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BZGuy

What made you a transit fan?

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One of the reasons why I like this website is because I'm around folks who like or even love all things transit. Most here know that we don't have one of the most "normal" hobbies but I can say I think it's the most fun.

 

So what got YOU into being a transit fan?

 

Myself, I grew up the kid of a CTTransit B/O in Hartford,CT. I literately grew up in the garage and on the buses. I guess you could say it was kinda preordained that I was gonna drive a bus of some kind. As I got older I got interested in airplanes, ships and to a lesser extent....trains,but the buses have always had my heart.

 

I remember loving riding with my dad of the F1 line in the fishbowls. Sitting in the back while that 6V92 screamed its way up Asylum Hill was awesome. Didn't really like the Grummans,but having A/C in the summer was a plus. And the MCI Classic's IMO were the best buses CTTransit ever purchased. Then the D40HFs and Nova's showed up in the mid-90s and it made it fun to ride around all day. And while I like them when the LFs showed up I wasn't really enamored with the "tissue box on wheels" look,but the performance those buses have won me over.

 

And it's still fun now. I see some of the now-senior guys who started with my dad back in the 80s and I remember what a bunch of cowboys they were (or in my dad's case,still is:p) and now I see the new generation of drivers out there and in a way its kinda sad. Alot of the camaraderie is gone, guys don't wave,make funny faces or flash the high beams anymore. But hey we always got the buses!

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I remember my first time on the subway, it was fun, the trains accelorated fast and decelorated and it was just the whole experience of going places fast.

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To tell you the truth I became a railfan because I liked almost every single train in the New York City Subway Systems. The ones I really like and miss are OTT-Old Technology Trains. I like the R32's, R38's, R42's, R44's, R46's, R62's, and R68's/A's. I grew up with them. I was used to their vibrations, their sounds, and their movements. They were the reason I became a railfan. The NTT's don't really do that.

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Ok this is the story:

 

I was about two and my mom got me a little RTS. I played with it and loved it to death. My sister then ruined it. I cried and cried and cried and then I got another one. Since then I have been in love with Buses.

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Most of my life I've taken trains and there is just something about the wind from the tunnel and the Roar of A train that enters A station , Not to mention hearing A (4)(5) going full steam on the EXP tracks and seeing it from the local side just gets me every time even till this day lol .

I even eat my lunch on the (6) downtown platform and watch the EXP trains just roar but no it's Foam it's just A Cool thing to see .

Canal st always was A great subway station to me and just having A slice and watching trains go by just to kill the time is cool to me.

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I grew up taking the subway a lot. Whenever my dad was taking me back to my mom's house as a kid, I always enjoyed seeing those 42's curve into Cypress Hills and the horn of those OOS trains. I remember when a t/o let me blow the horn, man that made my day! Since then my intrest in trains grew. From time to time I go to this one street that ends because of the Brighton line, I just love seeing those trains pass back and forth!

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I took the (4) to Utica and then the (3) out to Penn Av to visit my grandpa all the time. I never liked how the (4) went local after Brooklyn Bridge.

 

Another reason is because when I was younger (8-10) a T/O named Mr. Richie would let me in his cab on the (G) train. One day after my sisters speech therapy, we were in the first car at 71-Continental. The T/O comes in and asks if we want to go in his cab. He let me hold on to the lever to move the train and I helped him blow the horn. I rode in his cab 2-3 times a week for a couple months.

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Alot of my family works in the transit. My cuz is a T/O. I didnt get into it untill like 2001-2002 and didnt start taking pics until 2004. Thats just one of the reasons. I used to always ride the subway to meet chicks with my friends. I still do it from time to time when im in the city.

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Well my first memories of transit was when I was with my dad while Gleason first got their Orion V CNGs. I remember asking him if I could help drive by steering or by pushing the brakes/accelerator. Other than that, it was always riding the R68As along Brighton to/from Coney Island.

 

As I grew up and moved to Queens, I was exposed to various buses and trains that all continue to become childhood memories. I didn't start taking pictures until around 7th grade when I got my first camera.. Afterwards, I've been on and off until 9th grade when I was able to go out more and what not.

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I grew up riding Redbirds and R110As on the (2) and (5) since I lived close by the Nostrand Avenue Line, but on occasion, my dad and I would take the B35 to East 18th Street and I would ride R40 Slants on the Orange (Q6Av) to Brighton Beach. When I was ten years old I started traveling to and from school on my own using the subway and after I turned 15, that was when I was able to ride the trains more during my free time. I would leave my house at six in the morning and I would take alternate routes to school, such as the (C) train to Manhattan to the (L) train at 14th Street and that to Lorimer or Bedford, riding R32/38s on the (C) and the occasional R42 on the (L) until late 2007. During finals (in January and June) I would railfan until I had to be at school at a certain time for my test, and when I was finished, if I had time before I had to be home at a certain time I'd railfan.

 

I'm kinda disappointed that I didn't get a camera around 2006 when I was more heavily attracted to the system because now the system is monotonous and the majority of the old fleet is gone, so I missed out on some good photo ops. The only interesting photos I have are R42s on the (V). But despite that, I think I had more fun experiencing the system as a whole, with or without a camera.

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I don't know, it just kinda happened.

 

My earliest bus memory was seeing a parked MTA Fishbowl in Manhattan, this was like '96, I just remember I was breaking my neck to see it (and an old fashioned fire truck), 2 old fashioned vehicles in the same place. This was the stuff that you only saw on TV lol. I was very young (three-ish).

 

I just always liked buses, I like trains too. I'm not a serious transit-fan, I've never busfanned or railfanned and I only took bus pics once when I was waiting for the bus. I prefer driving. I'm mostly a regular rider that knows a lot. I like using a speed monitoring App when I ride the LIRR, I think the highest it went was 82mph in Western Suffolk County, it also hit 76mph in between Penn Station & Jamaica, I only did it a few times though. The highest I saw on an RTS was 35mph (smh lol).

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I always enjoyed riding trains as a kid. The opportunity to get involved in preservation and learning about transporation years ago (which was better) was simply too much to pass up.

 

I get to run R9's, Lo-V's, SMEEs, (all LEGALLY) what more could I ask for?

 

I get to be the reason why a lot of them are running.

 

I get to have the ear of a lot of important people.

 

I get to coordinate a bunch of different things in this hobby.

 

Pretty effing cool.

 

Opportunities are there if you want them, pursue them, and get to know the right people. Or you can just drool over car moves ;)

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I've been playing with trains since I could walk only now i get to play with real ones instead of models. When I was about 4 or 5, my father built me an HO lay out in my room and I was always reading or looking up things about trains. Then I got into subways, I thought taking the (F) to Jay St and riding the (A) into the city on R32/38s with my father was the coolest thing in the world. For a long time if I ever went "railfanning", I would go by myself and I would ovbserve everything I saw about the operation of the system. My first "fantrip" was back in 2002 when the ERA chartered a train of Sliverfoxes to ride around the B Div. for a whole day. After that I didn't go on another trip till 2008 where I rode the Holiday train. After doing that and meeting the right people, I not only go on most of the trips but I have become very active in the preservation, restoration, and operation of rapid transit equipment.

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I've had almost any type of toy train: Brio [wooden trains], plastic [tyco, lego], ho and O gauge [lionel] trains. So I've grown up with them all my life.

Took a subway ride like at 6 yrs old with my grandpa all the way to Utica on the (4). I guess I really got into transit more when I took the subway to hs and of course went online more and chatted with other transit fans.

 

Although I do like transit, my interest has gone down and it's just a mild interest in it. I still try to keep up with the more significant stuff, but as for like what an R160A or B is from the distance - don't care, it's the same thing, boring.

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I've been playing with trains since I could walk only now i get to play with real ones instead of models. When I was about 4 or 5, my father built me an HO lay out in my room and I was always reading or looking up things about trains. Then I got into subways, I thought taking the (F) to Jay St and riding the (A) into the city on R32/38s with my father was the coolest thing in the world. For a long time if I ever went "railfanning", I would go by myself and I would ovbserve everything I saw about the operation of the system. My first "fantrip" was back in 2002 when the ERA chartered a train of Sliverfoxes to ride around the B Div. for a whole day. After that I didn't go on another trip till 2008 where I rode the Holiday train. After doing that and meeting the right people, I not only go on most of the trips but I have become very active in the preservation, restoration, and operation of rapid transit equipment.

 

Same I did the solo thing for a LONG time. Never even touched a so called "fan trip" until the holiday train in 2007.

 

Railfanning is overrated. The hobby is inclusive to a fault. Certain people's boorish behavior is allowed just because people feel sorry for them. I don't believe in making excuses for people, so I hang out with who I want to. And it's never about the trains, it's about the people. Anyone that knows me can attest to that.

 

There are a lot of opportunities foamers miss out on as a result of their behavior.

 

Their loss, not mine.

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Amen to that. For me, I've fanned the entire system already [probably will return to some areas to get better shots]. If any time there is a trip, it's mostly just to hang out with some people [as well as some pointers taking pictures].

=

To add on the point about the trains, it was a total treat in 2004 when they had the centennial celebration of the system with the R9, BU, TOMCs running. That was a great year to be a transit fan. I do miss the redbirds. I only wished they were on the mainlines longer or digital cameras were much cheaper in 2000-1.

Edited by Grand Concourse

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It started from my first school trip in elementary school sometime in kindergarten 1990.I took a trip to the aquarium and I remember riding a fresh rebuilt R46 right from MK.The LCD display was bright and new too.Also taking trips with my dad to the Rockaways to my aunts house,And I remember seeing red painted R30s on the (C) at broad channel.The first bus ride was on the B54 on Myrtle ave,and it was on a fishbowl and I loved seeing people getting the little pink paper transfers.Everything else evolved from there.

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For me, it all began with the RTS... Growing up along 188th Street in Fresh Meadows and the smell of sulfur diesel coming from the PBL-RTSs on Jamaica Avenue every time my mom took me down to that market at the 165th Street terminal as a child, listening to the air starters go off, nothing but RTSs, Orion Vs and Flxibles from MSBA! Goodtimes!!

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For me, I attribute it to having lived in a fairly transit-rich part of NYC (Brighton Beach, Brooklyn) and riding the trains a lot. That feeling stayed with me even after I left Brooklyn and grew as I acquired Internet access and learned how to use the Internet to engage in these discussions (as a child, I used the library's computers for things like games, because I didn't realize so much information was available about transit).

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- the fact that I used love sitting in the back of the fishbowls...

 

- my interest in bus & subway maps... street maps as well...

 

- my interest in wanting to know what bus/subway route went where in every borough

(that eventually expanded into, every route in every neighboring counties... and recently, routes in cities in the east coast....)

 

as a kid, I drove my parents nuts in asking them "where does the flatbush av bus take you"... "where does the utica av bus take you"... "where is Kensington cortelyou rd" (this is after having taking the B67 so many times w/ my father to get to his apt. in park slope)... "where is 2-4-1 street wakefield?" (looking at the rollsign on the redbirds)

 

^^ speaking of which, I got a story about that last one...

I was about 12-13... I was angry at my moms for something; think it had to do with coming inside early or something... so I stormed out the house & walked to nostrand & rode the (2)... with head in my lap, I looked up, and realized I was in uncharted territory... simpson street? I think I'm in the bronx... so this is the bronx (mind you, it was snowing that day, me & my bright ass skyblue carolina panthers jacket)...

 

my anger turned into nervous excitement (don't know how else to put it)... decided to ride to "2-4-1 street", I heard the sound of the exertion of the air brakes & someone saying last stop... I looked up into the sky with (happy) tears in my eyes... last stop... I'm here... I did it...

 

I get off, see a couple undesirables, but that didn't phase me none (same ish I see along church av)... I start walking down WPR, and I notice I see a bus with a blue & yellow color scheme with a big ass bee in the back... I don't see buses like that back in brooklyn.... anyway, I eventually walked to E. 180st (yeah, long walk for a 12 year old, I know) & took a (2) back home....

 

That was the day where my interest in transit grew Exponentially.... it got to a point where I started collecting transfers from different routes (the blue & orange paper ones)... then the white ones (same ones we have today).... sat there & studied each route on each boroughs respective map, plus the subway map as well.... you'd have thought I was studying to be a future operations planner or something....

 

 

- the above point, expanded into wanting to RIDE every bus route/[subway, or railroad] line in every borough, neighboring counties... won't go as far as to say, every state... but I'm currently working on fanning in connecticut & new jersey.... Way I see it, this is how you learn about different cities also, which is another little interest of mine....

 

 

Now I'm a 28 year old full grown transit nut :)

Edited by B35 via Church
decided to share that small story with y'all....

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Same I did the solo thing for a LONG time. Never even touched a so called "fan trip" until the holiday train in 2007.

 

Railfanning is overrated. The hobby is inclusive to a fault. Certain people's boorish behavior is allowed just because people feel sorry for them. I don't believe in making excuses for people, so I hang out with who I want to. And it's never about the trains, it's about the people. Anyone that knows me can attest to that.

 

There are a lot of opportunities foamers miss out on as a result of their behavior.

 

Their loss, not mine.

 

I'm not much of a people person anyway, but after having heard (well read, you know what I mean) about what goes on, on a portion of these r/f trips in posts back on subchat/straphangers, I definitely didn't want to partake in any of the ones that were "broadcasted/plastered" on the transit forums.... that, plus I personally was never big on the photography part of the hobby....

 

I go on the premise that, you're bound to get into some type of trouble, the more people you hang around.... little thing called peer pressure.... others may disagree w/ that, but w/e....

 

plus shit, you get more of what you want done when you're by yourself anyway... hate the feeling of having someone wait on me, and I definitely hate waiting for other people.....

 

Yeah, I can see where r/f-ing w/ others would be more about the people than the actual rides themselves.... way I see it, you don't know these people from a hole in the ground....

 

that's why Solitude is what it boils down to for me.

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I was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn near the (M). I was intrigued by the elevated line. When I moved to Queens, I lived near the LIRR. I've seen or passed by every station in the NYC subway and DC Metro (you can guess which system I prefer). Since I'm busy with law school, I don't have as much time to railfan or take express bus pics as I used to. However, I covered most of the areas I wanted to see in the tri-state area. My railfan trips in 2011 will focus more on other cities like Boston, Baltimore, and possibly Atlanta. I'm basically done fanning in the city (though I will take some M-8 pics once they arrive).

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I was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn near the (M). I was intrigued by the elevated line. When I moved to Queens, I lived near the LIRR. I've seen or passed by every station in the NYC subway and DC Metro (you can guess which system I prefer). Since I'm busy with law school, I don't have as much time to railfan or take express bus pics as I used to. However, I covered most of the areas I wanted to see in the tri-state area. My railfan trips in 2011 will focus more on other cities like Boston, Baltimore, and possibly Atlanta. I'm basically done fanning in the city (though I will take some M-8 pics once they arrive).

 

I won't go as far as to say I'm done, but on the real, there are times I do feel like that... that's why back in late 08 - most of 09, I started fanning out in connecticut; namely stamford's routes... this year I tackled norwalk, and some of bridgeport... next year I'll hit up hartford (which is gonna suck, since I have to take amtrak to get there) & new haven....

 

The rest of this year, I'm going to venture into more of central/southern NJ (by bus, I'm talking about)....

 

If I were to spend time outside of the tri-state area, it won't just be for fanning purposes... but I'd like to check out tampa (again), as well as orlando, and miami (again).... also va. beach & the carolinas.....

 

as far as your foci goes, Boston I'll never visit again... Baltimore I've been to on a few occasions, had an aunt that lived out there... and Atlanta I never cared much for...

 

 

furthermore, didn't know you were in law school... good luck with that btw, fam.

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