Monday, October 22, 2012

Girl Railfan - Does Not Compute!

"OMG, you're a girl...and you like trains!?!" /foam.

Yeah, I get that a lot. Apparently the fact that females can be railfans is a foreign concept to many people. Just as much as liking trains to begin with is a foreign concept to most of the people I know:

"I found your train blog, WTF...that's creepy" - a darling friend of mine. (I'm not even being sarcastic, ha!)
"I don't get the train thing - they're a method to get from point A to point B. THAT'S IT." - the darling boyfriend - who plays Magic the Gathering, which I refuse to "get", so we're even.

Yes, we do exist, and no, we don't like things based on paint and pretty colored route designations. (On that note though, MOAR purple trains plz!). I will admit that the 7 line is my favorite subway...but that has nothing to do with the bullet color (I swear) and everything to do with the fact that it was the first subway I ever took.

The Pascack Valley MNR/NJT line is also not my favorite line - that honor doesn't even go to the New Haven line's Waterbury branch (shockingly...since that seems to be a good bit of what I babble about on here, right?). The honor actually goes to the New Haven line's Danbury branch because that's the first place I took a non-touristy/museum train from...and if you go north of Danbury on Housatonic trackage, you reach New Milford...which is where I saw my first trains as a wee one, which were Housatonic (maybe Conrail too? This was very early 90's...I do remember some engines in Conrail blue as well as HRRC green & yellow).

My favorite defunct line is the Shepaug Railroad which ran between Hawleyville, CT and Litchfield, CT until 1948. When my grandfather is back home and settled - he fell and broke his hip recently and is rehabbing - I'm going to go pay him a visit to get some stories about the Shepaug, which ran behind his childhood home and was being torn up on his Navy leave after boot camp. I have some ideas for future posts on the topic up my sleeve...but that's clearly another post for another day :)

 Before I forget: all you uberfoamers about girl railfans that I've encountered - keep the foam to yourself. I've gotten the gamut of reactions from "Oh hey, you're a woman and like trains...cool" (Which is non-foamy and the most reasonable) to creeptastic. (Although the creepiest reaction was from a railroad employee via FB and not a fellow railfan, but we won't get into that). It's annoying...and doesn't do you any favors. Bottom line? Quit being so shocked, k?

Mystery female railfan in her natural habitat - train stalking :)
Female readers: What is the strangest reaction you've gotten when people learn that you like trains? Guys, feel free to answer too - what are some of the obnoxious responses to being a railfan that you've gotten?

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