Yusron Sayoga - Railfans! in this article we will tell another stroy about Railfans VS Society. Oh wait thank's me latter before. Railroad enthusiasts also known as railfans, are found throughout the world and hail from all walks of life. Some follow train technology or operations, others create elaborate train layouts or models, and many enjoy taking photographs or are content to just watch trains from a distance.
Indonesian Locomotive
From an article from Jared Scare below at any level of interest, the rail industry appreciates the support of railfans, who observe railroad operations with a shared concern for safety and security. Metra partners with the Transportation Security Administration and Operation Lifesaver to educate communities about the dangers of trespassing upon railroad property.
Railroad Bridge
One last and important issue we want to address is the negative misconceptions that society gives to trains and railfans. Regular people view trains as an annoyance to society because they cause people to be late to work, school, meetings, sporting events, parties, etc. They also don't understand how us railfans can love trains and wait trackside all day for them. Even the family and friends of railfans have questioned their love of the hobby. Common questions we get asked include:

  • "Why do you love trains so much?"
  • "Why are you obsessed with trains?"
  • "What's so special about trains?"
  • "Why can't you find something else better to do?"
  • "How many trains do you need to see?"
  • "Do you ever get tired of trains?"
  • "Are you retarded?"
  • "Are You Gay?"

Also sometimes from our friend in our small environment said "Are you nerd? /"Are You have an anxiety?"/"Do You Have a Bipolar Disorder?" isn't miss understood. There's probably more, but those are the most common based on what I've read and experienced. Anyway, I will answer all of these questions and more so you people everywhere can truly understand why we love trains just as much as you love whatever hobby (or hobbies) you're into.

1. "Why do you love trains so much?"
This is a very difficult question to answer, as there are many reasons why we railfans love trains so much. One reason why we love trains is because of the horns on the locomotives. There's nothing more exciting than hearing the horn of an approaching train in the distance. It's very chilling yet exciting and cool. It's even better when you hear your favorite horn on the locomotive. My favorite train horn is the P5 horn (old, new, and mixed casts). The excitement that I get from hearing a P5 horn from a fast approaching Norfolk Southern freight train is unreal and legitimate (here's one of my favorite videos of an NS train with a P5 horn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APCNeG0lZT0).
Railfans! Here Your Spot
Another reason we love them is for the sounds of a locomotive in the distance. Again, this goes into the excitement factor for us railfans when a train is coming. One of my favorite locomotives is the EMD SD40-2. These locomotives make awesome sounds when they accelerate up to Notch 8. Seriously, watch this video right here and you'll see what I mean (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n6Efwa-4_w). 
Indonesian Railfanning
Anyway, we also love trains is because there's something about watching one roll by that brings peace, relaxation, and calmness to us. Railfanning is our way of getting away from the pressure, drama, and/or boredom in our personal lives, and we can't enjoy that when you have a paranoid society watching, judging, and harassing you during what is supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. Railfans are people too, and don't like the negative misconceptions that they and their hobby get from you people in society.

2. "Why can't you find something else better to do?"
This is almost like asking "Why can't you find a better place to live?" Most of you people don't understand that trains are a huge part of our lives. Most of us have liked trains since we were little children, and have dreams of working in the railroad. We could easily ask the same question to some of you people for your hobbies, but we don't because it's normal and not illegal. It'd be one thing if you're a creeper who stalks girls and their profiles or trespassing on private property destroying/stealing things. Then it would be appropriate to ask this question because things of those nature are creepy, suspicious, AND illegal. Train watching with a camera and/or camcorder on public property DOES NOT fall into the same category. There is nothing wrong with railfanning as long as it's a safe distance away from the tracks and on public property. Besides, the lives of railroaders and some railfans revolve around trains, so they probably wouldn't be able to find something else better to do even if they tried.

3. "How many trains do you need to see?"

We want to see as many trains as possible, and NO, we don't ever tired of trains.
Here's why: The Railroads are ALWAYS changing - There are many past railroad companies and railroad locomotives that no longer exist. In Columbia, SC during the 1970s and 1980s, the primary railroad companies through here were the Southern Railway and the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. They would go on to be merged into today's railroad companies, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation (respectively). And both Fallen Flags RR Companies used locomotives that no longer exist (Examples: GP35s, SD35s, SD45s, B30-7s, and U-Boats). Check out these videos: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRXcCwvn4ZM).
The Long and Winding Railroad
No graffiti on the trains, and cabooses were still used back then. Columbia used to be a major passenger hub until commercial airplanes, interstate highways, and improved roadways eliminated the need for long distance passenger trains during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Over the past 50 years, Columbia went from seeing numerous passenger trains a day to now only 2 daily Amtrak passenger trains (and both run at night). Because of the fact that the railroads are always changing, we railfans want to document as much of what is going on right now as possible as we never know if we'll ever see it again years from now.
Double Track Construction
Railfanning at the same location on the same days around the same time can get boring - People don't understand why we like railfanning almost anywhere we go. Railfanning is a hobby that get boring when you only railfan at the same location everytime. What railfanning to us is what shopping is to girls. Living close to the mall is a nice luxury for most girls, but I'd have a hard time imagining that the mall they live near is the only place they want to shop at in their lifetime. Well, railfanning can be applied in the same way. No one railfan is just going to be satisfied with railfanning at the same nearby locations for a lifetime. Me, for example; I've lived near the NS R-Line and CSX Hamlet Sub for pretty much most of my life. But those are NOT the only railroad lines I want to railfan (especially since neither are that busy). I also would like to railfan the NS SC-Line, the CSX CN&L Sub, the CSX A-Line, the NS Piedmont Division in North Carolina, and the CSX Folkston and Florida Funnel in Southern Georgia/Northern Florida. Hell, I would like to even like to take a trip out west to railfan BNSF and the Union Pacific Railroad. I want to see railroad action from all across the country and not be limited to a certain geographical area, and other railfans agree with me.
Indosian Locomotive
Foreign Power/Heritage Units - Speaking of geographical location, another reason why we like trains is because we hope to see foreign power from railroads that operate nowhere near our area. This year alone, I've already seen my very first Canadian Pacific and Canadian National locomotive engines in person. Of course both RR companies are based in Canada, which is why it's exciting to see something unfamiliar far away from home here in SC. In addition, we railfan for the purpose of possibly seeing railroad locomotives of Fallen Flag RR companies. Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific painted some of their locomotives in fallen flag schemes to honor their predecessor railroads. These are called heritage units (Check out this video; this guy's reaction is PRICELESS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhYXNwvcl6A).
We strive to see something unfamiliar in our area when we railfan because they're hard to come by on a regular day.
BONUS: Special Trains - We also go out railfanning to catch trains that only run annually or seasonally at our respective locations. Examples include the RBBB Circus Train (seen in SC only in March), the James E. Strates Carnival Train (seen in SC only in October), the NS OCS (seen only during the Winter in SC), the CSX OCS (seen during the Spring, Fall, and Winter in SC), and Herzog ballast trains (seen during the Fall and Winter in SC).

4. "Are you retarded?"
For liking trains? Really? While it is true that a lot of autistic people like trains [See articles here: (http://www.autismkey.com/trains-and-autism/) (http://voices.yahoo.com/why-autistic-children-like-trains-7297578.html?cat=25)], that gives you NO right to refer to anyone in a vulgar or insulting way because of who they are. If you're going to judge someone, judge them for what they do and not for who they are. Just because someone likes trains doesn't mean they're retarded.
This beutiful Railroad Spot in Indonesia
We railroaders and railfans alike have a term that we refer to the more insane and crazier railfans known as foamers. A foamer is a railfan that gets so excited about seeing and hearing trains that they LITERALLY start foaming at the mouth. They may be a bit on the special side, but that doesn't mean that you people in society should call them retarded. They're people too, and the word "retard" can be a very offensive term to them. I'll admit that foamers can be annoying sometimes, but shouldn't be looked down upon at because of who they are.

5. "Are you gay?"
What do you mean when you ask this? Are we happy or are we homosexual for liking trains? I'm pretty sure every railfan out there is happy when they see a train. I don't really understand how homosexuality is linked to trains. I've heard that an o*** of homosexual men is called a train wreck, but don't see any connections other than that. There are gay railfans out there, but understand this: railfanning is a hobby that isn't dominated by single race or group of people.
Susuhan Train Station
This is another thing I like about my hobby. It attracts different types of people with different types of backgrounds. It's attracts whites, blacks, asians, latinos, europeans, and other types of races. Railfans are one of the most diverse groups of people in the world. They come in all size, shapes, and forms. You don't have to look a certain type of way to be considered a railfan.

Advice for Police Officers and Final Thoughts
Now I understand that in this day and age, anything unusual must at least be checked out. If you work for the Police (or at least know someone who does) and see someone near RR property and think their intentions are not good, ask them to name AT LEAST 2 different locomotive models and to provide info on them (such as horsepower rating, type of engine they use, type of horns they blow, etc.). If they can do any of this, they are railfans. If they can't provide any answers, you have probable cause to detain or arrest them. This will benefit both sides as officers will know for sure whether they're real railfans or terrorists, while the railfans can validate their identity. Problem solved.

RailRoad Stuff
Now to wrap things up, I just want to say thank you if you took the time to read this long note. Railfans are the most misunderstood people in the world. Everything typed here may not change that, but will at least (hopefully) give other people out in society a chance to look into the world of railfans and their perspectives. Feel free to like, share, and/or post below if you have anything you want to ask or add on about railfans and trains. No insults or anything negative or you'll be blocked. Again, thanks for taking the time to read this, and may God Bless You.

Railfans! That's a short article about Railfans Vs Society. Wish you like it.

Also Read: A Long Story About Train Ticketing

For Video About Indonesian Railway and Train may visit our Youtube Channel in this link below → https://www.youtube.com/c/yusronsayogayuwono

Thank You and Best Regards,

Yusron Sayoga