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Canadian Railroads > 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fans


Date: 01/16/20 07:30
30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fans
Author: WP17

A few days ago I posted a report of a trip on one of the final Canadians to run over its original CP transcontinental route in mid January 1990 -- this was a few days before VIA moved the Canadian to the more northerly CN transcon route. The day after we arrived in Toronto, the Globe and Mail published an overwrought article with the headline "Rail buffs on prowl for Canadian mementos" which alleged that fans were roaming these final trains liberating everything they could get their hands on. Best part of the article was that VIA referred to these fans as DRFs -- demented railway fans.
For the record I saw absolutely none of this occurring on our train

Apparently the only thing I kept as a souvenir of the trip (at least that I can currently find) is a clipping of the G&M article itself:-)

Cheers
WP17




Date: 01/16/20 07:58
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: andersonb109

I have a copy of that article as well. Just consider the source. Fake news before anyone knew what fake news was.  I was on both last runs and never saw anyone take anything other than dining car menus. I do recall however on the last RGZ (a different story as the equipment would not go on to continue service on a different route) the railroad posted an armed guard at the door of the Silver Banquet to prevent any china from disappearing.



Date: 01/16/20 12:30
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: ATSF3751

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a copy of that article as well. Just
> consider the source. Fake news before anyone knew
> what fake news was.  I was on both last runs and
> never saw anyone take anything other than dining
> car menus. I do recall however on the last RGZ (a
> different story as the equipment would not go on
> to continue service on a different route) the
> railroad posted an armed guard at the door of the
> Silver Banquet to prevent any china from
> disappearing.

I understand UP had to have security on the last COLA and COP in order to prevent theft of dining car items. Since it was unlikely that grandma was shoving stuff in her purse, then the only culprits would be collectors and even some 'buffs. A small percentage for sure, but UP knew who would be looking to "liberate" valuable items. In the absence of proof otherwise, I would think the Globe and Mail article is valid



Date: 01/16/20 13:13
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

It sounds like the assignment desk told the reporter to write an article that would make train buffs appear goofy.  The reporter followed directions well and did a good job.  



Date: 01/16/20 15:54
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: WP17

CA_Sou_MA_Agent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It sounds like the assignment desk told the
> reporter to write an article that would make train
> buffs appear goofy.  The reporter followed
> directions well and did a good job.  

I don't think reporting how well behaved the non-demented railfans were would have made it into the paper let alone the bottom of page 1 where this article did appear.



Date: 01/16/20 17:18
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: railfan400

Way back in 1977 I was on Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr. There was a "railfan" with tools trying to add to his hardware and sign collection.



Date: 01/16/20 18:22
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: railsmith

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a copy of that article as well. Just
> consider the source. Fake news before anyone knew
> what fake news was. 

What are you suggesting?  That the Globe made up those quotes attributed to the two VIA employees?  Or maybe those employees don't exist and the Globe reporter invented them?  Is that what you're claiming?  Those would be firing offences at the Globe.

 



Date: 01/16/20 21:37
Re: 30 years ago -- Globe and Mail report on demented railway fan
Author: eminence_grise

I think the media were expecting more protests. I was present at the last departure of the CP route "Canadian" from the CN station in Vancouver. There was a small crowd with placards but no one was screaming or getting angry. Similarly , there was not much newsworthy happening aboard the train. While I don't think the demented railfans column was fake but I do think it was exaggerated on a slow news day.

There was a steady stream of people, myself included, walking down the platform to take photos of the head end, and to watch the train depart. There was a CN policeman present, but he just warned photographers not to wander off over the tracks. A TV news team were present for the departure, and they showed no interest at all in recording the crowd.
The "protest" was in the concourse and was a special interest group performing for the media.

Compared with the mockery that the British media love to aim at "train spotters"  by the tabloid press there, the Globe and Mail article is mild.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/20 07:30 by eminence_grise.



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