere. No reason we couldn't have such a page, but it would be a major exercise to backfill the history.--Robin (talk) 15:50, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks both. Do you think we should we start one with 2017 galas out as an incomplete page, and allow people to backfill? Or let it ride?--Patrick Hearn (talk) 02:43, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
If you're eager, go ahead - just look how the gala visitors page started! I have to admit I don't really know where to find historical information; the SVRSevern Valley Railway News sometimes mentions locos going off on hire, but I don't know if this is comprehensive? Then again, I'm sure Robin will find all the information about 7714's visit to the Little Piddling and Nowhere Railway's 1976 gala... --Danny252 (talk) 10:44, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
It must have been there as a static exhibit - according to the SVRSevern Valley Railway Wiki it wasn't steamed until 1992. --Robin (talk) 13:10, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Bug reports

Navbox error

I'm seeing {{#invoke:Navbox|navbox}} instead of Navboxes appearing on the carriage and loco pages. Anyone else? Can one of the administrators have a look please? --Robin (talk) 16:08, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

It was something I did without realising by altering parser settings while trying to convert page names to dates and vice versa. It should be working again now. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 16:48, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes fixed. Belated thanks.--Robin (talk) 16:18, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

On this day refresh error

Another oddity. When I first access the home page without being logged in, the "On this day" link shows May 18. As soon as I log in, it refreshes correctly. Any ideas? Is it some sort of caching issue? --Robin (talk) 16:18, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

I was getting that as well. It was caused by {{#time:}} using "the time the page was last rendered into HTML" rather than the current time. For some reason, it would always default to May 18, even immediately after logging out after displaying the correct date while logged in. I've changed it now to read {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} and {{CURRENTDAY}} which do exactly what their names suggest. It seems to have solved the problem on the wiki itself, although I don't know if there may still be a caching problem for individual users. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 00:56, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm aware that it is still not working as it should. Editing the page also updates the displayed date, so the error doesn't show up until a day later, which makes it a slow job fixing it by trial and error. I've asked for help on the Mediawiki Project Support Desk--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 08:58, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it's working now. If you want an explanation...The various Time and Date functions use the time the page was last rendered in to HTML. For a logged in user, that will be their current session, for a non-logged in user, it is the time the page was last modified, as shown at the bottom of every page. By linking to the internal On This Day page as if it was an external link, it seems to be creating the link using the real current time, even when logged out.--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 22:52, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Another minor bug fixed. As the wiki was seeing the On This Day page as an external link, it was opening in a new tab, rather than the same tab like all other internal links. I couldn't fix it properly, so the external link is now displayed as a single full stop right at the bottom of the page, I couldn't make it completely invisible. Just having the link somewhere on the page forces all dates to work correctly, so now the internal link works as it should. There's another minor bug in that the wiki is set to GMT and is not adjusting for BST. I might look in to that one at some point as well. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 07:25, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I really think I've got it this time. What was confusing me was the random image on the Main Page Test page which was causing that page to refresh every time it was viewed, whether logged in or not, which the proper Main Page wasn't doing. I've now set up the Main Page to automatically refresh every time. I thought this might slow down loading, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. What was slowing everything down was fetching nine individual images from Wikimedia Commons for the schematic map. I've now duplicated these locally, so not only does the page load a lot faster, logging in is a lot quicker as well.--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 14:55, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for spending the time on it! It would be an idea to update the pre-1963 map page to use local icons as well; it can be very hit and miss loading at times. (Not meant as a request, happy to do it myself when time permits).
Probably a bit late to ask this as were are closing in on 100 individual Day pages, but is there anything in them which could be better handled in a template called to each page, rather than the block of text we copy and paste each time?--Robin (talk) 15:32, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
I'd already started on the other maps when you replied. Consider it done. Yes, now I know how easy it is to create and call a template, that would be a better way of getting the forward and back dates. I did wonder if it might be better if the links just said "Previous" and "Next" rather than the date, but that would mean going back and altering all the existing ones for consistency.--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 16:49, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
I thought it had been working fine, but today it is linking to June 20 when not logged in, even though a page exists for June 25. Not sure if it is a coincidence, but the home page was last edited on June 20. Has anything changed in the back end, apart from switching Lingo back on? --Robin (talk) 19:58, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Another oddity with 'On this day in history'. When logged out, the next and previous page links on 'August 4' and other days works fine. When I log in they stop working, replaced by a grey box with a dash in. Not sure how long it has been happening - anyone else getting the same and if so, any idea why? --Robin (talk) 14:37, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
It took a bit of trial and error, but I've finally got the Previous & Next links working. It turns out it needs spaces either side of the + & - signs when searching for Pagename + 1 day etc. I've got no idea why it worked when logged out, but not when logged in, or why it used to work and then stopped working, but it works now. I'm still stuck on the out of date On This Day link though. It looks like we need a bot to automatically edit the page at 00:01 every day, but creating a bot is beyond me at the moment.--Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 09:44, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks - I'll keep manually updating if I remember and nobody else beats me to it.--Robin (talk) 05:51, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
For completeness, this issue has been "solved" through the use of the Svrwikibot, per Graham's suggestion --Danny252 (talk) 14:07, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

Pages loading incorrectly when logged out

I'm finding a few pages which aren't loading correctly when not logged in, for example GWR 80684 Ballast Wagon. It reports part of the content being not secure and is referring to something in version 1241 which was the version before the https upgrade. Happens in both Chrome and IE. It loads fine when logged in, so I assume it may be another caching issue. Did we have a back end utility for refreshing all the pages and if so, could one of the admins run it? --Robin (talk) 17:53, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

I wasn't getting a secure content warning, but the page wasn't loading correctly for me either. I can't say I understand where these odd little issues come from! I've fixed that page manually, and I think I found a script I can set to run every so often to clear the whole cache - did you identify any other pages, and if so, can you check them now? --Danny252 (talk) 16:27, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I selected about 10 other Wagons pages at random and found these - BR General Goods Containers / BR 993898 'Shark' Ballast Plough Brake / GWR 125059 Covered Goods Van (body only). There may be others, although I've not noticed any other than wagons pages thus far. Not a lot I can add on the diagnostices, except:
  • IE shows a text only page, and it includes a line saying for example Retrieved from ‘’. Clicking the link takes you to the old page on the non-secure site. It also shows a box at the bottom "Only secure content displayed."
  • Chrome does the same but without the pop up box.
--Robin (talk) 22:00, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I get the same text-only page displayed as you get with IE. The fact they're still showing like that at least means that my attempted fixes so far didn't work! The "retrieved from" is apparently not the error itself - the text is usually hidden by the page style, and the fact the page isn't loading the style (or any pictures) is why that occurs. I've reset some more of the cache settings, which seems to have fixed it. I don't understand some of this dark voodoo... --Danny252 (talk) 18:24, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

Loss of session data

In the last few weeks I've noticed that from time to time the Wiki is logging me off in mid-edit. With a normal log in, my status is changed to logged out (ie the top right button reverts to 'Log in') and of course I can't save the page. If I have selected "stay logged in" when logging in, the top right button is still showing 'Log out' but I get the message Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. You might have been logged out. Abandoning the edit and restarting it then works fine without actually needing to log out and in again. Is there anything unusual happening at the server back end?--Robin (talk) 16:20, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Missing Signature button

Prompted by Patrick's comments "(can't find the date stamp)" in several posts in Query Corner, it appears that recent versions of MediaWiki have removed the signature button that used to be shown when editing 'normal' pages; it still appears when editing Discussion pages. There is a configuration variable available here which allows the button to be added back in specific pages. Could one of the admins see if it is possible to add this configuration variable so the button can be put back in Query Corner? --Robin (talk) 20:58, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

Done. --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 10:00, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. --Robin (talk) 17:53, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

User permissions

I've modified the user permissions so that new users can create articles and talk pages without being marked "trustworthy". I found it a bit odd that having created a new user, I couldn't edit my own user page... Given that spambots are a non-issue now, hopefully we'll be ok. --Danny252 (talk) 09:25, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Wiki bot

I'm playing around with making an "svrwikibot", mainly to do the front page update that Robin currently does. I've gone with the Pywikibot framework, because a) I can code Python and b) it works.

If anyone has other ideas for things we could get the bot to do, let me know. --Danny252 (talk) 09:27, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Alright, hold your breath - if it's working, the bot will now update the main page comment at 5am BST (4am GMT) daily... --Danny252 (talk) 10:01, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
If there was a 'like' button on here, I'd press it! I'm not sure about other functions for it to carry out. Most of the bot edits I come across on Wikipedia tend to be formatting and housekeeping, things like stripping leading and trailing spaces in tables, changing links and references separated by <br> to bullet format and so on. Not a particular priority here in my view. One of them moves references after closing punctuation, which would cause a problem on here because of our formatting issue (see my user page), which I think is caused by the conflict with the terminology add-on (whose name I forget). Presumably we haven't got anywhere with resolving that one? --Robin (talk) 14:10, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
The addon in question is "Lingo". I remember hoping/expecting the software update earlier this year would fix it. However, it didn't, and at the time I did put in a report about the issue still being present. Looking back at the bug report, there's been no response or fix yet. --Danny252 (talk) 08:38, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I thought it was a short name like that. It's not a showstopper, I'll just keep putting references inside punctuation at the end of formatted paragraphs pending developments. --Robin (talk) 13:53, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
A small update to say that the bot seems to be working away quite happily, and on the few occasions I've checked, the "On this day" link has been correct. --Danny252 (talk) 14:04, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Page history suggests the bot last updated on 7 April? --Robin (talk) 23:34, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Indeed! It seems I might have to occasionally re-confirm the login details, or else that it somehow forgot how to login. --Danny252 (talk) 09:29, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Message for Graham in Dan's absence. Just noticed the Bot stopped working again on 9 October 2018 so if you are not logged in, the On this day link goes to the last day the page was updated rather than the current day. It may be a coincidence but both times it seems to have stopped after 6 months. Could you have a look please? TIA. --Robin (talk) 10:42, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Railway Heritage Register links update

The Railway Heritage Register Carriage Survey and Wagon Survey have historically been hosted on, but are permanently moving to a new host on 9 April. From a quick test today, the record numbers within URLs are the same on the old and new host, therefore all that is needed in the links is to update the host address. There is a second problem in that the text within the link normally takes the form of '... on' which also needs updating (for simplicity and clarity I suggest using '... on Railway Heritage Register On-Line' for both Carriages and Wagons). It would be a great help if these changes could be done by the bot. The 'search and replace' involved is:

  • Step 1: replace by
  • Step 2: replace by
  • Step 3: replace on by on Railway Heritage Register On-Line

Steps 1 and 2 should fix the relevant URLs, and step 3 the link wording for at least the majority of links. There are links in a number of different areas including current and former carriages and wagons etc. Hope that is possible.--Robin (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Mobile view

I don't think this has cropped up before. I have just noticed that Navboxes do not appear in Mobile view. This is apparently deliberate, as detailed in this article. In most cases they are probably a 'nice to have' rather than essential to navigation, but in The Severn Valley Railway in preservation they are currently the only method of navigating to other history pages. It should be possible to create the same links in a table instead of a Navbox which may be the answer in that instance. Something to bear in mind as we create future pages, particularly as mobile devices are increasingly used for browsing. Any thoughts or suggestions welcome. --Robin (talk) 16:03, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Update; I duly added a table rather than a Navbox which works OK in Mobile view. We just have to remember to update that table at the same time as updating the Template:TimelineNavbox.--Robin (talk) 22:35, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Something else I found that appears not to work in Mobile view. The Unsuccessful proposals for railways in the Severn Valley page has a statement <div class="toclimit-2">__TOC__</div> to limit the number of items in the table of contents. The level 3 headings should be suppressed but appear in Mobile view. Not a major issue, but annoying!--Robin (talk) 22:35, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Problem solved, thanks to help from the Mediawiki Project:Suport Desk --Graham Phillips 110 (talk) 22:37, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I see in their response that we're due a MediaWiki version update - good luck! --Robin (talk) 23:17, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

Featured article

I'll be busy for much of the next few weeks with moving, a honeymoon, and whatever else I've forgotten - if someone else wants to have a go at doing featured articles for a few weeks, feel free! --Danny252 (talk) 10:43, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

Best of luck with everything! An open invitation at any time for anyone to pick an article they would like to feature, either by adding it themselves or by letting me know and I'll add it. There is a Category page which lists the articles already featured. If nobody else does choose an article, I'll try to keep updating them on a weekly basis. --Robin (talk) 15:13, 29 May 2018 (UTC)