Monday, May 21, 2012
The Great American Train Chase, Part Ten
My thoughts of the nature of permissions for taking pictures, come from a few articale and videos. Most recently is: http://youtu.be/yE5RQRLX6RM. Awhile ago there is the video of a man detained in Maryland for photography of light rail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA. The Maryland transit has on their website, the statement concerning photography. The police did overstep, in this case.
My experience makes me sorry for the police and railroad employees who have confronted me. I talked about being Washington and interviewed by police. I got the opinion that they were more bothered by having to confront me, due to procedure. Three times they apologized, saying that it what they had to due. They did not even ask me to stop, provided the camera was hand held.
The sensitive railroad employee and the normal police have multiple motivations for confronting railfans. If they are not railfans, it is a curiosity, why would anyone have fun watching and taking picture of trains? Many are interested in maintaining safety. I have seen and heard of railfans getting hurt or killed by stupid stunts, while railfanning. On a steam train ride, I observed a chaser, chasing the train at 45 miles per hour, in reverse. I have a friend who has video of a driver crawling out on his window to take a picture across the top of the car. He was how he was steering is still a mystery.
They need to maintain security of the property, as well. Since 9/11, we have new issues. As a railfan, we need to be sensitive, ourselves. Stay, where possible, on public property. Ask permission, when able, and be polite. Remember, unless it is a special run or unusual paint, it really isn't worth the hassle. Besides, most employees of the railroad are sensitive to our hobby. They may not understand. What is work to them is something interesting to us.
I have heard chatter on the radio, about me and other fans. They joke about us. And some give a show.
Posted by Gregory