What is the hobby of Train Spotting?

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Some people enjoy refurbishing old cars some others like playing or watching sports. There is one hobby that not a lot of people might have heard about. Have you ever heard of trainspotting hobby? Well, a train spotting is actually a famous hobby that involves the collection in the sightings of trains. People who do this hobby are called train spotters. Everyone needs a hobby and for several thousand people in the world, trains are a multi-faceted hobby. So what do train spotters do as part of this hobby? They write down engine numbers, names of trains, and other 'interesting' information about train.


What is the history of train spotting?

Train spotting was found by Ian Allan in 1942, a young trainee in the Public-Relations office in Waterloo, London. Being bored of constant incoming letters from railway enthusiasts wanting to know everything there is to know about the locomotives. Ian Allan decided to set up the Loco-spotters club to help them. Once set up, its popularity expanded dramatically, and by the 1950s roughly one million locomotive guides were sold every year. Since then, train spotting took a hold of a large amount of people, and even made its way across the seas to America, whereby its popularity shot up.


What does a person do in train spotting?

Train spotters are also known as railfans. Their hobby involves collecting information on the trains that pass through at the station. They collect information on a particular type of train or rail company and its timings, all the things pertaining to the train such as the tickets, brand, other things associated with it are collected by the trainspotter. They pretty much sit at the station and hang out there to get the information. They know everything about the trains of their interest and also share information on the dispatches of the train. They have their own trainspotter jargon that they all are familiar with while exchanging information. But due to the current security issues in most of the countries it has become a little harder to pursue this hobby. While some collect information on the history of the train such as its unique style, their names which usually connected with the history of the rail department. A lot of them are interested in the steam engines while some collect information on electric or diesel or electric trains. The subject of trains is vast and varied so trainspotters mostly choose one area of interest and pursue it.


Are train spotters allowed to take photographs?

Throughout the world, Rail network photographs are allowed upon all platforms and stations but the way of taking would be different from one country to other like in London, they allow photographs being taken without flash, in Australia, Connex Melbourne requires a permit to take photographs. Spain also requires a permit; while this is illegal throughout America due to copyright laws, While in Greece photographs of trains are forbidden without a legal justification.


Are train spotters and rail fans the same?

No, they are not the same.A rail fan is one who enjoys trains and the railway, whereas a train spotter is someone who specifically watches the lines in search of trains.

Finally the sport of train spotting is regarded as geeky but one should not pay attention to such names and if it interests a person to do train spotting they should be able to do it. 

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