September 2021 Parks Issue  
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 Publisher:  Information Station Specialists
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Mike Hughes is the engineer in
the cab of historic Steam Engine #93.
A Rail Good Time?
Historic Railway & Museum Adds Radio to Inform and Attract Visitors Amid Pandemic
ELY,NV: What do you get when you combine a train station and a radio station? Answer: Rail Radio, of course. The Nevada Northern Railway, our nation’s premier historic train venue, is presenting its unique history while telling travelers how they can have a safe visit to the Railway's one-of-a-kind facility.
Train fans trek from all over the world to Central Nevada to see, photograph and experience 100-year-old steam engines in action on a National Historic Railroad. Now with the ever-changing Covid considerations, they also need to know the current safety requirements when they arrive.
Conductor Bill Hohlt waves to visitors by Stream Engine #93 as it’s readied for its Monday morning duty.
The Railway’s radio program is packed with historic information, along with details about when people can visit the museum and take train rides that feature everything from star-gazing to guns-a-blazing. Listeners learn about the storied railroad and the role it played transporting ore from the Ruth Copper Mine for processing. The signal, on AM 1610, can be received for miles around, giving travelers time to absorb what they need to know before they show up.
Nevada Northern Railway’s radio antenna is nestled out of the view of guests (right) along the scenic mountain skyline.
The radio station is licensed to and was provided by the County of White Pine, Nevada, which received a grant from Travel Nevada to fund the equipment and installation services. The Information Station was selected by the Nevada Northern Railway Foundation because of its ability to meet range and quality requirements.
Safety First, You Know
Venues Forewarn Visitors, to Make Visits More Enjoyable
A Zion National Park Shuttle Stop in Springdale, Utah
SPRINGDALE, UT:  Zion National Park is where rangers absolutely want to talk to you as you enter the Park. Visitors flood parking lots most days before 9 AM, and that makes necessary two independent shuttle bus systems. Inbound motorists need to know how all that is navigated. For example, if they start into Zion with a rig that’s too big, they won’t make it through the mile-long tunnel in one piece. Like many National Parks, due to the steep terrain, there is no such thing as an alternate route when something goes wrong.

Lead Ranger Mike Large tells The Source that Zion's radio broadcasts also include important information on changing facility hours, road closures and fire restrictions. “Zion National Park has recently upgraded its TIS radio system to coordinate with the Park’s other media and information outlets in response to the historic visitation that the park is experiencing.” Ranger Large operates four independently programmed Information Stations along Utah Route 9, which traverses the Park. Zion is moving to a file-based audio management system to increase broadcast quality and staff convenience. Hear a Zion National Park radio broadcast.
Young skiers enjoy North Carolina’s Beech Mountain.
BEECH MOUNTAIN, NC:  With the drastically increased utilization of recreation facilities that has resulted from the pandemic, operators are increasingly turning to onsite radio to make sure that inbound guests “know before they go.”

Beech Mountain, North Carolina, which bills itself as “Eastern America’s Highest Town,” is a mountaintop paradise that has doubled in size since 2020. Its volume of visitors now inflates by a factor of 10 in the summer and by 20 during ski season. An Information Radio Station was added this year to inform residents and guests about driving safety issues they may encounter as they begin their ascent 2000 feet up Beech Mountain Parkway. (You had better have chains or 4-wheel-drive to make it to the top in winter!) The broadcast also educates listeners about topics ranging from wildlife safety to the seasonal schedule of outdoor music events. And there's a precaution to watch for mountain bikers on the roads. (Lance Armstrong used to train at Beech Mountain.) The speed limit? It’s a “high” of 25. Listen to a Beech Mountain radio broadcast.
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A Bumper Crop of Visitors
Massive Agricultural Event Reaches Out with Radio to Advise Attendees of Directions, Safety & Weather Concerns
DECATUR, IL:  Want to see "field demonstrations" of agricultural products? Literally? The Farm Progress Show next week in Central Illinois has all of that. But how do you efficiently reach out to 70,000 inbound motorists with changing directions, parking, safety info and weather status? And how can you do that in a manner that is non-distracting for a motorist? For the 9th time since 2005, event managers are choosing the EventCAST portable radio broadcast system for the task. Show operators needed a way to communicate event status instantly by a method that is not specific to one media platform or another. Everyone has a radio.
Farm Progress Show near Decatur, IL
The presence of lightning at a major outdoor event is a real show-stopper. Again, literally. The Farm Progress Show has acres of visitors on foot, mingled with displays, tents and temporary buildings. The service's role was “expanded to include announcements related to severe weather – and especially to reach people who might be sheltering in their vehicles to let them know when show grounds will reopen following a storm,” according to Kendra Courson, Special Events Director with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Sometimes the gates will not open as scheduled due to the potential for severe weather, and patrons need to know that immediately. Radio broadcast message playlists can be changed in seconds to match the scenario at hand via a USB port, or through an external audio feed or by live microphone, allowing operators to be on top of any situation that can affect guest safety immediately. The EventCAST system has also been utilized recently by a variety of event organizers and visitor destinations as a way to remain in operation while satisfying distancing rules.
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Information Radio Stations is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Stations (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wattmeter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.