You know you're an idiot railfan if:

(Additions are intermixed and at the bottom - last update 06/24/15. Please note that this list was initiated well over fifteen years ago - some of the entries are a bit dated due to mergers, technology advances, etc.)
  1. On your railfan outings, the four food groups become: McDonalds, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Mr. Donut.
  2. Your car has a bumper sticker that says "This vehicle stops at all railroad crossings."
  3. Despite common sense and the instructions that came with the camcorder, you still shoot videos into the sun.
  4. Your railfan territorial dominance is enough to scare away a biker gang.
  5. You carry a saw and a BB gun in your camera case to remove ALL obstacles from your shot.
  6. You have a denim vest or jacket that has more patches than the earth has hydrogen molecules.
  7. You've considered contacting the police to obtain permission for using flashing red lights and siren during a train chase.
  8. The sound of a K5LA airhorn off in the distance does more for you than a double-shot of prozac and cocaine.
  9. Your definition of the best type of railroad photograph: the "Three-quarter, no-thought roster shot".
  10. Your definition of the best night shot: the "Three-quarter, no-thought roster shot", lit up like the Space Shuttle on launchpad 39B.
  11. Your car's license plate is customized with a locomotive designation, railroad initials, or both.
  12. So is your email address.
  13. You've been known to stand on the roof of your car to get that shot over the fence.
  14. Your scanner is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  15. Your scanner is tapped in to a live internet feed so that the entire world can hear what railroad activity is going on in your little stinkpot town.
  16. You still live with your parents because you spend too much money on Kodachrome (or spent too much on a D-SLR and a laptop).
  17. You don't realize how stupid or suspicious you look to passing motorists as you stand out in the middle of nowhere with a camera around your neck.
  18. Summer weekends for most men: Beer, Babes, Boats, and Barbecue; Summer weekends for you: refer to #17.
  19. The number 844 gets you more excited than the number 69.
  20. Great moments in your personal history: Learning to ride a bike, graduating from high school, and your first photograph of foreign motive power.
  21. Your cat's name is "Chessie".
  22. Your dog's name is "Conrail".
  23. Your wife threatened to divorce you because you wanted to dye Conrail's fur blue.
  24. Its hot as hell out, the lead unit doesn't have AC, and you still don't understand why the crew has to leave the front door open.
  25. Class I railroads: Alco's suck. Railfans: Alco's Rule!!!
  26. You can tell the difference between a U23B and a B23-7.
  27. If the dispatcher loses track of a locomotive consist, he usually calls you at home for help.
  28. People want to know if you have supernatural powers, because the sun is always shining in your photographs.
  29. You sit in a high school auditorium for hours on a cold winter day, watching thousands of slides and attempting to out-BS the railfan next to you.
  30. You've ever bargained for a cab ride with a warm pizza and a six-pack of Coke.
  31. You refuse to go to Horseshoe Curve any more since they started charging admission.
  32. You hike up the side of the mountain and along dirtbike paths to gain access to Horseshoe Curve now.
  33. That railfan rumor you just heard is too good to be true, but you continue to spread it anyway.
  34. You go around imitating dragging equipment detectors.
  35. You believe that your status as a railfan is proportional to the number of cameras around your neck.
  36. You speak softly, but carry a BIG TRIPOD!
  37. You have faithfully written down the shutter speed and f-stop of every shot you've taken for the past zillion years, yet you've really never used that data afterwards.
  38. You scream and chant like a possessed, frothing sportsfan for the train to hit the car that just went around the gate.
  39. You're the first to notice the incorrect numberboards and lift rings on a recently restored locomotive.
  40. Conrail SD80MAC's make you feel tingly all over.
  41. You have a web site set up on railfanning.
  42. You're too damn good to stand in a photo line, so you stand in front of it.
  43. You have slipped or fallen in mud or snow and have successfully saved the camera from the fall (disregard the thirty stitches in your arm to save it).
  44. You've established a large enough network of connections to know every move of the "Office Car Special" and Ringling Brothers' Circus Train throughout the system.
  45. Real men don't need to ask for directions. Real railfans don't need maps.
  46. You feel "one with nature" as you stand on a wooded mountainside overlooking a trestle spanning a river valley as you wait for the train. You then twist your ankle on a rock and drop your camera.
  47. You refer to an F40PH as a "Screaming Thunderbox".
  48. You refer to a Genesis unit as a "Toaster".
  49. You and your railfan buddies get into EMD vs. GE arguments the way rednecks get into Ford vs. Chevy brawls.
  50. You've ever looked under the hood of your pickup to see if you could mount a Leslie 3-chime airhorn, only to realize that you'd have to remove the engine block, battery, and master cylinder for it to fit.
  51. You've considered mounting the same horn on the rollbar, only to realize that your pickup would look like an Iraqi mobile missile launcher.
  52. You call Conrail's business train the "Green Weenie".
  53. You refer to the horns on Amtrak locomotives as "Big Hooters".
  54. You were sued for sexual harassment for accidentally making the above comment at work.
  55. You always make a perverted remark every time someone mentions something about "action in the humpyard".
  56. You've ever railfanned drunk.
  57. You've waken up the next morning, hung over, sitting in a lawn chair in Folkston GA.
  58. You've specifically chosen to work the night shift so that you can spend all day chasing trains.
  59. You've ever sat on the passenger side door of a car with your video camera and shot over the roof while one of your buddies drove at speeds in excess of 60 m.p.h. trying to keep up with UP #844 on an excursion.
  60. You have ever caused a 20 car pile-up while trying to get to the shoulder to shoot something that you did not expect to find.
  61. You have ever caused traffic to back up for a half mile while pacing a 15 m.p.h. shortline freight.
  62. You were treated for depression when you heard that Norfolk Southern dropped the fires on 611.
  63. You had to be restrained in a white jacket with sleeves in the back when they re-restored it again.
  64. You successfully got your wife involved in railfanning.
  65. She can now "out-railfan" your sorry ass any day of the year.
  66. Difficult decisions at the vending machine - The Milky Way at selection F7 or the Pay Day at E8...
  67. Your little black book has numerous phone numbers - railroad automated tracing services, and one woman - Mother.
  68. Your fiancee left you at the alter when she saw the scanner attached to your cummerbund.
  69. You have great difficulty accessing your bedroom due to the excessive amounts of Morning Sun books; Pentrex video tapes & DVD's; stacks of railroad magazines; scattered timetables, and enough Athearn boxes to fill Lake Huron.
  70. Your refrigerator has barely enough food to feed a rat for half a day, but enough Kodachrome to roster shoot each BNSF locomotive twice.
  71. You're photographing Conrail locomotives like there's no tomorrow, just like everyone else, and twenty years from now a Conrail slide still won't be worth the acetate its printed on.
  72. You apply 8th grade algebra when chasing trains ("if train A leaves Allentown at 50mph, and railfan B leaves twenty minutes later at 90mph...").
  73. Lumedyne - the first, the last, THE ONLY name in low-angle-light night photography!!! (and don't you forget it!)
  74. Alien Bees - for the generation that missed out on the Lumedyne era.
  75. You kept your citation for trespassing on railroad property as an authentic railroad souvenir.
  76. Your railroad data notebooks were more utilized in high school than your class notebooks.
  77. You refuse to disembark the train for a photo run-by because the sun isn't shining.
  78. To add to the railroad experience, you sleep in a caboose the night before a railfan excursion.
  79. No matter where a railfan goes and who he/she talks to, your name and bad stories about you are always brought up in conversation.
  80. You know what WGRF stands for (and it ain't no damn radio station!).
  81. You judge other fellow railfans by the quality and quantity of photos and rumors they publish.
  82. You have been labeled as a "foamer" by those who haven't seen my website.
  83. Photo runby rule: Steam or 1st generation diesels - ditch lights off; late 2nd or 3rd generation diesels - ditch lights on.
  84. Walgreens processes your Christmas cards. Railroad scenes. No people.
  85. Your family knows where you will be when you leave the house wearing a railroad T-shirt.
  86. You notice that you and the local transients like to hang out in the same places.
  87. Your yard looks like a signal maintainer's backlot.
  88. You've been accused of "RALF-ing" (Railroad Artifact Liberation Front).
  89. You're able to take those "impossible-to-access" shots because you are also an engineer.
  90. You hold on to hope for the Southern Tier line and the D&H.
  91. You've stayed at the Station Inn in Cresson, PA, or the Izaak Walton Inn in Montana.
  92. You go "out-of-service" from work during fall foliage season the way hunters do on the first day of buck season.
  93. You have to have your photo taken while sitting in the engineer's seat of a locomotive at least twice in your lifetime - once as a kid, the other as an adult idiot railfan. NOTE: The latter photo is usually used on the inside leaf of a book jacket after you finished authoring that book.
  94. You're pissed that the NS computer had misidentified your favorite former Conrail locomotive as a gondola full of chickens, and located it somewhere in the desert of Nevada.
  95. You attend regular post-railfanning grease inhaling sessions at the trackside Steak-n-Shake.
  96. You and a bunch of your southern Yahoogroup railfan friends manage to get a town or city to build you a railfan platform.
  97. You and a bunch of your southern Yahoogroup railfan friends have big shindigs at these platforms at least twice a year.
  98. You've dropped your camera while attempting to climb up onto the roof of your pickup, only to realize that the view up there sucks, and you now get to look forward to a $200 repair bill.
  99. You place your videocamera (illegally) between the rails to get that ominous "running over" effect, not realizing you placed the camera too high and watch it get smashed by an Amtrak Genesis unit.
  100. You've finally purchased a digital camera. Realizing that the expense of slide film and processing is gone, you're out shooting railroad pictures so much that you are literally never heard from or seen again (except when you come home to upload those images onto
  101. You hang out at the model railroad shop so much that people mistake you for an employee.
  102. You believe that Big Macs are found on CSX, BNSF, and UP - not at Mickey-D's.
  103. Professional mountain climbers consider you a total idiot for the treacherous conditions that you endure during winter railfanning.
  104. Your buddies have photographed you halfway up a tree, camera-in-hand.
  105. You are on at least twenty railfan-oriented Facebook groups. You manage at least three of them.
  106. You have been banned numerous times from TrainOrders and various railfan-oriented Facebook groups, and you keep coming back as a different alias.
  107. Your neighbor nicknames your car "porcupine" due to the number of antennas on it.
  108. You have taken at least one photo of an engineer flipping you the middle finger.
  109. You think western railfans are snobs.
  110. You think eastern railfans are loud, high-strung, and don't know how to use anything besides a 50mm lens.
  111. You think southern railfans don't exist (and if this be the case, don't be steppin' foot in the south, y'hear?!?).
  112. You go into seizures upon the sighting of a Wisconsin Central SD45.
  113. When 'fanning in groups, scanner monitoring responsibility is broken up (Joe monitors EOTs, Chris monitors the road frequency, and Bob monitors the railroad police).
  114. Despite Kodak dropping it faster than a worm-infested rotten apple, you still shoot Kodachrome.
  115. Your slides MUST be mounted in cardboard. Why? Because every other WGRF'er does, too!
  116. You bitch about the proliferation of widecabs.
  117. You refer to an NS widecab GE unit as a "Catfish".
  118. CSX's newest scheme = "Dark Future"
  119. UP's latest SD70M's = "Flags-n-Flares"
  120. You find yourself screaming and thrashing violently any time someone mentions that Trainorders is attempting to charge an annual subscription.
  121. You find yourself subconsciously calling out a green arrow at a traffic light as a "Diverging Clear" signal.
  122. When someone refers to a "PC", most people think about the thing they're using right now, but your mind derives an image of a black locomotive with "mating worms".
  123. You don't consider the day's railfanning a success unless you come home injured and bleeding.
  124. You can be contacted trackside on FRS channel #4.
  125. You have been successfully mis-identified as a terrorist while standing trackside.
  126. You can't save enough money for a digital SLR because you can't stop yourself from spending money on slide film and processing.
  127. You begin the day's 'fantrip pulling out of your driveway in the dark (before sunrise) and returning to the house in the dark (after sunset).
  128. You mis-identify a shortcut road on the gazetteer, and manage to get your vehicle stuck in a mudhole as a result. As you wait for rescue, you can hear train activity running like an army of ants down in the valley.
  129. Train crews photograph you trackside, and then come online on Facebook later that evening to try to match faces with names.
  130. You've photographed an engineer or conductor in the cab wearing a horsehead rubber mask.
  131. All of your favorite restaurants and bars have large plate-glass windows overlooking the tracks.
  132. Men and women alike stare at you in disbelief as you mention how big 34A is, not realizing that you are talking about a Norfolk Southern train, and not a bra size.
  133. The front passenger seat is reserved for your laptop, so that you can monitor ATCS.
  134. You pray that you can show your slideshow first, because you know that the rest of the dorks are going to put the audience to sleep and/or run them off with their wide-cab rostershot shows.
  135. You illuminate your night photos with a Maglite or a gazillion-candlepower deerspotting light.
  136. Your child is addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine.
  137. Your wife wants a family portrait taken in front of Thomas at the local scenic railroad, but you're too damned busy trying to roster shoot the dirty diesel at the other end of the train.
  138. A screener rejection has scarred you for life.
  139. When standing and waiting trackside with your camera, a motorist pulls up and asks you, "When is the steam train coming?"
  140. You have a royal hissy fit when someone mis-identifies an SD60I as an SD60M, but you remain firm on identifying SD70MAC's as such despite the fact that most have the same Isolation cab as the 60I's. Why? BECAUSE THATS THE WAY THE MANUFACTURER IDENTIFIES THEM! DON'T EVER QUESTION THE LOCOMOTIVE GODS AGAIN, OR YOU'LL GO TO HELL!
  141. You must photograph a steam locomotive with the rods down, knowing full well that if you don't, you will die and go to hell.
  142. You can NEVER get enough of that wonderful view looking down into the yard full of used locomotives at the LTEX shops in McDonald, OH.
  143. You feel like an empowered railfan when you don your lime-colored reflective vest.
  144. You've attended all three big events at Spencer.
  145. Your family has finally forgiven you for missing the 4th of July family picnic in 2012, becuase you went to Spencer instead.
  146. You've photographed ALL 20 NS heritage units, plus the Vets unit; the GoRail unit, 3170, and all of UP's commemorative units.
  147. You drive people off of Facebook groups with your excessive train reports and bad photos; your harassing inquiries about heritage power; and your childish whining when you end up missing them anyway.
  148. You're frantically photographing searchlight and position signals due to the invasion of PTC Vadars!
  149. You refuse to come out of the house because TVRM painted 4501 black, instead of green. And you let everyone know how you feel about it on Facebook. Every day.
  150. Every time you see a post about 611 running again, you stupidly feel compelled to respond with, "When are they going to restore the 1218?"
  151. You've crashed your Phantom Drone into the side of a boxcar.
  152. You really have no desire to photograph UP's Rio Grande commemorative unit anymore, since some jerk had an orgasm over it on YouTube.
  153. You just missed that hot chick walking down the street in her tight shorts becuase your face is buried in either your smart phone or the review screen of your D-SLR.
  154. You write to the CEO of a railroad and complain that one of his revenue-generating freight trains blocked your view of a steam excursion.