View Full Version : How long do you guys wait at the tracks?

09-08-2003, 08:54 PM
When you guys go out to a station, yard, spotting place, how long do you guys stay there?

E.M. Bell
09-08-2003, 09:44 PM
I have been known to wait HOURS at a place to get "the shot".. A good example would be this past Saturday, when a few of us waited almost 3 hours to shoot a single train here in KY....Good power and great lighting made the wait most worthwhile... here are the shots from that wait


There are also those times when you might be out to shoot an obscure shortline or other that might host just one train a day....find a location and WAIT....someitmes that is just what lands that perfect shot!! I know a couple of guys that would thinki nothing of making a 4 or 5 mile hike back into a remote spot,set up and wait most of the day just to shoot one train.... Quality...not Quanity....thats the name of the game!!

09-08-2003, 09:45 PM
When I'm at a busy spot like Selkirk, NY or Palmer, MA, I will usually stay about 2 to 4 hours and will regularly see about 10 to 20 or so trains, depending on the day and what time it is. Good times to go train watching, in general, is around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. When I travel to a less busier place, I may only stay for about 1 hour and usually see only 2 trains, but it's worth it. :)

09-09-2003, 03:03 AM
That's about the same as me.

When I'm trackside, time just seems to fly by. Last time I waited nearly 3 hours for 2 trains, and now that I think of it, it seems a bit crazy, but at that time, I didn't feel bored at all. :D Probably just comes with the excitement of starting a new hobby. :)

Lord Vader
09-09-2003, 10:15 PM
I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I once camped for almost three days in Maine to get THE shot of the Canadian Pacific trestle at Onawa. They only ran one, maybe two freights in daylight on this line (Between Montreal and St. John, NB) at the time, so this was the only way to do it. For the record, yes, I got the shot. :lol:

09-09-2003, 10:17 PM
:shock: :shock: :shock:

would you mind sharing that shot with us?

09-09-2003, 10:26 PM
Yes K8DTI, could you please share that shot with us?

09-12-2003, 04:54 PM
I wait as long as I can. Sometimes I get antsy if things are slow and hop into my car to hit another location only to experience the dreaded "rearview mirror syndrome". This past Labor Day was a personal record breaker at 25 hours, but that involved five different locations.

09-12-2003, 07:24 PM
:o :o :o

09-13-2003, 04:53 AM
Well... I guess that answers the question I just posted in the Western U.S. discussion forum. I was asking about schedules and thier availability. I live in Phoenix and I'm just starting to get into the "sport" of Rail photography. I just recently found this website and am very impressed by it's contents. You guys get some amazing pictures!

Hopefully I'll have some to add soon.


09-13-2003, 05:27 AM
It varies for me. If I actualy go out to watch trains it is usually 2-6 hours. Alot of my shots though are what I call pick up shots. That's where I went out to do somthing else but had my camera with me. What I do alot of the time is if I know that I am going to be reasonably close to the tracks I'll take my camera and scanner and then just keep tabs on whats going on. My third mode of railfanning is that I sit at the house and listen to the scanner. I live just over a hill from NS's Knoxville to Chattanooga main. This line is dispatched on track warrants. So I listen for the dispatcher to call them out and then figure out wher I want to be. Those not familiar with a track warrant its a verbal instruction given by dispatchers to crews who copy it onto a form. This is how they're authorized to move. The advantages to this for railfans is that you get the lead unit number for a train. So if I here a warrant called for like a GE C40-9CW I'll rarely head out but if it is almost any EMD especially older ones I get rolling. Other plusses are you can listen for "Line 5" instructions telling them not to proceed until after the arival of unit whatever at a location. So that lets you know where meeets are. And at said meets you know where each train will be due to wheather they got "Line 6" or "Line 8" which is hold main track or clear main track respectivly. So to make a long story short(Too Late :D ) That is how I shoot the bulk of my pictures.


11-14-2003, 12:47 AM
It all depends on if I am local, Relay/St Denis MD or further out like Point of Rocks Md (Great spot) or if I go to Sand Patch PA I will stay 1 1/2 days max. trackside. Mostly I spend 3-12 hours. It all depends on how much time I have to invest.
You may have seen me trackside middleaged hippy looking fella,coffee in one hand camera in the other. :wink:

11-14-2003, 01:04 AM
I have a hard time staying still. Now that I have a scanner, I am on the move even more. I get the idea that I can meet a train at a particular spot (I usually don't); but as soon as I leave a spot I just know I am missing a great shot.

Anywho, I usually spend 4-6 hours out-and-about chasing trains. The low light and short winter days keep my outings brief.

11-14-2003, 10:18 AM
Up until my connecting train arrives! So that would be anything between 2 and 30 minutes as most trains here drive every 30 minutes. Depending on the size of the station that gievs me anything between 2 trains (for instance Doetinchem) and 20 trains (for instance Amsterdam).

For planes I don't mind to wait as long as I can without missing my last train. The longest, so far, was 11 hours for one plane.

11-14-2003, 12:35 PM
Well actually not very long...depends how busy it is and how what trains are coming, but since Karlsruhe or Stuttgart are always busy it's always worth it :P

11-20-2003, 04:41 AM
I don't have a life :lol: ..Just read my OS's.. I live in my 1976 Mercury Bobcat at Grand Crossing. I will post a train movement whether it moves at 2 a.m or 2 p.m. Some day history books will be written about me because I know every train that rolls Through La Crosse WI. Yup, Im an Xpert! :lol: !

11-26-2003, 02:21 AM
In Montréal, precisely at Dorval train station (near the airport of the same name) you can expect up to 50 freight trains per day + commuter trains + VIA Rail trains to and from Ottawa and Toronto. That'll keep you busy for 2 to 3 rolls of film. Unfortunately, winter makes the day considerably shorter, shooting from 08:00 til 16:00 only. If you drop by in the Montréal region, this is the place. :)

11-26-2003, 02:28 AM
Hm...when I went to Dorval (on a sunday) in the 3 or 4 hour time period, I only saw 2 AMT trains, 3 VIA trains, and 1 STLH freight train. :(

11-26-2003, 02:38 AM
Hello ICE. I've been told not to get there on a sunday but on weekdays specially on thursday. I used to go at Dorval train station on weekends. I must say it was very boring unlike weekdays. :)