Although this video has already been posted on the OGR Forum, it has since been "discovered" that the whole thing was a fake. The guy taking the video is actually the General Manager of that short line railroad and was smart enough to know, that "producing" a video like that, for YouTube, would eventually cause a LOT of responses. Obviously it did, and was even picked up and discussed on more than one national TV news network's morning show. Eventually the truth has come out, but the bottom line is; THAT video has brought tremendous, FREE, publicity and world wide notoriety to his small short line RR!

 

Look at all the "professional railfans" that were suckered by it.

Originally Posted by Gandalf97:

I don't know any railfans that call *themselves* "foamers".

No self-resepecting railfan would call himself a foamer.  That is a somewhat derogatory term used by those who are not particularly enamored with the rather clown-like and/or over-the-top actions of some railfans.

 

It's really not something to be particularly proud of when referring to one's self.

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:
No self-resepecting railfan would call himself a foamer.  That is a somewhat derogatory term used by those who are not particularly enamored with the rather clown-like and/or over-the-top actions of some railfans.

 

It's really not something to be particularly proud of when referring to one's self.

Thank You!  I definitely don't want to be called a foamer.  It is a derogatory term.

Charlie a.k.a MichiganRailRoad714 - D3R - NMRRC


 

 

All railfans are foamers, I think most are just in denial. In fact, the people who denounce it the most usually end up being the biggest perpetrators of foam!

 

I've literally witnessed groups of fans playing the "I'm not a foamer like such and such". It just oozes with irony.

Originally Posted by Jeffrey Sessa:

All railfans are foamers...

No, they are not!  Many railfans enjoy the activity without making fools of themselves or causing problems or potential problems for railroad employees.  Sadly, though, the ones who draw attention are most often those who appear to practically wet themselves every time a train approaches.

 

That General Manager may have garnered a good bit of undeserved publicity for his stunt, but he did a great disservice to the legitimate railfan community.

Originally Posted by Jeffrey Sessa:

All railfans are foamers, I think most are just in denial. In fact, the people who denounce it the most usually end up being the biggest perpetrators of foam!

 

I've literally witnessed groups of fans playing the "I'm not a foamer like such and such". It just oozes with irony.

Are you trying to be offensive or is it just an accident?  Allan (and others) explain that it is a derogatory term and then you insist on applying it.  Why would you do that?

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey Sessa:

All railfans are foamers...

No, they are not!  Many railfans enjoy the activity without making fools of themselves or causing problems or potential problems for railroad employees.  Sadly, though, the ones who draw attention are most often those who appear to practically wet themselves every time a train approaches.

 

That General Manager may have garnered a good bit of undeserved publicity for his stunt, but he did a great disservice to the legitimate railfan community.

You could look at it as him knowingly showing contempt for the very railfans that support his railroad.

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:
Originally Posted by Gandalf97:

I don't know any railfans that call *themselves* "foamers".

No self-resepecting railfan would call himself a foamer.  That is a somewhat derogatory term used by those who are not particularly enamored with the rather clown-like and/or over-the-top actions of some railfans.

 

It's really not something to be particularly proud of when referring to one's self.

I call myself a foamer all the time.

 

When you take the derogatory term and use it yourself, the onus of the word goes away. 

 

Hippies in the 60's were called "Freaks." So they called each other freaks and the insult dissolved.

 

Today's black kids use the n-word to each other whereas their parents and grand parents are shocked. 

 

I think the kids, by taking that awful word and making it their own, they take the power of it to hurt away from the people who first used it. 

 

And that's a good thing.

I Foam Therefore I Am

As information, the term "foamer" is a long used quick way of saying "FOMITE".

 

The term "FOMITE" was developed way back in the late 1960s, concerning a railfan named Davy Levine. It was/is an acronym for:

 

F   =  Far

O   =  Out

M   =  Mentally

I    =  Incompetent 

T    =  Train

E    =  Enthusiast 

 

During the tour of the American Freedom Train, at least three crew members of the 4449 were from the eastern US, thus the term "FOMITE" began to spread around the whole country during 1975/1976 tour. It eventually changed over the years to simply "foamer", which is MUCH easier to say.

 

So now, you all have the rest of the story, and are fully aware of what railroaders mean when the call you "a foamer"!

@ChooChooDennis...

I understand your point.  You are free to apply whatever demeaning and insulting terms to yourself that you want to and that will "lessen" the impact of the words.  Except it only works when you're a member of "the group" and use it on yourself or another member.  To follow your logic, it should be "OK" to use the "n-word" freely by now because people have been calling themselves that for decades.  Clearly, that isn't the case.  I'd say people are more sensitive to it than ever.

 

Making a joke out of insulting or demeaning behavior just encourages it.

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

Originally Posted by DominicMazoch:

People who get rabies have foam coming out of the mouth.  Rabid=Madness!  That is the history of the word "foamer" I heard in the Houston area

 

You heard correctly.  Despite other definitions of the term's evolution that may come up via the Internet and other sources, the currently accepted heritage/usage of the term (dating back at least 30-or-so years when I first heard it) relates to a rabid dog's foaming at the mouth.

Well Mazoch and Miller are both incorrect. I described how the whole "foamer" thing started (it had NOTHING to do with 'foaming at the mouth' back then), above, and how it was spread around the U.S. via the Freedom Train. I was there, I watched it happen, and helped spread the joy!

Having been around some overly enthusiastic railfans I can understand how easily they can be dubbed foamers.  Some I've met do give the rest of us a bad name.  I can't get excited about getting pictures of every possible engine variation or the whole roster of a given railroad.  I avoid those who want to show me hundreds of pictures taken at the same location.  When the non-railroader witnesses or hears some of these guys they might think we're all crazy!

 

Professional railroaders in many instances abhor railfans for their behavior around what is a heavy duty industry and who could be potentially hurt.  I personally know some professionals in the industry who have had to eject people from the property.  They also have a lot of laughs at the "foamers" during the performance of their jobs.

 

I'm currently doing research and consulting work with a shortline railroad.  The president has laid out some strict conditions about railfans anywhere near the property and giving out any company information for people to post on forums.  This isn't anyone's big toy.  It's a business like any other.

 

 

  

Foamer...its just a dumb word that says you like railroading on some level....i can think of being called something a lot more offensive....silly really....at the railroad i work at i always quiz the new hires who the foamers are, then when they give up their names i proudly announce that i am their king and if they have a problem with that that,,,etc...always a good laugh....lighten up everybody....LONG LIVE THE KING!

I guess I'm guilty in another way when it came to years of scratchbuilding in O-Scale. (I'm back to AF now.)  I would research, measure, and photograph structures and even get original plans for rolling stock putting in every possible detail.  Obsessive compulsive?  Maybe.  But, as my wife would tell family and friends, she knew where I was and not doing something far less-desirable. :-)

Nobody ever caught the fact that this was a parody of the actual foamer video?

 

 

He's not faking in this one, which predates the New York video by several months. He went as far as to give the crossing signal a word bubble dialog. It almost starts to get sad at that point....

----Nick----

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."

Originally Posted by Hot Water:

Well Mazoch and Miller are both incorrect. I described how the whole "foamer" thing started (it had NOTHING to do with 'foaming at the mouth' back then),

No, we're not incorrect at all.  By today's accepted definition, as applied in the industry today, a "foamer" is one who is rabid (like a mad dog) about some aspect of railfanning or even the hobby.  Doesn't really matter how someone used it earlier.

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:
Originally Posted by Hot Water:

Well Mazoch and Miller are both incorrect. I described how the whole "foamer" thing started (it had NOTHING to do with 'foaming at the mouth' back then),

No, we're not incorrect at all.  By today's accepted definition, as applied in the industry today, a "foamer" is one who is rabid (like a mad dog) about some aspect of railfanning or even the hobby.  Doesn't really matter how someone used it earlier.

I agree with Allan.  Anyone who is so obsessed with something is generally thought to be "foaming at the mouth" over it even in other hobbies or pursuits.  In my area that is an accepted norm for some who just can't get enough of trains or the railroad scene.  I hope they're not neglecting other important areas of their lives and loved ones around them.  If there's a balance and they purely love what they're doing, I have no problem with that.  To each his own, just don't put yourself in danger near one of the biggest and possibly most dangerous industries in the world.

I'm actually surprised at the amount of attention this topic has received across multiple threads on this site. Anyone who has spent at least some time along the railroad has undoubtedly encountered these "excessively exuberant" types. They're everywhere - at trackside, on excursions and walking the aisles at meets. Trips sponsored by the New York City based Electric Railroaders' Association typically yield a fascinating cross section of society.

 

In my many years in the pursuit of our favorite endeavor, I've seen it all before so I guess I just don't think it's that big of a deal. Certain personalities, however, do become legendary. I've heard stories about some guy called "Superheater." Judging by his name, I believe he is/was most often found around steam specials but I don't think he and I have ever crossed paths.  In summary, I just try to enjoy my train time and try to view encounters with these folks as adding to the experience although some clearly are inflicted with problems more deserving of compassion than ridicule.

 

Now, can anyone tell me more about "Superheater?"

 

Bob 

When it comes right down to it, I would rather see someone overly excited by trains than totally turned off by them.

 

If more people appreciated trains, even to a moderate degree, more cities would likely have rail transport available to relieve traffic congestion and the hobby would have more practitioners. 

Marketing Moment;

Maybe some company should make some Madison cars with the names of some of these folks on them. 

Also, as far as the soap and water challenged, they ain't got nothing on the plastic kit builder crowd, whew. I used to go to some of the kit shows in So. Cal a few years ago, it was even funnier than the Pomona gun show was for observing the de-evolution of man.

You will have these folks in any arena. the ones that take it just a little to far. Whether it is trains or car racing or celebrities or in my former life of World War 2 aircraft (warbirds), we called them 90%ers cause they just weren't all there. As long as they weren't endangering us or the airplanes we let them do whatever. That experience on that side of the fence makes me very conscience of my actions around railfanning because I know what the guys on that side of the fence are think about me. 

The tracks of life are ballasted with crushed dreams

Originally Posted by Gandalf97:

@ChooChooDennis...

I understand your point.  You are free to apply whatever demeaning and insulting terms to yourself that you want to and that will "lessen" the impact of the words.  Except it only works when you're a member of "the group" and use it on yourself or another member.  To follow your logic, it should be "OK" to use the "n-word" freely by now because people have been calling themselves that for decades.  Clearly, that isn't the case.  I'd say people are more sensitive to it than ever.

 

Making a joke out of insulting or demeaning behavior just encourages it.

 

If every railfan used the word foamer to describe themselves, then it would lose any insult and become the joke it should be. Apparently instead you want to keep words like foamer and n-word around only so they have the power to hurt.

 

I cited the use of the n-word by young blacks amongst themselves as an example of defusing the power of a word by the the very people it was meant to hurt. I am certainly not advocating the general use of the word. That should be obvious to most anyone.

 

I am not sure how you could say I was encouraging bad behavior. Indeed, doing what I advocate does the opposite.

 

My main point it that is is ridiculous to care about being called a foamer. It's just a name. Making the word a joke rather than a badge of shame, makes life better for everyone.

 

As a conductor trainee, I have seen recently the bad behavior of supposedly intelligent human beings, foamers or not, who decided to cross the track less than two car lengths of my train bearing down on them. So I have seen for myself from a railroaders view what people can do. And they were simply idiots.

 

I Foam Therefore I Am

Originally Posted by ChooChooDennis:
Originally Posted by Gandalf97:

@ChooChooDennis...

I understand your point.  You are free to apply whatever demeaning and insulting terms to yourself that you want to and that will "lessen" the impact of the words.  Except it only works when you're a member of "the group" and use it on yourself or another member.  To follow your logic, it should be "OK" to use the "n-word" freely by now because people have been calling themselves that for decades.  Clearly, that isn't the case.  I'd say people are more sensitive to it than ever.

 

Making a joke out of insulting or demeaning behavior just encourages it.

 

If every railfan used the word foamer to describe themselves, then it would lose any insult and become the joke it should be. Apparently instead you want to keep words like foamer and n-word around only so they have the power to hurt.

 

I cited the use of the n-word by young blacks amongst themselves as an example of defusing the power of a word by the the very people it was meant to hurt. I am certainly not advocating the general use of the word. That should be obvious to most anyone.

 

I am not sure how you could say I was encouraging bad behavior. Indeed, doing what I advocate does the opposite.

 

My main point it that is is ridiculous to care about being called a foamer. It's just a name. Making the word a joke rather than a badge of shame, makes life better for everyone.

 

As a conductor trainee, I have seen recently the bad behavior of supposedly intelligent human beings, foamers or not, who decided to cross the track less than two car lengths of my train bearing down on them. So I have seen for myself from a railroaders view what people can do. And they were simply idiots.

 

Your logic is flawed.  You suggest that we (railfans) refer to ourselves with a derogatory name so that it "will lose any power to insult and become the joke it should be".  Then you cite the example of the "n-word" as if it proves your point when it does quite the opposite.  The act of people calling each other that derogatory name has done nothing to defuse the insulting nature of the word.  Therefore, your claim that if we all call ourselves "foamers" it will somehow destroy the derogatory nature of the term is false.

 

Your assertion that I want to keep certain words around "only so they have the power to hurt" is ridiculous and insulting.  I'm challenging your argument on the lack of merit and am not making things personal.  There is no reason for you to make them so.

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

Originally Posted by Gandalf97:
Originally Posted by ChooChooDennis:
Originally Posted by Gandalf97:

@ChooChooDennis...

I understand your point.  You are free to apply whatever demeaning and insulting terms to yourself that you want to and that will "lessen" the impact of the words.  Except it only works when you're a member of "the group" and use it on yourself or another member.  To follow your logic, it should be "OK" to use the "n-word" freely by now because people have been calling themselves that for decades.  Clearly, that isn't the case.  I'd say people are more sensitive to it than ever.

 

Making a joke out of insulting or demeaning behavior just encourages it.

 

If every railfan used the word foamer to describe themselves, then it would lose any insult and become the joke it should be. Apparently instead you want to keep words like foamer and n-word around only so they have the power to hurt.

 

I cited the use of the n-word by young blacks amongst themselves as an example of defusing the power of a word by the the very people it was meant to hurt. I am certainly not advocating the general use of the word. That should be obvious to most anyone.

 

I am not sure how you could say I was encouraging bad behavior. Indeed, doing what I advocate does the opposite.

 

My main point it that is is ridiculous to care about being called a foamer. It's just a name. Making the word a joke rather than a badge of shame, makes life better for everyone.

 

As a conductor trainee, I have seen recently the bad behavior of supposedly intelligent human beings, foamers or not, who decided to cross the track less than two car lengths of my train bearing down on them. So I have seen for myself from a railroaders view what people can do. And they were simply idiots.

 

Your logic is flawed.  You suggest that we (railfans) refer to ourselves with a derogatory name so that it "will lose any power to insult and become the joke it should be".  Then you cite the example of the "n-word" as if it proves your point when it does quite the opposite.  The act of people calling each other that derogatory name has done nothing to defuse the insulting nature of the word.  Therefore, your claim that if we all call ourselves "foamers" it will somehow destroy the derogatory nature of the term is false.

 

Your assertion that I want to keep certain words around "only so they have the power to hurt" is ridiculous and insulting.  I'm challenging your argument on the lack of merit and am not making things personal.  There is no reason for you to make them so.

 

 

It's the USA and and we stated our opinion which is our right.

 

You don't agree with mine. I don't agree with yours.

 

It's the OGR Forum; we talk about the hobby of toy trains.

 

Lets just leave it at that.

 

Dennis 

I Foam Therefore I Am

If you think "foamer" is bad, you should hear some of the more colorful words that I've heard various co-workers use in reference to a railfan as we go past. I usually just say "To each his own" and leave it at that... of course thinking, if you could see my stockpile of O scale in my basement. 

 

Yes there should be tolerence, but whatever happened to being man enough and just letting it go? Everyone is too ****ed sensitive these days! There are much worse things you can be called...and it's not like there's been a wave of 'foamer' hate crimes.

 

Relax!!

CN_Hogger

Originally Posted by PC9850:

Nobody ever caught the fact that this was a parody of the actual foamer video?

 

 

He's not faking in this one, which predates the New York video by several months. He went as far as to give the crossing signal a word bubble dialog. It almost starts to get sad at that point....

You are more than correct sir!  This video went viral to the point of becoming and internet "meme".  It has been re-parodied many many times.  The fact that guys here didn't know that means they spend a LOT of time with their trains!

 

Jon 

Here's his YouTube page:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/trainandhawksfan17

 

He calls himself "The Foamer that Actually Foams." It's his schtick. He's probably laughing at people getting their panties in a bunch over the whole thing. I'm a bit more low key - make that MUCH more low key - in my approach but I find this guy pretty entertaining. Think of it as "Railfan Night at the Improv." I can't wait until he catches one of the NS heritage units.

 

CN Hogger offered us all some good advice. Just relax and have fun with it. 

 

Dare to foam!

 

Bob 

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