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21st Jan 2022

Anyone else obsessed with Francis Bourgeois?

Passionate. Considerate. Talented. Ferocious.

No, I’m not talking about that guy you just matched with on Hinge. I’m talking about Francis Bourgeois (real name Luke Nicholson) – or as he is otherwise known, that TikTok guy who loves trains.

Bourgeois shot to fame during the height of the pandemic, posting videos of himself chasing trains with a camera strapped to his head, full of glee and unquestionable merriment.

He has quickly become one of the prolific train enthusiasts of all time, not just due to his youth and wholesome charm, but because of his watchability, his bizarre camera angles, and the fact that he’s so niche, but so universally delightful.

It’s wholesome, it’s pure, it’s simply a joy to watch. “I wish anything made me as happy as trains make Francis Bourgeois,” I said to my boyfriend one evening. And I do. I really do.

@francis.bourgeois PART 2: Duchess of Sutherland pulling away from Gloucester station! @ryan.windridge #trains #trending #fyp ♬ original sound – Francis Bourgeois

Bourgeois may have gone viral in 2021 but his fame and adoration has not waned. As of the time of writing he’s got 2.2 million followers. A few weeks ago Joe Jonas chased some trains with him. Only a few days ago he became the face of Gucci’s new campaign with North Face, and let me tell you, he rocked it.

As with every immediate and sudden rise to internet fame, Bourgeois was subjected to the classic deep dive on every aspect of his past in a bid to get him cancelled. Naturally, nothing was found save for a few photos of him during his teenage years sporting some vests and jeans, a distinctly non-Bourgeois look.

The apparent evidence was so strong that even Rolling Stone wrote a piece on whether everybody’s favourite trainspotter was actually “a secret fuckboy.”

Francis took the accusation in his stride and took to TikTok to explain that he dressed and acted a certain way growing up to try and fit in. In fact, he had had an interest in trains since he was a child, but after moving to a new school, he rejoined a gym and changed his look to appeal to those around him. And truly, who among us hasn’t?

“Honestly, running down platforms and chasing trains, it really feels like the shackles are off and I’m totally free,” he said.

As is the case with most criticism of people in the public eye, the narrative quickly turned to Bourgeois’ appearance. How could a guy so handsome be so into trains? Why would someone so young spend his days running around the countryside with a GoPro attached to his head?

Because he loves it. And I love you, Francis.