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Thread: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Perth, WA, Australia.
    Posts
    3,228

    Default Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    All, after reading some concerning posts in other forums about stupid acts by railfans to get photos of trains, I thought it would be wise if I posted a list of things to do/not to do when out railfanning.

    Feel free to add to the list! :)

    First of all

    What to bring

    Digital Camera
    Batteries, times 3.
    Disposable camera. just for "happy snaps" not worth of a good quality shot.
    Film Camera
    Film
    Lense
    Note pad and pen. Record the train name/number/time and loco numbers. This pays of in 10-20 years time when looking through the photos!

    WATER!
    Sunblock
    a hat (both of these are a must in summer. I got quite burnt railfanning without these)
    Stuff to read/do when waiting between trains
    A railfan buddy. Time passes a lot quicker with someone to talk to.

    What not to bring
    Girlfriend!! My bad <blushes>
    alcohol. High speed moving trains and alcohol dont mix. Railfans here in Australia have thought they can cross tracks and they get busted for tresspassing.

    Do's in railfanning
    BE POLITE TO STATION STAFF/RAILWAY WORKERS. The world has changed. When taking photos of trains, ALWAYS check with local authorities if its OK to take photos. Mainly applies to suburban areas. A lot of workers appricate it and can get friendly if you ask.

    Bring a camera. You never know when you get UP 2002 + UP 1983 + an unpatched SP SD45 in a consist! So many times here in Aus, I have not brought a camera and have seen a pearler of a lashup!

    Donts in railfanning
    NEVER go onto the track. Its what is getting us railfans into trouble!!
    climb over fences to get into yards. You'll get majorly busted.

    Hopefully you take most of this information on. Feel free to add more onto the list.

    :)

    >Mike Forster<
    Perth, Western Australia

    [email protected]


    http://www.trainweb.org/aussiepix

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Augusta, Ga, USA.
    Posts
    4,610

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    What to bring:

    Cell Phone
    Magazines for those slow times
    Scanner; Good to have, but not really required.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,669

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    I bring all that except the sunblock, (Which usually isn't needed out here, I only got sunburnt once in my whole life while railfanning) digital and disposable cameras.

    Another item that should be brought with you:

    Tripod, not really required, but if a lot of your shots are blurry, you should get one. :)

    Austin
    GO STEELERS!!!
    http://www.geocities.com/bgmasf/cnsd75ileft.gif

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Zuerich, ZH, Switzerland.
    Posts
    4,018

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    What to bring:
    - first and foremost the timetable (where published). How many times did you think you knew all the times by heart and then you started wondering wether train 9156 leaves at 3:14 or 3:41?
    - geographical maps of the area. You want to find the good spots, don't you, and you want to know where the sun will be once the clouds burn off.
    - Spare film. Times 3 and a half.
    - Photo ID / travel documents. Just in case somebody really wants to check on your brackground.
    - Sample fotos of your work, ideally a small portfolio in a binder or similar. Great a) to show to railfan buddies you get to know b) and even better as a door-opener when trying to explain RR staff what you do and why you do it. (PS: That also works in other "tense" areas like spotting at airports, hanging around at the harbour etc.)

    Lukas a.k.a Swissie

  5. #5

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    Most important thing to bring:

    COMMON SENSE

    John
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqmf3a/index.html


    "BNSFLADY"
    CYNDI RICHARDS
    You will always
    be here with us.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    near Jacksonville, TX
    Posts
    6,146

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    It is a little different out where I railfan. I usually go to the bicycle path in Kearney Nebraska. This crosses under the UP triple main. With about 155 trains a day now, you won't need the book. Since this is a frequent place for trains to stop for passing, it is not uncommon to have a crew member come over and visit while they wait. There is also an overpass with pedestrian path that crosses over the triple about a mile to the west.
    Within a 30 mile drive, you can also see the BNSF coal trains coming down out of the sandhills at Hazard Nebraska. 25 miles to the south of Kearney, you can see AmTrak (although the times are not convenient) as well as a major BNSF route fromn Chicago to Denver. With a full 55 mile drive, you get well over 225 trains a day (more in daylight, less at night). Not much time to get bored out there.
    Bob

  7. #7
    funnelfan Guest

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    Since I go railfannning a lot, I have this down pat.

    What to Bring:

    Camera (film or digital or both)
    Video Camera
    Spare Batteries
    Tripod(s) (one for every camera including the video camera)
    Railfan Timetable of the area you are railfanning in.
    Delorme Atlas of the State(s) you are railfanning in.
    Water
    Railfan Magazines
    Railfan Buddy if possible


    What to do:

    Wave to Crews (This is very important, it shows that you are not ill-intentioned, and that you know the train is there)
    Keep a safe distance from the trains and tracks (about 20 feet away)
    Stay on public property
    Get permission to go on private property
    Drive safe
    Park your vehicle in a out of the way place


    What not to do:

    Do not bring girlfriend or non-railfan buddies (If they do not like trains already, they are not going to like railfanning)
    Do not walk down tracks
    Do not climb on equipment (locomotives, cars, signals, bridges, ect.)
    Do not loiter on the tracks
    Do not setup camera equipment on the tracks
    Do not drive through or into yards and terminals (these are very dangerous places)
    Chasing a train does not give you the right to drive dangerously
    Do not park you vehicle in the middle of a road, no matter how lightly it is used.
    Avoid Trespassing




  8. #8
    goonybird Guest

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    I must expand on this common sense thing: pay attention to the weather, particularly the wind. It ain't easy hearing a train if you find yourself in the midst of some blustery windswept spot. Those loud hulking machines'll creep up on you if you're not paying enough attention, because the elements of nature reign supreme.

    KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU !!

    Cheers,
    goonybird

  9. #9
    TAMR159 Guest

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    >What to bring:
    >
    >Cell Phone

    Definitely. We had to call the cops when this drunk guy came up to us and started trying to push us around and start a fight (he drove off, so the cops were far more concerned about his DUI).

    [font face="Arial" color="#000000"]- - Nick Wilson[/font]

    [a href="http://www.eslw.net"]http://www.eslw.net/stuff/forum_signature.gif[/a]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Thunder Bay, ON, Canada.
    Posts
    153

    Default RE: Do's and dont's of railfanning. What to bring, what not to bring.

    It is a very good idea not to bring your girlfriend railfanning.

    No matter where I take my girlfriend my wife gets mad at me :-)

    Arrow201

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