• Be carefull!!!!

  • 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 kamerad47
Be careful when your rail-fanning, people call the cops on you for standing looking at trains with cameras even at rail platforms if you stand or sit for to long & take pictures the cops will so be there. I was watching NS switch a couple of hoppers from a public road & took a couple of pic's , I had 5 cops cars surrounded me within 10 min !!!!! I understand what is going on in the world But , It dose SUCK!!!
  by Dick H
This won't get me any points with the law enforcement community.
But nearly every Police agency is under the budget gun these days.
So, there are "over the top" incidents to help justify their operations.
The incident noted in this thread is a good example. If they had five
units available for this call, sure looks like they are overstaffed to me.
  by Ken S.
Yeah and thin the memorabilia collections also. About a week ago, NYPD arrested two railfans in Brooklyn and seized tons of possibly stolen MTA property. I only found out about it today, but one of them was arrested before for trying to move a parked subway train. Last thing you need is to be arrested on posession of stolen property charges.
  by mrtransportation
Sorry to hear about your run-in with the cops. I would not be to worry about it, but I would be more concern about it instead. Unless they are going to write you up with notice for not being there or summons, arrest you, hold you for major questioning, etc. I know with recent terrorist situations that happen recently in NYC and cert part of country does not help with cops being on edge. Who can blame them for acting more concern with what going on now in the Americaand in the world.
This what I would do if I know I am planning to watch, photography, video of trains or railroad operations hear some rules I follow. 1) Safety, Safety, Safety is a must. 2) Make sure to wear something that will not attract to much attention to yourself for examples types of clothes, hats, colors that make you stick out, etc. 3) Make sure you keep your equipment low key as well for example like camera/video equipment, scanner, tripod, too much equipment with you, etc. 4) Don't hang around the same location to long if you can. 5) Be careful where you plan to stop to watch trains that could be too sensitive areas near rail yards, signaling towers, major switches, structures, towers, etc. 6) Watch where you are parking your vehicle near the location you are hanging at for examples; no parking zones, private parking lots, private streets, train stations so forth. 7) Make sure to handle yourself a certain way not draw attention to you. How your standing, walking, talking with friends, people walking in area, etc. 8) Also bring something that will identify that like trains, railroads, but nothing to flashy from rule 1. Usually I wear train hat or shirt. I have more than that but I could go on and on. If you follow what I wrote on here you should not have any problems with the police or law enforcement for that matter.
Here are my two cents.
I think the only time I had something happen to me once were policeman from Westfield was busting my chops for watching trains in another town of Scotch Plains and telling me could not watch trains any more few years ago which the Scotch Plains knew you were hanging there for years with no major problems, but all other run-ins with cops were ask me what I was doing near the tracks or why do you have radio (aka scanner) for, etc and nothing more.
  by Roadgeek Adam
Here's how I've done it. Conductor on platform? Don't take photos until he's gone or you're out of his sight line. I never try to take photos of conductors and haven't (yet) been approached by one, even at over 120 train stations later. The only time a cop has ever approached me was one at Secaucus Junction, in which he said not to take a flash photo (I was actually running a video at that time). He didn't say anything and was nice to talk to (since I also asked about the fare gates). But, other things I do is be on the other platform (when possible) to take photos so the conductor can't approach you. I've done this on Metro-North and NJ Transit stations, but no one seems to really mind when it comes to civilians.
  by photorailfan
My philosophy on railfaning in urban areas is simple. Treat the cops as if they are criminals. Stay away from both. It's guirilla photography at it's best. Get your shots and keep moving. Only once did i get stopped by police in the port of Albany because, according to the cop, some lady from the highway saw someone shooting over a fence. The cop was on my side so i didn't have a problem but who needs to be questioned and have time wasted? Keep low and fire at will.