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A not so gentle reminder!
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Gadfly
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A not so gentle reminder!
 
« on: Jul 8th, 2012, 1:31pm »
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Report this postReply with quote Re: Illegal Use or "Bootlegging" on Railroad Frequencies
by Freddy » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:22 am  
 
I won't even get into the Homeland Security aspect of all this,as in fake dispatcher Allah Al Habib might tell a train 'CSX Q678 has permission to pass the stop signal at the North
End of Pelham Alabama according to the rules.' or something along those lines. Basically somebody playing fake dispatcherFreddy  
   
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Report this postReply with quote Re: Illegal Use or "Bootlegging" on Railroad Frequencies
by litz » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:56 am  
 
Didn't someone get caught doing just exactly that with the CTA ?
 
(trying to play "fake dispatcher", although not from a terrorism standpoint)litz  
   
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Edit postDelete postReport this postReply with quote Re: Illegal Use or "Bootlegging" on Railroad Frequencies
by Gadfly » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:16 pm  
 
Once again this issue has reared its ugly head. I am told that there was a "foamer" in the area who was talking to the trains, usually at night. He said he had permission from "so 'n so" to talk on the road channel. He apparently did it when Sou 630 came to town a few weeks ago. A few of the train crews *know* this guy and use his first name when he comes on the air. I don't know HOW they caught him, but the railroad cops heard(?) it, or there was someone on the steam train that didn't like it--dunno----but he was paid a "visit" at his home and warned not to do it again.
 
Let me emphasize: it doesn't matter WHO you think you are, unless you are an employee engaged in actual railroad work, you have NO business whatsover yapping on railroad frequencies! NONE! I can't believe that rail buffs and "foamers" become so wrought up over this stuff they actually believe they have some "connection" to the railroad, or an "employee" by virtue of giving an employee a lift, or something. I mean, you've REALLY got to be seriously dillusional (Mental case) to believe you can do this!!!!!!!
 
A rail foamer can get into trouble in several ways over this:
 
1. The obvious one is being turned in by an employee for it.
 
2. You can get in trouble for violating the union scope rules and causing a "time claim" which costs the railroad money and could get YOU sued in a civil action
 
3. By creating confusion, even wrecks, by transmitting confusing and unlawful instructions to a train: YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, NO MATTER *WHAT* YOU READ IN THOSE FAN MAGAZINES, and you are not qualified on the Rules.
 
4. By violating FRA safety and operating rules in the use of a unauthorized communications device.
 
5. By using uncertified equipment, often amateur radio equipment, to transmit on Part 90 (commercial) frequencies.
 
6. Any one of these, or any combination in tandem with each other.
 
Each of these transgressions can net you many THOUSANDS of $$$ in fines and even JAIL time. The railroad is NOT *your* toy. It has some fascinating and fun aspects, which attracts rail buffs and always has. But it is, when it comes down to it-------NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX, unless you are a stockholder!  And I must admit, while visiting Spencer recently, I saw some people whom I'd call..............well, *strange*! And you have to wonder if anyone of these were likely to go "over the top" with their hobby. I'm talking about the overboard ones, the ones with the striped overalls and Kromer caps covered with patches, fake pocket watches, red bandanas, scanners, and LOADED with cameras!  Some of them had a really strange look in their eye! LOL! For one thing, NOBODY ever dresses that way anymore, and if an employee showed up with the striped stuff on, he'd be LAUGHED off the RoW!
 
Railfanning is, of course, fun, and there's nothing wrong with it, But stay OFF the RR property, and OFF the company radio; you do NOT belong there!!!!!!!!
 
 
GF


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Norm_Anderson
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #1 on: Jul 8th, 2012, 4:09pm »
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Thank you, Gadfly, and Amen.
 
When railfans cross the line from appreciation to iterference, the response from railroads and other authorities should be swift, and meaningful.  I am all in favor of a "hang 'em high" response to anyone who compromises the safety of train crews or other railroad employees.  Railroad workers don't go to work every day to entertain railfans.
 
 
Respectful regards,
 
Norm


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Gadfly
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #2 on: Jul 10th, 2012, 4:32pm »
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 on Jul 8th, 2012, 4:09pm, Norm_Anderson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Thank you, Gadfly, and Amen.
 
When railfans cross the line from appreciation to iterference, the response from railroads and other authorities should be swift, and meaningful.  I am all in favor of a "hang 'em high" response to anyone who compromises the safety of train crews or other railroad employees.  Railroad workers don't go to work every day to entertain railfans.
 
 
Respectful regards,
 
Norm

Let me further explain "Time Claims" and what they are and why rail buffs should not be "helping" employees with some of their duties.  Railroad work is covered by one or Union agreements.  Each Union has what are "scope rules" that cover the extent and even the types of duties that can be performed.  Basically, these rules, to which the railroad and the Union agreed in negotiations, prevent an engineer from welding a car, nailing up a wooden box, or shipping materials out.  Each group of employees---trainman, car peck (or carman), clerk, and many others, are restricted from performing work covered by other Union's listed duties.  So if I, as a clerk, go over to the shops and start running a lathe, the employees affected (machinists) are likely to file a "time claim" against me for the hours/days that I used the lathe, turning it in thru their Local Chairman to be given to the company for payment.  The company will deny the claim (usually automatic), and the LC will then file for arbitration of the claim.  Also the employee, unless he was TOLD directly by a supervisor to perform the "illegal" work, will then be SCOLDED for it, or the supervisor that told him to do it may be also, or his bonus denied. Time claims can take months, even years, to arbitrate, and the company does not like them.
 
To outsiders, and those who have never worked in a Union environment, this seems odd.   Everybody can use a little help now and then, but the motive behind the Rules are to protect people's work and jobs.  If clerks can do machinists work, blacksmiths can operate trains, then they may cut off somebody's job, and railroads are notorious for that.  So employees are a bit "protective" of their work and might not appreciate outsiders doing their work for them!  It, of course, depends on what help is being given.  The other reason is Safety.  If you place yourself in and on the company's property, performing uncompensated work, and then get hurt, then the company is going to be really p***ed off at you!
 
It should be obvious that a rail buff should not using a railroad radio for fear of causing conflicting instructions or, confusion and that he is not qualified on the Rules, no matter what he has read in "Trains".  The other reason is, that, should this become a habit, then somebody may lose their job over it due a reduction on force, and we don't want railroaders to lose their jobs.
 
Railroads have a particular set of rules to go by, and we most likely don't really know what they are no matter what we think. I, for example, been told by fans that I was "doing it wrong", etc.  What the fan didn't know was, I had been given specific instructions as to what to do by my supervisor or Trainmaster!  Who do you think I am going to obey?
 
GF


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Bluewater
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #3 on: Oct 18th, 2012, 10:07am »
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First part is not on topic, second part is.
 
Gadfly, there are some people who just absolutley LOVE trains. You can not and WILL NOT judge them for that. They can do what they want to. It is NOT your place to tell them what is ok and what is not if it comes down to what they wear that is train related. I get that you are an adult, and I'm just 13, but I'm sick of people ripping on railfans FOR WHAT THEY WEAR. It makes me sick that you think its ok to do that  . ESPECALLY if it is a fellow railfan who is ripping on the person.  
 
 
If you are a moderator, I respect that, but what I just told you was not from user to moderator, it was from man to man buster.
Ok, now that I got that over with,  
Railfans using scanners to talk to the road crews is just wrong. They could kill somebody, or themselves, if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.


« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2012, 10:08am by Bluewater » Logged

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Gadfly
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #4 on: Nov 1st, 2012, 6:05pm »
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on Oct 18th, 2012, 10:07am, Bluewater wrote:       (Click here for original message)
First part is not on topic, second part is.
 
Gadfly, there are some people who just absolutley LOVE trains. You can not and WILL NOT judge them for that. They can do what they want to. It is NOT your place to tell them what is ok and what is not if it comes down to what they wear that is train related. I get that you are an adult, and I'm just 13, but I'm sick of people ripping on railfans FOR WHAT THEY WEAR. It makes me sick that you think its ok to do that  . ESPECALLY if it is a fellow railfan who is ripping on the person.  
 
 
If you are a moderator, I respect that, but what I just told you was not from user to moderator, it was from man to man buster.
Ok, now that I got that over with,  
Railfans using scanners to talk to the road crews is just wrong. They could kill somebody, or themselves, if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 
I am speaking from EXPERIENCE and a life spent on Southern/Norfolk Southern Railway! I have nothing to say about what rail buffs do or wear OFF the Right of Way.  But when they trespassed, interferred with railway business, or attempted to do MY job, then it became MY business.  I am not talking about the average, respectful railfan who watches from a distance. I am talking about the real loo loos out there. And yer durn tootin' I ran into plenty of them!  And they were usually dressed to the nines with silly garb, bandanas, and "railroad" caps.  And we learned to keep a wary eye on them because they were likely to be a bit over-wrought over their hobby. It also serves as an indicator of just HOW far the over-enthused fan may go.  In his desire to "belong", he may try to engage his longing by talking the trains to seal his "relationship" with the railroad, to feel important and special.
 
 They stood out like sore thumbs because no self-respecting railroader would be caught DEAD dressed that way, and any employee that DID try to dress that way, would get laughed slam off the RoW! It's just the way it is.  And I am not the only REAL railroader that would make fun of it.
 
It is also often the case that when you find someone dressed up that way, they are also the ones that get caught doing things they aren't allowed to do..................Like, buying a transmit-capable radio to talk to the trains.   Railroaders often do, indeed, regard the over-enthused fan with suspicion due to their experiences with them.
 
People certainly CAN do whatever they want to---so long as they don't trespass on the railroad.  Stay OFF the property and OFF the radio!
 
GF


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Charlie Ricker
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #5 on: Nov 2nd, 2012, 7:50pm »
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Quote:
I am talking about the real loo loos out there. And yer durn tootin' I ran into plenty of them!  And they were usually dressed to the nines with silly garb, bandanas, and "railroad" caps.  And we learned to keep a wary eye on them because they were likely to be a bit over-wrought over their hobby. It also serves as an indicator of just HOW far the over-enthused fan may go.

 
And THOSE are the wing-nuts that give all rail enthusiasts a bad name! NO railfan has any business bootlegging onto railroad radios, period and end of story.
 
Listen Bluewater, you said you are thirteen years old. Most everyone on here are older adults. I am more than happy to converse with younger people like yourself and hopefully spread this hobby onto future generations. I am going to offer you some advice: Number one is to respect your elders on here like you would hopefully respect your elders at home, school and anywhere else you travel. Respect is a two-way road. Number two, you would do well to listen to a man like Gadfly, as he serviced the Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern for a good number of years and you could learn a lot from him as I have. There are many more former railroaders on here and a large number of long-time railfans as well. I believe all of us on here are a great resource to help each other and this site seems to be a fairly close knit bunch of regulars sharing a common hobby. I learn things on here with regularity and I have been a train enthusiast for a long time.  
 
I hope you take my advice and continue to contribute as a positive member of our forums!
 
Charlie


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Spooler734
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #6 on: Nov 2nd, 2012, 8:20pm »
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I hear stories like this all the time, railfan playing railroader over the radio. It is incredibly dangerous and could cause a collision not to mention its a federal offense. We would even have this problem every now and then but we switched over to digital frequency about a year and a half ago and apparently those frequencys are harder to obtain.  
 
It's fine to have this as a hobby, but respect it! Don't dress like a looney, don't trespass on railroad property, don't attempt to get on any equipment, and don't interfere with road or yard crews on the radio! It not only gives you a bad reputation but it gives others in the hobby a bad reputation, remember it only takes one person to ruin the fun for the rest.


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Gadfly
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #7 on: Nov 4th, 2012, 9:57am »
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on Nov 2nd, 2012, 7:50pm, charlie6017 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
And THOSE are the wing-nuts that give all rail enthusiasts a bad name! NO railfan has any business bootlegging onto railroad radios, period and end of story.
 
Listen Bluewater, you said you are thirteen years old. Most everyone on here are older adults. I am more than happy to converse with younger people like yourself and hopefully spread this hobby onto future generations. I am going to offer you some advice: Number one is to respect your elders on here like you would hopefully respect your elders at home, school and anywhere else you travel. Respect is a two-way road. Number two, you would do well to listen to a man like Gadfly, as he serviced the Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern for a good number of years and you could learn a lot from him as I have. There are many more former railroaders on here and a large number of long-time railfans as well. I believe all of us on here are a great resource to help each other and this site seems to be a fairly close knit bunch of regulars sharing a common hobby. I learn things on here with regularity and I have been a train enthusiast for a long time.  
 
I hope you take my advice and continue to contribute as a positive member of our forums!
 
Charlie

 
Perhaps some of us would call it "profiling", but it has been my experience that what I refer to as "militant" railfans are likely to do things that they wouldn't want done on their property, and would most certainly object to any inappropriate behavior directed at them.  And experience has taught us that it is the ones you see dressed to the nines in ancient
railroad garb that are more likely to do something of which the railroad disapproves.  That, of course, includes transmitting to the trains on non-approved (FCC-certified, Part 90) equipment.  Now, on the excursions, it is to be expected, and certainly not unwelcome for fans to deck out in striped overalls, bandannas, "fake" railroad pocket watches, etc.  However, you can't expect the real railroaders NOT to look upon the outmoded dress with a jaundiced eye, if not bemused tolerance!
 
It is true that the "rabid" railfan (the overly zealous ones, the "foamers") that makes it difficult on the respectful and courteous ones.  It is why railroads won't HIRE known railfans when they gush and slobber about much they LUUUUUV dem trains.  At that point the interview is OVER, and the hopeful fan/employee is left to wonder why he didn't get hired!  You see, there's a difference in "liking trains" and "liking trains": IOW a hobby interest, and a professional one.  One must know how and when to separate the two.  Mine, for the most part, is a professional one. I don't chase trains, I don't stand out there to watch freight drags come by, I don't "hang around" the railroad.  Sure, if there's something interesting coming by, I might show up.  After that, I'm  back to my wood shop, out to the airport, working on my ham radio setup. Likewise, I've seen people who kept their avocation secret, then, once they got hired, it was "Katy bar the door"!  They abandoned their assigned duties to rush out and watch a train pass, they sneaked up into the tower to harass the Yardmaster, they went WILD because there was a steam train due. Guess what!  THEY got FIRED--often not even getting thru probation!  So the railroad has a bad taste in their mouths over "foamers"!     "Funky" behavior does NOT help the hobby!
 
These words are here to help, not hinder.  Take them to heart next time you are trackside and act like adults, and you will find that railroaders will, for the most part, appreciate your interest!
 
GF


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Charlie Ricker
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #8 on: Nov 4th, 2012, 12:16pm »
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So well put, Gadfly! I seriously cringe whenever one of "those" end up near me whenever I do get trackside. It doesn't happen to me very much anymore, but if it does.......well, I usually find somewhere else to go. And always on public property.  
 
There's usually always a few of those over-zealous foamers at a train show. Like you said, the bandanas--the hats, overalls and coats with 47 different patches on the backs. My God!
 
I can only imagine what you have seen over the years!  
 
Charlie


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Bluewater
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #9 on: Nov 4th, 2012, 2:42pm »
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on Nov 2nd, 2012, 7:50pm, charlie6017 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Listen Bluewater, you said you are thirteen years old. Most everyone on here are older adults. I am more than happy to converse with younger people like yourself and hopefully spread this hobby onto future generations. I am going to offer you some advice: Number one is to respect your elders on here like you would hopefully respect your elders at home, school and anywhere else you travel. Respect is a two-way road. Number two, you would do well to listen to a man like Gadfly, as he serviced the Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern for a good number of years and you could learn a lot from him as I have. There are many more former railroaders on here and a large number of long-time railfans as well. I believe all of us on here are a great resource to help each other and this site seems to be a fairly close knit bunch of regulars sharing a common hobby. I learn things on here with regularity and I have been a train enthusiast for a long time.  
 
I hope you take my advice and continue to contribute as a positive member of our forums!
 
Charlie

That's it. I'm done. I'm done, I'm done, I'm DONE!
 
PEOPLE NEED TO LEARN TO SPECIFY WHAT THEY  ARE SAYING. I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE HITTING ON ME WHEN IT IS SOMEBODY ELSE WHO DID NOT SPECIFY. It sounded like gadfly was insulting them on several points, including what they wear. He was NOT SPECIFIC, and I am the one who gets beat up for it. I'm currently trying to fend off two a-holes (pardon that) on youtube for our hobby and do this and do homework and run my own railroad forum, which just came up yesterday.  
The last RR site I joined (railroadfan.com) I got banned from until 16 because I stated an opinion and got bashed about it and had to fend the people off somehow (nothing illegal, btw). I came her because I KNEW it wouldn't happen here, and here it goes again.  
 
You won't be hearing from me ANY TIME SOON.  
 
--Bluewater  

 
Heh, heh. Ignore that, everything al figured out..


« Last Edit: Dec 4th, 2012, 1:23pm by Bluewater » Logged

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ClydeDET
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #10 on: Jan 29th, 2013, 7:36pm »
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I read the hatin' once more. And, at age 69, i find myself rather in agreement with the 13-year old fan who objects to the constant attacks for chosen clothing. That is plumb childish. I don't wear old-style, steam days railroading clothes, but if somebody wants to - their bidness.
 
Radios? Well, listening for non-commecial,persoanal, use is fine. Talking is just fkat illegal. Criminal-type illegal .Don't do that.
 
As far as "fake pocket watches" is concerned, if you see me, you'll see a Hamilton pocket watch. I had surgery that left it uncomfortable to wear a wrist watch so i got a pocket watch. Have been carrying it for forty years now - I discovered it was convenient, so even after the surgical incision healed, i continued to carry it. nothing fake about it...


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George_Harris
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #11 on: Jan 30th, 2013, 2:05pm »
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on Nov 4th, 2012, 9:57am, Gadfly wrote:       (Click here for original message)
It is true that the "rabid" railfan (the overly zealous ones, the "foamers") that makes it difficult on the respectful and courteous ones.  It is why railroads won't HIRE known railfans when they gush and slobber about much they LUUUUUV dem trains.  At that point the interview is OVER, and the hopeful fan/employee is left to wonder why he didn't get hired!  You see, there's a difference in "liking trains" and "liking trains": IOW a hobby interest, and a professional one.  One must know how and when to separate the two.  Mine, for the most part, is a professional one. I don't chase trains, I don't stand out there to watch freight drags come by, I don't "hang around" the railroad.  Sure, if there's something interesting coming by, I might show up.  After that, I'm  back to my wood shop, out to the airport, working on my ham radio setup. Likewise, I've seen people who kept their avocation secret, then, once they got hired, it was "Katy bar the door"!  They abandoned their assigned duties to rush out and watch a train pass, they sneaked up into the tower to harass the Yardmaster, they went WILD because there was a steam train due. Guess what!  THEY got FIRED--often not even getting thru probation!  So the railroad has a bad taste in their mouths over "foamers"!     "Funky" behavior does NOT help the hobby!

However, a certain amount of controlled fanaticism is very useful toward being good in many jobs, and almost necessary for some.  Sometimes it may look and even be somewhat silly, but it is useful and controlled is a necessity.  
 
A couple of examples of the silly fanaticism at work:
 
Quite a few years ago I was with a group of railway engineers, of the civil and construction variety, in Beijing, China.  There was a contingent of wives along also.  We were being guided through the Forbidden City.  Over to the side from where our guide was leading us was an area being dug up.  Several of us walked over to see what was going on.  It appeared to be some form of utility line ditch.  I glanced over to see what the uncurious were doing.  There were about half the wives standing in a group more or less divided between looking at each other and looking heavenward.  You could all but hear the thoughts of, "Its not just my man that is that way" and "Oh no, there he goes again."  We did not disrupt things.  We sayed out of the way.  Also, we were not in the young just got started in this stuff yesterday group.  I do not think any of us were under their mid 40's.
 
Another country, another job:  Four of us were walking along an under construction piece of track taking pictures and making notes, yes as part of our job, when we heard a train coming on the nearby existing railroad.  We all stepped over to the edge of the structure to look and take pictures and note the type of train, speed, etc.  No that was not part of our job, but it was in our realm of interest and did not interfere with our job.  Should also note that when we were in the near vicinity of the track of that particular piece of railroad we looked at the track noting its condition, took pictures of it noting the rail section and condition, etc.  
 
There are many more examples I could give.  
 


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Dogoth
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #12 on: Nov 2nd, 2013, 2:33am »
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This is somewhat on topic and a bit off (as is my personality sometimes so bear with me .
 
In reading this thread I couldn't imagin people who would actualy dress in archaic outfits to help themselves "feel" the part. Hey, I'm just interested in railroading as a big part of the industrial infrastructure of my country.
 
Back to Illegal use of RR frequencies. Again, what kind of boob would even think of transmitting on those frequencies? This could potentialy be increadably dangerous and I'm more than happy to hear about the fellow being told to stop (he should have been handed a warrant for arrest by a Federal Court).
 
While scanning the 90+ RR freqs programed into a bank I sometimes hear (depending on my location) contracters, sherrif, police, EMTs, utility workers and an occasional wierdo mumbling aimlessly about nothing. Sometimes the signal strength is greater than the rail workers own transmitters.
 
It is my belief that they aren't purposfuly broadcasting on these frequencies but rather they have terrible radio technicians who allow LOTS of harmonic content to eminate along with the fundamental frequency. There are specific FCC guidlines about 1st, 2nd, 3rd harmonics etc.... being X number of db down from the fundamental (intended) frequency (in other words - Fix the radio, it's malfunctioning).  
 
Does this ever bother any of the rail workers (if only by being "stepped on" by unauthorized broadcasting)?
 
I've thought about mentioning this to the FCC but don't necessarrily want to get the authorities (read police, sherrif upset with me.
 
I usualy just lock out the offending frequencies temporarily until I move to a different location.


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Sprung_Frog

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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #13 on: Dec 23rd, 2013, 7:01am »
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Unauthorized broadcasting, maybe but be aware that the so called railroad band is not railroad exclusive any more and hasn't been for some time.
For instance when CSX went to a single dispatcher single rd channels the frequency  they were going to use on the Mohawk was already being used by a  
private air line at the local air port and had to use a different frequency, there are
other examples mostly where the railroad radio traffic is light.
I would expect that many more services will be showing up on the new "narrow"
channels. With more and more radios capable of transmitting in the railroad band
expect more unintended/unauthorized transmissions and general interference even though transmitting off of your assigned frequency is illegal.


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Dogoth
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Re: A not so gentle reminder!
 
« Reply #14 on: Nov 13th, 2016, 1:41am »
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Re-reading this post got me thinking about people in general that feel themselves "entitled" and what a PITA they are to deal with. It seems to be getting worse (or I'm getting older and less tolerant of it ). My day job is audio engineer (yes I have a degree and credentials). What makes people think they can bother the engineer when he is trying to listen for specific things (paying close attention to details is a big part of doing any job well). While it's true that sometimes I'm free to converse, other times I can't. One time someone actually climbed onstage with a national act and unplugged a piece of gear to charge their cell phone, shutting down a key piece of equipment. The show came to a halt and the person was escorted out in front of 2k people but still..........talk about feeling entitled! The worse thing that can happen in my job though is public humiliation.
 
It is absolutely understood that what railroaders do (if distracted at the wrong time) can cause massive property damage, injuries and/or death. My credo as a railfan is LEAVE THEM ALONE and STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY. I'm just another tree next to the right of way (well away from the tracks). This is an absolute in my dealings with the railroad. It has seemed to work well for the last 20+ years.


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