A Conversation for Trainspotting

Gricers and Aspergers

Post 1

Captain Kebab

Good article! I don't know how international this is - I have spoken to Americans who are totally bemused by the idea. Certainly the Greeks seem not to have come across plane spotters.

Ahem - a term omitted from the article was 'gricer', the word used by most often by railway employees, and by many trainspotters (often the same thing) to describe trainspotters. Also referred to as cranks. I would like to point out that I'm not one.

You may or may not have come across an article in a very recent edition of Railstaff Magazine that floated the hypothesis that gricers suffer from a mild form of Asperger's Syndrome. It noted that many gricers are somewhat obsessive about their pursuits, and that it's not unusual for gricers to be not very social or communicative outside of their particular area of interest. I don't know that I'm convinced - I don't generally have a lot of time for Railstaff Magazine (I read it because it's free at work) - but it's an interesting thought.

Most gricers that I know (and working for the railway I have met a lot) are perfectly normal men (always men) who happen to like trains. I like football and old cars - so what's the difference? There are some, however, who seem unable to hold a conversation that isn't about trains, and delight in sharing obscure techinical details that nobody else is interested in - perhaps Railstaff have a point.


Gricers and Aspergers

Post 2

Hoovooloo

Interesting that you should mention it. I wish I'd known about the word "Gricers", 'cos it would DEFINITELY have gone in. Have you any idea where the word originates? (I'm aware that "Grice" is a surname...)

As for Aspergers... I *have* heard this before. In fact, if you read the article again, and click on the SECOND "anorak" link, you'll go to another of my recent entries. In that you'll find a link from the word "autistic" to... tadaaaaaaa! The Edited Guide entry on Asperger's Syndrome! Trainspotting to autism in two clicks! Don't you just love the internet? smiley - winkeye

Thanks very much for reading and commenting, and if there's any way of getting "Gricers" in, it should top of the list! smiley - cheers

H.


Gricers and Aspergers

Post 3

Captain Kebab

That'll teach me to follow up all the links before I count an article as 'read'! smiley - smiley

I've no idea of the origin of the word 'Gricer', I'm afraid, although I gather it has been in use quite a long time. It's certainly a term in common and regular use by railway employees - I expect to be understood by anybody who works on the railway when I use it. A Google search reveals quite a few results - including this one - A636545. The researcher who posted it seems to said nothing else here at all. See what I mean - doesn't communicate! smiley - winkeye

As you say in your entry, the railways have a language of their own which is shared by workers and enthusiasts - I'm by no means fluent, I've only worked there 5 years. My personal favourite is 'Runaway Coach' - used to describe a class 153 railcar, which, as any gricer will tell you, is a single powered coach.


Gricers and Aspergers

Post 4

Hoovooloo

Cool! I wish I'd found A636545 when I was researching this, it's very good. In fact I probably DID find it, but took one look at the title and thought "irrelevant" and didn't read any further. Lesson learned! smiley - winkeye

smiley - cheers

H.


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Gricers and Aspergers

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