• Railroad security comes to haunt railfans

  • A forum for teen railroad enthusiasts
A forum for teen railroad enthusiasts

Moderator: TAMR213

  by acela 2036
I was wondering if anyone has had problems on taking pictures or videos because of security reasons? Do officials or cops come up to you acting like your a suspicious person? I always have that Problem at South Station in boston, they block off some of the platforms, so i cant go down to take pictures.

  by Conrail1990
had that happen to me back in june of last year. Amtrak blocked off a section of platform that no one is supposed to go through.(but no signs are posted) And sure enough. Here came security.

  by acela 2036
One of my friends had the police called on him for the same thing. He was not even trespassing on property. It was worse actually, the transit police didnt come, it was THE ACTUAL town police. There is a video of it on youtube, but im on a computer right now where i cant access it, but when I get home, ill certainly post it here. There was no reason what so ever for the police to be called!

  by pablo
Not to be the wet blanket, but you have a few things to consider here, whether or not you like to hear them:

1. I'm a teacher, so take this with a grain of salt, but some of the children your age aren't exactly the most civil minded and friendly. You probably go to school with them every day. As such, kids on a platform can equal a big problem, especially if some of it has ever had a problem or is blocked off.

2. Additionally, most people don't understand railfans, so if you're taking pictures of trains, some dumb people think you're a terrorist.

3. Then, you have the kids that actually do cause problems. Have there been any problems there recently? If so, anyone young is getting patted down by the police.

If the platform is blocked off, it's for a reason...stay away from it.

Dave Becker

  by stevo
i agree, always respect the boundaries. don't go where you're not supposed to be. if someone tells you to stop taking pictures/videos, stop doing it. i have several of these occasions actually recorded on video, still waiting to get the vids from the guy i borrowed the camera from though.

  by Murjax
I personally like to take my videos in small, quiet stations for this very reason. I don't like having all the attention. I love Old Saybrook. It is the perfect example of this. I do videos in Bridgeport as well just because people don't seem to care what you do there. I wouldn't try doing anything of the sort in places like New Haven, Stamford and Penn Station because they are more major stations and are more alert for security threats. As I said, Old Saybrook and probably a few other stations east of that are good stations for taking the videos and photos.

  by acela 2036
I had the similar problem back at Providence station before, but now, since they see me there a lot, they dont care that I take videos and pictures.

  by stevo
i've always wondered if the guys in nassau tower in mineola recognize me...

  by chuckmitchell
I most certainly get hassled with. Ill just be sitting there minding my own business, and there comes the UP Police to investigate me being there. Even though I;m not trespassing they come over there anyway. But that is their problem..I am not going to stop railfanning anytime soon.

  by acela 2036
Ok, so I was out on Saturday buffing around, and my friend wanted to go buff on the blue line, we decided to go to Aquarium station and take pictures there, he was taking pictures, but then when a Blue line train pulled up, he pulled up RIGHT NEXT TO HIM, and then told him no pictures. I guess that was not enough for him because then he decided to radio an inspector. He came out and watched us take pictures for a bit. Then once another train came by, he decided to come over to the platform we were on and started asking us questions. He still said that we needed photo permits to take pictures down there, so we started talking to him, then he talked to someone on the radio. After that, he said since we were down there for like 15 mins, we were loitering, but sorry! I cant help it when the Blue Line runs every 15 mins!
A few things to say
1. How can I be loitering when I paid to get into the station?
2. Im Sorry, but I dont control the blue line, as I stated earlier, THE BLUE LINE RUNS EVERY 15-20 MINS on the weekends.
3. check here
If you scroll down to the 2nd page, IV, it CLEARLY states "NO PERMIT IS REQUIRED FOR non commercial use. That is exactly what I was doing, the inspector still thinks you need a permit, Which is just utter bull

  by blippo
I'm guessing before 911 they were not like this

  by acela 2036
blippo wrote:I'm guessing before 911 they were not like this
Eh somewhat, they would still question you, but they were not as strict back then

  by jgallaway81
Welcome to the post 9-11 era.

The plain and simple truth, unfortunately, is that the terrorists have already won...

They managed to destroy our way of life... our freedoms & liberties. And it isn't just railfanning.

All you can do is make sure you are obeying local laws & regulations. If they hastle you, grab your cell and call your lawyer. It sucks, but in today's climate, anyone who doesn't have a lawyer is asking for the gov't to use them as a welcome mat.

  by RailBus63
I would not advise a teen railfan to call a lawyer if you have a problem, except in the most egregious cases of detainment or mistreatment. There are steps that can be taken to address the issue of photography rights with the appropriate officials, and perhaps the young person in question will learn how to deal with misunderstandings in an adult manner.

My number one rule to any railfan, young or old, is – be respectful. Some employees or officials are ignorant or just don’t like young people (or railfans), but others will be coming over to check out what you’re doing because they’ve had problems with young troublemakers in the past. Bring along a small album of pictures or a few railfan magazines to show them that you are not there to cause trouble. Sometimes this will work, and sometimes it doesn’t. If they insist that you have to leave, then do so and follow up with the appropriate headquarters office if you think you were wronged. The last thing you want to do when you’re being questioned is come across as a smart mouth know-it-all.

If it’s any consolation, this is nothing new - I was harassed at times when I was a teenage railfan. Things were easier back in those days before 9/11, but we still had to deal with the occasional surly employee would kick you out of North or South Station for no good reason at all. September 11th just gave those types one more excuse to run fans off.