And railfans can't understand WHY railroaders dont like us fans... sheesh!
Here is a tidbit.. respect is a two-way street. You have to GIVE in order to GET!
To make the case Chuck, here is what I'm gonna do... I'm gonna follow you around, all over the place, taking pictures of you in your car... and when you get pulled over for some traffic violation, I'm gonna film the entire thing and then post it on YouTube for the entire internet to see! Now, you gonna have a problem with me the next time I show up near you taking pictures?
As for the railroader/railfan relationship, its the plain and simple truth. On a major railroad (Class 1 and major Class 2's) railroaders DO consider railfans very odd indeed. In fact, a railroader identified as a buff can expect a career with of torment and teasing.
It's so bad that many of us feel pressured into being "Closet-Buffs". Working day to day in fear of being outed... of having our favorite past time being discovered.
As Nick said, very few people realize that there are multiple hobby industries based on railroads... from scale modelling, outdoor photography, railfan videos, garden railroading and of course live steam railroading... it all stems from our love of the machine that carved our great country from the wilderness it was.
As a railroader for a steam shortline for five years, a volunteer on a second steam shortline for over a year and now a four year employee of a Class 1 railroad, I understand BOTH sides of the issue...
That one picture, the thing no one has seen yet... or in several years... That perfect shot when the consist, folliage and lighting all come togethere for the absolutely perfect shot.
On the flip side, railroading is a multi-billion dollar a quarter business. The companies are there to MAKE MONEY. They aren't there for us. They answer to their stockholders. If they make no money, they close up shop.
Add to that, railroads have a two prong'd life... They are mandated to carry ALL TYPES of freight... from boxcars of bubblegum to flat cars of military hardware. At the same time, they have rules of behavior that are mandated by the Federal Government. You think h eroads ENJOY being forced to remove their engines from service every three months for inspections? You think they like the fact that every inch of road has to be inspected visually each year? You think they spend millions in ditching along the right of way each year simply to help the local economy?
All said, railroads are the very backbone with which our country runs... stop the trains and inside of a week, gasoline becomes scarce, orange juice disappear, trash begins to pile up, walmart starts to go empty, UPS deliveries go missing, US mail service degrades even further, the truck traffic on the roads increases a thousnad fold or more, and a continental blackout sweeps across the country as 52% of the electricty in the grid fizzles out as the coal-fired power plants shutdown.
When you pause to consider how vital railroads are to the national economy, and America's security, you ought to be thankful that the FRA and DHS haven't given railroad police the right to shoot to kill on site. You think I over exagerate teh vitalness of the rails.. consider that when hitler send nazi sabatuers over from Germany, one of their targets was Horseshoe curve and the tunnels at Gallitzen.
And you dare complain because you got hassled for tresspassing???
Shame on you. Shame on you!
Now, having said my piece... I'm headed back to the forum for my favorite pet shortline and back to my model railroad empire.
Freedom Central Railroad
Defending America Via The Rails!
__ J. D. Gallaway __
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