• If you're having issues logging in following the maintenance last weekend, please clear your browser cache and cookies - this should then allow you to login without issue (and will only need doing once)

what to log when spotting?

Status
Not open for further replies.

rhjones19

New Member
Joined
11 Jul 2016
Messages
2
Hi I was wondering what people record/log and how.

I would like to give trainspotting a go - but i'm a bit puzzled as to what i need to write down
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Harbornite

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2016
Messages
3,634
You can use a camera and/or a notebook and pen to write down the locomotive or unit's identification number.

27800325770_e8125c24a8_c.jpg


In this case, the number you would record is 150120. Hope this makes sense.
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,474
I've not long since started my quest to 'spot' every unit in mainland UK (shameless plug), so hopefully I can offer some starters for ten.

As Harbornite says, all you need if you're purely after logging units/locos, is numbers. Some are easy to get, such as EWS 66s or 150s, some are an absolute devil to observe, notably 220s, 221s and 390s!

I have a slightly convoluted approach to noting down numbers, which varies depending upon where I am. If it's a quiet spot then I simply log them directly to my spreadsheet on my phone, which automatically flags duplicates (I'm not interested if I've seen it before). If it's somewhere hectic, or the phone battery needs conserving, then I use a wee notebook, and transfer numbers across to the spreadsheet when time then allows. The latter method does throw up more duds, but I can at least filter them out later on.

To track overall progress I heartily recommend Trainlogger. I've paid for full access, but even the free version is good.
 

TH172341

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2010
Messages
388
Welcome to the forum!

Can't go wrong with what Harbonite has said, and was how I started.

Although what always helped me are a set of books by someone called Robert Pritchard, published by Platform 5 Publishing Limited. First used these 10 years ago when I was around 7. Essentially there are 4 books which have a record of all the UK's trains. When you see an individual train, you can highlight it in your book. The books tend to cost around £5 each.

I also keep a little red notebook organised by date - any trains I see or ride I log in here, and then transfer into the books. I've only started to do this again recently, as I had a break from it all for a few years.

Any questions, please feel free to ask!
 
Last edited:

Condor7

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2012
Messages
989
Location
Penrith
Hi and welcome.

You will find quite a variety in what people log down.
At one end of the scale some just take photos, at the other you will find some that have small tape recorders and record not only the loco number but the numbers of all the wagons or coaching stock as well.

In the end most fall somewhere in between. I for one restarted 'spotting' about 10 years ago, and bought myself a really good quality notebook and pen, and I like to keep a record that can be of help to others sometimes, but mostly as something to look back on as the years go by. So I record the location, the date and time the loco number, head code, where it is from and going to and the name of the train operating company. I then transfer the number into a spotting book, such as the Platform 5 books.

In the end I think it is worth thinking about it a bit (as you clearly are) and decide how you would like to do it.
 
Last edited:

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
25,949
Location
Fenny Stratford
Hello!

Log whatever you want - there are no rules and what works for one doesn't work for others. Asking here will get you all kinds of complex, obsessive and fantastical "rules" or approaches! Just decide what is best for you and go with that. Straight forward is always best to my simple mind.

Obviously I doesn't spot trains. Although I might take the odd picture ;)
 

physics34

Established Member
Joined
1 Dec 2013
Messages
3,300
Don't know how your knowledge is but you've got to learn train recognition and to some extent the companies that run the services/freight. This will help with locations. I also had the platform5 books.
 

AJM580

Member
Joined
31 Jan 2016
Messages
532
Location
Norwich
I agree with all of the above - the Platform 5 books are the best guide to whats out there. Also don't be afraid to ask questions on here. You'll usually get a sensible answer
 

DasLunatic

Member
Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
696
I agree with all of the above - the Platform 5 books are the best guide to whats out there. Also don't be afraid to ask questions on here. You'll usually get a sensible answer

Or, if you're feeling tight-fisted, install this app. It's completely free and you don't need to carry a notepad or pens. I think it's made by a member of this forum, so you can also get easy help.
 

HA25322

Member
Joined
18 Aug 2014
Messages
341
Location
The Moon
Or, if you're feeling tight-fisted, install this app. It's completely free and you don't need to carry a notepad or pens. I think it's made by a member of this forum, so you can also get easy help.

Shame that this is not on Itunes for Apple devices. Unless any ones knows any better??

And on the book front I find the best book to be Intercity UKRS No.1 UK Pocket Book 2016. http://www.intercityrailwaysociety.org/books.html It has pretty much everything in there and is handy for carrying about also.
Enjoy the hobby.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top