Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, don’t miss the viral TikToker Francis Bourgeois seeing trains on your feed.
Earlier this month, the train enthusiast went to Toronto for the first time to test Ontario’s transit line, including the UP Express and the GO Trains, to share his thoughts on the transit lines and his love of trains.
blogTO was lucky enough to sit down with Francis for an exclusive interview while he was riding the GO Train.
When asked when his love for trains started, Bourgeois said it felt like he’s always loved trains, since birth.
“My parents didn’t drive, so we always went by train. I think I’m attracted to mechanical things, so seeing trains was the height of that kind of interest,” Francis says.
The TikToker had a lot of childhood memories of looking out the window in awe and screaming with excitement.
His TikTok account has amassed a following of 2.6 million followers eagerly awaiting Francis’ train spotting across the UK and Europe.
His videos show Bourgeois documenting his train spotting adventures with a unique point of view for his viewers. He recalled attaching his GoPro to his helmet as a kid when he filmed BMX tricks on his bike. Francis decided to turn the camera to his face to catch his reaction as the trains passed by.
“I don’t even have to hold it and can just forget it’s there. I tried it and looked at the footage and thought this looks awful, it doesn’t work, but then I thought of trying it anyway. People liked It was great and it was a happy accident so I just kept going,” said Franics when asked about his decision to film with the unique point of view.
Bourgeois not only films his excitement and reaction to various trains, but also tries to encourage others to ride the train as well.
The TikToker and Metrolinx have teamed up to encourage people to get back on the train as things begin to return to normal after a few years.
“I’m trying to encourage people to return to that form of travel because it’s so much more sustainable. It used to be these big beasts transporting people in shapely carriages and comfortable seats, but now it’s all just a service for efficiency. “
He wants people to have a different view of traveling by train.
“I want to encourage that passion for travel from a different perspective. Not that it’s annoying to get on a crowded train, but it’s a beautiful moment to switch off and just look out the window and enjoy the trains as they are, rather than just being a service.”
Francis also mentions that traveling by train is much more environmentally friendly as it is better for hundreds of passengers to ride in one train rather than hundreds of cars on the road.
If you’re a fellow train enthusiast or just want to pick me up a bit, be sure to check out Francis’ trainspotting videos on his social media, where you can also see his thoughts on the UP Express and GO trains.