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Plane Spotters -vs- Train Spotters  
User currently offlineCrox1 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 306 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3710 times:
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Hi

Here in the UK we have an abundance of Train Spotters, you know the kind of people that will stand in the freezing cold just to glimpse that one registration they havn't seen before, sound familiar?.

In the UK train spotters are the butt of endless jokes, and Plane Spotters are somehow lumped into the same category.

How would you explain our hobby is different from train spotting, or is it?

Andy


Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDLX737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1934 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

I personally find our hobby a tad more exciting. Trains are powerful but not as much as a commercial jetliner. Trains simply push along rails for endless miles. Planes, in a way neglecting ATC, make there own paths in the air and reach speeds well over 500mph. It's still amazing to me to see a 747 or any large aircraft for that matter pull itself off the ground, as much as it weighs, and defy gravity to the point where it is airborne. I never get over seeing that. Train spotting may be similar in the way of getting different types or different regs (do trains have regs?... forgive my ignorance) but I find airplanes a lot more fun!

-Justin


User currently offlineUsAirways16bwi From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1004 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3696 times:

Quoting DLX737200 (Reply 1):
I personally find our hobby a tad more exciting. Trains are powerful but not as much as a commercial jetliner. Trains simply push along rails for endless miles. Planes, in a way neglecting ATC, make there own paths in the air and reach speeds well over 500mph. It's still amazing to me to see a 747 or any large aircraft for that matter pull itself off the ground, as much as it weighs, and defy gravity to the point where it is airborne. I never get over seeing that. Train spotting may be similar in the way of getting different types or different regs (do trains have regs?... forgive my ignorance) but I find airplanes a lot more fun!

could not have said it better!  bigthumbsup   airplane 


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3692 times:

Having been equally involved in general aviation and railroading (worked for a historic tourist railroad for ten years) I find that each has pluses and minuses. From the standpoint of sheer size and power I find both to be equal. Yes it's amazing to see a large transport aircraft takeoff. However, the weight of a fully loaded 747 is less than the weight of three modern diesel electric locomotives by themselves. These locomotives whisk freight trains weighing easily up to fifteen thousand tons (thirty million pounds) at speeds of over sixty miles an hour. They move everything imaginable from passengers to you name it. What amazes me is the importance that railroads have in our national standard of living and economy. Everything that we use benefits from the railroad. That said, trains and railroads are more powerful than aviation. Furthermore, they operate as private entities with little support from the government. Except for transit systems, 99% of railroad lines in the United States were constructed and are operated and maintained with private money.

As for train registrations, there are individual numbers assigned to each car and locomotive in service in the United States. Each railroad and private company that owns rolling stock has their own reporting marks issued by the Association of American Railroads. Most railroads have multiple reporting marks due to mergers. The railroads that were predominant where I grew up, Norfolk Southern and CSXT have the following reporting marks.

Norfolk Southern-
NS-Norfolk Southern
NW-Norfolk and Western
SOU-Southern Railway
CNOTP-Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway
CG-Central of Georgia
NKP-Nickel Plate
AGS-Alabama Great Southern
NONE-New Orleans and Northeastern
TAG-Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia
PRR-Pennsylvania Railroad

CSXT-
L&N-Louisville and Nashville
SCL-Seaboard Coast Line
NYC-New York Central
NC&StL-Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway

These are just the reporting marks used by these two railroads and are actually not all that they use (NS has more that I can't think of). Most of these are still in current use. Some locomotives are more famous or infamous than others. Famous locomotives that every railfan will know are the SP 4449 (Southern Pacific); Spokane, Portland and Seattle No. 700; Southern Railway No. 4501 and Union Pacific's Nos. 844 and 3985. The most widely known infamous locomotive I can think of is Illinois Central No. 382-the locomotive that John Luther "Casey" Jones was running when he was killed in the early morning of April 30, 1900 at Vaughn, MS. His New Orleans Special was over an hour late and he aimed to get it back on schedule. He made up most of the lost time, running at speeds well over 70 miles an hour with his heavy passenger train. At Vaughn, two freight trains were unable to clear the main track due to a mechanical problem on one of the trains. Though Jones was signaled by the flagman of danger ahead, he was unable to stop due to his train's speed and even with a full emergency brake application, plowed into the standing trains at over 50 mph. After that wreck, the 382 would be involved in several more accidents, most of them fatal. One time it spooked the crew by derailing alongside a coffin factory. The railroad attempted to break the string of bad luck by changing the locomotive's assigned number a couple of times. Still it continued to kill and maim its crews with unusual frequency-even for those days. Finally, on her trip to the scrapper she claimed her last victim when she derailed, killing the fireman. Railroad history and folklore is much more interesting to me than most aviation related matter. Having grown up around airplanes, they're not that fascinating. Most of it's ho-hum everyday stuff to me now.

There are industry standards that must be met in addition to state and federal regulations. Some railroads are governed by different standards than others due to certain conditions. The railroad that I worked for was primarily a preservation organization. Therefore, our equipment is classified as "historic" and exempt from certain safety regulations as compliance with them would require us to significantly alter the equipment. Our locomotives are not required to have modern ditch lights or the latest air brake equipment by the government. However, other railroads that we have agreements with may require us to make certain modifications as a condition for us using their lines. If you operate a steam locomotive, the boiler must pass both the state and federal inspection.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3676 times:

Quoting DLX737200 (Reply 1):
do trains have regs?... forgive my ignorance

Like probably every commercial vehicle in the world, be it plane, train, bus, or boat, yes they have regs! Usually in the form of a number. I think the attraction is getting all the regs, not the power or beauty - after all, you'll be wanting to get the dumpiest 8mph shunters as well as the sleek and shiny 186mph Eurostars.

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 3):
At Vaughn, two freight trains were unable to clear the main track due to a mechanical problem on one of the trains

IIRC, that was due to the lengths of the freight trains. What Mr Jones should have done was stop on the main while the front freight was occupying the main beyond the siding, then wait for the same freight to back up (clearing the main in front but now occupying it in rear), then carry on. Nobody will ever know the honest truth about whether the flagman did his job properly, or whether Jones or the fireman kept the proper lookout.

And why did Burger King take over the Casey Jones fast food places? They had great milkshakes until BK took them over!

Geoff M.


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3635 times:

Length of the freight trains was only a contributing factor. The combined length was too long for the siding, leaving four cars fouling the main. The trains were planning to execute a "saw-by" to allow No. 1 to pass. However, they had to saw-by northbound No. 2 and 1st and 2nd No. 26 which headed in on the house track at the station to await No. 1. When they shover north to allow both sections of No. 26 to get to the house track, an air hose burst on the northbound freight leaving the North end switch fouled. The train crew was engaged in repairing that defect at the time the collision occurred. Visability was poor due to weather conditions and the fact that Vaughn was at the south end of a reverse curve. The design of the locomotive meant that only the fireman would have had an unobstructed view of the track ahead and the stalled freight train.

What is certain (from official reports and statements) is that Sim Webb (the fireman) was maintaining a proper lookout approaching Vaughn as he and Jones knew to expect the freight trains and No. 26 at Vaughn and that they would be required to saw-by. The instant the freight train came into view, Webb realized it was still on the main line and shouted a warning to Jones, who immediately reversed the locomotive and applied the brakes. Most of what is not known involves Flagman Newberry and his actions. Did he go out to protect the rear of his train? If so, did he go back the distance required by the operating rules? Would he even have had time to get back the required distance given the circumstances? If the railroad had employed night train order operations at Vaughn and Pickens, could a warning have been telegraphed to Pickens, warning Jones that the trains would be in the north saw position and not the south saw position as he might normally expect them to be? Having worked with steam locomotives for a decade and reading the numerous reports and statements, I find it hard from a professional view to believe that Jones and Webb were anything less than professional in their locomotive and train handling and that given the circumstances, they were miminally at fault for the collision. Webb lived well into the 1940s and was interviewed countless times about that night-his story was consistant to the end.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3599 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 5):

Well done - that's a lot more accurate than your original post! However, "what is certain" is not certain at all. You're still relying on peoples' memory of the events. You can lie and still keep a consistent story - it just has to be simple. Anyway, I'm not contesting the alleged facts, just pointing out the deficiences. Ever been to the musuem east of Memphis, TN (can't remember the name of the town right now but took about an hour driving east IIRC)? Small but interesting museum based on the Jones house.

Geoff M.


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3595 times:

Yes I have been to the Jones museum. As for what is certain, that has been established fact for years. Yes we are relying on people's memories to an extent but the historical fact remains that there were, at a minimum, twelve other railroaders involved who witnessed the events firsthand not counting the dispatcher. It would be very difficult for that many people to cover up in an investigation without there being some notable discrepency. However, it could be entirely possible that the railroad would turn a blind eye to a coverup if it were in their interest. As we say in the railroad business, they'll hang the blame on the dead man since blaming him won't hurt anyone else and he can't defend himself.

Surveyer's drawings of the line and photographs and mechanical drawings of the locomotive involved also exist, corroborating the fact that Jones would not have even seen the caboose prior to impacting it as his view was entirely obscured by the locomotive boiler on the left side. The 382 was what we railroaders call a "deckless" locomotive. That means that the boiler firebox occupies the space between the fireman's and engineman's seats, effectively blocking any communication between the two while seated. This configutation undoubtedly contributed to many fatal accidents, so much that in the 1920s the Interstate Commerce Commission outlawed the construction of new deckless locomotives. Also, information relevant to the collision was passed on to the dispatcher immediately afterwards. A couple of crewmen on one of the other trains had served as telegraphers and broke the depot door down in order to telegraph word of the collision to Canton (where the dispatcher was located).

As for the museum, it is located in Jackson, Tennessee though the home has been removed from its original location in town. About a year after I visited, the museum was to be closed for an extended time to allow for new construction. Jackson was a major division point on the Illinois Central. Jones spent almost his entire career (other than his short tenure on the New Orleans Special and the 1893 Expo) running trains on the Water Valley Division with No. 638, known to be his favorite locomotive. The 638 was the locomotive displayed in Chicago at the Columbian Exposition in 1893 and gained Jones's attention. As far as his running is concerned on the night of April 30th, from the train sheets and timetable information, it is clear that Jones was in fact running at very high speed. Each station agent manning an open train order office was required to report the time each train arrived and departed their station to the dispatcher. Also, the crews involved at Vaughn reported the time of the collision to be approximately 3:52 AM. That would have put No. 1 two minutes off the schedule at Vaughn. It should also be noted that No. 1 was superior to every other train on the division that night other than No. 2. Thus it was not Jones's responsibility to look out for the other trains under the standard operating rules. It was the responsibility of the inferior trains to see that they cleared the main track before being on the superior train's time. This they obviously did not accomplish. As far as the mechanical condition that practically rendered the freight trains immobile, the collision was probably unavoidable given that and the operating practices of that era.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3582 times:

Aircraft fly, trains do not.

In terms of psychology, there is little difference between the two hobbies. People like to make lists, end of story.

We are just as dotty as train spotters.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineVivek0072 From India, joined Jun 2005, 284 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3547 times:

is there any site for trains like airliners.net ?


That life's most failures were people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up. - Edison.
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3535 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 7):

Er... I'm quite familiar with the facts and the alleged events but thanks all the same. We do know for sure that we don't know everything about the incident - let's leave it at that. The reason I took interest in it is because I work in railway signalling so I'm quite familiar with many worldwide railway disasters.

Quoting Vivek0072 (Reply 9):
is there any site for trains like airliners.net ?

I don't think there are any as big as a.net, but http://www.trainorders.com (subscription) is one. http://www.simsig.co.uk is another (ok, that was a personal plug).

Geoff M.


User currently offlineJorge1812 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 3149 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3533 times:

http://www.railpictures.net/

Looks familar to Jetphotos.net...same guys running it.

I'm more interested in planes but sometimes when I'm at the railroad station I think "The next time you bring your camera here", especially the highspeed trains impress me - what will the ICE in Germany.

Georg.


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3524 times:

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 10):
The reason I took interest in it is because I work in railway signalling so I'm quite familiar with many worldwide railway disasters.

The IC, like most other southern railroads at the time had very rudamentary signalling, compared to what came along only twenty years later. By the 1920s, Automatic Train Control/Automatic Train Stop systems were in wide use on many of the larger railroads. There were a number of train collisions that happened due to signalling errors on the part of signal operators or maintainers. Rarer still were accidents due to signal failures where the signal remained in the clear indication rathar than showing its most restrictive indication. Sloppy operating practices contributed to the worst fatal passenger train accident to occur in the US-the Nashville collision on July 17, 1918. That was due to one passenger train heading out onto the single track main without bothering to determine if the opposing passenger train had arrived at Shops Junction outside Nashville, Tennessee. The trains collided head on about two miles west of Shops at a combined speed of over 100 miles an hour. 101 persons lost their lives when the wooden coaches telescoped.

Only a few years later a fatal head on collision occured at the Southern Railway station at Rockmart, Georgia (near Atlanta) on the night of December 23, 1926. The southbound Royal Palm was awaiting the arrival of the northbound Ponce de Leon which was to take the siding. The engineman of the drifting Royal Palm saw the headlight of the delayed train through the dark, stormy night and suddenly realized that the train had passed the switch and a head on collision was imminant. Warning his fireman to jump, he put the brakes in emergency, sounded a short whistle blast and followed the fireman. Stumbling in the rain and mud, he had gotten about twenty feet from the track when he turned and heard the collision. The baggage car of the northbound train ran up under the tender, pushing it into the air. The coach behind ran up onto the baggage car and the second car-an all steel dining car was telescoped along two thirds of its length by the steel passenger car behind it. While there were only a few injuries on the southbound train, 19 persons on the northbound train were killed. As it was suppertime, the dining car was full and all but one person in the car was either killed or seriously injured. In the investigation that followed, it was learned that the regular engineer of the northbound train had been relieved by the Road Foreman of Engines, who was running the train at the time of the accident while the regular engineman was riding the coaches as there was no third seat in the cab. It was known that a freight train was sitting on a siding just below the one that the Ponce was to take. Furthermore, it was usual practice for the southbound train to take the siding as the northbound train was superior by timetable rights. However on the night of the accident, the northbound train was substantially delayed and the dispatcher gave orders giving the southbound train the right to the main track at Rockmart. In the end, the investigators concluded that the Road Foreman of Engines forgot the orders requiring his train to take the siding for the southbound train, mistook the signals of the freight train for those of the southbound passenger train and continued on at track speed until it was too late to stop short of the other train.

Ironically, in the case of the Southern Railway collision at Rockmart the investigator's report was highly complimentary of the railroad's signalling practices. It was noted that both locomotives were outfitted with Automatic Train Stop equipment as the main line between Chattanooga and Atlanta was being resignalled with new Automatic Block Signals. Also, the railroad had intended to activate the Automatic Train Stop equipment on that line in October, 1926. However, the equipment supplier experianced delays in supplying the necessary equipment to the railroad, requiring them to put off the activation of the ATS at no fault of their own. Had ATS been operational, the accident would most likely not have occurred. It was also noted that the signal improvements and ATS installation was being done by the railroad without any motivation from the government-not unusual for Southern Railway which prided itself with being an industry leader in adopting new technologies.

I'll have to theck out the UK simsig site. I presume that you all still use route signalling as opposed to the speed signalling which is dominant in the US.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 12):
I'll have to theck out the UK simsig site. I presume that you all still use route signalling as opposed to the speed signalling which is dominant in the US.

Yes, route signalling. Pros and cons to each type - something best left to a site outside a.net! My site does have an active forum if you fancy discussing it there.

Geoff M.


User currently offlineSkywatch From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 923 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3483 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 3):
From the standpoint of sheer size and power I find both to be equal. Yes it's amazing to see a large transport aircraft takeoff. However, the weight of a fully loaded 747 is less than the weight of three modern diesel electric locomotives by themselves

He has turned to the dark side! Wink I find aircraft spotting much more enjoyable than train spotting. What if the wind shifts? What if there is a huge storm in the way? What if there is another plane on the runway when one is on finals? The realm of aviation has more variables, which make it less predictable. So for me, plane spottingit is! ( realize some people would rather train-spot, and that is fine with me. I am not calling their hobby stupid ore useless. Whatever floats your boat! {it sinks mine!})
---Skywatch



------Forever Watchin' The Sky------
User currently offlineF14D4ever From United States of America, joined May 2005, 319 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3480 times:

Quoting Crox1 (Thread starter):
How would you explain our hobby is different from train spotting, or is it?

It's not, in my (humble) opinion. They're both exciting. The roar of a jet engine and the rumble of a diesel locomotive are both thrilling. I jump at the chance to do either. With the advent of 'pool power', different companies running their motive power on each others' rails, the combinations add quite a splash of color. And how about the graffiti? Ever seen "Kilroy was here" on an airliner?



"He is risen, as He said."
User currently offlineZone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1035 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3479 times:

It is going to be interesting next year because my roommate of two years (RoseFlyer) is leaving for a co-op. We had all this aviation stuff in our room. Models, posters, and yes luggage tags. Next year I will be living with someone who is actually a train spotter. So I guess one side of the room will have posters of trains and the other side will have posters of planes.


/// U N I T E D
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3467 times:

Actually I never really crossed over to the planespotter side. Planes only really came into my life after my parents became private pilots and aircraft owners. Growing up in Chattanooga, railroads and trains were the dominant interest-trainspotters in the Southeastern US outnumber planespotters ten to one. I worked for a tourist railroad for ten years in passenger train service and have always been interested in railroad history and technology. I am as a matter of fact, a railroad historian and am the official historian of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and Tennessee Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. I don't buy very many railfan oriented books as they have very little substance to them these days. I also have a slim personal photograph collection as I spent most of my off time doing other things, though I did occasionally go out and take photographs of our trains and those on other railroads that I visited.

One thing that bugs me is how some folks boast of getting a jumpseat or cab ride? Who cares? I rode in the cab so many times that I frankly don't care if I ever ride in the cab again. Most of the time I did ride in the cab (off duty) was to socialize with the enginemen that I worked with. When I rode other railroads, I didn't even think of cab rides as I like to see how their passenger services compare to ours-is there anything we can do to improve? Cab rides are a standard courtesy in our industry. I give you the extra special treatment while you're visiting us and expect the same treatment in return if I visit your road. Our road was one of the few that even allows members of the general public to take a cab ride on occasion. Most roads prohibit them. The only cab ride that I really enjoyed was on the Tweetsie Railroad's park railroad in Blowing Rock, NC. They have two steamers, one a narrow gauge Baldwin ten wheeler built in 1912 for the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad and the other a narrow gauge 2-8-2 built in the 1940s for the White Pass and Yukon Railway-No. 192. One of my co-workers knew the shop foreman there and was going there on personal business and invited a couple of us from Chattanooga to join him if we wanted. We took up his offer and met him there in Blowing Rock. While he and the foreman went to town to get something, we wandered around the backshop and met up with the enginemen. They were due to make another trip around the park and said we were more than welcome to join them, which we did. I sat on the fireman's seat and the other fellow stood in the gangway. That little 2-8-2 was a neat engine and a very nice looking one at that!



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineAzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 757 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3443 times:
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I'm equally plane-nut and train-nut. I've been a train nut since my earliest memories, and a plane nut since my college days.

There is something quite thrilling about being at trackside on mountain grades while 4-7 large units on the point of a long 10,000+ ton train strain to pull it up the grade. My favorite spots are out west...I like Cajon at a spot about a mile below Summit, where the three lines are side-by-side. I love the Tehachapi Loop. Both, of course, are in southern California. I also love Stevens Pass up in Washington state.

The two best grades around here that I like are Sand Patch, and Horseshoe Curve, both in PA.

Yeah, I love being by the ends of runways as jets take off overhead, especially 747s. But there's a special thrill when those deep, throaty, rumbling, huge diesels pass by straining to pull a long train up a mountain grade!! THAT is POWER!!!



Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Best grade where I lived in Tennessee was the Pusher District on Cumberland Mountain between Cowan and Tantallon on the old Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. 4% grades, sharp curves, deep rock cuts and high fills all on that part of the line. Top of the grade is halfway through the 2000+ foot Cumberland Mountain tunnel. Ever since the line opened in the 1850s, the heaviest motive power on the railroad has been stationed at Cowan, Tennessee in helper service. Almost any train on that line requires a helper in either direction to make the climb to the tunnel. Plenty of stories about collisions, runaways and even a crownsheet failure on a 2-8-8-2 on that line. Nothing like standing at one of the road crossings halfway up the mountain, hearing the approach of the train and feeling the earth shake as five of the most powerful locomotives built strain to lift the long 10,000+ ton train up to the tunnel-three on the point and the two unit pusher on the rear. Due to the topography, the pusher is never on the point unless the train being assisted is a welded rail train. Most other trains would pull a drawbar or break a knuckle due to the strains caused by the topography and in train forces.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5729 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3424 times:

Quoting Crox1 (Thread starter):
How would you explain our hobby is different from train spotting, or is it?

I am neither plane spotter nor train spotter in the strict meaning of the word, however I think that train spotting has also its beauty too especially since there's a lot more variety of carriages, engines, etc. For example Canadian, Swiss and let's say Thai railways will have each completely different range of engines and carriages, whereas the fleets of Air Canada, Swiss and Thai Airways will be made up of more and more uniform mix of Boeings/Airbuses and occasional RJs or turboprops.


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12221 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3422 times:
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Well I know which one I prefer to photograph Smile

User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3386 times:

I do too, when I take a camera along. Too many people spend too much time looking through the lens and limiting their enjoyment of the experiance, be it plane spotting or train spotting. Also, unlike some railroaders or aviators, I never took a camera along while officially on duty. Technically it's a violation of the operating rules and to a degree, unprofessional. My favorite photographs are group photographs of train and engine crews in front of their magnificant magic carpets of steel. Myself, I've been in at least two crew portraits. One was taken on Easter Sunday several years ago in front of ex-Southern Railway No. 4501 after the day's last passenger service. The other was taken following the last revenue trip of ex-Southern Railway No. 4501 in September of 1997. Her boiler certificate expired that day and due to the extensive repairs the locomotive would need, management decided to place the locomotive into storage indefinately, using our resources and funds to restore a slightly smaller locomotive due to traffic and economic factors. If and when the 4501 will return to service has not been decided yet. Oddly, this is the longest that the 1911 Baldwin 2-8-2 has ever sat in cold storage, having worked essentially every year of her life from 1911 to 1997 under four owners: Southern Railway 1911-1947; Kentucky and Tennessee Railway 1947-1964; Paul H. Merriman 1964-1979; Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum 1979-present. Each time she changed owners, she was in operating condition and working somewhere. When she was acquired by Mr. Merriman, she was moved under her own power from the point of delivery at Stearns, KY all the way to her new home in Chattanooga, TN under her own power without any diesel backup. Very few preserved steamers in the US match up to her.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3366 times:

Quoting DLX737200 (Reply 1):
I personally find our hobby a tad more exciting. Trains are powerful but not as much as a commercial jetliner. Trains simply push along rails for endless miles. Planes, in a way neglecting ATC, make there own paths in the air and reach speeds well over 500mph. It's still amazing to me to see a 747 or any large aircraft for that matter pull itself off the ground, as much as it weighs, and defy gravity to the point where it is airborne. I never get over seeing that. Train spotting may be similar in the way of getting different types or different regs (do trains have regs?... forgive my ignorance) but I find airplanes a lot more fun!

-Justin

Just spend some time along a French high speed line, with double deckers TGV weighting more than 800 tons and carrying more than 1000 persons passing at 300 km/h (186 mph) behind a light fence at 5 meters from you.

Or stay on the platform at a station on a high speed line, and you will see the non-stop TGV pass at full speed, with only a stopping track between you and them, as in the following videos.

Single deck trainsets:
http://www.trainweb.org/tgvpages/video/trackside/picardie1.mov
http://webpages.charter.net/ross-squ.../dan/trains/qtvideo/tgvstation.mov

Double deck trainsets (go to the bottom of the page, and click on "Telecharger" for the clip you want).
http://www.train-rail.com/materiel/tgv/tgv_d/

This can also be exciting.



[Edited 2005-07-20 09:32:30]


Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2555 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3348 times:

TGV and the Shinkansen are both engineering marvels to behold. If your in the Americas, visit an intermediary station on the Northeast Corridore and watch a Metroliner pass on the platform track at 125 mph with eight to ten coaches behind the electric motor. Back in the day, steam powered expresses often attained 100 mph or more in regular service. Locomotives capable of high speeds were being erected as early as the 1860s in the United States, though few railroads possessed suitable rights of way at that time. Shinkansen runs on high maintenance standard heavy rail which differs somewhat from that of the TGV system. Both are very high speed but the TGV is the faster of the two, having set a world speed record of 357 mph.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
25 Post contains images Skidmarks : You got that right Andy
26 FlyingNanook : I do have one little question about trainspotting. Do trainspotters collect just engine numbers or both engine and car numbers? I can see how the engi
27 Geoffm : Generally multiple units, engines and passenger carriages, at least here in the UK. Freight wagons tend to be for the die hard fans. Multiple units a
28 57AZ : No I haven't gotten to the Alaska Railroad yet. However, it is on my list of railroads to ride eventually. Trainspotters here in the US generally coll
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