If you would like, you may use the same form to sign up for our Trains-N-Towns™ newsletter.
Note for Real People Who Want to Sign Up - I would rather have ten people I know and trust on these forums than a thousand I don't. You may think I'm being intrusive or demanding by requiring you to give me real information before you sign up, but on other forums I've managed, that was the only way I could guarantee that every member feels safe from sniping or worse.
Sadly, every week dozens of spammers and jokesters fill out this form thinking that somehow their unwelcome advertisements or content will show up on my sites (they don't). Some of those fake requests even come with real people's e-mails attached - they've harvested someone else's address book so their requests would look legit. So I'm now asking people who want to subscribe to our newsletters to supply their real full name, city, state, and some information about themselves and/or their hobby so we know it's it's not just a random spam attempt. Please check off boxes that apply to you (I can tell if a real hobbyist does this), and add a comment about why you want to be on the forum. Considering how much personal information I've shared over the years on these web pages, I don't think that's asking too much. Again, NONE of your personal information will every be revealed, sold, traded, or used in any way except for me to have a better idea of who my readers are.
Update for 2014 - Before this year, when someone signed up with apparently fake information, I used to e-mail them back and ask them to verify the request. Most often than not, they had never heard of us - some spammer had just used their e-mail address in a vain attempt to hack our site. In the worst cases, those victims accused me of spamming them. After all, they had never heard of me or my sites, so them my attempts to be courteous and follow up were intrusive and unwanted. In addition, that kind of followup on our part meant that we spend hours following up on would-be hackers that we could have spent helping out real people with real questions.
So, sadly, if you attempt to sign up with apparently fake information we will delete your request without even getting back to you. If your name really is Jane Doe or Joe Schmoe, be certain you put enough information in your comment line to let me know that really is your name. I apologize for any inconvenience, but we woud rather devote our attention to real people with real questions.
For more information, contact us through:
Thanks, and happy railroading,
*Note: Unfortunately, in addition to the many reader questions we answer every month, we get a certain number of questions and signups from people whose systems are set to block our e-mails automatically. If you use a system that rejects e-mails from all unknown senders, please let us know in the comment area how you've made provision for our e-mails to get to you without us having to jump through hoops. Thanks - Paul
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