Friday, December 2, 2011

Railfan by way of Internet

I spent some time, working out a railfan trip of the Northeast Corridor. Now that winter is here I look to other options. What would be the difference between railfanning by Internet and railfanning in person. Being near Hamlet, NC, I use that crossroads as a favorite railfan location. Many times I have met up with other railfans. In one conversation, a fellow railfan said that his wife got impatient with him when he watched on line, while allowed him to chase trains without impatience. Go figure. Why would I travel to Boston to watch MBTA when I can find hundreds of videos of MBTA on YouTube. Here's the truth.

Most hobbies, railfanning included, is very much related to hunting. You search and stalk prey. Than you pounce. And finally you take prey. The same is with most hobbies, including railfanning. Searching sources like YouTube or Trains Magazine becomes the search and stalking part of the hunt. Today, I might do a search for it on line. That might be the taking of prey, when I see a video of the equipment. On the other hand, that may be only the stalking phase as I would prepare for a trip to take my own video and see it in person.

I wondered if I might do the same railfan trip using the Internet, rather than the out and back excursion. It might be nice to watch in the comfort of home but there is the excitement of watching in person, the chase, the stalking, and the capture of picture and video. There is, of course, the hanging of the evidence on the trophy wall and to tell epic stories of the hunt in darken rooms over beers and images flashing on the wall. It is not quite the same recounting stories of how your Internet search led you to a particular video on YouTube. There are exceptions when the video and pictures are historic.

No comments:

Post a Comment