What Is Railfanning?

What to bring

  • Digital Camera
  • Extra Batteries for Camera .
  • Disposable camera. just for “happy snaps” not worth a good quality shot.
  • Film Camera
  • Film
  • Lense


  • Note pad and pen. Record the train name/number/time and loco numbers. This pays off in 10-20 years’ time when looking through the photos!

a hat (both of these are a must in summer. I got quite burnt railfanning without these)
Stuff to read/do when waiting between trains
A railfan buddy. Time passes a lot quicker with someone to talk to.

Always bring a police radio scanner with you to listen to the railroad companies chat, it can help you know when you will see the next train


Do’s in railfanning
BE POLITE TO STATION STAFF/RAILWAY WORKERS. The world has changed. When taking photos of trains, ALWAYS check with local authorities if its OK to take photos. Mainly applies to suburban areas. A lot of workers appreciate it and can get friendly if you ask.

Bring a camera. You never know when you get UP 2002 + UP 1983 + an unpatched SP SD45 in a consist! So many times here in Aus, I have not brought a camera and have seen a pearler of a lashup!

What not to bring
alcohol. High-speed moving trains and alcohol don’t mix. Railfans here in Australia have thought they can cross tracks and they get busted for trespassing.


Donts in railfanning
NEVER go onto the track. It’s what is getting us railfans into trouble!!
climb over fences to get into yards. You’ll get majorly busted.

Hopefully, you take most of this information on. Feel free to add more to the list.