Rail Enthusiasts: Are you 'out'? Or are you still 'in'?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Thebaz, 20 Feb 2018.

  1. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    The term "bashing" should be reserved for real trains only - i.e. loco hauled trains not units. ;)
     
  2. GW43125

    GW43125 Established Member

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    I said to a few of my friends that I’m not a spotter, I’m a basher.
    Some gave me funny looks, some sniggered...
     
  3. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    I've said that I am a 'trainspotter' (even though I'm not), 'like trains' and am a 'railway enthusiast' to my friends, but have never dared to use the term 'basher', even though it is probably most accurate.
     
  4. HainultLoop

    HainultLoop Member

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    I've always said that I'm a 'railway enthusiast', not a 'trainspotter' when people ask me. No one would know what I mean by 'basher' anyway! Some in my school may think other things besides! :lol:
     
  5. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Portillo's definitely not 'out' by the way.
     
  6. xc170

    xc170 Member

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    Been interested in trains since my early teens, my farther is a driver for TOC so I'm guessing that's where my interest came from.

    My close friends and family know I'm a rail enthusiast, but I'm no hardcore enthusiast, a couple of trips out a year is about all I manage at the moment, having an 18 month old son has something to do with that, when I was 17 I was out every weekend!

    I don't hide it if people ask what I'm interested in but I also don't boast about it.

    It always amuses me when I go to my parents house and me and my dad talk trains. My mum, wife and brothers girlfriend usually look totally confused...
     
  7. Strathclyder

    Strathclyder Established Member

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    I used to keep it as closely guarded a secret as I possibly could, due to already being something of a loner/outcast in primary/high school (when my interests in the railways really began to take hold); I knew even then that it would only earn me more scorn & ridicule than I was prepared to handle at the time. Roll on my college/adult years & in a complete about-turn, I more or less wear it on my sleeve, not caring one jot what others think of it or me (most who find out are either accepting of it or could hardly care less). That said, I try to blend in as much as possible when out spotting, so as to not attract any unnecessary attention.
     
  8. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    I've never had an issue. When I changed my job from railways I continued to subscribe to Modern Railway magazine at my new workplace, but it was an engineering office (mostly geeky themselves) and they knew I was a former railway professional anyway. What I don't do is start talking to anybody about things like the differences between A60 and A62 Metropolitan Line stock.

    Rail enthusiasts are no different in principle and no worse than fishermen, football followers, petrol-heads, bridge players, CAMRA members or followers of innumerable other hobbies. The most boring thing I have found working in offices is people talking about their holidays; I have heard two guys talk for an hour about the relative merits of two adjacent hotels (and the beer they serve) in Majorca or some such place. I am in a photographic forum where there are long threads about eg where the factories were located that made a certain 1960's camera, and their subtle manufacturing differences.

    The thing to do is not expect anyone else in general to be interested, especially not your girlfriend. Instead, be a good listener to her character assassination of her sister/mother/previous-boyfriend; she will like that.
     
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2018
  9. Crawley Ben

    Crawley Ben Member

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    I don't hide my interest in railways and I don't see why on earth anyone else should either.

    At the end of the day, it's my hobby of choice & I'm not trying to preach about it to everyone else, and hope they all of a sudden become railway enthusiasts etc.

    I'm 33 years of age, and have posted on social media when I'm visiting a heritage railway, or on a steam hauled Railtour and I dont get snide remarks or comments etc.

    I don't do trips to stations to 'spot' etc but I don't have any issues with those who do that side of things.

    Don't be ashamed of what you enjoy is what I say .

    Ben
     
  10. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Well said. It is a shame that in these days there are still narrow minded idiots and bigots about.
     
  11. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Life long trainspotter and rock guitarist, I`m sure everyone knowns what I do, but I also have T shirts I wear on stage which say I also go trainspotting, basically I don`t give a monkeys what people think, its their problem, its not mine.
     
  12. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Some friends know my interests others don’t.
    Those who know have uncovered by accidental discussions and realising we know more about the subject than normal. A couple of colleagues have come out in their rail interest to me after I posted photos on Facebook of a visit to a heritage railway.
    I suspect there are a lot of closet rail enthusiast of some nature. I see many social media photos of friends visiting the local steam railway, something I assume there must be some enthusiasm for rail to spend a day there, especially considering it’s not cheap.
    I don’t go spotting but I enjoy trips out and exploring new lines, making multiple stops at towns and villages in the process. I’m probably more a travel enthusiast than a train spotter. I do keep a record of what trains (and buses) I travel on.
     
  13. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    The posters in secondary school will probably find in a few years when they are at uni, their friends will suddenly appreciate the usefulness of someone who can find them cheap tickets etc. Also depends on your work environment, what industry you work in, and whether people use the railways (inquisitive types will have a passing interest in something they use daily).
     
  14. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    A friend I had at Uni is interesting. I have only seen him on Facebook in the last 20 years, not actually in person. At Uni he wore death metal t shirts and then got in to the dance music scene. He was sponsored by the Paras to do his engineering degree. He ended up going full on in to being a dance music DJ. Since meeting him again on Facebook years later I know he spends his weekends taking his lad to Diesel galas on preserved railways and on rail tours. He was the wild child of our university halls and he loved trains (Not that we knew), never told a soul. It's weird. Why is it OK to like cars or planes but when it comes to trains so many of us clam up, it's not like it changes who you are.
     
  15. 700007

    700007 Member

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    The funny thing is that this forum has tens of thousands of users who clearly have enough interest in railways to join up to here yet among the millions of people in our population, you never seem to bump into people who have these interests. As a result if people do know about this 'lame, sad, nerdy' hobby you have (and whatever other labels you can stick on it) then they do give you stick or mock you especially at the most irrelevant times. But I've been a life-long public transport enthusiast (I do buses and trams as well, not just trains - although it is my primary interest of the three) since I could walk, and I've never been disappointed in my hobby no matter how many people are 'ashamed that I did not turn out like a normal person'. Sometimes that quote still gets my blood boiling on the worst of days.

    I'd say for that reason I'm 'out', people that know me do know I take an interest and give back to the railways due to my passion. I try to hide my excitement if I'm around people I know but if something really exciting happens and I'm by myself you might hear a few uncontrollable gasps or squeaks!

    To quote somebody who has given me stick on this topic, cars and planes are luxury whilst buses and trains is living the hobos' dream. That's why 'it is wrong' to have these interests. Surely everybody here has heard something like that in their lifetime.
     
  16. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    I m not quite out .
    I dont spot or stand at the end of platforms .
    I like going on new lines and riding different / new classes
     
  17. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    There’s no way you’d out yourself as a rail enthusiast in the Parachute Regiment, even as an officer (as he must have been if he was being sponsored through uni). :lol:
     
  18. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Ha ha. Indeed. Going back 12 years now but I remember the first time my ex met one of my best mates and he decided to tell her I was a train spotter. Ha ha. I was terrified, not so much about what she thought, more that her entire family were in the forces or ex forces. Her dad and his six brothers were all Kingos along with most of her mums side of the family. I needn't have worried, no one ever took the mick. To be honest I got more stick off the Irlam side of her family for being a scouser and a Liverpool fan than I did for liking trains. Ha ha. Also got a fair bit of stick off her dads side for being from Mossley Hill and studying engineering at Uni. I think that was a right of passage to be honest. I remember my first visit to her uncles up in Kirkby with the whole clan there, the ripping was relentless. Ha ha. I think it was decided after the first visit that I was alright, never happened again and even though me and the ex split up I am still friends with the family.
     
  19. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    I'm in my 20s. My family and most of my friends know that I am fascinated by railways, and my best mate is an engineer so he gets it, but I don't necessarily broadcast it as unfortunately most people still believe the stereotype of spending hours on the end of Doncaster station platform waiting to cop an exact locomotive, or think it's Thomas the Tank Engine for grown-ups.

    I'm incredibly lucky that my girlfriend grew up with two brothers who loved trains as kids, so she understands and she will come for a ride with me every now and again. However, there's one type of Mk1 coach bogie/suspension that leaves her feeling travelsick as even when the coach is stationary, it bobs slightly like a boat - so I have to hope that the service rake includes a mixture of types.

    If we go to a railway I will usually try and make sure that there's something to do other than simply riding on the train or looking around the loco shed - like exploring Haworth, or visiting Bolton Abbey, but I never mind that.
     
  20. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Ha ha, funny you should say that. Me and the ex spent a weekend in Keighley and went to the Hermitage museum in Howarth. The Brontes are one of her geek pleasures. I enjoyed it to and she enjoyed the railway. I think the only time her mind was totally blown was an East Lancs diesel gala with people flailing. Ha ha.
     
  21. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    Haha - don’t think I’d dare subject her to a gala. Generally I prefer quieter days anyway, I don’t enjoy it so much if it’s really busy.
     
  22. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Ha ha. Fair play. It was actually her that took me for my Birthday. I think it was an eye opener for her. Especially later in the day when a few fellow visitors had more beer.
     
  23. Harbon 1

    Harbon 1 Member

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    Started with numbers then realised trainspotting is boring when you haven't got a camera, so ditched the numbers all together.

    If people ask what I'm into I let them know, I don't wear a badge or anything.

    Had banter about it all my life really (I didn't really help myself when I was younger :lol:), guess a lot of it came over as bullying when I was younger but guess who they come to when they need train tickets ;)

    "Matt, what times are the trains to Leeds?" At that point I have to let them know I'm not that into it :lol:

    Recently I've got more involved with maintaining a locomotive, so people are a little more interested that I work on something so different to cars or trucks or tractors in one case.

    Don't really involve other people with it though, it's 'my thing'. Though I took my ex to the MNR Gala a couple of years ago (thats not why she's an ex :P) and she said she enjoyed the scenery. Top marks for her for that, I enjoyed the 50s more though!
     
  24. Crawley Ben

    Crawley Ben Member

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    Went down to Salisbury and Westbury the other day (Cathederals Express trip from Horsham) and found staff at both stations with a very relaxed/friendly attitude towards my friend who was taking some pics of units & freight. Nice to see as I'm aware other stations and staff are not so friendly etc where enthusiasts/spotters taking pics are concerned.

    Cheers

    Ben
     
  25. 507021

    507021 Established Member

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    My close friends, partner and certain family members know I'm a rail enthusiast, but that's it.
     
  26. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    I was at a dinner a few days ago and the subject of railway fans came up. When I was talking about Flying Scotsman and Tornado and how they have progressed in recent years, a bloke said oh are you an anorak then standing on platforms, taking down numbers? in rather an off hand tone, I was rather taken aback by that and was not sure quite how to respond. I just said that I had always been interested in trains etc and left it at that. He was not included in my round of drinks! <D
     
  27. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Is the correct answer. I don't spot trains but I think everyone I know is aware I am interested in railways alongside a couple of other things. it helps that where I work that isnt considered abnormal! My girlfriend knows I like railways and she has developed an interest in riding on steam trains on preserved railways ( along with cake and tea served thereon!). Would she care if I told her the steam locomotive was and LNER or LMS? Not at all. It is big and has steam coming out of it. Her response would be exactly the same as mine if she started talking about her diving kit in technical detail.

    I have used this post to illustrate my big concern ( and not have a go at the poster) with many spotters: Obsession. I think that leads to many of the issues. People who don't share your passion aren't interested in minutiae and technical detail that a fellow obsessive would be. I cringe whenever i hear a group of spotters wiblbing on using their own special language. It sounds so sad. I think it is about having balance and other things/people in your life rather than one huge, all consuiming obsession.
     
  28. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    I'm not a spotter. I explained this to answer a specific question of my friends and they did not seen to 'cringe'.
     
  29. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    If you’re someone who works on the railway you wouldn’t out yourself as an enthusiast either, or only to others you know share an interest. Drivers in particular seem to have surprisingly few enthusiasts amongst their number, anecdotally a lower % than guards and platform staff.

    I completely get that you don’t need to be an enthusiast to be a train driver, and that it can even be counterproductive in some situations, but my god it must be awful driving trains for a living if you can’t stand the sight of them. That might explain the endless moaning!

    That’s right, and of course train spotting in the traditional sense often appeals to those on the autistic spectrum who are prone to having “special interests” which can be all consuming in nature. It often strikes me as a surprisingly shallow interest in listing numbers/bashing units/covering track mileage without necessarily having much underlying interest in operational or technical details. Enthusiasts tend to have a more rounded interest and are usually more interesting to talk to.

    As a general point I think it’s a good thing for people to have an interest in something they find pleasurable or absorbing. In my experience people who poke fun at railway enthusiasts or other groups often don’t seem have any real interests of their own beyond fulfilling basic bodily functions, eating sleeping, going to the pub, watching crap on television etc.
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2018
  30. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Totally agree. Never had a problem in work when I used to get rest days during the week as I worked shifts. People asked what I was doing and I'd tell them I was getting the train to Barrow (for example). They'd ask why and I'd tell them because it was a nice journey around the coast and it was pulled by an old Diesel engine. I think if I'd started telling people what class of loco it was etc. etc. they would have quickly lost interest. As it was whenever a rest day or weekend came up people would ask where I was going. Half the time I was just going the match or the pub or watching some nutty Polish Death Metal band. I'd happily tell anyone I was a geek, I loved machines. Apologies, not sure why I used past tense for all that, I sill do the same stuff, just don't work shifts. It seemed to crop up more when I worked shifts, ha ha. Last time I got any stick was when I was at school. I suppose it is one good thing about getting older, at least as long as you can talk about more than one subject anyway.
     

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