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Are railroaders railfans, too?
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   Author  Topic: Are railroaders railfans, too?  (Read 2368 times)
VentureForth
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Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« on: Jun 25th, 2004, 10:45am »
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Ya know, as it's been nearly a year since I joined this forum, it's been interesting to note that there seem to be relatively few railfans who actually work for the railroads.  Now, Matt, don't take exception to this!  I know there are some, but it's interesting to see that perhaps the majority of transit engineers and Class 1 frieght railroaders don't have that 'foamin' interest in the industry they work.  Oh, sure, most probably enjoy their job, but I don't know how many really really really love what they are doing.
 
Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side...  Railroaders wonder what the heck people keep taking pictures of their job for and railfans wonder about the romance and excitement of riding the rails across the country.
 
Any thoughts?
 
Jim


« Last Edit: Jun 25th, 2004, 10:46am by VentureForth » Logged
J. M. Fusco
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #1 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 11:09am »
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Good question, you are probably right.

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EMD_TRAIN_FAN
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #2 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 11:21am »
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on Jun 25th, 2004, 10:45am, VentureForth wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Ya know, as it's been nearly a year since I joined this forum, it's been interesting to note that there seem to be relatively few railfans who actually work for the railroads.  Now, Matt, don't take exception to this!  I know there are some, but it's interesting to see that perhaps the majority of transit engineers and Class 1 frieght railroaders don't have that 'foamin' interest in the industry they work.  Oh, sure, most probably enjoy their job, but I don't know how many really really really love what they are doing.
 
Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side...  Railroaders wonder what the heck people keep taking pictures of their job for and railfans wonder about the romance and excitement of riding the rails across the country.
 
Any thoughts?
 
Jim

 
My 2 cents . .  I think it depends on your definition of "railroaders".  We don't own one foot of trackage, yet have a fleet of locomotives that is in the multiple-hundreds. I know many of them much more inimately than I would care to at times.  I feel part of "the industry" even though I do not work for a class 1.  I love what I do and support the railfan community as well as feel part of it.        
 
Anybody else??


« Last Edit: Jun 25th, 2004, 11:23am by EMD_TRAIN_FAN » Logged

EMD_Train_Fan

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eacsxt
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #3 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 11:33am »
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There is a small percentage of railroaders that are railfans. Most like it more than they say they do.

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Charlie_O
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #4 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 11:34am »
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on Jun 25th, 2004, 10:45am, VentureForth wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Ya know, as it's been nearly a year since I joined this forum, it's been interesting to note that there seem to be relatively few railfans who actually work for the railroads.

 
First, let's begin with these boards...
Aside from Matt, I know there have been at least a few members of these forums who do work (or have worked) for RRs.  At least one on Amtrak, a couple on Septa, and a couple on the Reading & Northern.  And in the area of ex-employees, of course there's CSXvet.  And I know there's at least one former RR scale inspector who's a regular poster.
 
And then there's trackside...
I've met a handful of fans trackside who are former RR eemployees, mostly Conrail.  
 
I think one key issue when talking about Class 1 employees being fans is time.  With the long shifts, irregular hours, and constant on-call status demanded by Class 1 roads, there probably isn't much time to fan, even for those who want to.  
 
Just a few thoughts.
-Charlie


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John C. Durant
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #5 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 12:15pm »
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There are more of us than you think..... We just don't let it known!!!!
Let me put it this way... The less you let out about yourself the better off you are.
John D. (would never let out what his hobby was) while working!!!
 
on Jun 25th, 2004, 11:34am, Charlie_O wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
First, let's begin with these boards...
Aside from Matt, I know there have been at least a few members of these forums who do work (or have worked) for RRs.  At least one on Amtrak, a couple on Septa, and a couple on the Reading & Northern.  And in the area of ex-employees, of course there's CSXvet.  And I know there's at least one former RR scale inspector who's a regular poster.
 
And then there's trackside...
I've met a handful of fans trackside who are former RR eemployees, mostly Conrail.  
 
I think one key issue when talking about Class 1 employees being fans is time.  With the long shifts, irregular hours, and constant on-call status demanded by Class 1 roads, there probably isn't much time to fan, even for those who want to.  
 
Just a few thoughts.
-Charlie



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Pennsy
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #6 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 12:30pm »
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Hi All,
 
Interesting point.  
 
Not many are.
 
A buddy of mine, an Electrical Engineer, told me that his company once had a contract with the LIRR for some work to be done. He got to work with the regular LIRR employees, the ones in the offices and shops, and he told me that to them it was just a job. They forgot about it after business hours. He too was a railfan and so got to work around the rolling stock, diesels and at that time the ten wheelers. He loved it and the LIRR employees merely put up with his enthusiasm. Unfortunately, he did not find any employee that shared his interests.


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Walt_C
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #7 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 4:00pm »
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It shouldn't be that surprising if we find that there are not as many railfan-railroad employees as we might expect. As railfans, we see, and are interested in the positive aspects of railroads, ie types of equipment, history, etc. etc. etc. Employees, on the other hand see all of the negative aspects of any job ( the reason it is called work), and there are obvious negative aspects which are unique to a particular railroad-employer and to railroading in general.
   Railfans are the romanticists of railroading--- employees are the nuts and bolts of railroading and have to deal with things that we railfans don't.


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irn750

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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #8 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 9:00pm »
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I agree with you John there are more than let on. I have worked for 27 yrs on the Railroad and very few of my coworkers know that I'm a fan all though I have lost  interest since NS came to the area.  Many of the guys like to know about the past mainly about old branches or old yard and crew terminals.    Danny

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GP72ACe

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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #9 on: Jun 25th, 2004, 9:09pm »
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One thing I have been the observer of is the animosity that can rapidly pop up between rail and fan...and this in chat rooms no less.  I will offer no explicit descriptions, and only will say that one must see it to believe it.

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BNSF_1088
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #10 on: Jun 29th, 2004, 8:30pm »
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Where i work out of there's at least 4 railfans.

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John C. Durant
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #11 on: Jun 29th, 2004, 9:52pm »
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Well, lets see. I know of at least three engineers on CSX River line that are dyed in the wool railfans, At least that many on NS between here and Harrisburg. Knew four or more on the MGA....  
Most railroaders will never, never admit it to your face..... But get us with our friends and that is another matter.
When I was working and someone would ask me, I'd just say nope, me a foamer....NEVER. I still don't admit it very often....
After you've seen fans acting stupid, trespassing, crossing in front of equipment (close enough to touch the same) you just have to wonder, do I want to be associated with this?
No railroader in his right mind will say to his supervisor, "Yeah, I'm a fan what about it"... That's a great way to get on the S**t end of the stick........
BTW, Walt..... It was the BEST job I never had...... Yeah, there were bad days and yep the split sucked, but I had a ball. 34 years of traveling, picture taking, conferences in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Altoona, Reading, Canton, Buffalo and all payed for by the company... A territory that covered from Oak Island to Selkirk to Boston to Bellows Falls, Rutland ang Ludlow in Vermont. Massena, NY to Hornell, Scranton, Reading and Baltimore..... Wouldn't have missed the trip for the world. It was sure some ride.
One other thing you non-railroaders should know..... RAILROADERS one basic right..... To complain!!! About anything and everything... It's one of the ways we keep from going Postal.....
John D.
 
 
on Jun 25th, 2004, 4:00pm, Walt_C wrote:       (Click here for original message)
It shouldn't be that surprising if we find that there are not as many railfan-railroad employees as we might expect. As railfans, we see, and are interested in the positive aspects of railroads, ie types of equipment, history, etc. etc. etc. Employees, on the other hand see all of the negative aspects of any job ( the reason it is called work), and there are obvious negative aspects which are unique to a particular railroad-employer and to railroading in general.
   Railfans are the romanticists of railroading--- employees are the nuts and bolts of railroading and have to deal with things that we railfans don't.



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Walt_C
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #12 on: Jun 30th, 2004, 10:40am »
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on Jun 29th, 2004, 9:52pm, John C. Durant wrote:       (Click here for original message)

BTW, Walt..... It was the BEST job I never had...... Yeah, there were bad days and yep the split sucked, but I had a ball. 34 years of traveling, picture taking, conferences in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Altoona, Reading, Canton, Buffalo and all payed for by the company... One other thing you non-railroaders should know..... RAILROADERS one basic right..... To complain!!! About anything and everything... It's one of the ways we keep from going Postal.....
John D.
 

 
  We all have and exercise that basic right, that's why they call it work!  I am glad, though, that you enjoyed your job with the railroad. Working is infinately more tolerable when one enjoys what one is doing. I do know, however, that there are aspects of railroad employment which are difficult ( and sometimes dangerous). I have always admired those who do these jobs.


« Last Edit: Jun 30th, 2004, 10:45am by Walt_C » Logged

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BNSF_1088
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #13 on: Jul 1st, 2004, 3:12pm »
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Since you brought it up the one thing i will complain about is these DAMN TRUCK AND CAR DRIVERS THAT GO IN FRONT OF ME.
 
Louisiana on course to set record for train crossing deaths    
   
   
The Associated Press    
6/23/2004, 8:54 a.m. CT    
   
   
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — After 10 train-vehicle deaths around Memorial Day, Louisiana is on course to surpass its record of train-related fatalities for a year, safety experts say.  
   
The state has chalked up 14 vehicle-train deaths this year, compared to 15 for all of 2003, said Jim Champagne, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Traffic Safety Commission,  
   
"We are looking at 30 to 35 deaths if we keep going at the same level," Champagne said Tuesday.  
   
The record was set in 1992 with 32 deaths.  
   
Champagne said radio commercials to remind drivers to stop at train crossings will be released earlier than originally planned.  
   
Operation Lifesaver, an organization that promotes railroad crossing safety, has come up with $42,000 from federal, state and private sources to air the commercials statewide.  
   
The commercials feature country singers, including Pam Tillis and Charlie Daniels, warning drivers to be careful at train crossings. The campaign started Monday and will run through the week of Aug. 9.  


« Last Edit: Jul 1st, 2004, 10:19pm by BNSF_1088 » Logged

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DNatureofDTrain
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #14 on: Oct 28th, 2004, 7:14am »
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Sometimes railfans try out to be railroaders, and find out that the railroading they dreamed of is not the job they thought it'd be in the end.
 
I know I dream of the job, But part of me fears how I will react when I am handling bad orders, if there is a derailment, or how I would handle the harsh negatitivity of the job.
 
I admire railworkers for all the hard work they put in, and even for handling the railfans.. including the annoying turdfaces who trespass.  
 
I guess that is the different between how I fan according to others. I do not trespass, I preach against it. I also do not carry a camera to take pictures, and if I share what I saw rolling down the tracks, for the safety of the railroad, and train crew I share what I saw hours after it's all out of town.
 
If I see a problem.. with a train I will not hesitate to report it if I know it is a definate problem. I already made that mistake once, and the train we watched roll by the crossing I found out derailed later that night. It's because I did not know who the heck to call about it, and I was so afraid That it was not a problem, and that I was imagining it. Turns out two others thought they two were imagining it.
 
When I railfan I fan to watch out for the railroads. I fan to keep people off the tracks, and to soak up the train experience. Not for pictures and such.
 
I met many who are fans as well as employees... I met many who were fans until they became employees and that just killed it for them, I met many who started off as employees then became the fans. Some people work for the railroads others secretly play for the railroad .
 
- DNatureofDTrain


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Southern Green
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #15 on: Oct 28th, 2004, 8:03pm »
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         Some railfans like me dont go railfanning " just to take pictures ", I go to watch trains and record my experience with pictures.  
 
  Ive met one railroader now railfan.  It was in Whittier, NC.  I was about to get a cab ride on a Great Smoky Mountains RR dinner train that i had been offered by the brakeman yelling out to me through the window when we were chasing the train to Whittier.  ( i even got to run the loco a bit   ).  Me and my dad were there 'fanning and so was this man, his wife, and his grandson.  ( a young railfan   )   He had lived in Atlanta and worked for CSX for 30 some years before moving up to the NC Mountains, bought a trackside cabin, and got a job with GSMR running tourist trains and the such when he could have retired.  He was what i'd call a dyed in the wool railfan!
 
                                                                                    Cy


« Last Edit: Oct 28th, 2004, 8:06pm by Southern Green » Logged

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jesus
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #16 on: Jun 24th, 2005, 11:46pm »
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Ive worked for the Wheeling and Lake Erie now for six years and I think that there definitely a misunderstanding between worker and fan.  Alot of workers are there to make money and carry on family traditions.  im third generation worker, and this is what we do.  We talked about it between family, but never mention it to others because when you leave work, you leave it behind.  But on the other hand, its also a curiosity among all workers to know what fans are up to, and what they are saying about your particular road.  Also if your going to roll up and take pictures, and happen to be around workers let them know your a fan.  There nothing worse than a fan taking pics and you dont have3 your hardhat on!

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chessie8212
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #17 on: Jun 25th, 2005, 9:38am »
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on Jun 24th, 2005, 11:46pm, jesus wrote:       (Click here for original message)
But on the other hand, its also a curiosity among all workers to know what fans are up to, and what they are saying about your particular road.

 
I love the WLE.  I live in Fremont, Ohio and actually have about 2-3 trains a day run through here on the way to/from Toledo.  It was one of the first railroads I remember as a kid because my dad used to tell me about it.  His great uncle worked for the Nickel Plate (commanding Berkshires) and after the NKP leased the WLE he did some work on their trackage.  


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zwsplac
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #18 on: Jun 25th, 2005, 10:13am »
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on Jun 29th, 2004, 9:52pm, John C. Durant wrote:       (Click here for original message)
One other thing you non-railroaders should know..... RAILROADERS one basic right..... To complain!!! About anything and everything... It's one of the ways we keep from going Postal.....
John D.
 
 

 
Oh yeah! Railroaders do complain a lot. It's the one thing I've learned from being around them. Of course, I don't have much of a leg to stand on myself, being a complainer too! I think that quite a few railroaders have been interested in trains at some point in their life, perhaps when they are younger, which gives them an awareness and an interest in working for the railroad. If you think about it, you can't just drive up to the yard office and turn in an application, it takes some effort on your part to end up on the railroad, and the employees have done that. Not sure if I'm making a ton of sense here, but basically I'm saying that at some point in their lives, they had an interest in trains which made them aware of the railroads and the opportunities there, rather than most people who only think about trains if they get stopped at a crossing.


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Pennsy
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Re: Are railroaders railfans, too?
 
« Reply #19 on: Jun 25th, 2005, 4:17pm »
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Hi All,
 
In the year of the flood, when GG-1's roamed far and wide, a true railfan was treated like visiting royalty. They were given all sorts of perks and considerations. An engineman, conductor etc. regarded a railfan as someone that was a "fan" or a booster, as fans of celebrities are considered. Accordingly, they were given visiting dignitary status, and were allowed to roam far and wide, camera safely in hand and the railroaders loved to speak to them and tell their "tall tales" of life behind huge horsepower and running at high speeds. I even remember seeing a GG-1 engineman autograph the engineer's cap of a railfan. Not too unusual, at that time. Never saw a RR bull in those days. And I drank many a cup of coffee, in the ready shack of the crews awaiting call, right from the same coffee pot that they used. Good old Sunnyside Yard days indeed. Got to know a lot of them, and knew about their families as well. Trick was to listen, learn and speak only when spoken to. Never wore out my welcome.


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