Old 07-11-2010, 04:30 AM   #1
warbonnets
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Smile How Do You Do It?

Due to time and money I don't venture too far from home but I notice some of you seem to be everywhere. Are you retired, independently wealthy, heck with it nothing is going to get in the way of railfanning? So how do you manage to do it? Just curious.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:53 AM   #2
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A great wife that lets me spend the time and money shooting trains.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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I take trips when I can. I use my vacation days wisely and my truck and cooler is all I need for food and rest. This breaks down too a week of trip equals $500 for gas.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:43 PM   #4
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I don't do much travelling either, warbonnets. Not enough money. A few weeks ago, we had planned to go to Roanoke on Friday and come back Sunday. Then we redid the budget and realized we better leave early Saturday instead. Then we had an unexpecte circumstance and realized we were actually lucky to be able to make it a day trip. Times are tough. Those on the board who get to travel, esp. the young guys, should count their lucky stars.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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For me, I got a job in the spot I used to go on vacation to! So now when I take leave from work, I take "staycations" and 'fan my backyard...
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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Due to time and money I don't venture too far from home but I notice some of you seem to be everywhere. Are you retired, independently wealthy, heck with it nothing is going to get in the way of railfanning? So how do you manage to do it? Just curious.
Hard work, few responsibilities, [relative] youth, carelessness and an addiction to traveling and railfanning basically.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #7
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I've never traveled specifically to railfan so I stay at home. My biggest problem is being short on time. Sandpatch is just 20 minutes from my house and I only make it there a couple times a year. Between my kids activities and mine, there's little time to spend trackside.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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There are a lot of people who travel for work. I did so for about four years. I would research the area that I'd be in and then do some railfanning in the evening. It was more healthy then hanging out at the hotel bar!

The family likes to sleep in while on vacation but I still get up at the crack of dawn. So if we're someplace near the tracks, I'll go out railfanning in the morning until they are up and ready. Once they call on the cell, I'll swing by and pick them up.

I usually do one railfan trip each year on my own. The rest are piggybacked onto other activities. I just make the most out of the opportunities that present themselves by thinking outside of the box.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #9
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I take a lot of Day trips on weekends Sundays mostly.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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I've been blessed with having the opportunity to travel and take photos over the past few years. I've found having supportive relatives, generous railfans/photographers, and the money to have decent camera equipment is a real privilege and I'm very thankful for it.

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Old 07-12-2010, 07:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2) View Post
Hard work, few responsibilities, [relative] youth, carelessness and an addiction to traveling and railfanning basically.
Ditto. Bringing a buddy or two and splitting the cost of gas with them helps a lot as well.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:49 PM   #12
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I don't travel too often. I make the most out of spots by my home.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:12 PM   #13
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Some of us are just ballers.

And the rest of us are just boring people with no lives, no wifes/girlfriends who have a strange hobby nobody understands.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #14
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I don't travel too often. I make the most out of spots by my home.

Loyd L.
And those spots you have by your home are very nice! I envy you and the fact you live on top of Big Bend Tunnel.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:29 PM   #15
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Few friends

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:31 AM   #16
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Few friends

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600amp sealed car battery with 2 12V DC jacks (plug into the car and it powers the radio and hard drive)

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Jim T, can we have your consoling smiley here?
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:07 AM   #17
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I stay at home all the time really. If I know anyone that's going anywhere, I just give them my camera and ask them to go and find some trains while they are away and take some snaps.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:08 AM   #18
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But seriously though folks, I'm really a millionaire with limitless time and money.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:17 AM   #19
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With about 40 mins drive just to get to the trains it is a very limited one day here or there thing, with a very understanding wife. If there is a chase involved it usually means a lot of klms and fuel expense, i can't wait for trains to run through town again then i will be able to walk two blocks to the crossing for shots.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:56 AM   #20
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When I first started taking photos of trains with a "grown-up" camera back in the mid-seventies, I was in my twenties, married with no children. My wife came with me everywhere. we would combine a railfan trip with an outing to somewhere else, maybe a shopping centre. We both got something from the day.
When the children came along in the early eighties, railfanning took a back seat, of course. I had rare day trips out with my brothers (once or twice a year). Otherwise the family and me would slip in a visit to a heritage railway while away on holiday.

I was most fortunate that my job as a Govt. Transport Inspectorntailed me spending my day driving around Manchester making official calls on commercial road vehicle operators. I always took my trusty Canon AE-1 with me in the boot of the car. I would often stop for a few minutes lineside or at loco depots and take a few shots.

As I moved up the ladder in my job, I spent all my time either in the office or on the same 180 mile trip from Manchester to Bristol. My job became much too busy to even think about my camera. No rail shots for most of the nineties.

Eventually, my job entailed me going abroad to assist other countries with vehicle safety and I took my camera. From 1999 to 2007 I visited: India, Poland, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Turkey, Lithuania, Ireland, Ukraine and Pakistan, making several trips to some of these countries.
We also started to have a few foreign holidays, by this time my children had stopped accompanying us. We went to Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, Tanzania, Croatia, Gambia and Italy.

In April 2007, I took early retirement from the Government.
I started to do consultancy work which, although only involving me working for two or three months per year, is still overseas asistance. Since 4/07 I have been to Israel, Jordan, Russia, Ghana, Turkey again, Hungary again, France again and Ireland again.

We have also had holidays in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Canada and Norway.

When I retired, I treated myself to some good camera gear. I now have the time to go to places. For example, I live ten minutes from the East Lancashire Railway, a heritage line operating lots of steam. During the summer, I often pop down to photograph the midweek morning trains.

So, how do I do it?

Luck, good health, a wonderful and patient wife who still usually accompanies me, retirement from a decent job with a reasonable pension, a little income from some consultancy. (It also helps to having been able to make 432 flights without paying for my own ticket). I'm also acutely aware that the distances in Britain involved in railfanning are vastly shorter than in North America. It's much easier for us to go for a day out than many of you guys.

I would say to you younger chaps: Be patient, it's only now that I am getting to spend time on the hobby. As the children grow up and retirement approaches, or happens, you may well have more time and the wherewithal to follow your hobby closer to how you would like.

P.S. What a long and boring post! I almost fell asleep writing it.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #21
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Let's see....

Continued employment, no kids, 6 weeks of vacation, Southwest Rapid Rewards, a flying club with a well-maintained airplane, economy motels, cheap rental cars.....and a growing realization that I can't take it with me.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:30 PM   #22
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Well, this is kind of funny because at my house (I’m 5th of 8 kids, with the oldest three already moved out of the house), we have a joke about this. Whenever I say something like, “Hey, I came up with a brilliant plan.” They know it will be some way for me to do something train related. This is generally some fanning while we are on vacation, or ride the Amtrak along a section of the trip where it parallels us. The word “brilliant” at my house now means, “pertaining to trains.” This is the way I try to get railfanning on trips. I plan extensively. Then I use the “rise and shine” filter. For example, on our last trip, to a family reunion, I got up at 5:30 and rode my bike two miles to the tracks and railfanned for three hours until I had to be back.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:11 PM   #23
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When your not old enough to drive, going on trips to railfan is quite difficult. Sometimes the officers are nice but if you get one before they had their coffee it can be a long day.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:23 PM   #24
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A very understanding mom, and then my license. I have gone to Chicago (with Lafayette,IN being thrown in on top of that twice) seven times in one year, and many day trips here and there or where ever the train leads me.

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Old 07-17-2010, 10:11 PM   #25
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Jim T, can we have your consoling smiley here?
Is this what you had in mind?

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