Old 06-22-2009, 05:17 AM   #1
walmslsj
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Default Where to get schedule info

Welp.....I've loved trains my whole life, but never really followed them to shoot them. Unless it's a passenger train with a schedule, I can't seem to find anything about when the freight trains are running. We have BNSF and UP in the area, and I would love to plan some shoots with out using luck.

Does anyone know how to get the schedules for freight?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:06 AM   #2
Christopher Muller
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The only way is if you have connections or work for the railroad yourself.

You can also join YahooGroups or other forums for specific areas to get a handle on semi-predictable movements.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:03 PM   #3
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Try Colorado-Railfan for info on the area:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Colorado-Railfan/
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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Railfanning is like fishing...just go out and have fun...you never know what you might snag...

A scanner does help though....if you want to set up for a specific shot/area.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nscalemike View Post
Railfanning is like fishing...just go out and have fun...you never know what you might snag...

A scanner does help though....if you want to set up for a specific shot/area.

Well, you don't have to clean the train...
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walmslsj View Post
Welp.....I've loved trains my whole life, but never really followed them to shoot them. Unless it's a passenger train with a schedule, I can't seem to find anything about when the freight trains are running. We have BNSF and UP in the area, and I would love to plan some shoots with out using luck.

Does anyone know how to get the schedules for freight?

Thanks in advance.
1. Deal with using "luck". Spending a few days at the tracks may or may not reveal a pattern depending on what line(s) you are thinking about shooting. Manifests, locals, and intermodals need (most of the time) to follow a schedule in order to meet connections and get stuff where it needs to be in a timely manner. Sometimes these may get thrown off but 4-5 days out of 7 will follow the normal pattern.
2. If you live close to the line buy a scanner and pay attention to times, symbols, etc.
3. Join Yahoo! Groups for your area or wherever you plan on shooting. Also, make it a habit to check railfan forums like those on www.railroad.net or even www.trainorders.com (although that is mostly after-the-fact).
4. Make friends. One of the best things I did was actually get to know the more reliable railfans/photographers in my area and now we have a "heads up" system. If one of us sees or knows of something interesting we let each other know. I'd rather see someone else get a cool movement if I cannot than no one at all.
5. As weird as it sounds, ask friends who are not necessarily railfans to let you know what times they see or hear a train if they don't mind. A simple text message for three days in a row saying someone heard one at 8:08AM, 8:34AM, and 8:16AM tells you that there is a good chance you'll catch one around that time.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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I'll add on with what Andrew said in #4. Having friends that can give you a heads up on movements is great, but, railfanning with someone else is better... I know if I'm somewhere alone for any length of time, I get quite bored and tend to go home.

I belong to four Yahoo groups just dedicated to these "heads ups" and, actually I used one today to find a symbol for the Disney train which should be here in a few hours.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:11 PM   #8
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I'll add on with what Andrew said in #4. Having friends that can give you a heads up on movements is great, but, railfanning with someone else is better... I know if I'm somewhere alone for any length of time, I get quite bored and tend to go home.

I belong to four Yahoo groups just dedicated to these "heads ups" and, actually I used one today to find a symbol for the Disney train which should be here in a few hours.
I know Steve will have fun with this (and he should) but also, find where I am, and wait for me to leave... then the trains will come. I swear.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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I know Steve will have fun with this (and he should) but also, find where I am, and wait for me to leave... then the trains will come. I swear.
Only you and Mark Whitt have that issue...

I think it helps that I have "connections" with both Class 1's and Amtrak out here...
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:19 PM   #10
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Lucky for me I work for a railroad and i can just look Freight Train Schedules up on there...
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