Old 07-17-2010, 10:43 PM   #26
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Is this what you had in mind?

Yep, that's the ticket!
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:35 PM   #27
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:19 AM   #28
Dennis A. Livesey
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Being in New York my wonderful Dad, though he had no interest in trains, took me to rail yards and on trips. My first long trip was NY to Boston in a red plush swivel chair parlor car on the New Haven about 1958. He also took me on 3 Reading Rambles in the 60's and to Brownville Jct. ME yard where I met and rode with real railroaders.
In the 70's, as I was starting a career, I never was able to make a good railfan friend so my efforts at chasing and photography were only so-so. Still, I hit Tehachapi and El Cajon, and one LA>NY Amtrak ride.
In the 80's I was married with two kids and that meant I had to dole out the fanning but managed a Don Ball photo weekend at Steamtown VT, a first visit to the EBT, seeing N&W 611's first run and 765 in NJ in 1988.
The 90's had all those 614 trips Hoboken Port Jervis, more EBT and Scranton's "new" Steamtown.
The 00's had a couple of Karl Franz charters to Western Maryland Scenic, the W&W and New Hope.
2009 was perhaps my best year ever. Steamtown, Jersey, The Cog, a 4500 mile Midwest Railfan trip centered on Train Festival 2009 in Owosso, Chicago, IRM, Grand Haven, Blue Island, Lima, Elkhart, Marion, Flint, Hamburg, Conneaut, CSX on the Hudson, and more Steamtown.
Last big trips were two days in eastern CT chasing Valley RR and Acela's and two days in Steamtown during the NRHS Convention.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:43 AM   #29
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I usually fan near our house but when I can I fit it into our trips. I don't get to get track side on trips nearly as much as I want but I do my best.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:59 PM   #30
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Weekends, weekends, weekends... make the most of the weekend.

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Old 07-22-2010, 06:18 PM   #31
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Working shifts means that I usually get blocks of days off which can be padded out with annual leave to give enough time for a decent trip away if required. I don't tend to do a lot in the UK these days due to lack of variety but get over to mainland Europe as much as I can. I always take the train when abroad for which I get a certain amount of free travel which helps enormously; the same applies in the UK though I do have "wheels", use of which is kept to a minimum due to the fact that I hate driving.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:58 PM   #32
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the same applies in the UK though I do have "wheels", use of which is kept to a minimum due to the fact that I hate driving.
You need to get to the USA someday but will have to drive on the Right side 8*)
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:24 PM   #33
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You need to get to the USA someday but will have to drive on the Right side 8*)
I know, that is what puts me (and John) off driving in Europe - get enough trouble with other road users raising the blood pressure when driving on the side of the road I'm used to without driving on the "wrong" side to add to the pressure!

We did have a tentative offer of going over to the States with somebody we know but havn't persued the matter (yet!). Wouldn't go on our own for the first time as we would rather have a bit of guidance for a least the first visit. There was a group doing an interesting looking trip for photography in the Powder River Basin last May, which I would have been interested in but it didn't fit in with my shift pattern very well.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:42 AM   #34
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With no job, my only railfanning chances now are the ones where I go out for a full day, hard core, sunrise to sunset and then a little after.. Be selective of what you shoot. A lineup helps me a lot.

But, then, I can take a 3 day camping trip to Donner Pass with two friends and only have to pitch in $30 for gas and $30 for food, and I've got myself two weeks worth of shots to play with and submit.

I think my heavy foamage in the Midwest and really heavy foamage in 2009 has helped me out, now that I sit on my fat arse and do nothing all day, I can actually be productive and edit some images.. Or update a website that I haven't touched since March (like I did today)..
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #35
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Wouldn't go on our own for the first time as we would rather have a bit of guidance for a least the first visit.
The good news is, Better the 50% still speek english of some form yet LOL
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:30 PM   #36
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The good news is, Better the 50% still speek english of some form yet LOL
What's that saying about two countries being divided by a common language
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:39 PM   #37
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I know, that is what puts me (and John) off driving in Europe - get enough trouble with other road users raising the blood pressure when driving on the side of the road I'm used to without driving on the "wrong" side to add to the pressure!

We did have a tentative offer of going over to the States with somebody we know but havn't persued the matter (yet!). Wouldn't go on our own for the first time as we would rather have a bit of guidance for a least the first visit. There was a group doing an interesting looking trip for photography in the Powder River Basin last May, which I would have been interested in but it didn't fit in with my shift pattern very well.
I made the mistake once of trying to drive on a trip to England (nearly thirty years back). The feeling of panic I had in allowing a car coming the other way to clear to the right of me was just not worth it.

My sense is that most of the left hand side of the road countries can be railfanned quite easily without a car (UK, India, Japan, Ireland, Hong Kong). I think Australia, New Zealand and South Africa would be problematic... but I'm really guessing there.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:03 PM   #38
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UK and many European countries can be railfanned to a certain extent by public transport, the main problem is the scenic lines where the lack of population reflects in few rail stations and sparse bus services.

I would love to go and lineside this system in Northern Spain

Image © Janet Cottrell
PhotoID: 233607
Photograph © Janet Cottrell


Been over the whole system twice on a special, but the passenger service over parts of it is infrequent to say the least. Also, this line

Image © apothequer
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Photograph © apothequer


is worse in that there is no passenger service at all!

One thing I might manage is to explore the Hindenburgdamm area between mainland Germany and Sylt, it is possible to hire a push bike from a place right next to the station at Westerland (still got to remember to ride it on the right hand side of the road though!)

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Old 07-26-2010, 08:21 PM   #39
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I've had horrible luck lately catching trains. With money tight, I have to do it mostly either on my route where I have a couple of stops near (in one case, literally right beside tracks), on trips with the family or either after work taking a shot that something will be out in Columbia. For the last few weeks, no luck on either of those. A CSX local does run near the stops I have downtown, but I can't really wait for them to get to a good, sunny spot. They either have to be there when I pass or I just have to keep going. The NS might have a train heading out, but I have to see it in just the right spot in order to be able to catch it in the last two sunny spots. If I miss it, I have to let it keep going.

Last Thursday, I thought I may get a chance to shoot the L&C or some Charlote light rail. We took our kids to their grandparents in Lancaster and "took the long way." I caught two L&C trains, but both were facing the dark side of the nose direction. A two tone end cab was also sitting in the wrong spot. After dropping the kids off, we went to see "Inception" in Pineville, NC then went to Steak and Shake to eat. The S&S is within sight of the southern most point of the Charlotte light rail and also right beside the NS line. Naturally, an NS train passed five minutes before we left the S&S. Then when I thought about catching the light rail, let's just say my stomach had other ideas and we had to come straight home.

There's also some bad luck involved with my railfanning now. I'm making plans for us to go somewhere in October. Maybe Knoxville, maybe Jacksonville or Richmond. (Richmond might be top on my list, but Richmond and Kacksonville would at least be over nighters.) But I'm sure I will go somewhere for a weekend and somehow come back with two shots of one train and a really bad attitude.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:34 PM   #40
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Jacksonville? Jacksonville is the same year round, day in and day out, except the benefit of somewhat cooler weather.

If going in October, head North! Head right up either 26 to the Clinchfield or up 77 to N&W territory
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:21 PM   #41
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I've had horrible luck lately catching trains.
That sums up my last two months. Saturday was a good example. Clouds moved in around 2pm. We chased a BNSF manifest that was moving 10 miles per hour for 20 minutes, but since we made a couple wrong turns, we almost missed it. Then I headed south to the UP, where there should have been a fair amount of trains. When we got to my photo spot, we decided to drive to the next crossing, but the worst timing trapped us on the wrong side. Then nothing came for an hour at my spot, and the sun was shining without one cloud. We drove back north along the tracks and saw something coming at a bridge. But the ONE cloud in the sky blocked the sun for 10 seconds while the engines passed!!!!! Then we got trapped by 5 seconds by another train more north. That was not a productive day.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:49 AM   #42
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One thing is for certain- not paying for film and processing, has reduced the cost that can be put toward trips. Back in the slide days, I knew several photographers (like myself) who spent over a $1K a year on the stuff.Heck you can buy a good DSLR body for less than that now. Good riddance!

The biggest problem I have right now is time: I have a very time-intensive/stressful job, I travel a lot for work, but an usually on a very tight schedule. When there is time left over, I like to spend it with my four year old daughter, so photography will take a back seat for a few years, and I will try to do a few trips a year.
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