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Old 02-18-2015, 04:05 AM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,655

Originally Posted by Noct Foamer View Post
I do hear complaints from train crews about foamers being too close to the tracks. The reason is they don't know if its a foamer or a suicidal wacko about to jump in front of them.
I am well aware of that specific fact and I try to educate others. It's not what you do, but what it could look like you are about to do in the eyes of another. That's why I always wave (one hand, not two, lol), and hold my camera up to see often with the strip dangling.

As for flash photography at night - when popping off multiple flashes (you get lazy and only bring one light), that is not often a problem as the crew is either not in the cab or they are engaged in something inside the cab, if even just a conversation.

I jumped in the band wagon - got some stuff on E-bay followed by a few speedlights but after speaking with the engineers at Strasburg, W&W and New Hope, I can say it was somewhat unanimous - "I hate those damn flashes!". They are pretty cool about it in general, after all, they cater to tourist (even the non-paying ones) and with a heads up, will often work the engine for you. But I've heard the opposite occur when no notice is given.

The nice thing about a tourist excursion line is you can actually walk up and say hello. Give them a heads up. Get permission. How do you do that with the Norfolk Southern Corporation?? Why would they even consider allowing any risk? This ain't 5 guys, or even 20, now we're talking a corporation with lawyers and shareholders.

And then, let's say you find a way. How do you find a way while you are vacationing in a new territory? How do you get access to even ask, let alone get permission to flash an engineer of a freight train?

I'm not trying to aggressively retort your statements, Kent - I'm genuinely curious. There was a quite a lively debate some time back on the site There were certainly more who seemed annoyed then favorable. Warning flash? - The thought was, "what's going on up there? What was that flash? Is there a problem". Flash light or flash light with an orange glow? A safety vest - again - they said, "What is going on up ahead? Do I need to be concerned? Should I slow down, or stop?"

I hope you are right! And I'm sure you, Gary, and Sean have made good friends and excellent contacts in your localities though such examples seem the exception in a world where just about anyone can afford a beginners set up.

Then, for me, add the dense population of the Northeast. I've heard too many stories of the police arriving to investigate mysterious flashes. "What are you doing?" See this big flash bulb? I'm gonna flash it right at the engineer of the train when he goes by! OK? Lol - maybe things are different in the prairies of SD and the mountains of WV and PA!

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