I sat at the Santa Fe depot today. I got a few shots of Coaster and Amtrak, but nothing good (the buildings all cast shadows).
The security guard threw me out. He said that if I don't have an Amtrak ticket (MTS pass and coaster tickets did not count), I could not be there. Dissatisfied with his reasoning, I called MTS to clarify who owns what property and what the photography policies are.
MTS told me that they have no official policy and that the common sense policy is that I can take photos to my heart's content as long as I do not trespass onto the tracks or into areas that are not open to the public. They also said that the Santa Fe Depot building, and the 2 closest tracks are MTS property. The 3 coaster tracks belong to the North County Transportation District, and the far track belonged to Amtrak. The security guard was not an Amtrak police officer, and did not appear to work for MTS, so I tried calling NCTD to see what their policy was, but they had already closed for the day.
So, I decided to take the trolley up to Old Town and sit at that grade crossing north of the station. I'm glad I did. The shots came out way better than the ones at the Santa Fe depot.
I waited and waited for that northbound BNSF freight, but by the time the Coasters stopped running, and having not seen it, I decided to leave since the freight probably wasn't running today or is running late.
The police went by a few times, but I was never bothered. Go figure.