Old 06-06-2007, 02:24 AM   #1
Kenster102.5
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Default Stuff that happens during Railfanning

Please tell many any mishaps or accidents, derailments, speeding, derailments etc.

Here is mine:
I was just a little kid about 8 or 9 who liked trains and lived in Leaside near the CP North Toronto SUB and it happened near Bayview Train bridge close to the Lowblaws. I was with my mom and a friend of hers and we decided to go and look for any CP action, so we parked on that hill going right beside the bridge. We waited and waited and the the CP Police came and told us that it was a loading zone and to move on. It was a dirt patch that lead into a bike trail how were we supposed to know there was no signage. LOL my mom was with me. Though we had no camera with us.

Also 3 or 4 years ago I saw the Wicksteed spur get closed down. I was returning from an appointment and there were flares placed on the crossing and I saw a CP switcher pulling a yellow CP caboose to it final resting area. Man it was a rainy day which added to the depressing sight. Now the siding is paved over and will become a GM dealership.

Last edited by Kenster102.5; 06-06-2007 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:41 AM   #2
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Here's a pretty big thread on this subject:

http://www.railpictures.net/forums/s...ead.php?t=2846
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Here's a pretty big thread on this subject:

http://www.railpictures.net/forums/s...ead.php?t=2846
I already read it, besides I am a noob so I wanna get another one going. LOL
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:36 AM   #4
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No worries...just wanted to give you some reading in case on one replied!
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:31 AM   #5
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This one didn't personally happen to me, but interesting none the less.
A fellow railfan was sitting on Sunset Ave. (a nice strip of park that parallels the tracks) on a park bench with his scanner and a camera. As it sets the context, it should be noted that he's a larger gentleman in his later years. Next thing he knows there are several state troopers standing behind him with their hands on their holsters asking him what he's doing. Thank god they had the entire police force out to stop him from... taking pictures.

As for me, my worst mishap was when I was at the West Portal of the Cascade Tunnel and my car battery died. Fortunately there was a MOW crew moving some jersey barriers and were able to give me a jump off their power take off. Giving more proof that most railroaders don't hate railfans!
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:09 AM   #6
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My story happened not when we were railfanning, but on the train.

We were on the Cumbres and Toltec for the weekend to watch them and ride the first moonlight train. On the way to the summit on 4% grade, we noticed a problem on the second car (we were on the first). Then the train stopped and we realized the front truck had derailed on the car. It took them a record setting time of 30 minutes to rerail the train and get moving again.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:56 PM   #7
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While taking pictures at Horsethief Lake in the Columbia River Gorge I broke both of my wrists. I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera and backed up a few steps trying to get a shot of a BNSF train that was passing by. On about my 3rd or 4th step backwards, I tripped on a pothole, went over backwards landing on my wrists. I shattered my left wrist and just cracked the right wrist. Yeah, I know it was dumb but I'm sure we've all felt that excitement of trying to get "the shot". I had to have surgery to fix the left wrist and I've been wearing splints on both wrists for the last 5 weeks. The important thing is I didn't damage my new Canon Digital Rebel. Hasn't stopped me from taking pictures though.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:28 AM   #8
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WOW!

Best wishes for the recovery. I don't think RP is going to ease up on the acceptance standards for you, however!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weim
While taking pictures at Horsethief Lake in the Columbia River Gorge I broke both of my wrists. I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera and backed up a few steps trying to get a shot of a BNSF train that was passing by. On about my 3rd or 4th step backwards, I tripped on a pothole, went over backwards landing on my wrists. I shattered my left wrist and just cracked the right wrist. Yeah, I know it was dumb but I'm sure we've all felt that excitement of trying to get "the shot". I had to have surgery to fix the left wrist and I've been wearing splints on both wrists for the last 5 weeks. The important thing is I didn't damage my new Canon Digital Rebel. Hasn't stopped me from taking pictures though.
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Old 06-09-2007, 02:02 AM   #9
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Thanks for the well wishes. No, I'm just going to have to learn to be a better photographer. I'm reading and learning what RP is looking for.
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weim
While taking pictures at Horsethief Lake in the Columbia River Gorge I broke both of my wrists. I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera and backed up a few steps trying to get a shot of a BNSF train that was passing by. On about my 3rd or 4th step backwards, I tripped on a pothole, went over backwards landing on my wrists. I shattered my left wrist and just cracked the right wrist. Yeah, I know it was dumb but I'm sure we've all felt that excitement of trying to get "the shot". I had to have surgery to fix the left wrist and I've been wearing splints on both wrists for the last 5 weeks. The important thing is I didn't damage my new Canon Digital Rebel. Hasn't stopped me from taking pictures though.
I wouldn't recomend Weens step ladder technique for you.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren
I wouldn't recomend Weens step ladder technique for you.
Yeah, the step ladder's awesome on uneven terrain (when you can find it around here) and in gusty winds. I think it gives the crew's hope when they see me on it, hope that I fall off before they get there!
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Yeah, the step ladder's awesome on uneven terrain (when you can find it around here) and in gusty winds. I think it gives the crew's hope when they see me on it, hope that I fall off before they get there!
It's nice how a simple little three or four-step ladder can change the perspective of an oncoming train. I've been using mine a lot lately, and I've been seriously considering buying a Little Giant to get up even higher (and still be able to fit it in my car). Engineers must think I'm nuts when they see me on a small step ladder at a crossing in the middle of nowhere. haha

Here's a recent step ladder shot:


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Old 06-09-2007, 06:57 AM   #13
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Nice, and the rise in elevation prevents that signal box (or whatever it is) from obstructing the first well car...
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:04 AM   #14
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Weim, can I also send my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

A guy I know who used to run trips in Europe had a nasty accident happen to one of his participants. The chap in question was standing on a goods platform in France whilst videoing a train, as he panned round, he managed to fall from the platform onto his side at track level and suffered a broken pelvis and hip.

I also know a guy who fell whilst (trying) to board a train in Portugal last year, breaking his upper arm. One metal plate and over a year later it still troubles him, I hope that you do not suffer similar problems.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:44 PM   #15
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1) Shortly after taking my first picture to be accepted at this site,

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=106561

a police car pulled up behind me. I was questioned as to who I was, what I was doing there, where I was from, and so on. They took my ID, and ran a background/outstanding warrant check on me. After a few minutes it was returned. I asked if what I was doing was ok, the response was, "Yes, but if you do this up in the bigger cities like Champaign, you had better notify the authorities before taking pictures like that." The officer started to walk away, then spun around and asked, "How do you know when the trains are coming?"

"I don't," I responded. "I just wait until one comes along." His technique kinda reminded me of Columbo. The whole incident wasn't that bad, and I know my rights in regards to photography, but it really made me more cautious about where I am and who is watching me when doing it.

2) Just the other day, while out looking for trains to photograph:





I noticed the column of smoke first and thought someone was burning leaves or trash. A few minutes later, I could see flames, and fire trucks were starting to arrive. Turns out it was a vacant house. The picture above is after most of it had already collapsed, as a Roadrailer (that I had been waiting for) passes by. From the time I first noticed the smoke to when it was completely gone was less than twenty minutes. The flames were huge, at least a hundred feet high, during the height of the fire.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:35 AM   #16
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Well, I didn't really have any stories or anything until this past weekend when I was tailed/followed while out railfanning. Kind of ironic to be out chasing trains and you're the one being chased! It's all good though, especially in this digital day and age...
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Well, I didn't really have any stories or anything until this past weekend when I was tailed/followed while out railfanning. Kind of ironic to be out chasing trains and you're the one being chased! It's all good though, especially in this digital day and age...

Perhaps you should have called the cops on these IDIOTS since you didn't know who they were. Thats pretty creepy.
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:06 PM   #18
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No need to call the cops on these idiots...this time. But when you have some basic info, the internet is nice resource to find out who's been following you and let them know you didn't appreciate it...especially when you have photos of them in the act...
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Old 06-17-2007, 04:43 AM   #19
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Oh boy, I've had some times! Once, I was railfanning at Exshaw on the CPR mainline, with a tripod set up on a rocky outcropping overlooking the curves there. Now, this was before I had really gotten into photography, so I was still using my mum's automatic P&S. On a tripod....with an inaccurate viewfinder....
Anyways.
The thing about Exshaw, and the whole Gap region, is that it's windy.
I'm sitting there, waiting for a train to come by, when this big gust comes by, and horrified, I watch my tripod slowly tip over and, with my mum's camera, plunge down fifty feet of cliff onto the ROW! I climb down, and then with a lot of tricky bits, climb back up...take a test picture, and the camera HAS STOPPED WORKING! *le gasp* I look inside, and the problem is simply that the film isn't wound on properly! *whew*
I look behind me, and see a train coming...do a really quick dash to the outcropping, and barely snap a picture! http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...exshaw2004.jpg
Of course, I was still a pretty bad railfan then...

Story #2!
This is why you never go without a good night's sleep to be awake at dawn.
After having done a fair amout of successful early morning railfanning, I headed back to the sattelite yard near my house for a tiny bit more before lunch. The light wasn't perfect, but it would do. Now, by this time, most of my higher brain functions had gone...
The situation where I was is there's a MOW path on the north side of the tracks, a disused siding-come-switch lead and the main on an embankment dug into a hillside, then trees and a road. Instead of taking the road or even the MOW path, both of which are quite safe, I decided "Hey, let's bike on the main!"
So I trundle off down the mainline, when I hear a train. The string of explitives I uttered then and there were most certainly unrepeatable! I bike as fast as I can to a point where I can get off the tracks (Why not just go onto the MOW path!?) and, luckily for me, the train was only doing about 15 as it had switching to do. It was also coming in on the siding..

After this, I was biking back along the road, for I had learned my lesson...I hear a horn. Now, I'm biking at about 15MPH. I grab my camera out of the bag, jump off the bike while it's still moving, hit the handlebars, crash, and get up just in time to see a shiny pair of brand-new 8800 series GEVos blow by. And I got video. That's when I discovered that the train was switching, cutting me and my dead-end road off! I could tell it wasn't going to move out of my way anytime soon, so I practically throw myself down the cliff to the river, and walk off on top of the river ice to safety!
Now that was a fun day...
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:37 AM   #20
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Here is great story, last February I took a trip to Canada and had tickets on the eastbound Canadain from Vancouver all the way to Toronto, it almost ended before I even got on board. I had 6 hours to kill before the train departed so I thought I'd get a get a little lunch, so after finished my lunch I walked back up Main Street and decided to walk Terminal Ave to see if there were any places to take train pictures.
I walked until I came to intersection Thornton St and saw some of those highway barriers next a wire fence guarding the VIA yard. So I climbed up and stood on one of barriers so I could a better view and snapped off a few shots as the train pulled out headed for the cleaning area ( the dome car windows were still kinda foggy). Any way I heard sirens coming in the distance, so I got down and crossed the street and started back to the station, just then a cop car and VIA rail security vehicle came racing down the street behind me (you can imagine what was going through my head, something along the lines of holy ******* ****) so I continued to walk trying to look as innocent as possible. Then they pulled into the parking lot next to me, I continued walking. They got out looked at me I looked at them and they walked across to what I think was car rental place, and I continued back to the station.
I don't if they were looking for me but I am pretty sure they were.
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