This article should help you understand what an awesome hobby Trainspotting is!
Train, a mode of transport that has never stopped me from getting all excited about my journey. I have always been a train fan boy. I still remember the hours I used to spend sticking my head to the railway compartment window to get a glimpse of the engine that is pulling the train.
I used to wonder why it occasionally rained on a sunny day while I stuck my head to the window. Only later did I realize that the source of water was some passenger washing his/her hand outside the window in a compartment in front of me. Jokes aside, a friend of mine said that his hobby is trainspotting. I knew it was a movie title but I had no idea that it was a serious hobby. Throughout this article on Trainspotting, we have used awesome pictures taken by my railway enthusiast friend Shubankar Das that will give a glimpse of what beauty lies in this hobby. All the photos and photo descriptions are credited to Shubankar Das.
Trainspotting is simply the activity of watching trains, with attention to detail such as operations/schedule of the train, the type of locomotive, type of cars/bogies, used/unused rail lines, collection of timetables, history etc. You can see the attention to detail given in the photo descriptions that includes the Train numbers, source-destination, location and loco class.
This hobby has its origins in the 1940’s at Waterloo in UK. A young trainee named Ian Allan was the first to create a booklet on locomotives and create a Loco-spotters club to cater to the needs of railway enthusiasts.
There are many rail fans worldwide but not all train fans qualify as train spotters. What is the difference you ask? Well, a person whose hobby is to spot trains is called a train spotter. A rail fan is simply a railway enthusiast. Rail fans take pictures, study history, collect memorabilia whereas train spotters go to specific localities to spot certain locomotives, rolling stock and make a note of all the spotted trains.
There are no pre-defined rules for trainspotting but you must not violate the local law in anyway. Safety is of utmost importance. You should not trespass on railway lines and restricted sections of the railway network.
Since Indian railways has been an inseparable part of our journeys since childhood, most of us are rail fans I guess. Even today, I can’t get my eyes off the train when it passes by. I, as a kid wanted to be a train driver (didn’t know they are called loco pilots).
Some rail fans like filming the trains as they pass through mesmerizing landscapes. Some just like to ride the trains (they are called Bashers it seems) and some prefer photography (often called Photters)
With progress in digital photography, the quality of pictures has increased exponentially. India is gifted with scenic beauty like no other. So the next time you see a beautiful picture of a train you know that some enthusiastic train photographer has waited long for the right moment to click the picture.
Loved the photographs by Shubankar Das? Visit his Flickr Profile to enjoy more : https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/