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Railfan vs. Foamer

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Posted by henry6 on Saturday, May 9, 2009 8:53 AM

We cannot define foamer seperate from railfan until we define railfan.  Anybody from age one to over a hundred who takes time to watch a train go by can be catagorized as a railfan.  Or buff.  Or afficianado. It is those who do more than just casually watch who start toward foamer.  At one time one of the more respected photographers and writers in the pages of Trains and Classic Trains used ot had pinned on the inside of his jacket his post cards and photo's which he had for sale...kind of a second flash if you will.  Is he a foamer or a fan?  Better or worse than another.  If you or I were to pin our photos' inside our jacket and spread it open to show what we have for sale, what would you think of me or of others who did the same?  Is the continual posting of the same 3/4 wedge and head on zoom shots a sign of a foamer?  Our googling at them mean we are foamers?  I think the term foamer, therefore, is relative.  I am normal, nobody else is.

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Saturday, May 9, 2009 9:17 AM

Ah---good ol' eccentricity-----WhistlingSmile,Wink, & Grin

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Posted by cx500 on Sunday, May 10, 2009 2:59 AM

Murphy Siding

Poppa_Zit

My enjoyment comes from analyzing the history of the railroads in this country, and visiting once-vibrant towns abandoned by railroads to see what's left behind, both the physical plant as well as the aftereffects -- indelible imprints left on the community.

So I guess that makes me a railroad history buff

  Ye Gods! Shock  You mean there's more than one of us out there?  I'm always driving or walking through a town, usually a small farm town, to see what's left behind, and try to figure out what was there.  It's sort of like being a railorad archeologist sometimes.

 

 

Ah, more members of the LAABPTPENA, otherwise known as the League of Abandoned Abutment, Bridge Pier and Tunnel Portal Enthusiasts of North America.  Not my creation; a couple of friends found a good location and then had a very tedious wait before any trains showed up.  But railroad archeology can be a wonderful diversion when trains are scarce.

John

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Posted by blownout cylinder on Sunday, May 10, 2009 9:20 AM

cx500

Murphy Siding

Poppa_Zit

My enjoyment comes from analyzing the history of the railroads in this country, and visiting once-vibrant towns abandoned by railroads to see what's left behind, both the physical plant as well as the aftereffects -- indelible imprints left on the community.

So I guess that makes me a railroad history buff

  Ye Gods! Shock  You mean there's more than one of us out there?  I'm always driving or walking through a town, usually a small farm town, to see what's left behind, and try to figure out what was there.  It's sort of like being a railorad archeologist sometimes.

 

 

Ah, more members of the LAABPTPENA, otherwise known as the League of Abandoned Abutment, Bridge Pier and Tunnel Portal Enthusiasts of North America.  Not my creation; a couple of friends found a good location and then had a very tedious wait before any trains showed up.  But railroad archeology can be a wonderful diversion when trains are scarce.

John

My wife and I do a fair bit of driving the backroads and finding old townsites---believe it or not there are quite a few out in our neck of the woods---we also do find a lot of remnants of trainyards and such. I've taken to taking photos of these remnants and then went looking for the pix that display the yards in operation. North of Stratford ON---loads of old ROW's. Lotsa good stuff for the history buffTongue

Any argument carried far enough will end up in Semantics--Hartz's law of rhetoric Emerald. Leemer and Southern The route of the Sceptre Express Barry

I just started my blog site...more stuff to come...

http://modeltrainswithmusic.blogspot.ca/

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Posted by trainfan1221 on Monday, May 11, 2009 6:06 PM

tree68

Funny you mention "buff."  Those who are interested in fire trucks, etc, are usually referred to as "fire buffs."  I don't think I've ever heard the term "fire fan."  I've heard "rail buff" and "train buff" before, though.

I think rail buff sounds a little more genteel than rail fan - perhaps connoting those who have an interest in trains, but don't necessarily seek them out.

 

I think you summed this up well.  I have known people in the past who will say they are somewhat of a train buff, though they don't go seeking them like us. They will take note when they see one though.  When NKP 765 was coming through town years back, I told my boss i had to take a break to go see a steam train, he said he was a bit of a train buff too and to alert him. I did just in time.
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Posted by tree68 on Monday, May 11, 2009 6:15 PM

blownout cylinder
cx500
Murphy Siding
Poppa_Zit
My enjoyment comes from analyzing the history of the railroads in this country, and visiting once-vibrant towns abandoned by railroads to see what's left behind, both the physical plant as well as the aftereffects -- indelible imprints left on the community.

So I guess that makes me a railroad history buff

  Ye Gods! Shock  You mean there's more than one of us out there?  I'm always driving or walking through a town, usually a small farm town, to see what's left behind, and try to figure out what was there.  It's sort of like being a railorad archeologist sometimes.
 Ah, more members of the LAABPTPENA, otherwise known as the League of Abandoned Abutment, Bridge Pier and Tunnel Portal Enthusiasts of North America.  Not my creation; a couple of friends found a good location and then had a very tedious wait before any trains showed up.  But railroad archeology can be a wonderful diversion when trains are scarce.

John

My wife and I do a fair bit of driving the backroads and finding old townsites---believe it or not there are quite a few out in our neck of the woods---we also do find a lot of remnants of trainyards and such. I've taken to taking photos of these remnants and then went looking for the pix that display the yards in operation. North of Stratford ON---loads of old ROW's. Lotsa good stuff for the history buffTongue

There's a fellow up north of me who has made a hobby of studying what might have been as well as what was, and is.  His flikr site has hundreds of pictures of old ROW's, bridges, etc.  One of his searches has been for railroads that were planned, and possibly started, but never finished.

Then there's the now-retired forestry professor whose study of any place in the Adirondacks where there are, or were, rails on the ground has now yielded a third edition of his findings, this time in four volumes.  I've worked with him a bit - his goal is to walk every ROW, which can be pretty challenging if the tracks have been gone for nearly 100 years,

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Posted by trainfan1221 on Monday, May 11, 2009 6:36 PM

Seeing what was, that is finding abandoned tunnels, bridges, etc...is a major part of the hobby for me.  I think it is a great way to appreciate history too, even if it is only train related but it spreads to other things too. I know a lot more places than people would ever think I would because of my train hobby. 

I have found artifacts, the biggest one, if you can call it an artifact, being the abandoned Paulinskill Viaduct buried in the woods in western New Jersey. And the feeling of seeing this beautiful structure for the first time is hard to describe, lets just  say breathtaking is a way to begin.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 4:29 AM

I am a foaming railfan. I love trains and all known (and unknown, likely, when I discover them) aspects of railroading. Why worry about how someone else labels you? It is irrelevant. If you love trains a little or a lot, chances are you get a little foam going. So get out there and take some pictures or pace a train or listen to the scanner or look up mile posts on Google Earth and figure out which subdivision they belong in, subscribe to magazines, go to Folkston's Railwatch next year or whatever. Just don't get caught up in what someone else calls you while you follow your passion. More than likely whomever dreamed up the name Foamer has some passion he/she foams about too. So there.

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Posted by carnej1 on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 11:11 AM

I'm a Railfan, this guy is a Foamer:

http://youtu.be/qMcNp3BajtA

 

PS. I actually think he's faking it for comedic effect..

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 11:33 AM

Well if that's a foamer.... sign me up... to foamers-not-so-anonymous that is.

I have been a railfan off and on for 10 years now. I have sorta re-emerged at the beginning of the year and have just gone nuts. I would have to say.. if I saw a NS Heritage unit around these parts I believe I would act about like that. I couldn't imagine if I saw one of THOSE units. 

Thanks,

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 11:48 AM

If he is for real, the men in white coats should be around the corner.

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Posted by baberuth73 on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 3:27 PM

If you have ever seen the movie "Polar Express" the loud mouthed kid the other kids called "know-it-all" would, in my opinion, qualify  as a foamer. He knew more about a Berkshire locomotive than the guy that designed the thing and passionately shared all this knowledge with those that happened to be within earshot of him.

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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 4:02 PM

zardoz

gabe

.....therwise normal people inside or outside the industry who have hobbies ranging from baseball to basket weaving to dog breeding to pornography might think it is weird that she or he likes trains.

Gabe

I never considered pornography as a hobby......it might make my next visit to the hobby shop more interesting.

"Hey! Did ya see the nice couplers on that one?"

"Yeah!  But how about the caboose!!!?"

"There's a main line I wouldn't mind exploring".

"I wonder if there is a video to go with it?"

"I need a new lay out".

"But honey, I'm merely looking for a good photo oportunity".

She laughed as she said, "You said you were 'O' gauge; it looks to me like you're closer to 'N' gauge".

 

But I think I'll skip the weathering kit.

Something about DED's and HBD's - never mind!....((then again, maybe they did and were really effective at DELETING POSTS - I'll go wash my mind out with soap nowEmbarrassedEmbarrassedEmbarrassed)

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 5:09 PM

carnej1

I'm a Railfan, this guy is a Foamer:

http://youtu.be/qMcNp3BajtA 

PS. I actually think he's faking it for comedic effect....

Yep - he is/was the manager there.  Totally for effect...

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:15 PM

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

 

Railfans may sometimes have small pins representing their favouite RR, or aspect of RR'ing, on their hats, but I have yet to see one paint their faces with greasepaint in the livery of a RR or wear a "cheese hat" or some other outlandish outward showing of their devotion to some aspect of RR'ing.  (The way some Footballer's do.)

I have yet to see one wearing a multi-color "rainbow" wig and clown outfit sitting at a grade crossing trying to influence the employees they are watching into making some particular move. (Like I see the dork trying to influence a pitcher at Baseball games on TV.)

And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

As a "sport", train watching is rather self sustaining and not in need of artificially engendered excitement.

 

 

 

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:17 PM

Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

Why don't we have that again?

  

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:31 PM

Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

Doesn't hurt, though...  Indifferent

Backstory - during a railfan event last year, this group of musicians (?) shows up.  They're apparently shooting a music video and thought this would be a good spot.  I have no idea where to look for it, though...

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:31 PM

zugmann

Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

Why don't we have that again?

 
"Again"???  Hmmm... I don't remember a "first time"!
 
Besides, I think it would have two detrimental effects... one) it would attract those that really don't care about trains at all and make control the photo line more difficult, and two) it would be too distractive to the true railfan and I'd miss seeing the train for all that distraction.
 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:34 PM

tree68

Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

Doesn't hurt, though...  Indifferent

Backstory - during a railfan event last year, this group of musicians (?) shows up.  They're apparently shooting a music video and thought this would be a good spot.  I have no idea where to look for it, though...

 

Uh... sorry, remind me as to WHY one would have any need or desire to "look for it"?

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 6:37 PM

Semper Vaporo
Uh... sorry, remind me as to WHY one would have any need or desire to "look for it"?

Masochist?  Or maybe you like blue hair?   Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 7:50 PM

tree68

Semper Vaporo
Uh... sorry, remind me as to WHY one would have any need or desire to "look for it"?

Masochist?  Or maybe you like blue hair?   Smile, Wink & Grin

Blue Hair and South Florida go together!

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Posted by Lake on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 8:02 PM

"Uh... sorry, remind me as to WHY one would have any need or desire to "look for it"?"

There is a engine in it, Duh!Wink

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 8:12 PM

Semper Vaporo

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

 

Railfans may sometimes have small pins representing their favouite RR, or aspect of RR'ing, on their hats, but I have yet to see one paint their faces with greasepaint in the livery of a RR or wear a "cheese hat" or some other outlandish outward showing of their devotion to some aspect of RR'ing.  (The way some Footballer's do.)

I have yet to see one wearing a multi-color "rainbow" wig and clown outfit sitting at a grade crossing trying to influence the employees they are watching into making some particular move. (Like I see the dork trying to influence a pitcher at Baseball games on TV.)

And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

As a "sport", train watching is rather self sustaining and not in need of artificially engendered excitement.

 

 

 

Very well put. Thanks. I had a blast today catching a CSX run North up the Callahan Sub from Baldwin. I unexpectedly had the chance to pace it... Then catch it again at another crossing around MP17ish. Video can be found on my YouTube Channel Gracebeliever077. But I was like a little kid almost on that 17MP catch. I was heading to St. George, GA for some Norfolk Southern action and lucked up. It was a blast.  I think I am still wiping a little foam off my sleeve. LOL. 

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Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 9:16 PM

tree68

carnej1

I'm a Railfan, this guy is a Foamer:

http://youtu.be/qMcNp3BajtA 

PS. I actually think he's faking it for comedic effect....

Yep - he is/was the manager there.  Totally for effect...

 

That guy is hilarious...

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Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 9:21 PM

tree68

Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

Doesn't hurt, though...  Indifferent

Backstory - during a railfan event last year, this group of musicians (?) shows up.  They're apparently shooting a music video and thought this would be a good spot.  I have no idea where to look for it, though...

 

Is that an Alco? Oh my GOD...OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 15, 2013 4:16 PM

Ulrich

tree68

Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)

Doesn't hurt, though...  Indifferent

Backstory - during a railfan event last year, this group of musicians (?) shows up.  They're apparently shooting a music video and thought this would be a good spot.  I have no idea where to look for it, though...

 

Is that an Alco? Oh my GOD...OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

With Class lights no less!!!!!

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, August 15, 2013 7:56 PM

BaltACD
With Class lights no less!!!!!

Even better - it's a bona fide movie star, having appeared in the movie "Atomic Train."  (I'm not sure that one even stopped at video...)

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:04 PM

zugmann
Semper Vaporo
And I know of no railfan that needs scantily clad young women jumping up and down in front of them to keep their interest up in what is happening on the rails.  (The likes of which basketball and football fans do.)
 

Why don't we have that again?

Something like this ? (Note: Not my blog, website, or photo - been around quite a few years, too . . . Whistling ):

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_k1HsPh3JxiU/S0p4sgYCDTI/AAAAAAAADTM/u66EzItHTWo/s400/women-maidenform.jpg 

- Paul North. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by rfpjohn on Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:11 PM

As locomotives age, do the headlights become ditch lights?

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:18 PM

rfpjohn

As locomotives age, do the headlights become ditch lights?

No, but they do drop from above the windshield down to the low hood....

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

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