How did you become a fan?

Tell us where you were and what you saw!

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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby atsf sp » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:50 am

1st was my visit to the California Railroad Museum as a kid and then watching all of the Conrail action at Beacon Park yard in Boston.
"Why would you take a train to go see another train?"
Some people just don't understand.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby Norge » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:06 pm

This forum is something I've been looking for for a very long time.

My interests did not begin like most posters here, but nevertheless I'm still a railfan. I became a railfan through loving Thomas the Tank Engine as little kid. My favorite book was Thomas the Tank Engine: the Complete Collection, which is a compilation of the original stories written by the Rev. Awdry from 1945-1970s. Once I became a fan, my grandfather encouraged my interest and saw it as an excuse to by himself a model trainset. My grandparents lived in the Poconos when I a toddler, and whenever we took a trip to the city (Scranton), we visited Steamtown. I loved and still love Steamtown.

My parents would later take me to the RR Museum of PA and the Strasburg Railroad, which certainly increased my love for steam locomotives and railroads. I also had videos about the SP Daylight, LNER's Flying Scotsman, and my grandparents had a VHS series called Railway Journeys across Europe (narrated by Bernie Kopell). When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a railroad engineer and drive steam locomotives, haha.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby deparker » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:09 pm

I was bitten by the bug somewhere around 1967 or 68. I was living just outside of Harrisburg, PA then. I can remember marveling at the Pennsy yards on various trips into the city. However the biggest impact was when my parents (and us kids) visited friends whose house was on a street that overlooked the Reading yard at Rutherford Heights. That vantage point allowed a great view of the hump operation and the classification yard. I spent many hours watching trains being put together as well as the regular traffic through the yard. I moved away around 1971 or so and ended up in a city east of Cleveland, Ohio when my Dad was transferred there for his job. Oddly enough my parents ended up renting a house that was literally 100 yards from the PC and N&W mainlines! We lived there when Conrail started up. I wish now I had realized what I was seeing then and used a camera!
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Well Mr. Parker, allow me to note that my Summer Camp trips 1952-1955 to/from Meredith (camp was in Moultonborough along Red Hill Road) did much to formulate my life long interest in railroad industry affairs.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby CSX4617 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:17 pm

Well, for me I first became a train enthusiast when I was about 2-years-old, and grew up watching the Thomas and Friends TV Series, and eventually began seeing Conrail, CSX, and Norfolk Southern trains on the NS Dearborn and CSX Toledo lines in the Greater Dayton, Ohio area; where I lived up until last year when I moved to El Paso, Texas due to my step-dad being reenlisted in the US Army.
Long live CSX 4617!
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Abandoned Railroad Lines

Postby CSX4617 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Hello guys! Glad I recently joined this website and forum! There's SO much to do and discover, and I just want to share some of the things that I've seen within the past few years or months or whatever.

But yeah, I've recently seen several abandoned railroad tracks all over the internet. Whether they're old spurs, branch-lines, or mainlines!

Anyway, there's only one abandoned railroad line where I live in El Paso, Texas, which is a small spur which once connected to a Ferromex line leading into Juarez, Mexico from their yard which is operated by BNSF and UP due to trackage rights.

Where I originally lived in Dayton, Ohio, there were two or three lines which are what I would call "extended spurs", which are former mainlines which had spurs but were abandoned and half of the lines were converted into rail trails, while the rest became a long spur dead-ending into the bike trails.

So...what abandoned railroad lines have you guys seen or know about?
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby kevin.brackney » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:21 am

The bike bath between Springfield and Xenia is former PRR. I believe that Ohio, for it's size, has the largest concentration of improved (paved) rail-trails.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby kevin.brackney » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:22 am

I meant to say, "bike PATH."
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby 2nd trick op » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:47 am

For me, it began on a Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1953, when an indulgent bachelor uncle took his just-turned-four nephew down to the PRR station and interlocking plant at Nescopeck, Penna. Word had gotten out that steam operation would be ending on Pennsy's Wilkes-Barre branch that weekend. I can still racall the M-1 4-8-2 detatching itself from the head of the train and picking up three cars which might have been left from a the branch line to Hazlteon (which itself would shortly fall victim to Hurricane Hazel).

Happily, there were still a few places not that far away where steam lingered for another couple of years, and a couple of Employees Timetables and a subscription to Trains came along a few years later. By the time I was in High School, I had a pretty good understanding of the industry, economics included, and an agenda of places I wanted to see sooner or later (and in some cases, while I still could).

Later exploration would take me to some of those places I'd always read about (Cajon, Soldier Summit, the Moffat Tunnel and Quebec Bridge) and a particular fascination with operating rules, interlocking plants, dispatching and the like would lead to some experimentation based on an honors course in computer simulation I'd attended while at Penn State. I made one fling at working for the railroads --- strangely enough, while in my forties --- but "the job" sometimes calls for talents which which, anywhere else, might be considered an idiosyncrasy. And it did lead to a couple of cab rides and sanctioned visits to very "hot" locations.

It's an experience which, for some strange reason, has always added stability to the rest of my persona, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
What a revoltin' development this is! (William Bendix)
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby CP-4070 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:34 am

I got a H0 trainset for christmas as a young boy but don't know if it had an affect. What I know is (look at my name) that we watched Silverstreak a couple of times. I guess thats it, together with "James Bond - A View To A Kill" which had narrow gauge mining railroad in it.
Today I have a lot of Silverstreak items besides the fact that every part in my rooms is rail related.

Cheers, Andreas
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby fl9m2004 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:49 pm

For me it all started in 1991 when I would ride the new cannan branch which is about 4-5 blocks from my house
I would also head over to Stamford when with my former grandparents would go upstairs where the ticket agents are and then go onto tracks 2-4 platform and watch the amtraks and metro north trains open and close their doors. Conductors would wave and talk with me. Then after a while I would go up on platform myself and see the trains. I remember seeing the amtrak xl2000 before I started taking pictures. Same with the Danbury trains being how they where powered by now 4 years retired fl9's or f10's. then after about 3 years I would ride the Danbury branch from south norwalk to Danbury and return.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby jackintosh11 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:40 pm

For me it also started when I was a little kid. I lived in Chestnut Hill, so I saw a lot of trains on what was then the R8, and had a lot of Thomas trains. I would also ride the train downtown and then out to Glenside to visit my grandmother. I lost interest for a few years when I got interested in computers, but I was always slightly interested. I had heard about the Silverliner V back in 2009, and after that I wasn't as interested. Last year I saw something related to it and I started to become more interested. Recently, I've gotten more interested, I think that it was when I found that there wasn't anything more about computers for me to learn, so I became more into them.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby 4400Washboard » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:41 pm

I started by collecting subway timetables, then got sucked into rolling stock at the NYCT museum and then branched out to commuter RRs
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby Michael D. Storey » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:11 pm

I lived from age zero to six next to the Subway in Rochester. My father liked rails, and I went along. He took me to see the place where the interurban from Syracuse came into Rochester, a tunnel with water covering he rails. I think that my Lionels helped, too. I came to like fixing things, machinery and the feel of rail motion.
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Re: How did you become a fan?

Postby Nicholas Chen » Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:48 pm

My dad took me to Bound Brook every Sunday morning as a young child and I would watch the NJT's and freights. I grew up watching them double track the CSX and NS line there. Also watched Thomas a lot as a little kid. I also rode the subway with my grandpa in Queens to Flushing and Elmhurst on several occasions. Now I'm a teenage railfanner with a Youtube channel!
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