Friday, May 18, 2012

The Great American Train Chase, Part Nine

I mentioned a interview with DC Police. It was far more surreal than most. It was almost as in they were apologetic. That might be because of the tourist, they want to be polite. Every time they ask a question, they apologize that they just needed to follow procedure. There was no accusation but they did mention that I could not use the tripod, even that small one. This is not my first such encounter, although, rarely is it with police or sheriff.

My first encounter was just as surreal. I was railfanning the NS in Roanoke, VA. I was looking for good locations to watch and photograph from. I come to the yard office overlooking the hump yard, just below where the old, now gone, tower was. I parked and took my camera (just a habit). I was, soon, approached by a man who told me he was the yard master and that I could not take pictures from that location. As would be my custom, I ask if he wanted me to leave. He said I could watch but had to put the camera back in the car. OK, I got one picture of the turntable.

Another came at Acca Yard in Richmond. I was near the office. I did not think that I was on CSX property. Again it was the yard master who I talked to. He first asked me where I parked. Which happened to be on the street, not the parking lot. I told him. He said that I was on Railroad property. He seemed not to get to the point so I simply asked if he wanted me to leave and he said yes.

My trip to Boston, two years ago, I had one incident. It wasn't more than a operator on the Mattapan to Ashmont line. As I got on the car (I had taken a picture of it arriving), said that I could not take pictures. Of course I knew better, but it was not worth saying more.

I came to Lechmere and asked security before I took out my camera and they laughed and said go ahead.

This trip, I took the car to Mattapan. I needed to use a public rest room. I asked at the transit police office, where was there one. They let me use theirs. I than asked about picture taking. They just told me not to get hurt. And if anyone asked tell them they approved. We joked around for another 10 minutes.

My incodient was not with the railroad. In fact, I emailed the VRE and asked their policy. They simplly said "snap all the pictures you want, just not walk on the rails."

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