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SD70MAC
12-21-2005, 01:33 AM
It may get a little harder to railfan BNSF...Check out the article below.

http://www.bnsf.com/employees/communications/bnsf_today/2005/12/2005-12-13-d.html

NicTrain35
12-21-2005, 01:49 AM
Hmm, interesting article. I hope this doesn't mean they're going to be cracking down more on railfans.

Ru1056
12-21-2005, 01:58 AM
Hmm, interesting article. I hope this doesn't mean they're going to be cracking down more on railfans.

As long as you don't tell conflicting stories, and have half the merchandise of a Best Buy in your possesion in your vehicle, you will be fine.

busyEMT
12-21-2005, 03:58 AM
I have read this a few times since seeing it posted in local Yahoo! groups. Granted it isn't aiming to be award winning journalism, it still leaves much to desired in information.

Was he misunderstood by local police, which translated into two different stories when the Special Agents contacted the PD? Was the railfan fronting an attitude which heightened the suspicion of the SAs? What I figured from the article was a travelling/vacationing fan, wanting video and photos using GPS to map where he was. But with such little information, other than enough to urge employees to call Resource Protection Agents, the general public may never hear both sides of the story.

On the other hand, railroads (especially Class 1s) are a vital part of the US. and if no one cared to investigate "suspicious" activity, there wouldn't be much of an infrastructure.

firegator
12-21-2005, 05:08 AM
Good points were brought out in the above posts-- From the warning given to the trespasser, it sounds like the standard warning given to somebody found on railroad property-- He was not told however, he had to stop taking photos, which is legal from public property-- Come on you rail fans, you need to spend more time in Texas, so they know who we are and what we do-- Regards, da Gator

cmherndon
12-21-2005, 12:40 PM
I hope this doesn't mean they're going to be cracking down more on railfans.

Only those who engage in suspicious activity...like voluntarily shooting the BNSF.

There's a problem with paranoia among railfans (as well as most of the country) which the media likes to play on. Think about it for a second/minute/however long you need. How many times have you gone out railfanning and been reported to the FBI/ATF/State Police/Local Police/County Sheriff/Constable/etc.? Railroad employees are usually good at being able to tell whether you're just out taking photos or up to no good. I would guess that our railfan in question was the latter.

The reason you hear so much about railfans being questioned is becuase of the media outlets that like to play on paranoia (Trains magazine comes to mind here). You always hear "John Q. Railfan was hassled by the authorities while taking pictures of trains." What they won't tell you is the reason John Q. Railfan was hassled. Was he trespassing? Was he vandalizing property? Was he voluntarily shooting the BNSF? This sort of thing went on well before Sept 11. The only reason you didn't hear about it is because everyone wasn't living in fear back then.

busyEMT
12-21-2005, 01:36 PM
Besides, from the areas where these news reports generally come from: Chicago and the southwest. Two places where there is a high volume of passenger traffic. Chicago has seen a number of derailments. As for the southwest, remember Amtrak mid 90s in AZ(?) deliberate sabotage.

Really, if I was an engineer on 70 mph trackage, I would want anyone who looked at the track for a long time to be checked out! And remember, railroads aren't in the business for railfans. But I understand that it becomes tiresome if you are the railfan who constantly is questioned.

Ween
12-21-2005, 04:56 PM
Since I'm doing nothing wrong, any officer/agent/security guard can question me all day long 'til they're blue in the face, it makes no difference to me. Be truthful about what you're doing, be polite, and you shouldn't have any problems. Simple...

VirginiaSouthern
12-21-2005, 05:07 PM
Since I'm doing nothing wrong, any officer/agent/security guard can question me all day long 'til they're blue in the face, it makes no difference to me. Be truthful about what you're doing, be polite, and you shouldn't have any problems. Simple...

Couldn't be put any better.

NicTrain35
12-21-2005, 09:43 PM
Be truthful about what you're doing, be polite, and you shouldn't have any problems. Simple...
Exactly.

I've been questioned by police a few times before. One was a lady (lol) but she was very nice about it and allowed me to continue taking photos. One cop wasn't very nice about it. I was railfanning at Pine Junction in Gary, IN clearly on public property. This CSX cop comes along and tells us we were trespassing on their property (when we were all the way over by the NS mainline). I wasn't in any position to argue, so I just did as I was told. The cop could have just seen that we were avid train fans taking photos, but nooo, he had to take down my dad's driver's licence, run it through his laptop, and threaten us with the FBI. I just didn't like that the cop was rude about it. I would have gladly left if I was politely asked too. I have no history with the police at all. Luckily, things have cooled down a bit at Pine.

VirginiaSouthern
12-21-2005, 09:50 PM
I wouldn't have left so easily. I would have been polite, but I would have reminded the officer that there wasn't much he could do and if he wanted to contact the FBI, he's more than welcome.

Ru1056
12-22-2005, 12:58 AM
Exactly.

I've been questioned by police a few times before. One was a lady (lol) but she was very nice about it and allowed me to continue taking photos. One cop wasn't very nice about it. I was railfanning at Pine Junction in Gary, IN clearly on public property. This CSX cop comes along and tells us we were trespassing on their property (when we were all the way over by the NS mainline). I wasn't in any position to argue, so I just did as I was told. The cop could have just seen that we were avid train fans taking photos, but nooo, he had to take down my dad's driver's licence, run it through his laptop, and threaten us with the FBI. I just didn't like that the cop was rude about it. I would have gladly left if I was politely asked too. I have no history with the police at all. Luckily, things have cooled down a bit at Pine.


I wouldn't be offended by him running your dad's information through the computer, unless there is something to hide.

There's a problem with paranoia among railfans (as well as most of the country) which the media likes to play on. Think about it for a second/minute/however long you need. How many times have you gone out railfanning and been reported to the FBI/ATF/State Police/Local Police/County Sheriff/Constable/etc.? Railroad employees are usually good at being able to tell whether you're just out taking photos or up to no good.

As a former transit police officer, I can tell you that the departments recieve memo's almost daily from the federal goverment about potential terrorist activity. In two years we had a stack almost 2 inches high, and the memo's are no more than 1 or 2 pages each.

Some railfans, like the rejections here, take getting questioned personally. It is not that way. The M.O. of the terrorists is to photograph potential targets for the terrorists to study. With the recent activity in London and Madrid, I am sure that rail police are probably required to investigate anyone photographing trains.

But I would think the laptop is what set this guy apart from the rest of the railfans. When terrorists are arrested sometimes pictures of potential targets with notes are found on laptop computers. Why would you need a laptop?

milepost 48.1
12-22-2005, 01:41 AM
Why would you need a laptop?

I used to carry around a laptop to keep my CF card from getting full, but I do understand that it looks waaaay suspicious.

I was stopped once by one of BNSF's rent-a-cops and the look on the guy's face when he saw the 'Phoenix Union High School District' sticker on the windshield was priceless. He still kept up with the Rambo demeanor though and threatened to call Sheriff Joe himself and have me sent to tent city. Apparently the sidewalk on one part of the street wasn't as public as the one on the other side....

Frederick
12-22-2005, 01:47 AM
Can't anyone do anything without it being considered 'suspicious?'

milepost 48.1
12-22-2005, 01:56 AM
Fast talking, funky walking; it's all suspicious. That's why I don't cut my fingernails or leave the house. Ever.

NicTrain35
12-22-2005, 02:05 AM
I wouldn't be offended by him running your dad's information through the computer, unless there is something to hide.
There's nothing to hide. It's just the cop was really rude about it. Of course, I didn't really have any part of what happened about the licence and laptop, since that was between the cop and my dad. I kind of listened in though.

NicTrain35
12-22-2005, 02:11 AM
The cop also took down my dad's social security number, which is a private matter, but trust me, we didn't have anything to hide. No history at all with the police.

signmasters
12-22-2005, 02:50 AM
I wouldn't be offended by him running your dad's information through the computer, unless there is something to hide.



As a former transit police officer, I can tell you that the departments recieve memo's almost daily from the federal goverment about potential terrorist activity. In two years we had a stack almost 2 inches high, and the memo's are no more than 1 or 2 pages each.

Some railfans, like the rejections here, take getting questioned personally. It is not that way. The M.O. of the terrorists is to photograph potential targets for the terrorists to study. With the recent activity in London and Madrid, I am sure that rail police are probably required to investigate anyone photographing trains.

But I would think the laptop is what set this guy apart from the rest of the railfans. When terrorists are arrested sometimes pictures of potential targets with notes are found on laptop computers. Why would you need a laptop? Just because you don't understand something dosen't make it wrong! I take a laptop each time I go railfaning, why 1. My GPS 2. My Diesels data base. 3. My trip log 4. With my cell phone or wireless internet 100% internet connection. 5. Download my pics from my camera, upload them to my mainframe at home as need, welcome to the next generation of railfans. 6. Webcam link home when need. etc. Railranning is a hobby you do it to have fun, to enjoy, if some transit police or rent a cop is going to tell you what you can take and what you can't take because he thinks you don't need it that don't work with me. A laptop don't make you a potential terrorist, just like a camera don't make you a railfan!

Ru1056
12-22-2005, 03:02 AM
There's nothing to hide. It's just the cop was really rude about it. Of course, I didn't really have any part of what happened about the licence and laptop, since that was between the cop and my dad. I kind of listened in though.

Not saying have done anything wrong, but it is usually policy to run everyone. Most people have nothing to hide, but better safe than sorry.

Ru1056
12-22-2005, 03:24 AM
Just because you don't understand something dosen't make it wrong! I take a laptop each time I go railfaning, why 1. My GPS 2. My Diesels data base. 3. My trip log 4. With my cell phone or wireless internet 100% internet connection. 5. Download my pics from my camera, upload them to my mainframe at home as need, welcome to the next generation of railfans. 6. Webcam link home when need. etc. Railranning is a hobby you do it to have fun, to enjoy, if some transit police or rent a cop is going to tell you what you can take and what you can't take because he thinks you don't need it that don't work with me. A laptop don't make you a potential terrorist, just like a camera don't make you a railfan!

Next generation railfanning is right. Whatever happened to just taking your camera?

Let me ask you this, if someone was sitting outside your home on a public street with a camera, laptop, GPS, and all the goodies you talked about, what would you think about that?

I am not knocking anybody for this hobby (I do it too), I don't have all of the gadets and gizmos that some of you do. But that is the way I railfan, different strokes for different folks.

I am not saying it is wrong to have a laptop, or any other things with you while you railfan. But you are taking a risk of making yourself look like more than a railfan. To most people, trains are nothing more than a nuisance, and to want to photograph trains probably rates about a 10 on most people's wierd-o-meter.

I am just trying to provide another side to this. Everybody thinks the local police, FBI, or whomever is out to get them because they railfan. That isn't the case. We are stopped and questioned because we are taking pictures of a possible terrorist target.

NicTrain35
12-22-2005, 05:19 AM
Not saying have done anything wrong, but it is usually policy to run everyone. Most people have nothing to hide, but better safe than sorry.
I understand 100% that it's a cop's job to check. I must have been getting a little greedy. :-D

hoydie17
12-22-2005, 03:49 PM
I've had many of threats about the FBI in my past. I'm not condoning a cavalier attitude about it, but usually if you indicate that you're not intimidated by them it will simmer down a situation quickly.

Many of these guys are counting on holding the emotional upper hand in these sort of encounters right from the get go. So they start by throwing the FBI card immediately to secure the high ground in the argument.

I had an NS agent promise me about a year ago with forwarding my info to the FBI. My response was one of, "Ok, I can give you a business card to send them too?"

After I said that, he de-pressurized a little bit, and that's when I explained that the FBI would just file this report in it's big gray circular file (Trash can) after they talked to me in person.

When the FBI agent called me at work to ask for details 4 months later, I explained to him what was going on, who I was, and the whole nine yards. We progressed into shop-talk and somehow got to discussing deer-hunting in NY. Ultimately, he wished me a Happy Thanksgiving and e-mailed his contact info for future reference.

The way I see it, the more times the FBI and the so-called Department of Homeland [in]Security talks to you, and they come up consistently that you're a railfan, they'll eventually quit trying to deal with it.

So do not be intimidated by the threats, accept them as part of the territory in this hobby.

Once again, I'm not suggesting complete arrogance or disobedience, if you're stopped by an officer of the law and you cannot definitively be certain that you're on public property, do what they say.

What I'm saying, is you need to have good situational awareness and know where you are and what your actions could be be interpreted as; anytime all the time.

Ignorance of the law does not excuse breaking it!

Sean

John M. Day
12-22-2005, 07:25 PM
In recent years I've made up business cards on a color printer with one of my favorite photos, my name and "Railway Photographer" on it; on the back is all my contact info. Anyone who asks "whaddya doin?" can have one, I've nothing to hide. It helps smooth things over quite a bit, although the last time I needed one I also had to produce some picture ID which was duly recorded by a nice policeman who was concerned about my photography of light rail trains in Salt Lake City, but who then said I was welcome to take any more pictures that I wanted and could refer any enquiries back to him.

I do find it sad, though, that I feel the need for such ID in the US and Canada while in my world wide travels to supposedly oppressed countries my activities are seldom questioned, and even then it is usually a thinly veiled attempt to lighten my wallet.

Ween
12-22-2005, 07:57 PM
I do find it sad, though, that I feel the need for such ID in the US and Canada while in my world wide travels to supposedly oppressed countries my activities are seldom questioned, and even then it is usually a thinly veiled attempt to lighten my wallet.

So you would rather be hustled out of money by some corrupt schmuck than produce an ID in the US or Canada? Odd...

busyEMT
12-22-2005, 09:06 PM
I do find it sad, though, that I feel the need for such ID in the US and Canada while in my world wide travels to supposedly oppressed countries my activities are seldom questioned, and even then it is usually a thinly veiled attempt to lighten my wallet.
Maybe that is because of all the cameras! Like London, just announced today was a computer database with the ability (and intent) on being able to track every vehicle on the road every minute of the day and will keep the record/video for months.

Or, like at MSP, they will be using the Israeli "behavior profiling" at the checkpoint. There may be no need to approach you in person elsewhere.

Ru1056
12-22-2005, 11:19 PM
I understand 100% that it's a cop's job to check. I must have been getting a little greedy. :-D

Maybe it was because you were railfanning in Gary Indiana? Was East St. Louis too crowded? :)

Slopes09
12-23-2005, 12:24 AM
There's nothing to hide. It's just the cop was really rude about it. Of course, I didn't really have any part of what happened about the licence and laptop, since that was between the cop and my dad. I kind of listened in though.
If you're not doing anything wrong and not giving an attitude, a cop really has no right to be rude or give you an attitude. If they persist, afterwards I'd call and talk to the person in charge and they'll generally be receptive. I know where I live, this has worked many a time. From what I've heard, from cops too, is that generally the ones that have the "cavalier" attitude are the new officers, who feel they have to "make a mark"/establish a reputation. Like I said, just talk to the person in charge, explain the situation, and you'll usually end up with an apology from the officer.

NicTrain35
12-23-2005, 12:42 AM
Maybe it was because you were railfanning in Gary Indiana?
Very possible. :-D

If you're not doing anything wrong and not giving an attitude, a cop really has no right to be rude or give you an attitude. If they persist, afterwards I'd call and talk to the person in charge and they'll generally be receptive. I know where I live, this has worked many a time. From what I've heard, from cops too, is that generally the ones that have the "cavalier" attitude are the new officers, who feel they have to "make a mark"/establish a reputation. Like I said, just talk to the person in charge, explain the situation, and you'll usually end up with an apology from the officer.
I'd try that but it was quite some time ago that it happened. If it happens again, I'll try that.

firegator
12-24-2005, 06:49 AM
Good points-- And a citizen has the right to ask for the officer's supervisor to come to the location-- Normally, that will deflate an enlarged ego-- If the officer refuses to call a supervisor, do not press the issue, as some of those guys are not wrapped too tight-- There are good cops, and some not so good cops out there-- You can always file a complaint later--
Regards, da Gator

busyEMT
12-24-2005, 03:17 PM
Next generation railfanning is right. Whatever happened to just taking your camera?I brought my laptop once. I hooked it up so that I could save space on my SD card. I ended up loosing 20 pictures in the transfer.


Let me ask you this, if someone was sitting outside your home on a public street with a camera, laptop, GPS, and all the goodies you talked about, what would you think about that? A map, scanner and extra cards are all I take.

signmasters
12-24-2005, 06:06 PM
I brought my laptop once. I hooked it up so that I could save space on my SD card. I ended up loosing 20 pictures in the transfer.


A map, scanner and extra cards are all I take.

Your pictures should still be on the SD card, if not there is a check box "Delete Photos after download" uncheck this box and you will never lose a photo again, you can check your hard drive than delete your SD card. I have down loaded 1000's of photo's and never lost one. But I feel you should go track side with whatever makes your trip fun, no matter what anyone else takes. When we moved from 35mm to digital how many said it would never work and look at us now. Just have FUN!<img>

Ween
12-24-2005, 06:19 PM
When we moved from 35mm to digital how many said it would never work

There are people who still say that. Of course, there are some people who still travel via horse and buggy...

signmasters
12-25-2005, 01:19 AM
Next generation railfanning is right. Whatever happened to just taking your camera?

Let me ask you this, if someone was sitting outside your home on a public street with a camera, laptop, GPS, and all the goodies you talked about, what would you think about that?

I am not knocking anybody for this hobby (I do it too), I don't have all of the gadets and gizmos that some of you do. But that is the way I railfan, different strokes for different folks.

I am not saying it is wrong to have a laptop, or any other things with you while you railfan. But you are taking a risk of making yourself look like more than a railfan. To most people, trains are nothing more than a nuisance, and to want to photograph trains probably rates about a 10 on most people's wierd-o-meter.

I am just trying to provide another side to this. Everybody thinks the local police, FBI, or whomever is out to get them because they railfan. That isn't the case. We are stopped and questioned because we are taking pictures of a possible terrorist target.

I don't see your point of someone standing out in the open along a track taking pictures and someone sitting outside your home, but I would take some coffee out see what neat stuff he (she) was using and see if I could learn anything, see I have nothing to hide and I love technology and I love to learn new things and meet new people. I found out you can't look through a viewfinder and over your shoulder (for the man) at the same time, I prefer the viewfinder. I do have two signs I use they are caution yellow in large letter that read, " CAUTION railfan hobbyist, photographing, video & recording please stay clear!" I have had police drive by many times very slowly and a few stop, I ask where is a good place to get lunch or my granddaughter needs a safe place to use a bathroom and they tell me and are gone. After 8 or 10 hours with a eight year old and she not ready to go home you know you have had a good day. Trains make it fun my toys keep it fun and the great people I meet add something special. God bless my granddaughter the greatest little railfan in the world. PS: I got her a laptop for Christmas. (I hope you don't think she is a terrorist).If it's not fun it's work, I like fun better. Have fun.

busyEMT
12-25-2005, 02:02 PM
Your pictures should still be on the SD card, if not there is a check box "Delete Photos after download" uncheck this box and you will never lose a photo again, you can check your hard drive than delete your SD card. I have down loaded 1000's of photo's and never lost one. But I feel you should go track side with whatever makes your trip fun, no matter what anyone else takes. When we moved from 35mm to digital how many said it would never work and look at us now. Just have FUN!<img>
This was over a year ago, and I had "cut-and-pasted" them to my hard drive. If I remember right, I heard a train coming and disconnected my USB cable to take shots. They are like a $10 bill to a junkie... long gone. So now, rather than worry about clearing cards in the field, I will just buy more cards to copy at home.

Now I have a card reader and only copy (not cut) each folder to the hard drive. I format the card next time I go out; thus ensuring I keep the photos.

" CAUTION railfan hobbyist, photographing, video & recording please stay clear!"This is a great offensive move. But I can see what 1056 is saying as well.

Picture it from a "non-railfan" point of view. Imagine a guy in downtown, sitting in his car for hours on end. Getting out frequently to photograph a building. You can see a video camera perched on his dash. You walk by the car on your way to lunch and see a laptop on the frontseat with other equipment. A scanner and phone are also visible. Unfortunately this photographer doesn't have a sign advertising that he is an architectural photographer and is getting different lighting shots throughout the day.

Hats off to you and your technological know-how. I found it cumbersome and more of a pain to drag the laptop out with me. But also, I didn't care to draw more attention to me.

signmasters
12-25-2005, 04:37 PM
This was over a year ago, and I had "cut-and-pasted" them to my hard drive. If I remember right, I heard a train coming and disconnected my USB cable to take shots. They are like a $10 bill to a junkie... long gone. So now, rather than worry about clearing cards in the field, I will just buy more cards to copy at home.

Now I have a card reader and only copy (not cut) each folder to the hard drive. I format the card next time I go out; thus ensuring I keep the photos.

This is a great offensive move. But I can see what 1056 is saying as well.

Picture it from a "non-railfan" point of view. Imagine a guy in downtown, sitting in his car for hours on end. Getting out frequently to photograph a building. You can see a video camera perched on his dash. You walk by the car on your way to lunch and see a laptop on the frontseat with other equipment. A scanner and phone are also visible. Unfortunately this photographer doesn't have a sign advertising that he is an architectural photographer and is getting different lighting shots throughout the day.

Hats off to you and your technological know-how. I found it cumbersome and more of a pain to drag the laptop out with me. But also, I didn't care to draw more attention to me.

Maybe that's why people think like they do about railfans why are you afraid of attention, I would give up 100 good shots to bring one new railfan aboard and I have done just that, "it's great fun for everyone" I pass out little cards with links to help get people get started. As far as the laptop whatever turns your crank, just have fun. There's two kind of railfans said best by two songs, one Ricky Nelson's "Garden Party" (showing my age here) and Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the wall". When I love something as much as I do nothing is to cumbersome I'll go the extra mile and have.There is time to do both, if we act like weirdo than guess what. Have a very Merry Christmas and keep railfanning fun.

Ken Carr
12-28-2005, 09:29 PM
From BNSF website:
Paragraph #5 may be of interest to some

BNSF On Guard Program Puts Safety First
2005-12-27
BNSF is committed to the safety of employees, the communities it serves, and the security of facilities and customers’ materials. In a post-Sept. 11, 2001, world, BNSF has fully cooperated with the Office of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of goods vital to this economy. As stated by the Resource Protection Solutions Team (RPST), "Safety is a shared responsibility."

As such, BNSF has a detailed security plan and has worked with employees to heighten awareness of possible security risks. An outgrowth of BNSF’s security efforts is the ON GUARD program, which launched in 2003. The program encourages employees and others to report suspicious behavior, security violations, trespassers or crimes in progress on BNSF property. To date, more than 200 reports of suspicious activity or persons have been reported through BNSF ON GUARD.

When contacting a suspicious person or trespasser, BNSF police officers will use the proper law enforcement procedures to gain information, including checking identification, asking questions, informing the person of potential safety dangers and, when necessary, appropriate follow-up with other local, state or federal agencies. Concerns will be elevated if the suspicious activity or trespasser is around a train or critical infrastructure.

"Our employees are vital to the overall security of BNSF," says John Clark, assistant vice president, RPST. "They can make the difference in a timely police response by reporting suspicious activity directly to our Resource Operations Command Center (ROCC)."

BNSF recognizes there are many railroad enthusiasts throughout the system who can be helpful in reporting security violations and suspicious activities. Next year, BNSF will launch a new program similar to the internal BNSF ON GUARD program to gain rail fan support as another layer in rail transportation security. More details of the program will be released in the future.

In the meantime, anyone who notices anything suspicious should call the Resource Operations Call Center at 1-800-832-5452. However, do not take action on your own if you spot a possible problem – call 1-800-832-5452. For more information about the ON GUARD program, go to the Resource Protection intranet site and click Protection Solutions.

BNSF Headquarters
BNSF Railway Company
2650 Lou Menk Dr. 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 961057
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0057
Phone: (817) 352-1000

Let's see where it goes..Ken

bnsfnut4924
01-27-2006, 10:04 AM
I don't think that most of the employees really care if railfans are by the track. I have a few examples. I was taking pictures of a passing train and two workers were walking toward me away from the rest of the workers. I thought they were going to ask me what i was doing, but the looked at me and walked over to a newly laid track. My second example was when i was taking pictures of a bnsf dash 9 that was waiting. i heard the engine start up, pull forward a little, uncouple and then stop. The conductor then walked from the rear of the locos and looked at me then went onboard the loco. He came out a few seconds later and asked me if i wanted to come aboard. He then offered me a ride to the back of the train to retrieve the EOTD on a parallel track. I think most the time railroad personel understand and sometimes might even reward you.

bnsf sammy
01-27-2006, 04:59 PM
I have a theory...do Railroad police, station secerity gaurds, etc. get to pick where they patrol? If so, wouldn't it be logical that if you were given the choice of where to patrol, and you chose the train tracks, wouldn't you like trains? And the enginers and conducters pretty much have to like trains, otherwise why would they work for the railroad? Maybe the railroad employees don't care as much because they have something in common with us; we both like trains. Maybe if the secerity gaurds do not get to pick where they partrol, and are just assigned, maybe they don't give a hoot about trains or this "hobby", all they care about is just making the station safe. To me, taking pictures of trains is safe.

Wonka001
02-03-2006, 02:53 AM
The only time I've been confronted by any kind of law enforcement was when I was getting some shots of a train leaving from the downtown SLC area, My car was parked on a dead end road where there was no reason for any traffic. The Local Police man was checking my car when I walked back to it, all he was doing was making sure my car wasn't listed as stolen. It is nice to know that local law enforcement is keeping an eye out for anything suspicious even if it is just me. He also noticed that my radio was missing (I took it out to put it in my truck). Kudos to the Local law.

BNSF_SD40-2B
02-03-2006, 04:04 AM
I've only been confronted once..........by the UP police. I was in Rochelle and I was walking to the Depot and he was waiting there for me, and gave me a warning and not a ticket. He said I was too close to the tracks, like heck I was :mad: . Anyway the other to places I watch trains havn't been a problem. One place is on the edge of town where it's impossible for the Police to see me. The other location is in a train yard, there is a Police gas station nearby and the Police are in and out all the time, they drive by us all the time, they know who we are and why we're there so they don't bother us.

lucky77
03-11-2006, 04:12 AM
I don't have a laptop (yet), but I used to bring my PDA with me when I was out waiting for trains. Worked very well for editing code for the big transfer of my website from a free site to my own domain last year. Too bad it's not working right anymore... :cry:

I think having a laptop with wireless access would be cool, not only for railfans but photographers in general, just imagine being able to post photos instantly from trackside or wherever you're vacationing! Someday...

jaanfo
03-11-2006, 04:20 AM
My boss got a card for his laptop through his cell phone provider... it's about DSL speed, faster then dial up and slower then cable, but works anywhere. When I finally get my cell replaced I'll inquire about one for me as well