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So, what got you interested in railways?

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Old 15th February 2007, 01:22
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Trev Trev is offline  
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So, what got you interested in railways?

We've all been through it, the fascination with steel wheels on steel rails. The interest might fade a bit as girls and beer take their hold in our teens, but we all came back to the hobby. We must've done, or you wouldn't be reading this!

So, what was it that got you interested in railways?

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Old 15th February 2007, 10:49
tonyharker tonyharker is offline  
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My Grandfather taking me at age 3 to see the "choo choos" near to where we lived in Redcar N Yorks. I was later given a second hand Hornby O gauge train set for a birthday - I wish I still had it. Ive liked railways and railway modelling ever since.

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Old 15th February 2007, 11:16
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My dad grow up in Shildon and he would tell me about the great big steam loco's on the main line at Darlington,and i would sit for hours talking to him about the train's ,we would take hoilday's in Devon and my dad and i would sit on the sea wall and watch train's while the rest of my family we're on the beach.
All the best,Ian.
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Old 15th February 2007, 17:00
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Adey Baker Adey Baker is offline
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I suppose you could wax lyrical for ages on this subject!

Our first memories are as children and I guess we're trying to re-capture those far-off days...

The train journey usually meant that you were going on holiday. Staring out of the train window, being almost mesmerised by the constant 'rising and falling' of the telegraph wires as you passed each post. The rising of the bank as you went into a cutting - would it just lead to a bridge then fall again or would it get higher and higher until you plunged into a tunnel!

One of my Aunties always seemed to buy me a train-related gift for Christmas, usually a book. In fact one of her sons, my cousin, Frank Stratford, worked on the railways and eventually wrote a book and magazine articles about his time on the 'Great Central.'

Before I had my own electric train set I remember my father coming home from work one evening with an enormous box full of pre-war Hornby O gauge clockwork stuff - he'd been doing some work at 'the big house' in a neighbouring village and as the son of the house had grown-up the trains had just been gathering dust in the loft, so we might as well have them and get some fun out of them! We sure did, and I wish that I still had them - I played them into the ground, so to speak!

When I went up to secondary school in autumn 1959 train-spotting was very much accepted as a great hobby for lads as it was a legitimate reason to get out and about - it's amazing how far youngsters of 11, 12, 13, would go without a thought of any danger they might have been in.

Nowadays it's decidedly 'uncool' for young teenagers to be seen as having an interest in trains, yet back then, it was a great way to find your way around with your mates rather than you parents, using your initiatve to see as much stuff as possible whilst still making sure you got home at the correct time so that you could go again another day - no national rail website in those days; you had to understand the timetables to make sure you'd allowed sufficient time to make your connections and get back in time to catch the bus home in time for your evening meal!

Most enthusiasts today seem to be 'of a certain age' and I'm sure they're trying to re-live those good old days to some extent - we've all got cameras nowadays, of course, which is something most of us didn't have then, so when we get too old we can at least re-live today's scene!
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Old 15th February 2007, 21:15
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Adeys message puts his reason for his interested in railways very nicely, and what he wrote about travelling by train as a child is also very true. I always got very excited as a child when going on holiday, I looked foreward more to the train journey than I did the holiday. I was not a train spotter but when I was fifteen I started working on BR as an engine cleaner, whilst working on locos as a fireman the thought of being interesred in locos and railways never entered my head, to me it was just a job a way of making a living.
It's only in later years that I have become interested in railways, my interest is mostly steam some diesel and as for electrics I have no interest in them whatsoever.
Alan Locojoe
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Old 15th February 2007, 23:06
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As I mentioned in a post yesterday, I lived on the Wirral in Cheshire as a little boy and the line from West Kirby to Liverpool was one of our main forms of transport. I also have memories of seeing my Father off at Liverpool Lime Street during the period 1949-1952 so it was all steam.

If we travelled anywhere, it was by train including a trip down to Cornwall including the Helston Branch in 1950.

Model railways wise it started with Clockwork Hornby 0 Gauge.

So that is where it started for me!

John H-T.
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Old 15th February 2007, 23:53
Seth Seth is offline  
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I've always been a "Jack of all interests Master of none" My main interest has been mainly in road transport.....B.R.S. Spotter, but anything mechanical, yep Road, Rail, Sea, Air. You have my attention.

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Old 16th February 2007, 11:48
pavorossi pavorossi is offline  
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I've lived in Bury all my live, so as I've grown up I've always known the East Lancs, which was running to Rammy 9 months before I was born. I always enjoyed seeing the trains, but never got really deeply interested until I was about fifteen. As part of my coursework for my GCSE in German I had to produce a brochure encouraging German tourists to come to Bury, and along with the market the ELR is a big attraction in Bury. So I went on the internet to find some suitable photographs to use, and I stumbled across a picture of Tangmere (follow this link to see it http://www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk/php/...=photos_Steam). I loved the look of the Battle of Britain so I had to find out more about it, and I got hooked from there really. And then I started buying railway magazines after the death of my hero, Fred Dibnah, starting with Old Glory, but that didn't contain enough information on railways so I moved on to Steam Railway and Steam World, and it's just grown from there.


Last edited by pavorossi; 25th February 2007 at 18:09.
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Old 16th February 2007, 17:53
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Perhaps a BoB might not have been the best choice for German visitors.
Remembering Doodlebugs.
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Old 16th February 2007, 22:17
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Adey’s recent post has helped me decide when my interest in railways started.
I started trainspotting when I was about 8 years old simply because it was the done thing amongst young lads at the time and not because I had any real interest in railways. I think parents applied a similar logic when buying their kids toys. Boys were given train-sets, even though they might never have expressed a particular interest in trains and girls were given dolls.
As there were plenty of fields beside the railway in the late 1950’s we often played football between trains which meant that our initial attempts at trainspotting were often a bit half-hearted. If the game was at a crucial stage when a train came it tended to take priority and many a number was missed as a result.
One by one most of the gang decided that trainspotting wasn’t for them leaving just a few of us to progress beyond simply writing down numbers. I think the Ian Allan ABC books that we used for marking off our numbers were responsible for fuelling my interest. The little snippets of info contained in these books about each class of loco whetted my appetite and I started to develop a real interest and seek out more information.
Instead of simply being a means of visiting relatives our regular train trips to Manchester took on a new meaning. Perhaps I shouldn’t say this but the journey became more exciting than actually visiting my Aunts and Uncles. Manchester was only 40 miles away but for a young lad with a newly found interest in trains it was a different World. I will always remember catching a brief glimpse of a Jubilee leaving Manchester Victoria with a train of carriages some of which had destination boards carrying the inscription London – Cologne. I had read about train ferries and was convinced that I had seen my first International train conveniently ignoring the fact that I was in the middle of Lancashire miles away from any North Sea port. It was a real disappointment when I eventually discovered that the destination boards actually read London - Colne.
John …….My Railwayforum Gallery
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