Old 12-16-2009, 03:43 AM   #1
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Any of the rest of you ever make the mistake of clicking on a location that you had access to when you where in your teens and early twenties, but never bothered getting to? It's truly disheartening...

I've been going through the database recently, and just looking at places that I had full access to back in the 1970s, but never made it to (like Jersey City, the Rahway Valley, the Middletown & New Jersey, all of New England) and it's heartbreaking to me all of the stuff that was in my easy reach, but I never got to.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:53 AM   #2
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I can't wait to hear the tails of anguish from Mr. Thias
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ottergoose View Post
I can't wait to hear the tails of anguish from Mr. Thias
I know, right, I hate when I get my tail stuck in a door.

- Chris
/The above is a tall tale.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Freericks View Post
Any of the rest of you ever make the mistake of clicking on a location that you had access to when you where in your teens and early twenties, but never bothered getting to? It's truly disheartening...
I share your pain. I think of all the things I missed in the 80s and 90s because of not realizing what was around, chasing girls or spending all of my money on CDs, books and a stupidly expensive sound systems in my car.

70 tonners a hundred miles away --

Image © Sid Vaught
PhotoID: 306320
Photograph © Sid Vaught


A now abandoned shortline a hundred miles away in the other direction

Image © JL Scott
PhotoID: 304480
Photograph © JL Scott


The 611 45 miles north of me.

Image © Franklin Adams
PhotoID: 256386
Photograph © Franklin Adams


And then on the famous Grade a hundred miles to the west of me.

Image © Franklin Adams
PhotoID: 252039
Photograph © Franklin Adams


Somehow I never managed to get up to the Great Smoky Mountains while they had steam running every year.

Image © Martin K OToole
PhotoID: 87272
Photograph © Martin K OToole


But my biggest regret is not getting to Columbia while the Lincoln Street Viaduct was still in use. (Seen behind and over the train here.) Ask me about that sometime.

Image © TC Caughman
PhotoID: 175299
Photograph © TC Caughman


And that's a small sampling from RP. Never mind that I mostly missed the Dash 7 era on Class 1s and all o the shortlines that popped up in that era when I had more money to dispose of how I wanted than I do now.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #5
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I can't wait to hear the tails of anguish from Mr. Thias
The only anguish I have comes from waiting until three years ago to seriously start taking train pics.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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The only anguish I have comes from waiting until three years ago to seriously start taking train pics.
Three years ago? I figured you had been serious with the hobby a lot longer than that.

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Old 12-16-2009, 02:02 PM   #7
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The only anguish I have comes from waiting until three years ago to seriously start taking train pics.
I'm kinda in Jim's boat too. Not only the seriously taking pics part, but appreciating railroading in general. I always "childishly" liked RRs, but in the last few years really started appreciating them.

When I was younger, I had Conrail on 3 former branches of Pennsy/NYC (one of which I could hear from home), I was too young to remember the B&O on the Northern Sub, but not the Knox and Kane, and had the LEF&C 10 miles away. What RRs does Clarion County have now to show today? Rails to Trails
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:09 PM   #8
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I actually have a yo-yo effect, where I was serious about it in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and then abandoned it in the mid 1980s for about ten years (although I would occasionally pick up a camera during that period if a train happened to be sitting in front of me).

During that time, I had a couple cross country trips and lots of business trips that could have yielded some great railfanning opportunities.

Plus, when I did get back to it in the late 1990s, I was so out of practice, I had no idea what I was doing any more. I was back to shooting on Kodak Gold print film, to letting the engine get so close I would cut the pilot off, to shooting back lit, to getting motion blur on the nose, to all the terrible mistakes we all make when first starting. I have a good four years of shots like that before I started to even try and improve again.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Well, I can't say I have any regrets. As soon as I was able to drive I started railfanning and I went everywhere my car was able to take me. Sometimes I could be found on the side of the road, but that's what Ford stood for.

So all my memories still exist on film. I try to scan them when I have time and I hope I still have many years of railfanning left.

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Old 12-16-2009, 02:59 PM   #10
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Cars, Girls, Beer, Rock bands. Then trains back in the late 70's I misted a lot RI and MILW. Just got right in my mind in the mid 80's to shoot the last days of MILW to SOO still bummed at all the stuff I blowed off back then.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:00 PM   #11
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CNW - Wisconsin Central - BN The first two right were I lived.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #12
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Simply, my parents waited too long to have me.

It's their fault.

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Old 12-16-2009, 04:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by EMTRailfan View Post
I'm kinda in Jim's boat too. Not only the seriously taking pics part, but appreciating railroading in general. I always "childishly" liked RRs, but in the last few years really started appreciating them.
That probably somewhat described me. I remember the Southern running near my grandmother's house (on the other side of the L&C) with their tuxedoes and a spacer car from time to time, but when I got my license, I rarely did what I call recon now.

One time I did follow the Southern line through my hometown and my dad hit the roof when he saw the miles I put on the car. He never actually believed me when I told him how I got those miles either.)
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:03 PM   #14
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Im only 19, and i still feel the same as many people in this thread, i guess thats how down hill things have gone.
For me its wishing I had invested in something better than a click box film point and shoot earlier and learning the way lighting works. That and looking at all the amazing leaser/foreign power lashups that went through town 3 miles from me while i sat around and played nintendo or went to school or whatever other waste of time because I didnt have a way to get trackside easily until last year.
Not to mention never discovering the wonders of Atlanta until moving their this year after living an hour away for most of my life, i get sick just looking at some of the good stuff that passed through 5 minutes walk from my college dorm just two or three years ago.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:12 PM   #15
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I grew up not far from Sand Patch and as a kid most of my trips were there to either hunt or fishing in Wills Creek, not railfanning. Of course the Keystone Sub is alive and well but the days of seeing Chessie, B&O, C&O or Western Maryland units are long gone. Looking back I wished I had photographed the line more in the 70s/80s when units such as these ran the line.

Likewise, I wish I had taken a more serious approach to the branch line (S&C Sub) that runs through my town of Somerset. When I was a kid, the yard was full of hoppers for local mines along with diesels from the Chessie System in either Chessie or former road schemes. Since those days some of the tracks have been removed, power is seldom kept there, the yard office has been closed for years and, it's no longer full of hoppers.

When growing up I was naive and thought the Chessie would always be there and mergers were a concept that I didn't understand. A fellow member at my church worked for the railroad and I remember him telling me about the Chessie becoming CSX. It never dawned on me that it was the beginning of the end for seeing "trains" as I was used to.

Anyone know how to invent a time machine?

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Old 12-16-2009, 06:29 PM   #16
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Already have one invented - Delorean.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:35 PM   #17
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Already have one invented - Delorean.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Marty, I'm sorry. But the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.
Marty McFly: [startled] What did you say?
Dr. Emmett Brown: A bolt of lighting. Unfortunately, you never know when or where it's ever gonna strike.
Marty McFly: We do now.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:32 PM   #18
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Just do a good job documenting what's out there now, and make the kids in 30 or 40 years sorry for all of the cool stuff they missed. Be sure to include as many cars, billboards, advertisements, and people wearing clothes as possible - that's what makes the older shots so much fun to look at.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:39 PM   #19
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Be sure to include as many cars, billboards, advertisements, and people wearing clothes as possible - that's what makes the older shots so much fun to look at.
As opposed to your shots where people wear hardly any clothes at all!
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:56 PM   #20
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Im only 19, and i still feel the same as many people in this thread, i guess thats how down hill things have gone.
For me its wishing I had invested in something better than a click box film point and shoot earlier and learning the way lighting works. That and looking at all the amazing leaser/foreign power lashups that went through town 3 miles from me while i sat around and played nintendo or went to school or whatever other waste of time because I didnt have a way to get trackside easily until last year.
Not to mention never discovering the wonders of Atlanta until moving their this year after living an hour away for most of my life, i get sick just looking at some of the good stuff that passed through 5 minutes walk from my college dorm just two or three years ago.
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As opposed to your shots where people wear hardly any clothes at all!
Hehe.

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Old 12-16-2009, 07:57 PM   #21
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As opposed to your shots where people wear hardly any clothes at all!
Hehe.

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:06 PM   #22
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I share the same sentiment as most others here in this thread, even though i'm only 19. While i don't have any serious regrets, i do wish that i took up serious photography earlier, not just "train watching". But i think Nick brought up a good point about shooting whatever seems common or mundane today. Even though i'd much rather see a lashup of pure GP9's or SD40-2's, if the only thing i see all day is Dash-9's (like that hasn't happened before), i still come home happy, knowing that one day i can pullout a photo of a Dash-9 in stead of saying "boy, i wish i had a photo of a Dash-9."

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:26 PM   #23
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But i think Nick brought up a good point about shooting whatever seems common or mundane today. Even though i'd much rather see a lashup of pure GP9's or SD40-2's, if the only thing i see all day is Dash-9's (like that hasn't happened before), i still come home happy, knowing that one day i can pullout a photo of a Dash-9 in stead of saying "boy, i wish i had a photo of a Dash-9."
While I enjoy sharing my limited collection of older shots, basically I am not into the history that much. While I am trying to be creative because that interests me, ultimately I just want a good/great shot of the train that goes by, don't much care what train it is, never chase specific trains because of a heads up, etc. So I don't much care what is on the lead when I am shooting. As a non-photographer, I do prefer to see GE non-wide cabs and CR leaders, and I do prefer manifests to other freights and I prefer freight to passenger, but I shoot whatever is coming at the time and place I manage to get myself trackside. So I too come home happy.

The only think that makes me not happy is to see no train at all; I just don't get too inspired either railfan-wise or photographer-wise by being trackside, although I do have a few such shots on the database.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:29 PM   #24
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I'm in my 50's. As a teen in the 70's I grew up in Westfield, NJ and I was a bike ride away from both the Jersey Central and the Lehigh Valley. Did I shoot them? Nope. I enjoyed watching them...just never picked up the camera.

It would have been easy to shoot the PRR and later the PC, or even Conrail. Didn't do it.

I liked to ride ride New York's MTA and the 7 train out to Shea Stadium. Never took a camera.

Then I moved to Illinois. I can remember the IT, NW and ICG....but didn't take a shot.

Alas, missed opportunities.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #25
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Oh gosh....don't get me started.

ATSF alligators and then U23Cs on the sulfur train to Galveston.

The heyday of the SP Alcos in Houston; caught the Centuries on the hump, etc., but on prints. SP DD35's on the hump at Englewood.

HB&T Alcos; remember them as "the whistlers" while growing up alongside the East Belt on Lawndale Ave. MP Fs, Burlington units, Rock Island Fs, my, my, my. Saw them all growing up, got a few of each on prints.

I'm much too young to feel this damn old....
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