Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Excursion and Train Watchers and Chasers

I took the Sunday afternoon trip to Walton.This was not a typical excursion, unless excursions have changed over the years. It has been a while since I have taken an excursion so thing might have changed. It was a short trip and an nice train ride.

The first thing, none of the coaches were open air. Second, there was not a public sound car. Third, there was not a photo runby. Finally, the turnaround point was not a place were you could get off the train. I have not taken an excursion in many years, due to work restraints, so things could have changed gradually over those years.

The only similarities I saw was the vast numbers of train watchers and chasers. For me, this was not really a true train chase. Only once, did I run to catch up with the train. However, once I did catch up with the train, not trying to. As the excursion came to a good runby site there were many lined up to take their video and pictures.

Some places were situated more opportune that others and therefore more railfans. These might be coming out of a tunnel, passing coaling towers, or over a trestle. Other site may be on long curves with good visibility.

There are certain manners that watchers need to be aware of. First, respect the photo line. Never move in front of those in line. You can move to the end of the line or between two people, as long as you do not disturb their work. Second, the first person on site, determines the placement of the line. However, the nature of the line just happens. You take your life in your own hands if you violate the photo line. Some people, in line are taking video or recording sound. When the train gets within rang, be quiet.

As the time for the chased train gets closer, the number of people pick up. I chasing, care must be taken, watching out for those suddenly turning off or pacers, those trying to pace the train. Pacing happens when the tracks are close to the road.

Chasers are a special group. Those that have been around awhile, talk about chases and share stories. One special story happened this weekend. The Sunday morning excursion was the one I took. It excursion over took a freight in the same direction. It took almost an hour before the excursion passed the freight. Those chasers who had taken their position on the south of the tracks, had their vision obstructed by the freight.

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