Trespassing when photographing

 
  MrBiggles Station Master

There are few Facebook groups where the act of standing on the train tracks whilst photographing is being discussed at length. It's even got to the point where some knucklehead is trying to stir things up by deliberately posting photos of approaching steam trains that were obviously taken whilst the photographer was standing on the track with the train approaching.
What people need to realise is that if you look through the members list of some of these Facebook groups, you might notice the names of people who are very high up in the rail safety department, and I'm telling you they are watching.
You need to realise that being in the railway corridor without permission is a serious offence, even worse if you don't have the right qualifications or safety equipment.
If a driver sees someone on the track ahead and starts to apply the brakes it will then be classified and reported to all the powers that be as a "near miss". Last years snow train attracted three such reports.
For the sake of all train enthusiasts, please don't trespass.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A timely reminder.
Remember the zealous nanny state.
Just look at the recent accident and the repercussions where the minibus hit Puffing Billy.
One serious accident will be the end of everything.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Also let's throw into the mix the use of zoom lenses and actual positions of the photographer. On a respected Facebook group ( that I respect) a photo of the Rail&sail was shared, then taken down by complaints of  trespass.  It might turn out that the photos were taken from a safe pedestrian permitted spot with others with photo proof of their position.   I think the admins did the right thing and they also handled the aftermath well.

By all means complain about a photo, but do not tar and feather the  owner too quickly.  It is true a photo taken in the wrong place is an activity not encouraged by any organisation. We do not want people injured or killed by such actions. Then we also do not want time, money and resources sent to investigate a near miss. We especially do not want the train driver to suffer any emotive results. And if a train has to brake harshly, the people on the train can get injured too. Needless to say, stay out of the rail corridor, especially on the tracks.  That great photo is not worth it.

I think we all  would have no objection to any advise in this thread.  Nor are we pointing at any particular person.  So I support the reminder as well.

Regards,
David Head
  hbedriver Train Controller

As a train driver I witness and am exposed to the actions of careless people. As an enthusiast and photographer as well, I can see their perspective.

Most serious enthusiasts are actually quite responsible, respecting the need to maintain a safe distance from the railway. I suspect the concerns are mostly due to the non-enthusiasts, people without any particular knowledge of railways. Parents taking their kids down to see a train, youths simply not thinking and getting too close, even the graffiti vandals.

I like the enthusiasts; they typically show great respect to us train crew, exchanging waves etc. They stand well back, don't aim flashes into our faces, and can be creative as well. Food parcels for us starving drivers are always welcome (hint hint). A few toots of the whistle and they seem pleased. Happy people.

Most of us don't really think much of a dead straight on photo; it is rare for one to work well. Photos that work typically show some scenery around the train, perhaps the loading behind the loco; these might be taken from an overline bridge, or as a train approaches a curve.

It is noteworthy that magazines tend not to publish photos taken from spots that are illegal to access, or which place the photographer (or train crew) in danger. Both Motive Power and Railway Digest magazines fall into this category; the only such dead straight on shot in either of the latest issues was clearly taken from a overline bridge, and showed both the train consist as well as the surrounding scenery (the red cutting, page 20 of Digest).

One would hate to see responsible enthusiasts placed into the same category as the wider general public. Sadly, I fear that, unless we as a movement can come up with some sort of procedures or mutual recognition, we may suffer for the thoughtless actions of people who on any given day might see the train, or perhaps watch the footy, or have a latte at the local cafe.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
Unfortunately there are some "Photo Enthusiasts" out there, particularly those who post their 'trophies' on FB. Many of them are ones who will then nitpick the photos or videos posted by others, things like too much light, not in centre, and so on. Then there are the ones who arrive at a location after you and decide that they want the exact same spot, or you out of their way - not a request either, an order.


And of course those who put themselves and others in danger to get that photo, not to mention frightening train drivers with their actions and other drivers on the road with their driving habits in their rush to the next location.

The 'mine is better than yours' disease does not just afflict some of those interested in Rail, the Aircraft ones are just a bad in trying to put down other photographers, though trespass around an airport to get a photo will get attention fairly quickly.

I used to like photography some years back, but got rather sick of the egos of some who seemed to like putting down the work of others and rarely post any now.
  Jack Le Lievre Junior Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
One of the things that I have found disturbing while photographing in certain States is the fact that young enthusiasts think that they have right to go wherever/do whatever they like to get their shots. I overheard a group once talking about cutting a signal cable so that they could get a shot of a train in Emergency Brake. The same group also talked about how they walked through a tunnel so that they could get to an inaccessible location so that they could say that they were the only ones with that shot. They also discussed climbing bridges.

I don't know if previous generations have done similar things or have been so reckless, but it seems some days that the up and coming generation think that they can do what ever they want and to hell with the consequences.

Jack
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
Previous Generations had less Cameras, and the movie variety didn't become available to the general public until about the 1960's - and both cost far more than now, film had to be purchased, and then processed and printed, unlike the digital age when the only restriction is the size of the memory card and the bandwidth to show off the results.

I have seen quite a few older photos that have obviously been taken from atop a signal post.

And I cannot claim to be 'clean' in such matters, though it did not involve a camera. One day a couple of generations ago, a mate and I (we would have been about 10) decided that we wanted to see what a penny looked like after a train had run over it. So with the penny from our (cant remember which of us donated it) hard earned pocked money, we went down to the local railway bridge and about half way over it (thee were about 6 spans) we placed the penny on the rail and took to one of the gangers refuges as the local DERM departed. The penny was of course flattened, and two boys needed a change of pants as the refuge shook like hell as the DERM passed.

Boys were boys and I shudder at the thought of some of the stupid things we did. The things that dad, and his belt, never heard about.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I have seen quite a few older photos that have obviously been taken from atop a signal post.
mikesyd
I have seen a rail enthusiast atop a signal post, perhaps I even have a photo of same, and no, he wasn't a young fella either!
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Now, I this thread I sense a bit of young Fella Bashing. As a teenage Gunzel, I agree that young people can be idiots and Tremendously Stupid however you have to remember that Those Nut cases are in the Minority. The People that go to Extremes for 'Trophy Photography' are Just Stupid and over competitive.


but it seems some days that the up and coming generation think that they can do what ever they want and to hell with the consequences
Jack Le Liver
Yes, although Isn't that what the kids growing up in the 1960s and 70s did too?  Most young people growing up in the past 49 Years probably acted like that when they were young, stupid and drinking.

There are inherently Stupid people on this earth.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I have seen quite a few older photos that have obviously been taken from atop a signal post.
I have seen a rail enthusiast atop a signal post, perhaps I even have a photo of same, and no, he wasn't a young fella either!
Graham4405
Very common in the 60s, perhaps into the 80s or 90s.  As an example, this photo. I asked the SM whether I could climb up a bracket signal to take a photo - he said "no problems".   Different times - I wouldn't dream of asking or climbing a signal these days.

https://flic.kr/p/271zBFH
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

… it seems some days that the up and coming generation think that they can do what ever they want and to hell with the consequences.
Jack Le Lievre
It's because they've grown up copying the baby boomers.
  Jack Le Lievre Junior Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Now, I this thread I sense a bit of young Fella Bashing. As a teenage Gunzel, I agree that young people can be idiots and Tremendously Stupid however you have to remember that Those Nut cases are in the Minority. The People that go to Extremes for 'Trophy Photography' are Just Stupid and over competitive.


but it seems some days that the up and coming generation think that they can do what ever they want and to hell with the consequences
Yes, although Isn't that what the kids growing up in the 1960s and 70s did too?  Most young people growing up in the past 49 Years probably acted like that when they were young, stupid and drinking.

There are inherently Stupid people on this earth.
Dangersdan707
Ah, but these days being young and dumb is more likely to be noticed and then that reflects badly on the rest of us as a fraternity, does it not?

I am a young fella myself, but I don't see the need to go and cut signal cables just to get that shot, as I know what that would mean for the rest of the fraternity, I don't go where I know that I am not allowed, as it reflects badly on the rest of us. I don't abuse Drivers for not waving, I don't call Train Control and abuse them for not doing what we want them to do, and put a train away somewhere thus preventing us from getting a shot, I don't abuse Gangers for potential delays, or being where I had planned on getting a shot. I don't attempt to run someone over because they had gotten to a place where I had planned on getting a shot before I did. And yes, I didn't have the last one happen to me, the young idiot.

Mind you have heard of all of those things being done by both the young and the old. The older ones should know better.

A young friend from S.A. told me of a well know and respected older railfan storming up to him in his car after a train had gone past him, jumped out and abused him for getting into "My" shot, the young guy was quite upset as he hadn't realised that he had, and when it was pointed out to him where the older railfan had been standing that it should have been quite clear that he would have been in the way, the young guy said, "Oh, I did see you there, but I wouldn't have thought that I would have been in your way.", it turned out the older railfan had been more than 500m away and was using a large lens. The young guy hadn't trespassed at any time.

So, I know that it isn't always young railfans who do the wrong thing, but as it has been pointed out, there are a lot of young "Trophy" hunters out there who are stirring up trouble and making it more difficult for the rest of us. I know this as I have talked to a number of train crew who say one day in the not too distant future one of them is going to end up dead and that there will be hell to pay for the rest of us.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Now, I this thread I sense a bit of young Fella Bashing. As a teenage Gunzel, I agree that young people can be idiots and Tremendously Stupid however you have to remember that Those Nut cases are in the Minority. The People that go to Extremes for 'Trophy Photography' are Just Stupid and over competitive.

Dangersdan707


We should all be clear, this topic is not specific to young or old people, just the people who do the wrong thing these days.   We cannot go back 20+ years to justify the old ways and times. as many can point out, there are good and bad young and old people etc.


We are so lucky we can take a lot of photos a second, video and use zoom lenses, the railfans of yesteryear had either very expensive camera or a basic camera.These days you just click away !

It is best to think of the here and now and ensure we are all safe.  And the real important thing is to think of the drivers of the trains - remember while a lot of us like the inaminate object hurdling towards us - it is a person  in it driving it !  I would rate that as the most important aspect.

Regards,
David Head
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I have seen quite a few older photos that have obviously been taken from atop a signal post.
I have seen a rail enthusiast atop a signal post, perhaps I even have a photo of same, and no, he wasn't a young fella either!
Very common in the 60s, perhaps into the 80s or 90s.  As an example, this photo. I asked the SM whether I could climb up a bracket signal to take a photo - he said "no problems".   Different times - I wouldn't dream of asking or climbing a signal these days.
duttonbay
No doubt, but the instance I refer to happened in 2005... Back in the '60s I was a serial trespasser myself!
  Valvegear The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Years ago, on a day with with Specials timetabled, another bloke and I were shunting the yard at PBR Belgrave - him at the Up end; me at the Down, and passing consists from one to the other and working nicely.
Some knucklehead climbed the departure stick, which could have brained him if it was pulled off while he was up there. I ordered him down; he said he was staying until the train departed, and I wished him a comfortable night because the train wasn't moving until he came down.
This just didn't suit him, and he didn't move.
The turning point came when one of our blokes announced a competition - a slab of beer for the man who could hit knucklehad's camera with a lump of ballast. A few preliminary throws (deliberately wide of the mark) gave him the idea of what could happen if we got serious. He came down, all bluster and threats until someone reminded him how easy it is to (ahem) trip over, and how a man could accidentally get hurt quite badly, and how we didn't want that to happen did we?
We never saw him again.
  michaelgm Chief Train Controller

Didn't understand the concept of a photo line until the first time I saw one. Quickly educated in no uncertain terms. Absolutely genuine ignorance, on my part.
Another occasion  waiting for an RTM special for some time, Johnny come lately decided to give instructions as to where I should be and the like. Old mate was quickly educated, as I was previously.
The other I find interesting, wearing Hi vis appears to be a bullet proof vest. With permission to go anywhere.

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