Railfanning
by Gregory Swisher


Trains Across America is a sampler of railroad photographs compiled over the last ten years. Most of these photographs were made during trips designed specifically to see trains. These trips are part of the the hobby known as "railfanning". Railfans are a diverse group of people sharing at least one common interest…trains. Their interest may be in railroad history, operations, equipment, or any of a number of other aspects of railroading past and present. They may have interest in only one railroad, or in railroads of a specific region, or in all railroads. Some may demonstrate their interest by researching, collecting memorabilia, or photographing trains. Other may simply enjoy watching trains. Most likely a given railfan has an interest in a combination of the items listed above and others not listed.

For me, railroad photography is a prime interest. This usually means scheduling a number of trips throughout the year to different areas of the country, specifically for the purpose of photographing trains. These trips range from one day to a week or two. They usually involve other railfans with similar interests. For some, publishing their work is an attractive part of the hobby.

There are a number of railfan publications listed in the bibliography. This list is by no means comprehensive. There are too many. If you are looking for more information, try some of the other websites or publications suggested. Sources for these publications are local hobby shops or public libraries. There are also many railfan groups and railroad historical societies around the country. Hobby shops often have information about groups in their area.


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