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As we have stated before we do not like to publicise commercial products but occasionally an extra bit of technology comes along that can freely assist rail trails. This time it is a program called Skype, owned by a large IT company E-bay.

Skype is a free download that allows you to have voice or even video conversations with another person using the same program. While there is nothing new about this Skype just seems to work so much better than existing programs and, more importantly, audio conference calls with up to five people (computers) can be held.

And this is at no cost except for your monthly internet connection. Programs like Skype could be very useful for many committees of rail trails, or pushing for rail trails, in regional Australia where distances are great. While nothing beats a face to face meeting the cost in time and increasingly in fuel is an extra burden on volunteers and paid staff.

A broadband internet connection is required but even most regional people, who used to struggle for a dial up connection, now increasinly have access to this.

Railtrails Australia, with members all over Melbourne and in East Gippsland, now regularly uses Skype to have committee meetings and sometimes discussions on other matters. If anyone else wanted to assist Railtrails Australia in our work to help further develop rail trails, not living in Melbourne is no longer an excuse!