Wednesday, June 14, 2006


There's a fine line between genius and madness. Trainspotters I'm not so sure about. They are seen as a particularly English phenomena but we have our fair share of them too.

Today I was catching a train to the Western suburbs and spotted a pretty intense trainspotter onboard. State Rail timetable in hand, a small notebook with neat little rectangles on his lap......scribbling furiously. About what, I'm not 100% sure but it seemed VERY, VERY important in his little world.

Then there were the other signs, a backpack..... no doubt with a Thermos and some sandwiches, the spray jacket and the obligatory notebook. I often see a few trainspotters at the station near my place, as it's a one-time railway town with a railway museum nearby. The occasional steam train puffing up the Blue Mountains sees quite a few more coming out of the woodwork bearing video cameras, taperecorders and cameras with enormous zoom lenses. So, in effect...... trainspotter spotting has been a bit of a past-time in passing for myself. It's a sickness, I know.

I actually was given one of these notebooks as part of a promotional package at the Bay to Birdwood. It wasn't called "The Trainspotters Notebook" but something more formal such as the "Rail Enthusiast's Pocketbook" or similar, had a look on the web and am unable to find the publisher. There must be a shop that sell the things, somewhere. In any case, enthusiasts of old cars and those who write down train serial numbers are perhaps are of the same ilk, otherwise why would have they included a copy? Now I'm getting worried.

Anyway, I gave my copy to a friend of mine who was equally bemused by the trainspotter enigma. And on spotting the trainspotter today on the train, I promptly advised the same friend via SMS. Should have taken a picture but I'm unsure if they get violent or not.

Whilst looking for the pocketbook, I found this.


  • There's also a fine line between madness and annoying madness. The recruiting ads may help with that however. A fair wage and the social respectability of holding a job can help the kind of unfortunate they're seeking. It will give them a sense of ownership, in ways that merely owning things cannot. It can supplement any educational ambitions they may have and convert a so-called "personality disorder" into a boost in security for the whole country.

    By Blogger J Alva Scruggs, at 9:31 pm  

  • Ok, looked at several defilnitions of trainspotter and now I know where you are coming from...heh.

    Seems like an odd thing to do, but I have seen people watching planes coming into land at BWI and thought that was odd.

    I think every human is closer to madness they they would like to believe.

    By Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic, at 2:55 am  

  • I'm working on my CV as we speak. How sweet are those jobs?

    By Anonymous jth, at 8:23 am  

  • J.a.s. I was reading one of your recent links where these guys have the new job of Pornography police....LOL. I think you have to be paranoidly xenophobic and have a below par don't qualify.

    O.B.t.H yep definitely is strange and as I said vaguely British although the British colonies have their fair share too methinks.

    JtH in a dirty olde mac scribbling down numbers? :-)

    By Blogger Johnno, at 8:13 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home