As many of you know, we have not always enjoyed good productive relationships with the rest of the NZ rail community which is partly why this project has its own separate Facebook presence and our involvement of various hobbyist groups has waxed and waned over the years. Ongoing politics relating to this project and to Patrick personally has continued to the present day.
Because of this the decision was made the decision over the last week to withdraw from every Facebook rail-specific group and the implementation of this was completed as of today. A project-related membership is still held of one or two minor and specialist groups that are not read or visited very often which are exclusively related to map production and sharing.
It may be we will review the group membership and rejoin in the future but at the present time we just need a break from these forums which has been a difficult and ongoing issue over the past decade or more.
There are a few people in the Project’s own Facebook group who have provided us with or may be able to continue providing us with valuable resources in the future and we would certainly like to thank each and every one of you who has assisted with this and is able to keep assisting with this into the future.
This decision does not in any way affect the continuation of the project in the slightest. It is simply a reflection that a break is needed from these groups which are currently contributing very little to the overall project and we need time to evaluate the contribution they are making to the project and whether it has been worthwhile. We have left those groups on good terms with the admins and could easily choose to rejoin any of the major ones at any future time.
The project will continue the same tomorrow as it did yesterday or last week or the month before and all of its resources including our own Facebook group, Blogger blog, the WordPress website, and Google Photos albums of all the information will carry on exactly as they do now.
The decision reached is to allow us to concentrate on this project more exclusively and to facilitate stronger relationships with other related projects that are Canterbury based. This includes membership of local and national railway preservation societies and contributions made to them, and the development of rail campaigning that is being facilitated through Christchurch Transport Blog. Membership is retained of a small number of groups related specifically to the campaign interest. It has been found that the personal relationships being fostered through these developments in groups with relatively smaller membership have become far more valuable than much of the associations and acquaintances that have occurred through the broad based rail community Facebook forums and the interaction with their large membership.
We believe the future of this project and of our work in Canterbury and to some extent nationally in promoting rail and rail heritage looks bright for the coming weeks and months and we welcome and acknowledge all the ongoing support of each and every person who has supported this project since it began in its current form at the start of 2008. Currently the project is working to an assumption that over the next two or three years there will be a concerted and conclusive effort to bring as much of the project as possible to a completed state so that the activity level on it can be wound down. This has been alluded to in posts at earlier times referring to development schedules. As this year’s original development schedule has not been met, due to other projects becoming more prominent, it will be reviewed at the end of this year and revised accordingly to make sure it is still possible to achieve the original goal. We anticipate it will not be possible to continue the current scale of map production of the last three years in particular although there is no timeframe for when the current level of resourcing is expected to decrease, and as referred to in the last one or two posts, resourcing has been increased this week to enable the mosaics in particular to be produced more rapidly because that is the part of the project that takes the most time to complete. The additional resources cost a mere $62 to provide and consist of a larger SSD for a computer and have had a significant impact and will enable us to much more efficiently utilise project time which is very important as there are now the competing demands that will continue.
To conclude and summarise the project leadership does not believe that this decision will have any major impact on the project, the project schedule will not be changed from where it was yesterday or in the last week or month, the project welcomes and continues to welcome the contribution of all the members of our Facebook forum and other associated means of contribution, and the project continues to forsee a bright future for the continuation of the project in the coming weeks and months. Thankyou to all personally for your support.