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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last couple of years the Railway Magazine has been cataloguing the problems faced by photographers of the current railway scene. In particular the obstructive nature of some railway employees, even when people have been on the public highway.
Has anyone on the MRF experienced difficulties?

Regards,
John Webb
 

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Shorty before rebuilding started i was "asked" to leave st pancras. i sometimes go to london bridge and as long as you are out the way they leave you alone.

I used to live in southampton and they always encouraged me and one member of the station staff even went so far as to give me a direct number for the areas BTP officer incase i saw anything (vandalism is a major problem in that area). on the build up to the gulf war one of them came up to me and politely asked me not to take any pictures of the military trains that would be comming through in a few minutes. The advance warning gave me just enough time to dash along the line and get into a good place!

In fairness to the staff, i have seen photographers doing some really stupid things. i would love to say they were just members of the public but i later saw a photograph in a magazine that could only have been taken from a paticular place and i now know exactly which assistant editor it was! i was frankly shocked.

My favorate was the photographer who crossed 4 electrified lines because the sun was spoiling his pics! its a pity he didnt make it to the darwin award finals!

In poland i had another problem. another well known magazine contributor decided it was ok so just park his camera right infront on many of us who had paid alot of money to get this vantage point. i no longer buy that mag knowing how selfish the person is.

As long as you keep out the way, dont do anything stupid, have a ticket to travel fron that station (or a travelcard in the case of london) then i really dont think its a problem. the terminus stations are becomming more and more difficult because of the barriers. even my favorate haunt kings cross now has building work for the extra platform where i used to stand.

Peter
 

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I haven't had any problems recently with the TOC staff, most I have found just pretend they can't see you. In fact I had a bigger problem a few weeks ago photographing a bus on rail replacement services. (just don't say it dbclass50) in as much as the driver suggested I might like to use the camera as a suppository.

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TOC are generally friendly as long as you obey the station signage (i.e Do not pass this point etc). I tend to also find the BTP quite welcoming as well.

Its the security staff that annoy me no end - They see you and judge you as a terrorist just because your holding a camera. They then have the cheek to tell that photography is banned at this station. Does that mean that using CCTV can therefore be banned? If the security staff don't want me taking photos of trains then ideally i don't want them recording footage of me at that station.

Mind you i had a quick chat with one the distrcit line drivers at Olympia who actually welcomed me to take photos and asked why no one takes photos of tube trains.
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 15 Oct 2007, 06:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>On the build up to the gulf war one of them came up to me and politely asked me not to take any pictures of the military trains that would be comming through in a few minutes. The advance warning gave me just enough time to dash along the line and get into a good place!
Excellent! You couldn't post some could you? It would be quite interesting, and now only of historical concern...

QUOTE My favorate was the photographer who crossed 4 electrified lines because the sun was spoiling his pics! its a pity he didnt make it to the darwin award finals!
This reminds me of a picture taken of an SBB Re 460 at the front of a fourteen coach InterCity train by the driver of the train! He crossed a double mainline to take the picture...why?...it was Daughters' Day on the SBB and his two daughters were posing on the track in front of the train! What a job to have...driving an Re 460 across Switzerland every day for a living!!

And presumably railway employees are allowed to cross the tracks in the course of their job, even if it is only to take pictures?

(I was going to post the picture but I can't find it on the web alas!)
 

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QUOTE What a job to have...driving an Re 460 across Switzerland every day for a living!!

Or failing that, visit SBB Historic's Bahn-Treff in Interlaken where they have an Re460 simulator you can drive. I think it's hooked up to MS Train Simulator. You can visit their website to learn more. It's well worth a visit even if it's not a rainy day.

David
 

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My main objection to some photographers is that they think they can go safely lineside and will tell our mobile response staff such. What they forget is that the general public and kids see them and think it is ok for them to do the same. So even if they have some knowledge of rail safety, apart from being illegal, it really isn't a good idea due to the knock on effect.
Rail staff aren't allowed to randomly cross lines either, they need a good reason if challenged by HMRI staff or other rail staff so being qualified in PTS isn't the gold card to freedom it is assumed to be. Many railway employees do get those difficult to get shots but I think you will find they usually do it by using recognised walkways etc which they are allowed to use. I have taken pictures from a position while clear of the track but I was there for another task and not in the cess and having to look out for trains.
Photographers are often a good source of information on problems with trains and many get there info on special trains or workings from rail staff too. We help out people looking to take pictures within the rules. I have seen a single photographer sat down the bottom of a platform ramp while the rest stand behind the lines, why is that fair for the other ten who can read? Needless to say I sent him back up the ramp, why should he get a good photo, break the rules, and be sat in the other ten peoples picture?
I've seen lots of fantastic pictures taken from safe places that anyone can legally reach and also seen the idiots who are so busy looking to see if platform staff are watching that they miss the train coming in when they try to shortcut between platforms.
Talk to rail staff and they might even be able to suggest a good location or time for a good picture.

Here are a couple of very good sites by photographers who know how to stay within the rules and get superb photos.
http://nevardmedia.fotopic.net/list_collections.php

http://www.ukrailpics.com/
 

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Interesting to get different sides regarding railway photography - what is the situation in say, German, where the main lines (with the exception of the high speed) are not fenced ?

AFAIK you are expected to use your own common sense, if you get hit by a train it's your fault & you (or your estate) will get invoiced for any delays incurred or costs of cleaning up !

Anyone else have any further information ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PaulRhB,
Thanks for your most interesting comments - precisely the sort of thing I'd hoped this topic might result in.

The biggest grumble from the Railway Magazine is those TOC staff who either are unaware of the Guidelines published by ATOC or who seemingly choose to ignore them.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 16 Oct 2007, 07:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>AFAIK you are expected to use your own common sense, if you get hit by a train it's your fault & you (or your estate) will get invoiced for any delays incurred or costs of cleaning up !
Ah if only we could rely on common sense, all governments over nannying seems to have removed it from a vast number of people while the rest are just frustrated by it.
Unfotunately it's virtually impossible to reclaim the costs of delay by tresspassers. If you walk off a platform then it's the TOC who runs the stations fault, if they climb over the fence then Network Rail pays for it. Part of the problem are the huge delay fees that rack up and have a legion of people attributing the blame, costing even more in the long run!!!
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 16 Oct 2007, 11:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The biggest grumble from the Railway Magazine is those TOC staff who either are unaware of the Guidelines published by ATOC or who seemingly choose to ignore them.
Yes there are always people who have to show they are in charge of their own mini empire there's no excuse for this and all I can suggest is carrying a copy of the ATOC guidelines or ask to talk to a manager. The staff may be just used to people then taking liberties and going on the lineside and are just trying to stop it before it starts.
Drivers are understandably nervous when they see someone off the authorised areas as they can walk out in front or be there with the intention of harming themselves. Platform staff often know the crews and what distress such incidents cause so part of it can be anger at people not thinking of the impact. I'm sure many of you have had someone walk out in front in the car and experienced the skip of the heart, also Trains can't take avoiding action.
I know several drivers who have hit people and also the staff that have to literally pick up the pieces or clean off the unit involved so I get quite worked up about stupid tresspassing especially when it is to take a photo or take a short cut to catch a train.
Turn up in plenty of time for either and you can get your ticket or choose the best location that is safe to photograph from.
A lot of tresspass is by foreign visitors used to unfenced lines, we used to have problems with American tourists getting off the VSOE and walking off to take pictures of the loco!
Know your rights but also be tolerant of staff who have to deal with all types of people.
 

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QUOTE (PaulRhB @ 16 Oct 2007, 15:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Know your rights but also be tolerant of staff who have to deal with all types of people.


I heartily concur, having once had to deal with a miltary orienteering exercise that decided to go through the tunnel on the preserved line I was working on. I was advised that the army could use it as it was not in use. At this juncture I pointed out that the driver of the DMU behind him would possibly disagree.

It takes all sorts

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
For anyone interested, the ATOC Guidelines can be down-loaded from www.btp.police.uk/railenthusiasts.html

Neil - the Railway Magazine (RMag) for March this year says that the firm operating train services in your part of the world "offers free permits for railfans, photographers and accredited media" - these permits last for 12 months.

Network Rail has agreed to meet up with the RMag and both are trying to get all the TOCs together to thrash out how staff can be pursuaded to accept the ATOC Guidelines.

The RMag in October points out how UK airports are much more positive towards enthusiasts and actually encourage them to be extra 'ears and eyes' for safety and security.

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John Webb
 

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Found this on a US forum:

"If I'm on public property and a railroad police man harasses me, he's gonna have a problem breathing with a half-dozen .40 caliber S&W Glazer Safety slugs in his chest. I pack a Heckler and Koch with me any time I'm near the tracks to ward off "undesirables", and I'll use it first and ask questions later, and yes, I've got a concealed carry permit. I have taken down two Tulsa Police in un-marked cars and a Highway Patrol on a motorcycle(illegal in Oklahoma since 1955) with it. No one got hurt, but I was ready to fire, and had they not properly identified themselves, they would have been dead. And they all got reprimands in their jackets from their supervisors, and days off without pay. All for trying to stop me in a 1963 Chevy II without seatbelts(not even an option that year).

Santa Fe, Frisco and N-TRAK nut "
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 17 Oct 2007, 14:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Found this on a US forum:

"If I'm on public property and a railroad police man harasses me, he's gonna have a problem breathing with a half-dozen .40 caliber S&W Glazer Safety slugs in his chest. I pack a Heckler and Koch with me any time I'm near the tracks to ward off "undesirables", and I'll use it first and ask questions later, and yes, I've got a concealed carry permit. I have taken down two Tulsa Police in un-marked cars and a Highway Patrol on a motorcycle(illegal in Oklahoma since 1955) with it. No one got hurt, but I was ready to fire, and had they not properly identified themselves, they would have been dead. And they all got reprimands in their jackets from their supervisors, and days off without pay. All for trying to stop me in a 1963 Chevy II without seatbelts(not even an option that year).

Santa Fe, Frisco and N-TRAK nut "

I would comment on that but I don't want to be accused of making political statements
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 17 Oct 2007, 14:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Found this on a US forum:

"If I'm on public property and a railroad police man harasses me, he's gonna have a problem breathing with a half-dozen .40 caliber S&W Glazer Safety slugs in his chest. ................Santa Fe, Frisco and N-TRAK nut "

Which is possibly the best advert for gun control going - however it should surely never get to the stage where this sort of behaviour becomes necassary. As long as no trspass or other offence is committed then a photographer is never going to have any problems I would hope.

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 17 Oct 2007, 20:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>For anyone interested, the ATOC Guidelines can be down-loaded from www.btp.police.uk/railenthusiasts.html

Neil - the Railway Magazine (RMag) for March this year says that the firm operating train services in your part of the world "offers free permits for railfans, photographers and accredited media" - these permits last for 12 months.

Network Rail has agreed to meet up with the RMag and both are trying to get all the TOCs together to thrash out how staff can be pursuaded to accept the ATOC Guidelines.

The RMag in October points out how UK airports are much more positive towards enthusiasts and actually encourage them to be extra 'ears and eyes' for safety and security.

Regards,
John Webb
Thanks John
The local companies are Connex (yep the very same) and Vline which does the country trains. I'll have a look at their websites. I guess it's the stations that they are more concerned with the security for.
 
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