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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

(1) Can I walk on any old railway? No – every piece of land is owned by someone. You can walk on any old railway that has been converted into an official path, but otherwise you need permission from the landowner. The situation is more relaxed in Scotland, but even there walkers are expected to respect landowners' privacy and keep away from private dwellings. For further details, click on the Access link.

(2) Can I walk on an operational railway, e.g. on a day when there are no trains? No – walking on an operational railway is always a criminal offence, even on Christmas Day when few, if any, trains are running.

(3) What walks does the club organise? These are described on the Access and Walks pages.

(4) Can non-members join the club's walks? Yes – non-members can participate in club walks on up to three occasions per year. If they attend more walks than this without joining, they will not be covered by the club's Civil Liability Insurance.

(5) How much does it cost to join the club? Current membership rates are listed on our printable membership application form, which can be accessed from the link here.

(6) Is there a branch of the club near where I live? The quickest and easiest way to see where we have active areas is to look at the 'Reports from Area Groups' on the AGM page. Please bear in mind that the absence of a report does not necessarily mean that nothing is going on in that area – the area group contact might just have forgotten to file a report. Areas which really are inactive are shown as 'Vacant', indicating that the club has no area group contact there. New volunteers are always welcome.

(7) Why doesn't the club advertise its walks on the website? The answer to this is simple: the club's walk programmes include personal data belonging to our walk leaders, which is protected by this country's data protection legislation and therefore cannot be publicised without permission. (Further details appear on the Walks page.) Even if permission could be obtained from every walk leader, which is unlikely, the Webmaster would not welcome the work of updating a large online programme of walks every few weeks. He is a volunteer, like everyone else who helps to run the club, and is entitled to expect that his duties will be kept to a level commensurate with the voluntary nature of his work.

However, this website does include a message board where walk leaders and area organisers can – if they wish – advertise walk details, changes to planned walks, and anything of that nature. The message board gives our volunteers the choice: if they want to report news and advertise events on the Internet, they can do so, but it is entirely up to them. The only thing they have to bear in mind is that they cannot publish anyone's personal data without that individual's permission.

So, if your local group is not using the message board, you may wish to encourage them to do so, or perhaps volunteer to take on this task yourself. The message board is easy to use, and it will not take long each month to give your area a 'presence' there. If you don't know who your area organiser is, just look inside the front cover of the quarterly magazine where this information will be found.

(8) Does the website accept advertising? For example, would the club be willing to include a link to a commercial website advertising relevant products such as walking gear? No – Railway Ramblers is a voluntary club whose committee has decided to keep its website free from commercial content including all advertising and sponsored links. The only exceptions are two or three small advertising links which appear on our Search page, but those are a condition of our using Freefind's search engine – which really is free, and a very good search engine to boot.