Click the tartan to view its entry in The Scottish Registers of Tartans which includes registration details, restrictions, and registrant information.

 

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Train Day

"Nemo me impune lacessit" (No one provokes me with impunity)

~ Caledonian Railway motto

If you are a railway enthusiast, you may refer to yourself as a railfan, rail buff, train buff, trainspotter or even a ferroequinologist (an "iron horse" enthusiast). Trainspotters have their own jargon, with different vocabularies in the UK, US, New Zealand, and Australia! Some interesting terms include: "Toothpaste" (for the striped livery of a particular line); "Darth Vaders" (for the distinctive look of British Rail Class 460 Juniper); "Lightsabers" (for the "Darth Vaders" cutter torch); "Pac-Man", "Sponge Bob", and "Smurf" (for logos and livery related to these pop culture icons). Created to commemorate the Caledonian Railway and to provide a tartan for all railway enthusiasts, this tartan utilizes the iron grey of the engine and the colours of the Caledonian Railway station buildings as well as its coat of arms, together with a distinctive set of train tracks built into the sett. Trainspotting has never been easier - you can even do armchair spotting via the many virtual railway webcams! Choo-choo, chugga-chugga, and clackety-clack! 🚂

Railfans of many ages can be found worldwide. Railfans often combine their interest with other hobbies, especially photography and videography, radio scanning, railway modelling, studying railroad history, collecting railroadiana, and participating in railway station and rolling stock preservation efforts.


Similar to birdwatchers, some "trainspotters" make an effort to "spot" all of a certain type of rolling stock. This might be a particular class of locomotive, a particular type of carriage or all the rolling stock of a particular company. To this end, they collect and exchange detailed information about the movements of locomotives and other equipment on the railway network, and become very knowledgeable about its operations.


Many railfans focus on steam locomotives, nostalgically recalling an earlier era when the railroads played a central role in commerce and transportation, and the station was the center of every town.  The long, lonesome wail of the train's horn is immortalized in country or folk music worldwide.


For a glossary of railway trainspotting terms in the UK, click the train!