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Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"
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Author:  Randy Hees [ Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

As your moderator... I think this post should remain in the Interchange, not Railfanning....

We again confuse details with the big picture...

We have a popular TV show at least visiting the world that is preserved railroads, and railfans... this can bring visitors, who can support your efforts, the TV details are wrong...

I note Mark Bassett's response... https://www.facebook.com/nnry1/videos/1 ... 706136764/ He has taken the situation and is promoting his railroad.

As a case study in how popular culture and preservation intersect, and how the railroad in question reacted it is preservation...

Randy

Author:  Charlie [ Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

That's a great response from Mr. Bassett! In the show, I was impressed by how accurate the experience was described such as the choice to stay in a caboose or bunkhouse and the mandatory rules manual and test. Makes me wonder if other tourist railroads will be bribing television producers to showcase their operation in future episodes.

Author:  p51 [ Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

Does anyone know if the Nevada Northern was consulted or altered to this episode before it aired?

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

It's now being reported on Facebook that the railroad's website received 300,000+ hits over the weekend.

When was the last time YOUR museum or line's website got that much traffic, absent an attention-garnering disaster?

Author:  nathansixchime [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

Robby Peartree wrote:
And this has what to do with preservation?


Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
It's now being reported on Facebook that the railroad's website received 300,000+ hits over the weekend.


*Shrug*

Author:  Kelly Anderson [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

superheater wrote:
In as much as the show projects idiot savants living insular lives, who can do tensor analysis but are unable to talk to women (in one case, at all, absent alcohol) unable to effectively socialize with others, afflicted with disabling peculiarities and obsessions, and the Sheldon Cooper character is the ne plus ultra of these characters; do you consider this a positive thing?

Or is it just a matter of there is no such thing as bad publicity? If there's been an uptick in comic book sales, then the affections of these characters might be a good thing, rather than a marginalizing obsession.

I find BBT to be an excellent show. They go way beyond the typical showbiz standard in trying to be technically accurate (including the portions having to do with trains), not always hitting the mark, but getting plausibly close.

When my wife first discovered BBT, I wouldn't watch it due to Sheldon's spot on portrayal of a narcissistic egotistical egg head. I have had to deal with two "Sheldons" in railroad preservation (some of you can guess who they are) and the show would cause flashbacks to those traumatic days. I have a sneaking suspicion that BBT's writers also know these two "gentlemen". I have since discovered that watching Sheldon from a distance is a lot more entertaining than having to deal with him in person.

Author:  Bobharbison [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

nathansixchime wrote:
Robby Peartree wrote:
And this has what to do with preservation?


Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
It's now being reported on Facebook that the railroad's website received 300,000+ hits over the weekend.


*Shrug*


Seriously? You don't think 300K hits on your website in 2 days is something good?

Must be nice to have so much business that you don't have to worry about ways of getting more. Please tell us your secret.

Author:  Bobharbison [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

p51 wrote:
Does anyone know if the Nevada Northern was consulted or altered to this episode before it aired?


I don't have any info, but I wouldn't be surprised to know it had been pitched to the show.

The Nevada Northern is a PR Machine. They run huge ads in trains, for a while being on the back cover. They've also been prominently featured on several TV shows including American Restoration and I think American Pickers.

I get the impression they're out there actively promoting rather than waiting for those folks to come to them.

Author:  nathansixchime [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

Bobharbison wrote:
Please tell us your secret.


My secret is that I was being sarcastic.

Why else would I quote someone saying "why does this matter" with "hey here's a quote on why it matters."

Some people get it why its related to preservation. I hate that to others it's such a burning question.

Relevancy is preservation.

Edited to add the Google search term spike when the episode aired.

Attachments:
google trends.png
google trends.png [ 83.69 KiB | Viewed 1262 times ]

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

The one issue that arises with the "free publicity" of such rail endeavors is the side aspect that the enthusiasts in question--in this case, Sheldon, as well as the other railfan featured during the Napa Valley Wine Train episode--are not exactly featured in a flattering fashion.

In an in-depth discussion of this show a while back with a similarly high-intellect friend, he noted, "We who know smart people can laugh at that show because we all know someone like Sheldon--brilliant in some ways, impaired in others--and we can turn them off after thirty minutes! I knew a Sheldon. He graduated high school at 14, college at 18, fell in love with a woman, got rejected, and turned around and committed suicide. That's the part they can't show you because it's not funny." And a recurring theme of this forum has been some of the, erm, "characters" this avocation/hobby attracts, and not just in fanboys either......

We see similar mockery for other aspects of nerd culture, such as comic books, sci-fi fans, Star Wars vs. Star Trek, etc., on this show, but those, along with the socially-awkward characteristics often seen, have long been part of pop culture's interpretation of nerd culture. So the upshot of "free publicity" might be "ermagerd, only total nerds do such dorky things!" for the Nevada Northern as well as San Diego Comic Con, Stuart's comic book shop, etc.

Author:  psa188 [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

Bobharbison wrote:
p51 wrote:
Does anyone know if the Nevada Northern was consulted or altered to this episode before it aired?


I get the impression they're out there actively promoting rather than waiting for those folks to come to them.


When you're located in the middle of nowhere, that's a good strategy.

It's unfortunate that a mal-adjusted person committed suicide, but we should not exaggerate the importance of that individual experience. We should not minimize it either. We should put it in proper perspective.

I'm of the opinion that BBT is generally a good thing. We should not take ourselves too seriously and there's probably a little Sheldon in many of us. We should laugh at ourselves sometimes.

Author:  Charlie [ Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

In Sheldon's defense, he did take the rules training seriously instead of acting like a know it all and blowing it off. And he approached the opportunity with a certain degree of respect for what he was about to do. Yes, he did go overboard with working on a "locomotive" engine (if he can fix that, why can't he fix the elevator?). But I thought he handled the situation in a mature manner.

I think the whole point of the show is to poke fun at familiar characters that most of us have known in our time and yet maintain a certain reverence for who they are and what they accomplish.

Author:  Robby Peartree [ Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

When the conversation is about what is wrong with the show or where did they actually film it has nothing to do with preservation. When you look at it as a discussion of impact on a property we are looking at the marketing issue that finally became addressed is due to Randy Hees post.

A long time volunteer and good friend tells me that the Nevada Northern sent the show a brochure four years ago. The actual episode is a surprise. Remember Mr. Bassett has made a habit of BEING seen ON TV. yet the ridership/visitor ship continues to grow at a slow rate. Lets see 300000 hits and maybe .1 percent if your lucky show up. While the exposure can be good it is also set up a stigma that has already been brought up. A brief mention in one episode does not make a consistent marketing plan.

When I worked for GCR we had two people dedicated to marketing. There hard work was matched by the hard work of the rest of the staff in promoting the railroad once the different media outlets arrived on the property. For example the Polar Express success GCR sees was initially unexpected. A combination of timing luck and hard work made it a success. This included 9 in the first year of polars) running a special trip for a travel agent with an autistic child who had be given wrong information about the service. The daily efforts of marketing pay dividends not a once mention in the wind. GCR did not grow because of an ad campaign in Trans Magazine it grew because of a marketing campaign that focused on travelers that included marketing thru AAA.

A commissioner on the C&TS once said with the return of the third locomotive to service that the ridership would return to the 50,000. plus level. 10 years latter it has yet to do so. Just recently the it was reported that the D&S had finally reached the ridership it saw before the summer of 2002 and the governor announcing that all of Colorado was on fire.
For those who are worried about a mistake in the show you are lucky that someone in Hollywood know that trains run on track much less the details of any of our operations. The destruction and horror stories Hollywood has done to historic artifacts are amazing. so no I am not impressed by the "advertisement" the Nevada Northern received.

Robby Peartree

Author:  nathansixchime [ Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

Robby Peartree wrote:

When you look at it as a discussion of impact on a property we are looking at the marketing issue that finally became addressed is due to Randy Hees post.
...

For those who are worried about a mistake in the show you are lucky that someone in Hollywood know that trains run on track much less the details of any of our operations. The destruction and horror stories Hollywood has done to historic artifacts are amazing. so no I am not impressed by the "advertisement" the Nevada Northern received.


You're not impressed by what amounts to "product placement" for a railroad preservation effort because other productions throughout history in showbiz have destroyed and maligned equipment? Huh?

Quote:
A brief mention in one episode does not make a consistent marketing plan.


I think that's obvious to any marketing professional and I don't think anyone has claimed that to be the case. However, even the most concrete marketing plan can benefit from "buzz" or product placement or something viral in nature.

The chart I posted above was not in relation to Nevada Northern's own social media response - it reflects organic searches of people looking up "Nevada Northern Railway" and the immediate spike due to the episode.

Getting name dropped by a show with over 19 million viewers? Hard to buy that kinda buzz from the general public.

It's also hard to anticipate those moments and for some organizations, it may be very challenging to adequately respond to the sudden attention and be able capitalize on it.

Author:  junior [ Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nevada Northern Shout-Out on CBS' "Big Bang Theory"

Robby Peartree wrote:
.... Just recently the it was reported that the D&S had finally reached the ridership it saw before the summer of 2002 and the governor announcing that all of Colorado was on fire.
Robby Peartree


Don't believe everything you hear...

Durango & Silverton Ridership: 1990-2016
1990 - 189,100
1991 - 206,160
1992 - 201,370
1993 - 204,040
1994 - 203,170
1995 - 198,230
1996 - 221,230
1997 - 193,300
1998 - 198,321
1999 - 207,100
2000 - 206,730
2001 - 272,824
2002 - 188,500 (Hayman fire)
2003 - 244,900
2004 - 249,900
2005 - 259,540
2006 - 274,250 * exceeds 2001 ridership, which was pre fire.
2007 - 372,800 ** highest ridership ever.
2008 - 246,360
2009 - 245,040
2010 - 244,720
2011 - 230,200
2012 - 225,000
2013 - 227,220
2014 - 219,820
2015 - 254,860
2016 - 241,875 (excludes December)

Sorry to go way off topic.

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