This forum is something I've been looking for for a very long time.
My interests did not begin like most posters here, but nevertheless I'm still a railfan. I became a railfan through loving Thomas the Tank Engine as little kid. My favorite book was Thomas the Tank Engine: the Complete Collection, which is a compilation of the original stories written by the Rev. Awdry from 1945-1970s. Once I became a fan, my grandfather encouraged my interest and saw it as an excuse to by himself a model trainset. My grandparents lived in the Poconos when I a toddler, and whenever we took a trip to the city (Scranton), we visited Steamtown. I loved and still love Steamtown.
My parents would later take me to the RR Museum of PA and the Strasburg Railroad, which certainly increased my love for steam locomotives and railroads. I also had videos about the SP Daylight, LNER's Flying Scotsman, and my grandparents had a VHS series called Railway Journeys across Europe (narrated by Bernie Kopell). When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a railroad engineer and drive steam locomotives, haha.