The smell of a steam engine (coal, steam and hot grease, with a little bit of sulphur) is the tastiest perfume you can imagine
The start of a steam engine is your favourite music piece.
The both points above are also more or less valid for the fuel smells and motor noises of diesel engines.
You can recognise
immediately all the different types and variants of your favourite
engine (but you don’t know the difference between a Jeep and a
You find the
"fantastic" power of a super-GTI-4WD- sport car simply ridiculous: the
smallest station shunter got more horsepower!
You are able to ride thousands of miles (by train if possible) only to see ONE particular locomotive.
You never say "I took the train", but "I took an Amfleet Type III hauled by the AEM-7 #908"
You feel a sort of
pity for all these "normal" passengers walking near of an engine
without looking it and ever without noting its immatriculation number.
The job you wanted to do when you were a little child: train driver or railway crossing keeper.
You are less excited by a "69" than by a "E 69", a "Class 69", a "BM 69" or a "BB 69000".
Your program in the wild seventies: "Sex, trains and rock’n’roll".
Your favourites animals : Crocodiles, yard goats and geese (but only when they are galloping...).
The holiest of all saints: Saint Gotthard and Saint Pancras.
The holiest of all pilgrim goals: the church of Wassen.
Your favourite song: "A train is whistling in the dark"
Your biggest fear: what happens if you just doesn’t hear it whistling in the dark...?
As you were a little boy, you wanted to become a steam engine driver, and you wanted your sweetheart as fireman (firegirl?)
You already said to a girl: "You’re nice like a fresh refurbished FL-9" (intending to make her a compliment, of course)
How you invited your first girl for a dance: "Come on, Baby, to the locomotion with me!".
Your bride almost wanted to cancel the wedding when she heard you would like to marry dressed as a steam engine driver.
Your wife astonished the first time you told her "My little sweet Pennsy GG-1", but now she doesn’t longer matter...
The destination you proposed for the wedding journey: Moskow-Vladiwostok, 1 week on the trans-siberian railway.
The BIG advantage of trains against women: nobody ever got a slab in the face from an engine...
On journeys / Holidays:
You are able to stay more than 24 hours in a train, but hate to ride any other transport system for more than 1 hour.
You look each
location who isn’t reachable by train as a totally uninteresting
no man’s land (For instance: Las Vegas, Ibiza, Hawaii)
You wonder why all
your favourite destinations (Examples: Clapham Junction, Cajon Pass,
Horseshoe curve...) never appear in the travel agency catalogues.
You always get
problems with your wife, because of she wants to spend the holidays in
totally unexciting no man’s lands (Las Vegas, Ibiza, Hawaii), and
not at really interesting locations (Clapham Junction, Cajon Pass,
When you look for an
hotel, you first search for establishments called "Station hotel" or
"Railway hotel" in your destination town.
When you book a room, you always precise "With a good sight on the railway station, please!"
You know nothing more boring than staying all the day on the beach (If there is no railway line in sight...)
In the most towns you
visited, you know the railway station(s) perfectly, and perhaps the
station(s) place(s) too. The rest of the city is simply uninteresting.
You feel like "lost in space" if there is no railway line 1 mile around.
Your most urgent problem in the holidays: find a local model railway dealer to get a holiday souvenir for the model railway.
Also car driver?
You are one of the very few drivers getting happy to see a railway crossing closing just before you cross it.
At contrary, you are also one of the very few drivers getting angry to see a railway crossing closing just after you crossed it!
Murphy’s law for railfans: railway crossing always close when you just crossed them...
In order to avoid a nervous breakdown due to the precedent point, you drive 5 mph at least 100m before each railway crossing.
When you’re in a train, you like to laugh over all these bloody auto-"mobilists" always blocked in traffic jams.
When you are sitting yourself in traffic jam, it’s naturally an other problem...
follow a train with your car, you're the real king of multitasking: one
hand to hold the picture camera, the other to hold the videocam, the last one
to drive (at the correct speed to film the train!)
When photographying (Chapter 1: A touch of technic...) :
The most interesting trains to shot come always when you are changing the film in your camera....
Do you photograph with a digital camera? Good, no film! But then, the
battery will always find the best moment to say "Sorry, low battery!"
When you will put your reserve battery in the camera, you'll then
remember that this is exactly the battery that you forgot to reload...
If you are together
with colleagues, you'll ask them if someone can
loan you a loaded battery, and, no doubt, you'll find someone who will
accept, but then you'll see that 10 photographs means 15 different
camera models, what means (at least) 20 different battery
types (none compatible with yours...)
Memory card full? No problem, you have an other one, but... you see that there are
still pics on this card! Are you sure you really did save them on your PC...?
Variant 1: You ask yourself only when you just deleted the card
Variant 2: You don't delete, and then you shoot astoundingly less pics
as usual. When you want to save the content of your memory card, you
then get 425 times the alert "This file exists already in the destination
When photographying (Chapter 2: more railway-related) :
You are able to stay and wait for hours on the trackside, only to shot a train whose you doesn’t know the timetable.
This train comes always exactly 5 minutes after you’ve loose patience and got away
When you are on the
side of a double-track line, the only one train running daily in one
direction passes always when you try to photograph the train running in
the other direction.
You like to look the
engines very closely, but you doesn’t accept that from other
amateurs when you want to take a picture of them.
You consider as a bloody idiot the engineer who placed a signal or a catenary pole exactly in the middle of your picture.
You sometimes ruined your clothes by trying to reach a good spot through vegetation and barb wire.
You have been
arrested by the police, the army or the secret services several times,
because of you tried to photograph something forbidden.
The signs saying "It
is forbidden to cross the railway lines" have been placed here only for
the "normal" passengers, not for you!
You think that the
freedom of photographing trains should be written as the first chapter
of the universal declaration of human rights.
Your pictures are
always the best ones (Hunter’s principle: "The cow you shoot
yourself smells always better than this from the butcher")
When photographying (Chapter 3: Trip with colleagues):
You found a
good place to take pictures? In the last second you'll hear friendly
voices beyond you saying "Get out of my picture, you b*****d!"
To avoid problems, you align yourself with the other photographs
Just at this
moment, the other photographs in the line discover that the place where
you were standing before is really not bad, and they all move to it.
is a compact line of photographs between you and the train you want(ed)
to shoot, but at least you're no longer a disturbance for the
On the Web
Your wife thinks
naively that you always surf on railway related sites, and also that
you never visited an erotic site. She has right...
You already blocked your phone line during hours to download a video-clip during 30 seconds.
In your opinion, much Websites have only poor and bad compressed pictures.
On the other Websites, you find that the pictures usually need much too much time to download.
consider your own Website as THE BEST of the web, and the only one with
Are you also a railway modeller?
You are very sharp on very little details of your locomotives.
Instead, hauling a train of Amfleet coaches with a Shay isn't a problem for you…
In your mind, you got a wonderful layout. In reality, it's still a chaotic workplace
Your spouse wanted once to let you clean and order your model railway room. She completely resigned...
Our lovely pets...
remember the film scenes where Godzilla plays with real japanese
trains? Curiousely, your cat loves to do the same with your trains.
When Pussy is here, you avoid to let small shunters run: They look a little too closely like mice.
You never understood why you always find some of your engines and wagons in pussy's basket
Your cat loves your signals and catenary poles, it's sooooo good to scratch on them!
gave you a very good idea: Using cat litter as trackbed. Quite surely,
your colleague has no cat, or he would have noticed (and smelt) the
little problem before...
used something other as trackbed, but Pussy did an inspection of the
job... Or, where from comes these dinosaur footprints in your trackbed?
comes in a tunnel, but doesn't come out at the other side? That may
mean, that Pussy finds that the underside of your structure is at least
as comfortable as his basket.
Your catgirl once hided her children anywhere under your layout. She never found them back...
Cows and other trainwatchers
always look the trains passing? That's usually real, but if you get in
their field, they'll perhaps find that it's more interesting to catch
you than simply looking trains.
day wou wore your orange safety jacket. This day you guessed that
sometimes there are not only cows in cow herds, and also that bulls not
only get wild when they see red...
Some miscellaneous considerations :
A red flag is a stop signal for trains. Using it as a start signal for proletarian masses is clearly against the reglement.
Trains could run much easier if they would not have all these goods and passengers to transport.