|Welcome to Eurogricing ...|
Eurogricing. What's that then, I hear you ask. Well, it's all to do with being a railway enthusiast. Among enthusiasts, some people collect numbers, some enjoy restoring steam locos, others are interested in signals or wagons or timetables or railwayana or tickets or ... the list goes on and on.
Anyway I, (and a good few other people, just in case you thought you were dealing with a solitary lunatic here!) have this fascination for going everywhere the train will take me. That's called 'doing track', or 'gricing'. And of course if it's in Europe it's Eurogricing - and for me that includes the UK, whatever certain elements of the British tabloid press might choose to think.
But back to the point. If it's a line you haven't travelled on before, it's 'new track'. If it's a line without a regular passenger service, which perhaps only has one train a week or only a daily sleeper or car train, it's 'difficult track'. If it's track without a public passenger service of any sort, that can only be done by a charter train, or an engineering diversion, or with special permission on a freight train, then it's 'rare track' - and that's why my domain name is 'raretrack.com'.
I started 'doing track' many years ago, when there was still a bit of main line steam around in the UK, but it was many more years before I kept any sort of diary, instead of just marked up maps.
In 2006 I took the opportunity of a respite from work to 'digitise' the notes I'd kept of my European mainland travels so far, then decided that I may as well put them them on a web page in case anybody was interested. That's how A Eurogricer's Blog came about. The Web wasn't even a dream when I started trackbashing in the 1960s, and it was in its infancy when I started on the European mainland at the beginning of the 1990s. Consequently my 'memoirs' were only written for my own amusement, but as I typed them up I found it quite entertaining to see myself change. First there was the wide eyed (and 43 year old) innocent of 1991, nose pressed to the train window in fascination at all the strange sights outside (they weren't strange at all - blame 40 years of exposure to the xenophobic British media!). Eventually there was the Internet-empowered Eurogricer of 2009, as familiar with engineering notices and obscure local ticketing arrangements in mainland Europe as his 1970s predecessor was with BR's special traffic notices and Merrymaker excursions!
If you're interested in taking any of that journey with me, just click here. Most pages are illustrated, and you can see a bigger version of each picture if you click on the thumbnail. To get back to the narrative just use your 'back' key.