Old 07-11-2010, 04:30 AM   #1
warbonnets
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Smile How Do You Do It?

Due to time and money I don't venture too far from home but I notice some of you seem to be everywhere. Are you retired, independently wealthy, heck with it nothing is going to get in the way of railfanning? So how do you manage to do it? Just curious.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:53 AM   #2
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A great wife that lets me spend the time and money shooting trains.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:54 AM   #3
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I take trips when I can. I use my vacation days wisely and my truck and cooler is all I need for food and rest. This breaks down too a week of trip equals $500 for gas.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:43 PM   #4
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I don't do much travelling either, warbonnets. Not enough money. A few weeks ago, we had planned to go to Roanoke on Friday and come back Sunday. Then we redid the budget and realized we better leave early Saturday instead. Then we had an unexpecte circumstance and realized we were actually lucky to be able to make it a day trip. Times are tough. Those on the board who get to travel, esp. the young guys, should count their lucky stars.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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For me, I got a job in the spot I used to go on vacation to! So now when I take leave from work, I take "staycations" and 'fan my backyard...
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warbonnets View Post
Due to time and money I don't venture too far from home but I notice some of you seem to be everywhere. Are you retired, independently wealthy, heck with it nothing is going to get in the way of railfanning? So how do you manage to do it? Just curious.
Hard work, few responsibilities, [relative] youth, carelessness and an addiction to traveling and railfanning basically.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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Hard work, few responsibilities, [relative] youth, carelessness and an addiction to traveling and railfanning basically.
Ditto. Bringing a buddy or two and splitting the cost of gas with them helps a lot as well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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I've never traveled specifically to railfan so I stay at home. My biggest problem is being short on time. Sandpatch is just 20 minutes from my house and I only make it there a couple times a year. Between my kids activities and mine, there's little time to spend trackside.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:46 PM   #9
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There are a lot of people who travel for work. I did so for about four years. I would research the area that I'd be in and then do some railfanning in the evening. It was more healthy then hanging out at the hotel bar!

The family likes to sleep in while on vacation but I still get up at the crack of dawn. So if we're someplace near the tracks, I'll go out railfanning in the morning until they are up and ready. Once they call on the cell, I'll swing by and pick them up.

I usually do one railfan trip each year on my own. The rest are piggybacked onto other activities. I just make the most out of the opportunities that present themselves by thinking outside of the box.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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I take a lot of Day trips on weekends Sundays mostly.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #11
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I've been blessed with having the opportunity to travel and take photos over the past few years. I've found having supportive relatives, generous railfans/photographers, and the money to have decent camera equipment is a real privilege and I'm very thankful for it.

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Old 07-12-2010, 09:49 PM   #12
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I don't travel too often. I make the most out of spots by my home.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #13
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I don't travel too often. I make the most out of spots by my home.

Loyd L.
And those spots you have by your home are very nice! I envy you and the fact you live on top of Big Bend Tunnel.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:29 PM   #14
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:31 AM   #15
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Jim T, can we have your consoling smiley here?
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:07 AM   #16
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I stay at home all the time really. If I know anyone that's going anywhere, I just give them my camera and ask them to go and find some trains while they are away and take some snaps.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:11 PM   #17
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Jim T, can we have your consoling smiley here?
Is this what you had in mind?

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:12 PM   #18
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Some of us are just ballers.

And the rest of us are just boring people with no lives, no wifes/girlfriends who have a strange hobby nobody understands.

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Old 07-13-2010, 03:30 PM   #19
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Well, this is kind of funny because at my house (I’m 5th of 8 kids, with the oldest three already moved out of the house), we have a joke about this. Whenever I say something like, “Hey, I came up with a brilliant plan.” They know it will be some way for me to do something train related. This is generally some fanning while we are on vacation, or ride the Amtrak along a section of the trip where it parallels us. The word “brilliant” at my house now means, “pertaining to trains.” This is the way I try to get railfanning on trips. I plan extensively. Then I use the “rise and shine” filter. For example, on our last trip, to a family reunion, I got up at 5:30 and rode my bike two miles to the tracks and railfanned for three hours until I had to be back.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:11 PM   #20
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When your not old enough to drive, going on trips to railfan is quite difficult. Sometimes the officers are nice but if you get one before they had their coffee it can be a long day.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:23 PM   #21
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A very understanding mom, and then my license. I have gone to Chicago (with Lafayette,IN being thrown in on top of that twice) seven times in one year, and many day trips here and there or where ever the train leads me.

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Old 07-24-2010, 07:42 AM   #22
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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 07-26-2010, 08:21 PM   #23
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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   #24
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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   #25
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Quote:
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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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