Author Topic: Trainspotters. Why?  (Read 52502 times)

gordon taylor

Trainspotters. Why?
« on: June 30, 2011, 04:08:51 pm »
I don't understand trainspotters. There's a group of nearly a dozen blokes with fancy cameras and notebooks every time I go through Stafford station.

What are they spotting?

Why?




Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 04:09:30 pm »
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 04:10:35 pm »
I can understand trainspotters - trains are wonderful things (particularly steam trains)...


...but bus spotters ???  ???  Why?

There's a chap who spends most days stood in the Addenbrookes bus station taking down numbers.
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 04:20:14 pm »
... only 12 at Stafford! ... tootle up to Crewe and they're present in droves, lurking at the end of each platform.

One thing perplexes me - where to they buy those 1950s Thermos flasks in cream with the red border and cork stopper?    [I guess someone will have a link here within 30 seconds ... ]

Rob

Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 04:21:01 pm »
... only 12 at Stafford! ... tootle up to Crewe and they're present in droves, lurking at the end of each platform.

One thing perplexes me - where to they buy those 1950s Thermos flasks in cream with the red border and cork stopper?    [I guess someone will have a link here within 30 seconds ... ]

Rob

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"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 04:24:03 pm »
If they had learned to ride bikes, they would have been audaxers.

* hides *.

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 04:32:13 pm »
Trainspotting is not just enjoying looking at trains, which is perfectly understandable.  No, they have a book of all the train numbers in the country and attempt to see every one of them.

I got into it when I was about twelve years old ...for a few days, before getting bored stiff.
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 04:37:23 pm »
... only 12 at Stafford! ... tootle up to Crewe and they're present in droves, lurking at the end of each platform.

One thing perplexes me - where to they buy those 1950s Thermos flasks in cream with the red border and cork stopper?    [I guess someone will have a link here within 30 seconds ... ]

Rob

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 05:10:19 pm »
I can understand trainspotting steam engines  but not the soul-less contraptions of the modern rail network

AndyK

Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 05:18:26 pm »


What are they spotting?

Why?





Train numbers. To say they've seen it, and to cross it off as seen in their note books.

jogler

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 05:23:06 pm »
can you still get Ian Allen spotter's books?

Euan Uzami

Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 05:24:54 pm »
You think trainspotters are weird.
There are also lorry spotters, and not just any lorry spotters, but specifically Eddie Stobart lorry spotters.
There is a program on telly purely about Eddie Stobart's haulage company, and on one they had a whole fleet of brand new lorries delivered, and before they were sent out on the road, a select group of nerds who had presumably all been invited or applied to be there, were let in to just walk around and look at them.
Before they could go out on the road and start making deliveries, they had to wait for them all to go round the whole warehouse and write down the number of each one.
Strange.  :-\

Euan Uzami

Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2011, 05:26:48 pm »
What I don't get is do they ever actually go back and read their notebooks back to themselves (or, god forbid, each other), or is it write-once-and-forget?

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2011, 05:33:05 pm »
No, they refer to their notebooks to cross off the numbers in their professionally-published books of numbers.  Then they start all over again once they've got them all.

Must cost quite a lot in train tickets.  The trainspotters at school (in London) used to talk about going to Crewe (apparently the Mecca for spotters).
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2011, 05:34:18 pm »
I should think that their MS Excel spreadsheeting skills are second to none, as they can invariably recall what they saw and when. I once happened to endure a journey with a compartmentful of them discussing the various locos they had seen, when & precisely where. That isn't what drove me to seek alternative seating, however, it was the stench of BO that each one gave off.

All harmless enough though & I do sometimes wonder if my penchant for hub gears might seem just as weird to an outside observer.
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2011, 05:45:04 pm »
When I was very young we decided to become car spotters. We started recording car reg numbers.  It only lasted an hour or so and was excellent spotting aversion therapy.
Sic transit and all that..

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2011, 06:03:50 pm »
Train admiration I can understand. "5,000 hp! 150 mph! 500 passengers! 1,000 tonnes of freight! Lands End to Vladivostok on a tankful!" But just noting down the serial numbers?

Still, I'm sure there's someone, somewhere, who jots down the frame numbers of parked bikes. "9C547, now I only 9C548 and I've got the whole series!"
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 06:10:11 pm »
And then there are the ones who video the trains with their camcorders. Not just interesting trains, but boring dirty normal trains. When on earth would you sit down and watch that video?
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2011, 06:10:29 pm »
I had all the Class 50s and all the Class 253s.  It was an excuse to get out of the house and ride our bikes to Thatcham station, which was unmanned at the time and therefore a good place to hang around and tell each other apocryphal tales of Marc Almond, King Dong and how many Germans our dads shot down in the war.
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2011, 06:14:24 pm »
And then there are the ones who video the trains with their camcorders. Not just interesting trains, but boring dirty normal trains. When on earth would you sit down and watch that video?

I guess it makes it easier to check afterwards that you've noted down the correct number  ::-).

But I'm in the "don't quite get it" category.  Some of the technology/infrastructure is interesting, but the individual bits of rolling stock?  Not really.

And making a special trip just to see trains?  No chance (possible exceptions for steam, nuclear, or maglev...)
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2011, 06:22:45 pm »


What are they spotting?

Why?





Train numbers. To say they've seen it, and to cross it off as seen in their note books.

It's a bit more exciting than that .... IF the spotter persuades the driver to let him get on the footplate then the number is marked off in the usual way BUT also has a "C" against it to denote "Cabbed"

 ... how do I know this ... the chap I rode the end to end with last year used to be a trainspotter (he may still be a closet one from his enthusiasm at the trains climbing Beattock!)

Rob

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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2011, 06:36:25 pm »
It is a well known fact that most train spotters are diverting unsavoury sexual impulses into a safe compulsion. We should be very thankful that they are collecting train numbers and not underwear (although many combine this hobby). Or body parts. The best possible place for spotters is somewhere like a train station or other public space where we can see them. You would not want these people to be behind you in the dark for instance.
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2011, 06:40:35 pm »
I spotted a diesel engine names Kirst while I was at a station in Kent a few months ago. I've seen Sir John Betjemen and Lord Nelson quite frequently.
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2011, 06:49:49 pm »
If you've been studying these individuals, does that make you a trainspotterspotter?
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Re: Trainspotters. Why?
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2011, 06:50:46 pm »
My friend Tom used to volunteer on a steam railway. He was stewarding on a steam service on day, and came across a chap holding a bit of paper out of the window. On questioning, it turned out that this chap collected a smut from every steam service he travelled on, and organised them in an album...

Actually, I can sort of understand the feeling of completing a set of numbers, but then I organise a tube of Smarties into colours.

And anyway, talk about casting the first stone, from a forum with a thread entitled "Cutlery Lust"...
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