Old 04-27-2008, 02:14 AM   #1
socalrailfan
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Default Gas prices burned me out

It seems with soaring gas prices out here in the west it's made me almost stop railfanning. With slower than normal traffic and shooting the hell out of all the local areas it just doesn't seem worth the effort and money to try and railfan any distance at all. Anyone else feeling this crunch?
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:39 AM   #2
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I gotta agree with you here. The best place for me to go railfan is the West Slope, and that would be about 3 tanks of gas for a weekend, plus hotel room. I have been out there enough, and with cab signals required, you never see foreign leaders. An endless parade of Dash 9s isn't worth $300 for a weekend. Unless it is something special (like the E8s at Railfest) or my pre-planned trip to Atlanta, I think I'm done for a while as well.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:51 AM   #3
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Say it ain't so!

Time to find more for the car pool.

/Mitch
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:53 AM   #4
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I don't even care about something special. Out here traffic levels seem at an all time low. It takes me 30 minutes to get to Cajon Pass. That round trip alone is almost a 1/4 tank in my Jeep, $15 roughly, and that's not including railfanning. Maybe the RR's are behind this gas price issue to eliminate us along the tracks! LOL

With my newly bought camping trailer I'll be focusing more on trips in general, not necessarily railfanning ones! If I happen upon a RR so be it, but it won't be my main focus anymore. The gas companies are screwing us loeft and right, just like everything else right now including food!
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:02 AM   #5
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I'm all for a car pool, but there aren't too many other railfans in my immediate area, so its tough. My dad doesn't go out as much anymore, so that's one more crossed off the list.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:36 AM   #6
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Without exception, all of my shots in the site were taken while doing something else, or within a few miles of my house. There's been a lot of nice weather and time for railfanning, but it's a near-endless parade of AC4400s and ES44s...
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:32 AM   #7
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Hey, if Jean-Marc can drive all the way to NY from Paris...
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:04 AM   #8
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Um... I'm in Santa Monica... I essentially have to drive to where Dave lives (70 minute) to get to Cajon (30 more minutes).

The wife has started to commment on the gasoline bills.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrailfan
Anyone else feeling this crunch?
As far as railfanning:

YES!!!!!!!!

I'm trying to stick around my local area more, but inspiration is hard to come by.

Hey don't forget, many of us should be getting rebates from the government! I'm thinking about getting a new lens, but ultimately it will get spent on gas just like everyone else. (<----Part of the master plan...)

Oh well, I predict by the end of 2009, the national average per gallon rate will be back down in the mid $2 range.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
Oh well, I predict by the end of 2009, the national average per gallon rate will be back down in the mid $2 range.
I hope I can come back and say "you were right; I was wrong" but I don't see that happening. Gas is #3.55 here in South Carolina now. It peaked at #3.39 after Katrina a few years ago. And this year we haven't even hit hurricane season yet. Lord knows what happens if we have another bad one...

There's a couch at work that I may move on to.


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Old 04-27-2008, 02:43 PM   #11
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3.74 per gallon Friday a.m. when the wife filled up. 3.69 that same evening at the same station when I filled up. Its hard to predict which way its gonna go next. But I don't see it changing until Bush and his cronies are out of office. When it drops a few cents a gallon like that in the same day its like I won the lotto.
Meanwhile UP and CSX stocks are on the rise this week. As they squeeze the smaller trucking firms for 4.29+ for diesel I think more stuff is gonna ship by rail.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:37 PM   #12
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I will get out, maybe not as much or as far as i want to but will get some shots. Working at getting plans made ahead of time and getting more to ride and split the gas. May not be the spots i want to shoot all times or Rail Road but getting out.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:54 PM   #13
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Well, I just got home from a 4 hour stint along the CSX Short Line and Greenwich Sub in northern Ohio where I live. In those 4 hours I saw 4 trains total, 3 eastbound and 1 westbound, and no foreign power at all. There wasn't even any radio chatter.

Now, this neck of the woods is normally much busier than what I saw today. Gee, could this marvelous economic heaven we are living in have anything to do with the obvious downturn in rail traffic?

I almost drove an extra 50 miles round trip to a spot along the Greenwich Sub a bit farther west just for a change of scenery. I would have burned all that extra gas to see the same 4 trains and that would have really teed me off!

Being unemployed and getting ravaged by the oil companies for a current $3.49 a gallon means a definite cut back in frequency of even local trips trackside.

I never thought I would see the day when I would have to give up even simple pleasures while oil companies make billions in profit and our government looks the other way.

Makes me sick. God help my grandkids.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:22 AM   #14
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Can you ship me over some of that $3.69 a gallon gas, here in Australia we are currently paying up to $1.50 a litre which at approximatley 4.5 lts to the gallon relates around $6.75 gallon and the aussie dollar being about $0.95 to the american dollar, and it doesn't look like getting any better for a long time here either.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #15
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People keep telling me: "Do it while you still can." So, I'm taking their advice before I have to worry about any bills or loans to pay back. I've pretty much cut every extra expense I could so I would be able to pay off the gas bill, which is gonna hurt after the last two weekends. It has definitely kept the amount of useless driving I do down including sunset trips to Perth Amboy. I suppose I'd rather skip the local stuff for now and concentrate on saving for some further ventures. Long story short it hasn't gotten me down YET.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
Hey, if Jean-Marc can drive all the way to NY from Paris...
I don't believe for a second he drove all that way.

He had to have someone with me spelling him here and there.


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Old 04-28-2008, 02:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendyh
Can you ship me over some of that $3.69 a gallon gas, here in Australia we are currently paying up to $1.50 a litre which at approximatley 4.5 lts to the gallon relates around $6.75 gallon and the aussie dollar being about $0.95 to the american dollar, and it doesn't look like getting any better for a long time here either.
A US gallon is only 3.8 litres. After taking exchange rates into account (AUD1.00 = USD0.93), that's USD5.32. Even still, though, we're paying more out here.
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendyh
Can you ship me over some of that $3.69 a gallon gas, here in Australia we are currently paying up to $1.50 a litre which at approximatley 4.5 lts to the gallon relates around $6.75 gallon and the aussie dollar being about $0.95 to the american dollar, and it doesn't look like getting any better for a long time here either.
Huh, you think that's bad. Try paying around 1.20 GBP for a litre of diesel fuel in England. That's about double what you 'collonials' have to pay. and it's going up.

Seriously, though. I can't really say too much as I've yet to get a photo accepted by RP, but if any of you experts come to London and want to teach me how to take photos I'll take you to some of the London train locations in my London taxi !

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Old 04-28-2008, 03:05 PM   #19
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Hey! send a tanker load of diesel over here please.

Both diesel and petrol are around £5 a gallon in the UK at the moment (that would work out about $10 a gallon ). I am very fortunate in having subsidised rail travel, but it is not a lot of use when our local line is closed for engineering works over next weekend which will mean two extra round trips (80 miles) by road.

Even escaping by rail to other parts of Europe hurts at the moment due to the collapse of the UK£ against the Euro at present .
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WembYard
Hey! send a tanker load of diesel over here please.

Both diesel and petrol are around £5 a gallon in the UK at the moment (that would work out about $10 a gallon ). I am very fortunate in having subsidised rail travel, but it is not a lot of use when our local line is closed for engineering works over next weekend which will mean two extra round trips (80 miles) by road.

.
You going to watch the placing of a new bridge at Liverpool Street over the holiday weekend? I'll be there but as I work nights (taxi driver) it's unlikely I'll be able to get any decent photos unless I'm luckey enough to see some action in the very early daylight hours.
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hughes
You going to watch the placing of a new bridge at Liverpool Street over the holiday weekend? I'll be there but as I work nights (taxi driver) it's unlikely I'll be able to get any decent photos unless I'm luckey enough to see some action in the very early daylight hours.
Afraid not, I am also on nights but work in one location which is nowhere near Liverpool Street. The best I am likely to do for photos over the weekend is if I can escape for a little walk on Saturday night and subject to there being anything of interest nearby to take photos of.
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:29 PM   #22
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Hence why I'm glad I have a little four banger that gets 35 MPG or so (40 MPG highway if I push it). $20 can get me between 175 and 200 miles, so it's not too bad for me...throw in the fact that I just got a new job (more hours, better pay, managers that aren't prima donnas, etc.), and I think I'll be traveling MORE to go railfanning in anything. I'm all for the carpooling idea too, but none of the locals seem to like getting up before the nice, early hour of Noon...that's what I get for associating with the college-age railfan population!
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:53 AM   #23
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We're feeling the pain, too!

On Monday, Peter and I drove to Murgon via Maryborough in Queensland to chase a train on the Kingaroy Branch. Don't get me wrong, it was well worth the money because the line hasn't seen a train in a decade, but the fuel costs make me think twice.

We covered about 800km and used 85L of fuel - that ended up costing us about $55 each. OUCH!
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:55 PM   #24
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I am on my second CRV, after putting 200,000 on the first railfanning. I go out about 3 times a week (retired) between 60-90 miles from home. Recently monthly gas bills are getting close to $500 or more.

Since I am shooting GEVOs and catfish for the most part, pictures are only on my current events website, which changes about 3 times a week.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:26 PM   #25
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City buses and carpools people, thats the way to go! I've uploaded almost 90 pics to railpictures this year from six states and I would bet my total travel related expenses haven't topped 400 dollars (with about 200-250 of that on a Amtrak ticket to Chicago and a Southwest flight back to PGH).

Anything local I just take the bus (admittedly PGH has a really good bus system, I can pretty much get anywhere there are trains for 20 miles in any direction if I'm willing to wait). Anything outside of that range, I make it a point to carpool. I'll take 1.75 a gallon or less anyday, not to mention the good company!

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