mxdata wrote:Yes, the ones who take pictures, find fault with everything, and never buy a ticket have been an issue in this hobby for as long as I can remember. They think they know everything and they contribute nothing.
This is a growing, legitimate threat to anyone who runs big steam on class 1 rails, or any type of "touring" steamer. It can probably be traced to the popularity and competitive nature of a certain railroad photo database on the internet, although I would be hesitant to place any direct "fault" there because I'm sure this wasn't a trend which was intentionally started. Purchasing a ticket for a fantrip/museum train and riding on board has seemingly become second in popularity to loading up your car with as many railfans as you can fit, and chasing the train for ten hours from point X to point Y while never contributing a dime toward the organization through ticket, gift shop or food purchases. The end result is that many non-paying participants get photos posted online, while the organization running the trip/event has to worry about the financial shortfall that comes with not selling seats.
Most museums can more or less deal with this by setting up a fare-paid area and ensuring that anyone in it is either working there or has bought a ticket, but on a larger scale, I think it's becoming less and less feasible to have a full-on barnstorming tour with something like the Leviathan
because too many attendees are getting something for nothing.