If you spend any time on TikTok, you already know that the world’s wildest social media platform is taking the definition of celebrity to strange places. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a celeb with a stranger hobby than Francis Bourgeois, aka the TikTok Train Guy. He’s made his reputation as a trainspotter, and has attracted 3.1 million followers who love his enthusiasm for trains.
Yup, you read that right. Francis Bourgeois (real name Luke Magnus Nicolson) is famous for making videos about trains. As a youngster, Bourgeois spent a lot of time with his parents on outings to Willesden Junction, one of the busiest train stations in London.
That was when young pre-Francis caught the bug, evidently. He would draw pictures of the tracks after visiting the station, and the eventual goal of the 23-year old student at the University of Nottingham is to specialize in railway engineering after finishing his civil engineering degree.
“I hope to spend the rest of my days working on the railways and making them better for everyone,” he said, and in the meantime he’s bringing his passion to the masses.
He does work hard at his chosen obsession, though. Bourgeois actually researches the trains he spots, and he’s been known to make videos about iconic railway cars, where they go, who owns them and so on. As a result, there is some amount of education to his chosen nuttiness, so bless his little train-driven heart for that.
The most unique thing about Bourgeois’ videos is that he gushes like a schoolgirl about the trains he spots. They’re clearly love objects to him, or close to it, although somehow he always manages to stop just short of the line that would edge him into genuine railway creepiness.
Bourgeois classifies himself as a “modern” trainspotter, which means he’ll make videos as opposed to just sitting and watching the trains go by, then take notes in a notebook.
His esoteric moniker actually has some historical significance, too. The original Bourgeois didn’t know nearly as much about trains, presumably, but he was a court painter for King George III.
No one knows what the connection is between Nicolson and his alias, but it seems safe to say that we’ll all find out at some point, like it or not.
Another unique element of Bourgeois’ video appeal is that he’s a bit of a fashion plate, or at least a railway version of a fashion plate. He’s been seen wearing a striped British Rail shirt, then an inspector’s hat from World War II, and finally a 50s-style overcoat.
Bourgeois is also a true romantic when it comes to his love life as well. His girlfriend is Amy Linkin-Chandler and the couple have been together for a few years. The pretty blonde studied communication with business studies at the University of Brighton and graduated in 2023.
Bourgeois set up a company called Francis Bourgeois Limited in November 2021 and has done sponsorship deals with Virgin Voyages, Coral Eyewear, Gucci and ASOS. His girlfriend works for the business as a freelance videographer.