looking at vs. looking out

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New Member
I've been fortunate, as fan of railroading; and not being a professional railroader, to operate a multiple unit freight train. I will always fondly remember that experience, and I feel very fortunate to have been given that opportunity; and I would definitely do it again.

I like many of the various aspects of railroading... and foremost, is having the opportunity to view real trains in action. This might surprise some, but I prefer looking at the trains in action, and viewing their many details... over sitting in the cab looking out the window.

When you're on-board/inside a moving abject, such as a car, truck, plane or a train, you have many things to view, but you can't see what you're riding in.

I'd rather view the locomotive(s), and the train.



Preserving "America's RR"
I don't know. There's something about the tactile experience. For instance, ever since I was young I have seen film of aircraft being shot at or shot period. I felt for the crews and what they had to go through, but it was all very detached and analytical. By contrast, being in an airplane that was being shot at was a much more all-enveloping experience. That's an extreme example but illustrates my point.


New Member
To me, on board experiences provide a different type of enjoyment, because you are an active participant on those occasions.

When I'm track-side, viewing some aspect of railroading, the trains etc... are my focal point, and I am, for the most part, just an observer... taking in the experience. I guess what am trying to say is... it's the trains, themselves, the locomotives, and rolling stock etc..., that hold the appeal for me.

Frequently, my wife is with me track-side; and nowadays, I usually ask my wife to take the pictures, so I don't miss any of the immediate experience. I guess you could say in this regard, that I am not able to multitask; and get the same degree of enjoyment.

In the moment, I am not only watching the action, but I am also taking in what's going on... with all my senses being used. For example, the actual sounds that I ,distinctly, hear... as a multiple unit consist thunders past me, is part of the appeal for me. I don't want to miss that, or anything else by being preoccupied with getting the right shot.

Also, picture a situation/an event where a famous locomotive was scheduled to appear; and you had two choices - (1) you get to have a cab ride, but you don't get to see/view the famous unit doing it's thing, in action(I'm talking an external view, here). (2) You decline the cab ride, but you get to see a great machine(an external view) in action.

I'd rather be able to do both, but if I could only pick one option, that would be option number (2).


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