It’s time for another confession… since I started this blog back in 2005 as Confessions of a Train Geek.
I haven’t been feeling like railfanning for a while.
I’ve had numerous opportunities to go out, and I’ve chosen not to.
It feels… weird.
I went out early on November 7 (2021) to railfan, not because I really felt like it, but because I felt like I “should”. After doing the “regular route” between Winnipeg and Elie via CP, I ended up waiting by a signal on the east end of the Marquette siding.
As I sat there, looking at the green signal facing west, I wondered a lot about why I spend my time trackside. At that moment, it didn’t seem like time well spent.
After well over an hour, a train eventually rolled by.
You can see my drone over the train in the shot above – I chose to not “remove” it from the photo. Here’s the video from the drone.
I carried on to Elie, then returned to Winnipeg, seeing no more trains along the way.
On the following weekend (November 13-14) I had ample opportunity to go chase trains, but I just didn’t feel like it. I stayed at home and puttered around the house.
I woke up early on the next Saturday, November 20, and saw a glorious sunrise, with fresh snow on the ground and a bright blue sky. I thought, “this would be a great morning for train photography,” then read a book.
Next morning, November 21, there was another nice sunrise – not quite as golden – and I dragged myself out of the house and headed north to Diamond on the CN Rivers subdivision. I wasn’t “feeling it” but I thought I might “feel it” once I was trackside.
I arrived trackside and there was nothing going on, no signals were lit, so I parked my car and fiddled around on my phone while I waited for something to happen.
After about half an hour, the west-facing signals lit up with a green signal on the north track. I set up east of the diamond and awaited the train. I was rewarded with some nice light on the nose of CN 8823.
That turned out to be a decent photo. I like blowing snow with trains.
Here’s the video…
After that, it was back to waiting again. I saw an east facing green signal so I knew a train would be along… eventually…
I went to mile 15, west of the diamond, and waited at a road crossing.
After 45 minutes of waiting, I gave up and started driving toward Winnipeg, only to see a headlight in the distance. I backtracked to mile 15 and set up again to record CN 3188 West.
After a few minutes, the train cleared the crossing and I took a few shots as the head end was rounding the bend a mile or so further west of my position.
That was enough for me, so I packed up and drove home.
Did I have fun?
No, not really. I’m satisfied with my photos, but I didn’t enjoy the railfanning. It felt more like a duty than a pleasure.
I’m going to try not to fret about it too much. I have some other issues going on, personally, and I don’t really need any more stress. I’ll work on stuff that I like – I’ve been working on my model train layout – and I won’t feel obligated to go chase trains.
I have also stopped recording consists in my online sightings database. This is something I have been doing in some form or another since 1999, but I have found it to be a real chore lately, and so I am done with that. When I process images, I name them with the location and date, and I keyword them in Adobe Lightroom, so the sightings database is duplicated effort. No more.
I am going to slow down on posting here, so you may only see one post a week instead of the usual two. I might post two a week if I feel like it but I’m not going to guarantee it.
This is all part of protecting my mental health. I think we should all treat our mental health as seriously as we do our physical health. I will probably write more on this in a few weeks.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your understanding.