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You know you're a railfan when...

1. You shop for a house by the tracks instead of away from them!

2. When planning your next vacation, you choose your travel route based upon the location of active railroads and railroad museums.

3. When you blow your horn two longs, a short, and a long through every

4. Speaking of intersections, you call the signals as you go through them.

5. You call zoning to ask if you can use a boxcar for a shed.

6. You wonder why automobiles don't come equipped with couplers.

7. While engaged in intimate relations, you suddenly find yourself mentally
debating the relative merits of Shay vs. rod engines.

8. Your wife tells you her water burst, and your first reaction is, "My God,
her boiler will be ruined!"

9. When you wire up the fog lamps to flash alternately when you blow the

10. When being served dinner, you say, "Easy, easy, that'll do!" as you've
gotten enough.

11.When riding with someone who’s backing into a parking space, you say, "two cars…one car…that’ll do."

11a. You teach your girlfriend railroad hand signals so you can direct her while she backs into the parking space..."okay, honey, when I wave my arm horizontally, that means stop, in a circle means back up..."

12. When you get a shopping cart with a bad wheel, you tag it and set it
aside for the shops to repair, or park it in an aisle and put up a blue
flag in front of and behind it.

13. You curse the dispatcher when you're held up in traffic.

14. You're test driving a hot V6 and think, "This thing can really move in
notch 8."

15. While driving your car, you put your arm on the window sill and wave
your hand and blow your horn to all kids standing on the street.

16. Your wife opens her wallet to show the relatives photos of the children
while you open your wallet to show them your latest rail photos from last
weeks fan trip. by Russ Fox

17. You install a pedal operated bell in your car and ring it while driving
across railroad crossings. by Russ Fox

18. You open your refrigerator door only to find it full of film for the
next fan trip. by Russ Fox

19. You find yourself looking for old locomotives and color schemes during
the obligatory chase scene through the rail yards when you're watching old
cop shows and movies on TV. by Jim Devlin

20. The efforts of Hollywood to re-create an earlier era using trains is met
with your derisive snort, "They didn't have GP40-2's in 1970! Can't they
get it right?" by Jim Devlin

21. You're on Amtrak, you find out that the guy across the isle is a
railfan, and your wives look at each other, roll their eyes and sigh. by
Christopher Chew

22. You're in your car and you come up to a railroad crossing. The crossing
lights are not flashing and no trains are coming, but you slow to a crawl
and look up the track both ways in hope of seeing a train. by Bob Burton

23. You are on a rail facility tour and start talking to one of the
mechanics on the shop floor only to find out that you know more than he
does. Anonymous

24. You rent certain movies at the video store because you know there is a
very cool train scene in it. by Melissa Mizell

25. You refuse to cross the tracks until your favorite train has passed by.
by Melissa Mizell

26. You barbuque using tie butts, for that special flavor!

27. You tell your wife you are going down to the corner bar to have a few
drinks with the guys, however, you go to your favorite train watching spot
to take a few photos. by Sam Evans

28. You are on a highway overpass, at 60 mph you suddenly shout," that's the Seaboard down there!", and you can't believe the others in the car didn't recognize it by the color of the ballast. by Chris Evans

29. You tell your wife you would like take a nice ride to look at scenery,
her interpretation being,"guess I'll take some magazines to look at while
he looks at the scenery in the rail yard." by Chris Evans

30. You can't understand why everyone else doesn't understand what"approach diverging" means. by Chris Evans

31. It would not be to your advantage for the railroad police to come to
your house and look around. by Chris Evans

32. You get tired of explaining to people that you are not a fireman because you have a radio. by Chris Evans

33. Your relatives only think of you when they see a train. by Chris Evans

34. When you are out by the tracks with another railfan people ask, "is the
train coming?" by Chris Evans

35. You get irritated whenever a train wrecks because nonrailfans "invade"
your special train watching spots. by Chris Evans

36. You don't like imitation railfans who wear railroad patches all over
their clothing. by Chris Evans

37. The train crews know you by first name. by Chris Evans

38. When you're driving, you make "shooooo" sounds when you step on the brake, and "choooo" sounds when you take your foot off of it, imitating air brakes. (I think cement truck drivers do this too. 8-D)  )

39. At your house by the tracks you get some of the crews trained to blow the crossing alert to let you know they are going by, even though there is no crossing there.

40. You date your girlfriend because the view out the front window of her apartment is your favorite railroads mainline.

41. You latter marry this woman knowing that she will understand you and won't mind that house by the tracks.

42. You build your 1 year old a jungle gym / fort  in the backyard so they can play on it when you really intend to use it to get a better view of the trains over the back fence.

43. You size said fort large enough so that you and three of your friends have sufficient room to watch the trains.

44. When the lights are activated at the railroad crossing you race to be first in line, so you get an unobstructed view, then at double track crossings wait a little while after they go up in hopes that another train is coming the other

45. When you have to trade in your 2 wheel drive for 4 because to many
people go where you go to look at trains and you tell your wife it's for
her safety in bad weather.

46. You can't hear your wife speaking to you from the next room, but can
hear a locomotive at a crossing 15 miles away. by Ian Mathers

47. As a train is passing, you turn off the radio AND engine so you can
savor the pure sound of steel wheels on steel rail.  And you watch for
hot-boxes, dragging equipment and flat spots. by Ian Mathers

48. You lift the hood of the car every weekend trying to figure out exactly
how it could be equipped with a 3-chime whistle. by Ian Mathers

49. Your idea of spending quality time with the kids is watching 'Thomas the
Tank Engine'. by Ian Mathers

50. You notice that all the other drivers on the busy street are cursing their collective bad luck when the long, slow moving coal train with the foreign road locos enters the crossing while you silently smile thinking 'Ahh, my lucky day'.

51. You watch Under Siege II only to count the errors (done that). by Juhana Siren

52. Upon seeing three VW Kleinbuses in line at the traffic lights, you think "A-B-A". by Juhana Siren

53. While repairing your MTB you try to figure out how to install air brakes. by Juhana Siren

54. Your approaching a grade crossing and your about 35 feet from it when the lights start flashing, you slam on the brakes and stop even before the gates start to move, when actually you had plenty of time to go through it. The guy behind you almost crashes into you, then gives you the finger for making him wait for the train. by Dave

55. You live 100 yards from the track and run to look and see what's new when the train is coming.

56. Driving at 75mph on the interstate, you almost have an accident at every overpass, because you are looking down hoping to see tracks and a train on them. Also, you curse everytime a huge truck gets in your way and blocks your view. By Nick

57. Racing the Metroliners along I-495 from Wilmington, DE to The Delaware/Pennsylvania State line, thats the sign of a true railfan!

58. You buy a Diesel Powered Pick Up Truck because its the next best thing to having a locomotive.

59:  You live 200 yards from the track and can id every locomotive type by sound alone. by Pat.

60. You paint you car or truck in your favorite railorad scheme. by Eric

61. When your Girlfriend can explain the difference between a GE fuel tank and EMD (angular vs. round) and the way the diesel engine sounds (GEs chuggachugga) because you spend so much time watching trains together.

62. When you know the dispatchers name by their voice on the radio and the number you can call them at.

63. When your girlfreind sees a train and can tell you wether its a UMP or an XCX.

64. You think of driving your pickup/car/SUV as "short hood forward." by Dieter Zakas

65. You think of the taillights as "markers," and as the front parking lights as "class lights." (Guilty as charged.) by Dieter Zakas

66. Traffic construction shifts you to the oncoming lane, and you're "running wrong main." by Dieter Zakas

67. You think of traffic lights as block signals. by Dieter Zakas

68. You buy a European car so you can drive from the right seat.'d rather drive "stick" (without the steering wheel). by Rob Shultz

69. When all your friends rely on you to tell them when the morning train comes through, so they can avoid it! by William Pou

70. Your wife starts to like trains to spend time with you (and then in the end has a bigger train collection - books, memorabilia & model trains than you do). ** This is written by the wife** by Nancy J. Morris, RN

71. You stop at all railroad crossings to wait for the gates to come down. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

72. You are happy to be at a grade crossing when a long freight is passing, while those around you fume. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

73. You see a headlight approaching at a grade crossing, and you slow down when everyone is speeding up. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

74. You take your date to a railroad yard, just to check on what' happening. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

75. You're watching a movie and you say, "New York? How can they be in New York when there's a UP freight going by?" by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

76. Everytime you see a steam locomotive on TV or in a movie, you immediately know which one it is and where the sequence was shot. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

77. You have more videotapes from Pentrex, Green Frog, and Scholl than you do from Disney, Universal, or Fox. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

78. You show up trackside to film the fantrip going by and you have so much camera equipment that the locals ask you which TV station you're with. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

79. You're reading a book about choo-choos' to your kid and you stop to explain that they've got the side rods drawn all wrong. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

80. You can find the rail yard in a strange city within 5 minutes of leaving the interstate. by Nancy J. Morris, RN.

81. You have learned how to make VERY realistic flange-screeching sound effects while driving down a curvy road. by Michael G. Koerner

82. You got bugs in your teeth from riding in the vestibule on a  trip and hanging your head out and smiling all the way.

83. You don't buy the groceries until you have repeated the list back to
your wife, and she says "Made complete at 1642  JNC".

84. At McDonalds' drive-thru windows you expect them to hoop up your
order on the fly (and you've installed a hook on your car window to snag the order).

85. You call "clear of the main" whenever you enter a freeway off-ramp.

86. After parking your car you remove the gearshift lever and lock it in the glove compartment.

87. You carphone your wife for yarding instructions before pulling into the driveway.

88. At gas stations you climb out the cab window and up over the back of
the truck to get to the gas cap.

89. You get an Amature Radio License just so you can legally carry a
scanner in your car.

90. When you have to pull-up to a dumpster in order to empty the passenger seat of all the fast food bags, cups, containers.

91. When you get blank stares from people as you chase the local at 1:30 in the morning, then stop to see what motive power is on it!

92. When you are ready for bed, you ring for the porter

93. You have Dutch doors on your house

94. Your family van has a B-unit

95. You have a hole in your bathroom wall that you shove your used razor
blades into

96. All of the hallways in your house are crooked and narrow

97. You live by the tracks and when you build your storage shed in the back yard, you add a second floor with windows on all sides fasioned after a signal tower. With outside scanner speakers, signal lights and the works for watching trains. My boss actually did this.  Any one who's ever been to Lewis Center Ohio is sure to have seen this.  He even added the Lewis Center sign in Pennsy livery.