• Legal pt for fanning ops on Raritan River in S. Amboy

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Sometime I may take a trip to South Amboy to railfan NJT crossing the Raritan River Bridge. What legal areas can I do that from. I would do this in the late afternoon. Is it safe to walk from the station to that area, and are there buses running between or close to the two points.
  by sullivan1985
 
I've only shot from Perth Amboy. I would think with all the industry and what looks like a coal fired power plant in close quarters to the bridge that somebody would be a little touchy if they saw you, but then again I've never been there. I've only shot the east end of the bridge recently.

The Amboys have their reputation of not being the best place on earth, but personally I wouldn't mind walking from the station to the bridge. This is also coming from someone who explores abandoned factories/prisons/schools/etc at 3am.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I was in Perth Amboy on Friday afternoon, and the bridge area is nice. You do have to be ready for southbounds. Yes, both Amboys aren't the best, but they aren't the worst.
  by OportRailfan
 
Talk to Kaback, IIRC he shot some stuff on the beach next to the Raritan River steel, which I believe is public property.
  by faxman
 
I have got soon nice shot in AM rush hour from the Perth Amboy side. There is a nice park and beach overlooking the bridge. I even caught it open for a boat.
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=1318438
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=1318441

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=1318443
  by Kaback9
 
First off I don't know where you all get this notion South Amboy is "bad", South Amboy is actually quite safe and I have never once felt uncertain about my safety anywhere. Perth Amboy on the other hand has some tough areas but its not that bad, infact having a camera with you is not a bad thing as people will tend to stay away from you.

Shooting the bridge from South Amboy is probably not the smartest of ideas as Sully said there is the power plant right there which is bound to give you all sorts of problems if they see you with a camera. The only option I can see is asking the NJT guys based out of ESSAY if it is alright you are over there. Otherwise stick to Perth Amboy and if your by RR steel watch out for the tide! If you have any more questions I will be more than happy to answer as this is pretty much one of my regular hangouts and as soon as my new camera arrives tomorrow I should be in that area for a while re shooting things.
  by Jtgshu
 
There is a huge parking lot that was used for the ferry when it was docked there right next to the bridge - go there, and don't aim your camera at the power plant. Ive sat in that parking lot many times and watched trains come over the bridge and even took some pictures there and was never bothered. (I thought the town bought that parking lot, im not sure, but i thought it was owned by the town and leased to the ferry company when the ferry was operating there....)

Don't go wandering around Essay- even if the guys that work there say its okay - pictures get posted, and then the guys that gave "permission" could be given a real hard time by their supervisors.

And considering that the pictures are usually posted within hours of being taken, its not hard to figure out who was working........

Taking pictures for your own personal collection is a differnet story, and in teh days before RRpicturachives and railpics.net and flicker and whereever, there wouldn't be an issue. But those days are no longer, and with seemingly every single picture being posted on the internet immediately of a "rare" (pun intended hahah) the employees that allowed you on to the property can get into trouble.

Essay is no different than Bay Head yard, or Red Bank/Southern Yard or Port Morris yard or anywhere else thats RR property, and that we have had this discussion a zillion and a half times already.

The "no pictures" that some guys get hassled with isn't always for fear of terrorism, its for fear of discipline by their supervisors!!

Its happened before and will keep happening.....
  by Kaback9
 
Jt,

I agree with you 100% , I was just thinking as a place to park to go walk over to the fields on the west side. I should have been a little more specific. I don't condone trespassing at all.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
This parking lot is on the west side of the RR, right? How long a walk is it from the SA train station, and I read that SA is safe. I have been there.

No, I won't venture anywhere on the grounds of Essay. No reason to. Not only don't I want the employees to get into trouble, but I don't. It's just like PM, BH, where the only places to get good views of them are, tresspassing, and we DON'T do that.
  by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
 
Everything on the South Amboy side is public property as long as you don't go beyond the "Private Property" signs. The power plant is abandoned so I don't think the cops would give anyone a hard time for being around it. I've shot the old rails leading into it and waved to the trucks that use the roads there and never had anyone show up. I've never seen a cop on that side of the tracks and never had an NJT employee watch me. The gravel road closest to the tracks is used by the bridge tender to park at the end of the bridge and I've seen plenty of fishermen down there who got there before me and left after me. During low tide you can walk under the bridge but if you don't know the tide schedule don't linger and get stuck. DO NOT CROSS THE TRACKS!!! If its the afternoon and not low tide try again; its not possible. I've only gotten lucky once and of course clouds rolled in. I always had the notion that South Amboy was inaccesible and 'evil' until I tried it and found some great angles and even spent a good hour talking to the guy who used to control the one-way bridge the dump trucks used. With the new bridge and access road finished parallel to the Church Runner, his services aren't needed and I assume he's working at a different location. The new bridge is the easiest way to access the east side of the bridge since there are no blind curves and you're already on the east side of the NJCL. Everyone who works in this area seems to be friendly as far as I've seen.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
I believe that Main Street is probably an alternative lets say if I don't want to walk beneath the bridge.
By the way, Andrew, I was in Perth Amboy Friday, and did quite well there with pictures.
  by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
 
Well folks...a word of caution about shooting in South Amboy. I am the proud new owner of a trespassing summons for being on "old JCPL property" thanks to South Amboy PH John Kelly (badge #47, car 403). I was parked by one of the two overpasses over the NJCL south of ESSAY when officer Kelly approached my car. He told me I was trespassing and when I told him that I was unaware of this he threatened to "lock me up". He then asked me for my license, registration and insurance which I did with no arguments yet he again threatened to "lock me up" because of my 'attitude'. He then called for backup. A second SA police car showed up and that officer approached me with questions of what I was doing. When I told him I was photographing the trains he "informed" me that it was against Homeland Security to do this. Without my NJT letter and emails, I explained to him that I had contacted NJT and they always responded that it was not illegal to photograph their trains. His attention was then directed to the abandoned JCPL power plant which can be seen in the background. After shooting the breeze for a few minutes, a third unmarked car arrived and the officer went to talk with him. During this time, Officer Kelly came back with my paperwork and a summons for trespassing??? I attempted to apologize for my 'attitude' but was rudely ignored as he walked away!!! So, until I get my day in court (8/13) I would suggest using caution when around the public property which Officer Kelly confused for private property. The one other time I had encountered a South Amboy officer around this area was while shooting SA31 on the Church Runner and that conversation with "Have a nice day."
  by Ken W2KB
 
Andrew Blaszczyk (2) wrote:Well folks...a word of caution about shooting in South Amboy. I am the proud new owner of a trespassing summons for being on "old JCPL property" thanks to South Amboy PH John Kelly (badge #47, car 403). I was parked by one of the two overpasses over the NJCL south of ESSAY when officer Kelly approached my car. He told me I was trespassing and when I told him that I was unaware of this he threatened to "lock me up". He then asked me for my license, registration and insurance which I did with no arguments yet he again threatened to "lock me up" because of my 'attitude'. He then called for backup. A second SA police car showed up and that officer approached me with questions of what I was doing. When I told him I was photographing the trains he "informed" me that it was against Homeland Security to do this. Without my NJT letter and emails, I explained to him that I had contacted NJT and they always responded that it was not illegal to photograph their trains. His attention was then directed to the abandoned JCPL power plant which can be seen in the background. After shooting the breeze for a few minutes, a third unmarked car arrived and the officer went to talk with him. During this time, Officer Kelly came back with my paperwork and a summons for trespassing??? I attempted to apologize for my 'attitude' but was rudely ignored as he walked away!!! So, until I get my day in court (8/13) I would suggest using caution when around the public property which Officer Kelly confused for private property. The one other time I had encountered a South Amboy officer around this area was while shooting SA31 on the Church Runner and that conversation with "Have a nice day."
Andrew, don't answer here publicly. Note that the former JCP&L steam units are abandoned, but the property was sold to Reliant Energy and the four simple cycle combustion turbine generators are still in operation by Reliant. What precisely is the statute or municipal ordinance number that you are charged with on the summons? Trespassing varies from a disorderly persons offense to a 4th degree crime, depending where it occurred and other facts and circumstances. Electric generating station trespass is a fourth degree crime. That carries potential for some years in state prison. Even the disorderly persons offense could result in jail time. Trespass is not like a motor vehicle offense like speeding or whatever. I'll send you an e-mail at your BRRHT listing and feel free to call me at work to discuss this further. Again don't discuss it here any more, as the TV cop show "anything you say can be used against you" is one of the very few accurate legal concepts on TV shows. (Your conversation with me will be legally privileged so you need not worry about that.)

If you have not done so as yet, I strongly advise you to retain an attorney who practices in the local municipal court there to represent you. That can make a very large difference in the outcome.

(To all, please note that my posting here does not constitute legal advice nor do we have an attorney-client relationship.)

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2C:18-3 Unlicensed entry of structures; defiant trespasser; peering into dwelling places; defenses.

2C:18-3. a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or on school property. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a dwelling. An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

b.Defiant trespasser. A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:

(1)Actual communication to the actor; or

(2)Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or

(3)Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.

c.Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.

d.Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1)A structure involved in an offense under subsection a. was abandoned;

(2)The structure was at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure; or

(3)The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the structure, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain, or, in the case of subsection c. of this section, to peer.

L.1978, c.95; amended 1980, c.112, s.3; 1994, c.90; 1995, c.20, s.4; 1997, c.15; 2005, c.100.