Nathan Cutler

Manchester School of Art, England.

“People think we come out here and just talk about trains but we talk about everything. Trainspotting just brings us together.” – Unknown train spotter I met.

This project documents trainspotters and trainspotting culture across the country. I was first drawn to photographing the subculture as there are many stereotypes surrounding the people involved, but it was a group that I didn’t feel that I actually knew much about. As a group, they go fairly unnoticed at the end of the platform.

During the course of making work and talking to more people my knowledge of the culture grew. They talked to me about the tradition and hobby dying out due to younger generations being less interested. There also seemed to be a slight divide between people committed to traditional technologies, sticking to a simple notebook and a camera, while others are adapting to modern times by using the internet to track the trains they needed to collect. However, what came through most was their commitment, passion and patience. Some of the men would sight all of the trains over the course of a year and then start all over again and these notebooks and the Spotters Companion became important to the project.