Old 08-18-2005, 05:44 AM   #26
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Railfanning is........

Well, at any rate, it means a hell of a lot more when you're stuck at home on crutches and can't get the hell out of your house to go do it. If these weren't the circumstances though, it would be.......
..waking up early(9 AM) to get on my bike and bike the 2-3 miles to Lemont, down a mile long steep hill that I know I will somehow have to climb up after a several mile long bike ride. Then its riding along my favorite trail and jumping off my bike and shooting through the 100 feet of brush between me and my train, risking poison ivy and ticks just to get a picture of that Dash 9 still wearing Santa Fe paint. And lately, its been sitting for an hour in the weeds sneezing your head off while you wait for the next train to come. Its while waiting for a train, seeing a coyote pop onto the tracks 100 feet ahead of you and watching it chase down a bird it just found, and stopping and watching that snake you just realized is in front of your bike. Its a hell of a lot of work, but worth it for the pictures, and just to get out of the house for once on my own.
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Old 10-07-2005, 01:51 AM   #27
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Default Railfanning is...

Railfanning is:

Walking in 4" of snow in sneakers, with three pairs of socks on, and wrapped in cling wrap, in -16 degree temps to get a snow shot.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 91208
Photograph © mtrails

Standing in a wet and windy snowstorm.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 121126
Photograph © mtrails

Bathing in Insect Repellant, before hiking up a steep, slippery hill, to get a shot, hoping the swarms of insects buzzing around your head don't get in the way!
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 79937
Photograph © mtrails

Sweating in the heat, water bottles on ice in the car, waiting for 4 hours to catch one southbound, after 3 westbounds have smiled and waved past you.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 114634
Photograph © mtrails

Deliberately setting the alarm for 0430 to make a drive to catch a choice meet.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 115991
Photograph © mtrails

Standing on a bridge, with no shoulder, while traffic is passing (and honking sometimes), to get a shot.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 91405
Photograph © mtrails

Walking a 1/4 mile, through a field of foxtail weeds, then end up on private property (no fencing or signs), to get a backdrop for a photo, hoping the farmer doesn't drive up with his shotgun hanging out his window!
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 84893
Photograph © mtrails

Trespassing.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 80225
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Just being outdoors, enjoying the serenity.
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PhotoID: 112671
Photograph © mtrails


To say the least, it's challenging. I love it.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:20 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrails
Railfanning is:

Walking in 4" of snow in sneakers, with three pairs of socks on, and wrapped in cling wrap, in -16 degree temps to get a snow shot.
HERE HERE mtrails! Cept im wearing socks and sandals and bags over my feet to keep them from getting wet.

Crusing down the highway at 90mph [my car maxes out at 90] listening to music, drinking a coke, and relaxing. It means spending a day not worrying about anything else. No homework, school, job, NOTHING.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:33 AM   #29
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Railfanning is........doing what you enjoy doing the most.....enjoying the fresh air watching trains roll by.....hitting that shutter button on your camera photographing a train.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:38 AM   #30
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Railfanning is....

Shielding the camera from miniscule ice crystals that are hitting you in the face at over 40mph while you wait (outside of the car) for an eastbound for a "bad weather" shot.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 42830
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


Spending two and half days on both the east-west and north-south KCS lines...only to shoot a BNSF Powder River coal train in sweet light.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 112763
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


Traveling thousands of miles to the BNSF transcon. in Missouri to hopefully get an ES44AC with a new symbol and in reality end up getting a UP SD70M and a CSX SD50 that you can go 30 miles to see.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 116278
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


HISTORIC:

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PhotoID: 102561
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Engine retired in April 2005.

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PhotoID: 113708
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

One of the three last streamliners in NA.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 113525
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Almost 100 year old rail still sits in the old MEC yard in Machias.

PERSONAL:

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 81310
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 81313
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 120154
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)


The entire family taking pictures of a rusty MEC boxcar next to the old MEC freight house in Machias, ME.This being on the drive up to Canada after stopping at SUbway fro lunch, of course. (See attached)

But, finally, railfanning is the best hobby ever. You get to travel around the country or other countries, seeing beautiful scenery, meeting great people, and taking photos of truely remarkable machines that built this country.

Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 112934
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
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File Type: jpg Railfanningis1.jpg (108.8 KB, 181 views)
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:50 AM   #31
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railfanning is great time with friends, not worrying about homework, getting to see a train loop itself at the Tehachapi Loop, feeling like your going to get blown away as a 85mph amtrak passes you, speeding through the forest roads in the Cajon Pass to catch a train. Most of all, railfanning is fun!
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Old 10-07-2005, 04:10 AM   #32
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...a total experience. Artistically and physically.

Image © Daniel Putz
PhotoID: 107069
Photograph © Daniel Putz


Nothing like getting soaking wet for a timeless image...
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Old 10-07-2005, 05:10 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrails
Railfanning is:

Walking in 4" of snow in sneakers, with three pairs of socks on, and wrapped in cling wrap, in -16 degree temps to get a snow shot.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 91208
Photograph © mtrails


Sweating in the heat, water bottles on ice in the car, waiting for 4 hours to catch one southbound, after 3 westbounds have smiled and waved past you.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 114634
Photograph © mtrails


Standing on a bridge, with no shoulder, while traffic is passing (and honking sometimes), to get a shot.
Image © mtrails
PhotoID: 91405
Photograph © mtrails


To say the least, it's challenging. I love it.
Well said, though try standing on that bridge in the middle of Chicago rush hour. My photography teacher thought I was crazy after I showed her the prints I had developed. My parents still don't know about that little stunt, though thank god my dad wasn't in that line of traffic.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:03 PM   #34
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railfaning is ------> (spending my time with trains)
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File Type: jpg enr 014.jpg (53.9 KB, 209 views)
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Old 10-09-2005, 07:10 AM   #35
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Default Railfanning is:

...... An adventure, I'm always getting into some sort of mischief near the tracks, nothing overly dangerous mind you. But almost always drawing a pointing finger, and a hearty laugh from a train crew for my antics.

It's sitting trackside with my scanner/radio, camera and accessories, a cold drink portable DVD player or magazine and watching my laptop and wireless ATCS display to see what the dispatcher is lining up.

Then when that foreign power (I'm usually on CSX territory) comes bounding through, I'm off on a chase to the next stop signal and contemplating different shots the whole time. .. "Should I stop here and shoot, or continue down to the trestle, maybe the tunnel?"

It's a good time with good people B-S'n on a Saturday Night watching the busy B&O pass through Riverdale Park, MD.
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Old 10-09-2005, 06:40 PM   #36
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Railfanning is........

Always an adventure.
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Old 10-09-2005, 09:40 PM   #37
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Wink Railfanning is.....

... unfortunately not done enough for me. Being the father of 3,and the Cubmaster of the local CubScout pack, their are alot of other demands for my time. Only get maybe a dozen chances a year to actually get out and do so. Just try and make the most of the time that I do have to do it. Have several good hot spots within 100 miles of here so can usually catch quite a few trains when I am out. Fortunately, I can always take the "scenic" route to go see my daughter at college, that is US Rt. 45 thru central Ill. which BTW happens to parallel the CN/IC mainline and takes you thru such "hot spots" as Tolono(CN-NS interchange) and Tuscola (CN-UP interchange). All of you "young-un's", enjoy the time you have now to go and do as much as you can now
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:28 PM   #38
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Railfanning is...

Chasing the same UP SD70MAC for 2 hours to get a better shot of it, even though you know that there will be another one on the next train
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:45 AM   #39
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Railfanning is...

...riding as well as photographing. In fact, for me it was about riding originally. The photography part came by accident. I'm a passenger rail fan (freight doesn't do it for me as much - one, you can't ride a freight train; two, there's very little freight action in the NYC area (especially Brookyln, I was a block away from a line yet I'd only see a train on average 3 or 4 times a month!), and three, I find passenger rail operations more interesting. I would just hop on the subway and go wherever, riding my favorite equipment, or going to areas I've never been to before, or riding high speed stretches. Nothing beats riding at the front window barreling down the East River tunnels at 60 MPH. My computer science class made us do a web page, and all I could think of was trains, so I borrowed my mom's crappy HP Photosmart 318 and went out, in the evening. Of course, the shots were all garbage. But it was fun, and it gave me an excuse to get out on the train more often. I've come a long way since then but I'm not up there yet.

It's always been easy for me, since the train was right there, and I could walk 2 blocks and take photos, or get on the train and be anywhere in the system in under 2 hours. The challenge was just trying to get rare equipment, a rare angle, or rare scenery. Even when I was living in Reading, PA for a short spell, I had a line running under my house, a wye around the corner and a yard a block away. Wherever I go there must always be trains, and public transit. Driving sucks. I'd go crazy if I had to drive just to get to the nearest rail line to take photos.

It figures now that I'm in Philly and I have freaking 30th Street Station (Amtrak, CSX, NJ Transit, SEPTA) out of my dorm window and just 4 blocks away, and convenient access to the subway and trolleys, that I dont have time to do it anymore! College has eaten up a lot of my time (and money!), and I haven't gone out once since I've been here. Hopefully I'll get in a good blitz during Thanksgiving break - although I'm so busy I don't even know if I'll have time to plan it!
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Old 10-24-2005, 03:41 AM   #40
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Railfanning is:

Listening to the sound of a train whistle wail mournfully at night and seeing the headlights appear in the distance...

Filming long movies from the front window of an Amtrak cab car...

Enjoying the weather (or complaining about it, depending on the season)...

Hearing a dispatcher read off a track bulletin and knowing you will soon see that train...
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:06 AM   #41
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Railfanning is done either on the way to work or on the day off.

Image © Jeff Weber
PhotoID: 118409
Photograph © Jeff Weber


Image © Jeff Weber
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Photograph © Jeff Weber
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Old 10-27-2005, 05:07 AM   #42
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This is such a great topic. I sometimes feel i'm "out there" when I am railfanning, thinking to myself, what is the crew of the train commenting about me, either personaly, or otherwise. My roommate thinks I'm nuts, and jokes that everytime a train horn sounds through the living room, I should be jumping into my car to go chase it. Look, I like to railfan, but I'm not insane! It's really nice to hear how everyone percieves, and commits to railfanning. It's a hobby, and much more, especially when you are driving home from work, and the engineer of a train your passing along the the road, spots your car and blasts the horn and throws a hand out to you, though you've never met one another.

Last edited by mtrails; 10-27-2005 at 05:13 AM. Reason: one too many words! words!
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:48 PM   #43
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Hi everybody

This is my first post in this forum.

For me to be a railfan means to enjoy watching, listening, riding or reading about trains... Also means to be thankful with my wife when in our holydays I ask for free time for training (taking pictures, using public train transport -metro or tramway- or visiting any railway museum).

Railfanning is to be sad when in Mexico there is no passenger trains but some touristics...

Uf... railfanning means a lot of things for me.

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Old 12-28-2005, 02:33 PM   #44
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Hi Enrique,

I'm new here too. I guess I'm blessed to live in Canada and be able to take an rail adventure or two occasionally. Thankfully I too have an understanding wife who encourages me to follow my interests.

For me railfanning is learning of railways current and past and being able to take photos when I can. It's also traveling to museums and as said above using the train as a vehicle for adventure.

Hope you enjoy your time here.

Kevin
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:34 PM   #45
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Default Railfanning is.....

Welcome new members this is a great place if you need help there's a lot of knowledge and cool railfans here that's railfanning have fun and and stay safe.
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:39 PM   #46
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Thanks for the welcome signmaster. There are so many things I'd love to learn about railroads and how best to photograph trains.
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:49 AM   #47
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I'm afraid I have to go with the guys who call railfanning an adventure-- Regardless of all of your planning, you never know what the heck is going to happen-- Trains in the hole, meets, problems (pulled drawbars, broken knuckles, ripped-off air lines, animals on the tracks), or what the power consist is-- These days, the power looks like a rainbow from a distance--Also, one can't forget the FBI, CIA, local and do-dah cops, and whoever else wants to mind your business-- The most common question I get asked is: "Why would someone want to take pictures of trains?"-- Really, it is quite relaxing; My dog Molly is usually with me, along with food, drinks, extra clothing, and Pepto-Bismol, in case I eat at one of the places others have mentioned-- Regards, da Gator
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:08 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron
"RAILFANNING IS...

an out. It is nice to be able to be trackside, and care about nothing but the trains.

At times, railfanning can be dangerous. Frostbite can kill in minutes when the windchill is -60F.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=90027

Railfanning is peaceful. Sometimes you have to be adventurous to get a photo when there aren't any movements.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=104579

Last edited by Christopher Muller; 12-31-2005 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:57 AM   #49
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Default Railfanning is....

A little late to the party, I know, but here is what railfanning is to me.

Railfanning is....

...driving halfway across the country to see something historic, unique, scenic, etc. and getting plenty of shots to make it all worthwhile.
Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 90139
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk


...driving halfway across the country and getting skunked, but coming away with one or two shots that make it all worth it.
Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 73498
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk

Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 116358
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk


....living your whole life 10 minutes from a rail line, and finally, after 20+ years, catching a train at a spot you've past hundreds of times.
Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 128145
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk


...halfheartedly taking a photo and having it turn out to be one of your most favorite, unique, or best shot.
Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 91562
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk

Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 91649
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk


...lastly, railfanning is being at your favorite location, and no matter how many times you've been there before, you always get excited about being there and you always seem to see something new, whether it be a new angle or different power. It's times like that that make you keep going back out, whether it's sunny or snowing or dark, 90 degrees or 30 degrees below. That's what railfanning is to me.
Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
PhotoID: 121732
Photograph © Christopher Blaszczyk

Image © Christopher Blaszczyk
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Old 12-31-2005, 05:50 PM   #50
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Railfanning is my answer to golf.

I once thought I wanted to golf, but I began to realize that Mark Twain was right when he said golf is a good walk spoiled. I got tired of chasing down balls in out of the way places.

Instead of spending money on greens fees, clubs, balls, and all the other extras that golf requires I deceded to start spending it on cameras and the toys that go along with them.

At least when I get done railfanning I have a product that I can enjoy later, and memories of fun times with friends going to and during shooting.
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