• Photographing train at platform

  • Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.
Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.

Moderators: nomis, keeper1616

  by starionwolf
Hi, I haven't ridden a big train in a long time.

I've seen people taking photos of trains while they are on the platform. I would like to do the same thing, but I am afraid that the train will leave without me. I will be riding a MARC train between Union Station in Washington D.C. and Baltimore's Penn Station.

I'm used to riding subway trains where doors close 15 seconds after they open.

I hope I will have a few minutes to photograph the train before it leaves. I'm not sure if I am allowed to wait on the platform while the train arrives. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.


  by pgengler
Usually when I take pictures from the platform, it's because I'm at that particular spot to take pictures of trains in general, rather than taking a picture of a particular train. So I usually don't ride in and out on the same train, and I imagine this is how most people do it.
If you wanted to take some shots at a station while you were on the train, it depends greatly on how long the train waits there. Usually this is only as long as it's discharging/taking on passengers, and usually isn't long enough to get a good photo spot and take pictures.
In your case, I haven't spent any time doing photography at Union Station, and I've only ridden Amtrak in and out, but they don't allow you on the platforms before the train arrives (and you have to have a ticket for it). MARC is probably different, though, and I imagine you could wait on the platforms at Baltimore, since it's much more of a "through" station than Washington is.

  by Ken W2KB
MARC trains generally can be boarded at least 10 or more minutes before departure time. Also, if you walk in from the subway entrance at the corner of the station, you don't go through any check gates like for Amtrak.

  by starionwolf
I might take an Amtrak regional train home from Baltimore during the evening. If I'm lucky, I'll photograph the train after I exit it.

I hope I can also take some photos of the public areas of Union Station and Penn Station.


  by chuchubob
The last time I was in Baltimore (May 29) an Amtrak conductor said I wasn't allowed to walk on the platform toward the front of the train beyond the frontmost open doorway. "Security".

So I didn't photograph Amtrak there.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/o ... _29_05.jpg

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/o ... _29_06.jpg

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/o ... _29_79.jpg

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/o ... _29_81.jpg

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/o ... _29_84.jpg

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/o ... 85_001.jpg
Last edited by chuchubob on Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by starionwolf
I got some halfway decent photos of a MARC, Amtrak train and MTA light rail.

Here is a link to my unorganized photo gallery:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/828243/

I'll try to organize the photos somehow.

The photos of New Carrolton's Metro Station and BWI garage have a yellow tint to them. It seems that the windows of the MARC train altered the light going into the camera some how.

I might take a regional train from Washington D.C. to New York Penn Station. The layover at Philadelphia is only three minutes and about 30 seconds at Baltimore's Penn Station. I don't think I'll be able to go out on the platform and take a few shots at either station.

pgengler is right, the trains don't stop for a long time. At night, I saw an Amtrak train stop at Penn Station in Baltimore for only 15 seconds to drop a passenger off. I didn't get a chance to photograph it from my MARC train.

I'll post my travelog soon.

  by pennsy
Hi All,

All good advice. Here is one more option. If the windows of the train are clean, you could shoot the picture through the window of the car you are in. I have done that with LRV's to get shots of certain villages, towns and other subjects, while the train is moving as well. With a through the lens light meter for your camera, correct exposure is no problem

  by chuchubob
I was able to photograph train 1191 Silver Star on March 7 during its station stop at Baltimore. I was a passenger on the train.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery2/v/u ... -07+10.jpg


  by pennsy
Hi Chuch,

Close, but no cigar. I had a chance to ride in the cab of # 934. Quite a difference. Great shot.