Full 'stream' ahead

Live video of Perham’s railroad tracks garners national viewership

Rich Lee runs Otter Tail Channel out of his home on Main Street. Three cameras capture all of the trains going in and out of Perham for viewers across the world to watch. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Rich Lee runs Otter Tail Channel out of his home on Main Street. Three cameras capture all of the trains going in and out of Perham for viewers across the world to watch. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Through this ATSC monitor, Rich Luth is able to track every train between Fargo and the Twin Cities. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Through this ATSC monitor, Rich Luth is able to track every train between Fargo and the Twin Cities. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Local guy Rich Luth was always interested in CB and Ham radios, but he never started paying attention to the trains roaring past his home on Perham's Main Street, until a fellow CB'er asked him to host an Advanced Train Control System (ATCS) monitor.

"You know how a cuckoo clock is — after a while you never hear it," Luth said. "I got to that point with the trains, and then I found out about the rail cams. Now, I hear every last one of them."

After getting acquainted with the ATCS monitor that allows him to see every train from Fargo to the Twin Cities, Luth set up a camera behind a window in his garage. Now for the last year, Luth has maintained a live rail camera that continuously broadcasts traffic on the rails that run through Perham.

"I call it a hometown rail site," Luth said.

Around the clock, around five to ten rail fans tune into Otter Tail Channel on YouTube to watch the freight trains that travel back and forth through town.

"I've got people on here constantly, almost 24/7, talking about trains," Luth said.

Luth has worked to make improvements every week. That first camera has grown to three dedicated cameras that monitor every angle, along with live sound and train radio transmissions.

Luth's live stream also includes a local weather forecast and advertises a different Chamber of Commerce business every week.

Luth runs the show from a command center of five computer screens and a handful of Ham radios. 

For full article, go to: Perham Focus

Source, image(s), credits & more: Perham Focus | Carter Jones