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What EXACTLY is "Railfanning"? Thanks...

  • I've heard lots of people mention *railfanning* is that just a fancy name for going out to watch some real trains, or does it envolve more? Thanks for the replies.

    [:I] yes, I'm a new guy.
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  • I think railfanning implies an active interest in trains and railroading, beyond merely watching trains.

    However, "active interest" may not necessarily bring a railfan down to the tracks. Some folks might only be interested in railroad history or technology.


  • Hi new guy!
    Welcome to the forums
    Railfanning is a good hobby.Not only do I take trainpictures but I share with others as well.I also have a layout at home.It started as a curiousity on where did that boxcar come from?learning about geography,history,physics and engineering among other things as you watch an 8 engine frieght fly by in your neighborhood.You learn something new everyday you go out.
    stay safe

    Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").


  • Probably no Exactly - we each define our own idea of rail fanning. Interest in train news, buying or subscribing to Trains magazine, watching trains where we find them, looking at the makeup of trains, old trains, taking pictures, sound recordings, visiting railroad related museums, interest in modeling RR scenes, related rail or traction related things, driving somewhere just to watch trains a few hours or all day, taking a rail trip just to ride the train, no matter where it goes, taking a vacation just to see or ride trains. Watching trains just for the joy of experiencing them. If you do one or more of these things, you're a fan. We wave at the crew, mentally cheer for the positives in the industry, and usually don't mind waiting for a train to go by when we stop for a RR Crossing! :)
  • Rail-fanning - Verb. Any activity undertaken by an individual to derive pleasure from association with trains and railroads.