Wednesday, February 28, 2024


 This design was a no brainer. 

Okay, the inspiration was a group of people we in the public transit industry that operate train systems affectionately call "Foamers." A foamer is someone who is so passionate about trains that they figuratively (and sometimes literally) foam at the mouth.

Foamers don't typically like the term foamer because they think we are making fun of their passion. And we are. Because if you work around trains long enough, they lose their mystique. And foamers are like one of the lowest echelon of groupies.

But still when my train pulls into my home station, I see foamers with their cameras on tripods taking photos of the locomotive as it pulls into the station. I have seen some of these videos on YouTube and listened to the glee in the voices of the foamer as the train approaches and they describe in great detail what model it is, the axle width and how many seats are on the passenger cars.

I personal just care that they are on time. 

Now I've worked with people in transit planning who are foamers in their own right. I knew this one guy who would take vacations in places with big transit systems and he would take photos of the eye bolts that are used on the overhead catenary systems used to supply power to trolley buses and some light rail vehicles.  Now granted the guy looked like Les Nessman from the old WKRP in Cincinnati television series and could likely tell you how many toothpicks were on the table if you dumped a box of them out, but still, I found it an extremely odd passion.

But passion is passion. I just wouldn't want the inscription on my headstone (the one that I've already made clear I will never have) read, "Here lies Tim, He liked trains. We think he was off the rails."

Though I don't think, "Here lies Tim, He wrote a blog no one read and told really bad dad jokes that he tried putting on t-shirts that on one bought," is much better.

What's that? If I listen really carefully I can hear a really long lugubrious howl.

At least it isn't a train whistle.

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