Mention the term ‘trainspotter’ to anyone and you’ll be hit by peals of laughter and tales of geeky train fan souls in anoraks waiting in the rain for a rare train to pass by them on a long-forgotten platform.
But as train enthusiastic, Tom Chesshyre (we would never call him a trainspotter) discovers in his excellent new book Slow Trains To Venice, there’s no one-size-fits-all descriptions for modern train fans.
So, fellow train enthusiasts where do you fit in, and can you spot yourself on one of the following categories?
Travelling by train is your favourite mode of transport, whether it’s a fun journey abord or simply a two-hour slow local journey from your home town. You wax lyrical about all the fun things you can do on a train trip (daydream/enjoy the view/drink G&Ts in cans on the go/flirt with your fellow passengers) and endlessly remind your friends how they can seriously lower their carbon footprint by travelling by train.
You are very serious about trains and enjoy a lively twitter debate with your fellow gricers about the merits of certain trains and journeys
You’ve travelled hundreds of miles by train, both in your own country and abroad. Train travel is literally your favourite mode of transport
Thomas The Tank Engine was your favourite children’s book and you’ve never lost your love of vintage locomotives.
Go on, admit it, you want to know everything about the train you’re on. When was it built? How fast does it go? How is it powered? Who owns it? What’s the best seat on the train? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, they are lots of train geeks out there – you can spot them on board pacing up and down the carriages and asking the ticket inspector a lot of questions!
You like to made an orderly list of train numbers. Probably best to keep your passion quiet on a first date – that is, unless you met on a train…