Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.
The artist Chris Burden is a big live steam garden railway enthusiast. He was notorious in the 1970s for some dangerous performance art stunts but seems to have mellowed out, and a lot of his current work incorporates models, though not of trains.
Is there any indication that any of these people, like true railfans, would be interrested to see things in the real world irrespective of why real world choices are made?
For example, if went to Philladelphia or New Orleans, I would like to see PA trolley gauge low floor rolling stock, and that may happen to be finacially practical. I'd like to see high platform loading on a completely new LRT as long as high platforms are suitable for all locations, I don't know if it is still finacially practical. And if I went to Dublin, I'd like to see broad gauge low floor LRVs in addition to their broad gauge heavy rail. The former (as opposed to effectively changing down) is no longer finacially practical but would still make sense today if Dublin either kept their pervious tramways, or got to reuse parts of the Harcourt street railway, this could also allow wider aisles on low floor trams. Or the Wupperthaler schwebebahn is a great attraction for many railfans, as far as I know, and it happens to still exist and remain finacially practical.
Just noticed this thread. King George V of England was reputed to be something of a railfan and had his picture taken at least once on the footplate (i.e., in the cab) of a steam locomotive; I think it was a Great Western Castle. A king of Bulgaria, in either the late 19th or very early 20th century, reportedly was at least serviceably capable of running a steam locomotive and on at least one occasion insisted on taking the throttle of the Orient Express on part of its journey through Bulgaria. As he was the king, I suppose they could hardly say no. The Swiss composer Arthur Honegger wrote a piece called "Pacific 231" depicting a train journey behind a French steam locomotive (the French counting axles rather than wheels, 231 as the class designation denoted a Pacific); presumably he must have been attracted to railroads to some extent. Johann Strauss wrote a polka called "Bahn Frei" (clear track) with some very realistic locomotive sounds produced by an orchestra; maybe there was some attraction on his part as well.
Norm kirk , Prime minister of New Zealand, from 1972 till his death in office in 1974, started his woreking life with the railways. He was a steam train maintainer, cleaning out fireboxes etc. Later he got his steam ticket , but that was in other industries with stationary tickets. I believe, as Prime Minister, he fired a steam engine to mark the opening of one of the steam musuems in New Zealand. He was often referred to as our last "working class " Prime minister. While he rose from a poor family, so have other prime ministers. However he never either made alot of money in business, or had academic success, which all Prime ministers have since.
I've read in the B&M Bulletin (B&M Historical Society) about a weatherman on a Boston TV station. On the bottom of some of his weather graphics slides he might put something like MEPO 303 201 316. I'd have to look up his name but this was pre-Guilford. The code was train symbol MEPO ( Mechanicville- Portland ) with the numbers being the locomotives.
"Boston and Maine Hudson River Bridge, westward track...no defects...... Boston and Maine Hudson River Bridge, westward track... no defects."
Trying to recall details on that steam engine I think Gene Autry had but can't find anything to confirm my statement. I *think* it might have been a C&S or Rio Grande narrow gauge loco but maybe I'm mixed up.
I do know Roy Rogers loved trains. In Charles Steffes' book on his career he tells of being engineer on a few trains during filming of movies. One time Roy climbed up and asked for a tour, and was given a cab ride which he loved. (In that book, Steffes gives a hilarious account of how he got even with a pompous movie director who was giving him a hard time! )
An obvious inclusion would be Warren Buffett. He has a model layout (I'm not a modeler, don't know the details) and wears a shirt "Still Plays With Trains". Well done. Neil Young, of course. Merle Haggard - born in a boxcar - his tour bus sported Super Chief livery. Old Merle was a legitimate railfan. Many of the country music icons - Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff. Railroad aficionados all..