The People who make up Western Railfan

Pertaining to all railroad subjects, past and present, in the American West, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and The Dakotas. For specific railroad topics, please see the Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Komachi

The People who make up Western Railfan

Postby CNJ » Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:22 pm

Well, since we have a new moderator with us, I thought it would be good to see if we can get a sampling of the people who come to read the threads here.

A little about me: I moved to San Antonio after having lived in San Angelo, Texas for the past five years. I am interested in the operations of the Texas Pacifico, a former ATSF line, currently operated under lease from the State of Texas by FerroMex, and is in the process of being rehabbed from San Angelo Jct (Brownwood, TX to Presidio, TX on the Mexican border).

I'm spoiled by all the UP activity in San Antonio as well as the two Amtrak trains that come here. I do need to get out more and get some shots.

How about the rest of you???? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

And tell your friends about this forum. Please have them stop by and contribute if they are interested!
Last edited by CNJ on Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:44 pm

Down here on the "bottom end" of nowhere, traffic on the UP has picked up. Since the Brownville & Harlingen Subs are "dark", everything runs by track warrants, and things can get a little backed up. A new yard in Olmito is already too small, and trains get parked on the mainline between Harlingen and Olmito [Brownsville yard].

Having moved here from Chicago, you can probably understand that I think things are a little dead down here!
Even San Antonio and Houston pale, compared to the train traffic and its variety in Chicago. :wink:
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A few words from the moderator...

Postby Komachi » Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:58 pm

(Cue jubulant, yet ominous marching music and fanfare)

As your benevelant dictator, er moderator, I suppose I should tell you a little more about myself.

I'm a product of our glorious bicentenial year and grew up in a small town in Minnesota that was once on one of the more interesting branches of the Milwaukee Road (it was a 3' narrow guage originally). I attended classes at Winona State University in Winona, MN, which was a major maintainence complex for the CGW and later the C&NW. I went further west after three years... in fact, so far west that I was suddenly in the "far east," and spent two years in Japan, a veritable Shangri La for train nuts. In fact, I took the name of the Akita shinkansen (or "bullet train" as we call them here in the US) as my screen name. And finished my last three years of school in Milwaukee, WI (not really a "western" town, but was the home base for the Milwaukee Road, which did reach the Pacific coast). So now, I'm a historian (at least that's what the parchment reads).

I've worked nine years as a Disc Jockey at my hometown radio station (part-time) and, like most recent college grads, am currently seeking employment. And when I'm not spinning hard drives (our music library is on computer) or surfing the 'net looking for work, I'm here overseeing my seven forums.

I've been a railfan for as long as I can remember (maybe even invitro) and have been a model railroader since I was ten (which was about 19 years ago). I have an interest in a wide range of railroads from both coasts, to down south to the Midwest, with my two big favorites being the Chicago & Northwestern and Milwaukee Road along with fellow fallen flag regional the Green Bay & Western.

Oh, and I'm an ALCohaulic (ALCophile?).

Well, now that I've put you guys to sleep, I'll step down off the podium and let someone else say a few words about themselves.
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Postby The S.P. Caboose » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:56 am

I'm a product from Los Angeles, born here and lived here all my life. I'm 50 years old and have my fondest memories of the Southern Pacific.

Most of my railfanning is in the Cajon Pass, Tehachapi, Beamont Hill and Union Pacific Coastlines.
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Postby westernrrtx » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:24 pm

I am a 48 year old male locomotive engineer. I work out of Seattle WA. I have been an engineer for 26 years starting with the SP in 1979 and transfering to Amtrak in 1988. I have boomed all over the Western United States. I moved to Seattle in 1997 as a temporary move and met my wife here . She is a 1979 BN Conductor who transfferd to Amtrak in 1990.
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Postby espee » Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:50 pm

I am a 48 year old railfan. Born and raised in Nevada, the only railroad in town was the Nevada Northern RY. I have lived most of my life in Colorado on the old Tennessee Pass line. I have been a railfan for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I don't get out as often as I would like. Although I like the SP, I never seen it until it was bought by the Rio Grande (my favorite). Until the mega mergers, the Joint Line was a good place to visit due to the mix of locomotives. That was where I seen my first ATSF & BN years ago.
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Postby AmtrakFan » Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:38 pm

Well I am a Chicago Railfan and a person who has traveled to several major western RR Sites. They are Powder River Basin, Tehacahpi, Marias Pass, UP Crossing of the Cascades, Transcon in NM/AZ, Coast Line, Surf Line, the Sunset Route, Barstow, etc.
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Postby BlockLine_4111 » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:08 pm

No need for me to be too personal but I drifted over here from the NJ Transit and New Jersey Railfan forums. Not an active railfan anymore but enjoy O gauge 2 & 3 rail model trains as a small hobby.

My current residence and place of employment are virtually upon the BN(SF) Front Range Subdivision. Notice how I annotate BNSF to give crecidence to the BN. I don't chase trains they now chase me. :wink:
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A neurotic moment from the moderator...

Postby Komachi » Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:33 pm

BlockLine_4111,

"I don't chase trains they now chase me. :wink:"


I read that, and I just had this image in my mind...


A dark alleyway. BlockLine_4111 is running for their life as a large object trails behind him, a constant growl from the beast as it bears down on its prey. Two classification lights slowly fade on, in red. Then, an excessive number of headlights, including a huge Mars Gyralite and ditch lights illuminate the narrow passage and the figure fleeing in front of it. The lights also reveal a very worn and pock-marked "bloddy nose" with "SP" written in white, "railroad Roman" font. A hellish shriek from the ill-maintained air horns reverberates off the brick surfaces.


Maybe I should cut back on my diet of Film Noir flicks (and the occasional film based on a Stephen King novel, "Christine" is one of my favorites)... :wink:

Anyway, not mocking you, BlockLine_4111, just one of those wierd images that popped into my head (I'm "blessed" (cursed?) with an overactive imagination sometimes).
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Postby jogden » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:23 am

well, im new at this whole western thing. i used to live on the east coast, however just moved to Utah to start college. now that i am out here, i am interested in learning about the railraods out here and doing some railfanning.
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Postby CNJ » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:43 pm

I'm originally from New Jersey James, and I can sure you that its something to see these western railroads in action.
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Postby BlockLine_4111 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:53 pm

CNJ wrote:I'm originally from New Jersey James, and I can sure you that its something to see these western railroads in action.


I'll second that statement as well.
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Postby pennsy » Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:22 pm

Hi All,

Started off in beautiful downtown Brooklyn, segued to even more beautiful downtown Far Rockaway. Thanks to Uncle Sam, segued to San Antonio, and got a chance to wander around the freight and passenger yards there. Got used to the palm trees and fine weather and went west young man to Southern California. The entire family is now out here. So, all sorts of roots here now. In two weeks or so, due to become a Grandpa once again. Tempis Fugit. Spent last weekend in Surf City ( Huntington Beach) with the Surfing Competition and extreme beer drinking. If there was one bicycle there there were 10,000.
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Postby TB Diamond » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:24 pm

Origionally from CA, but wound up in New York state. Came back west when BN was hiring. Went through the locomotive engineer training program and was promoted. Worked out of Alliance, NE, Sterling, CO and Gillette, WY. Retired a few years ago. Had kin who worked on the Lehigh Valley RR out of Sayre, PA. This was the origionation of an interest in railroading that wound up as a career.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe
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Postby GN 599 » Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:24 pm

The west is the best. Family and friends worked for GN-BN-BNSF. I work for the BNSF too. :-D
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