It is 100 percent understandable that a crew does not want their pictures taken and posted online. However, this crew (mainly the conductor) doesn’t want anyone to even look at the train, let alone take pictures. He made that pretty clear to me and a friend when we chased him last week, and has scared away many area railfans.
It would seem that as far as Conrail goes most crews don’t mind people filming the trains as a hobby, provided the photographers behave (don’t walk on/near the tracks and such) and don’t film the crews when they are outside the engine, and not bugging the crews while they work.
One advantage to watching the local crews is (depending on who they are) you get to know them as time passes, and maybe even become friends with after a while. You learn what they are and aren’t comfortable with, so let’s say one guy doesn’t mind being filmed while he’s in the engine but not when he’s outside it. You keep that in mind when filming, and over time that crew member will notice that you listened to them. As such, they will eventually understand that at the very least, you don’t try to bother anyone when you go railfanning. When you do the same with other crews, word gets out about you. You become a regular guy out and about watching trains, who generally doesn’t bother most crews except for the occasional bad apple hated by crews and railfans alike.
Sometimes, you get respect by helping the crew. Occasionally a new crew will show that is completely clueless about the line, and they will ask the regular railfans about something. Like how the normal crew usually does this or that etc. In more extreme cases, even flagging the train down can be a big help, but NEVER do it unless there’s a BIG problem! One that jeopardizes the safety of the train!
Of course, you can’t be friends with everyone. There’s always gonna be the one crew or crew member that wants nothing to do with anyone. It’s just the way it is. Best thing you can do is leave them be, and just keep watching the train.