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SD70MAC
02-17-2006, 02:28 AM
Amtrak:
Another rail photographer victimized in security hysteria frenzy

Despite the recent commendable action by New Jersey Transit to back
off its effort to criminalize railway photography (see New Jersey:
Major victory in effort to resist criminalization of railway
photography), the "terrorism" hysteria engulfing the USA continues
to prompt transit and law-enforcement authorities to target and
harass innocent railway and transit photographers the leading edge
of a national and even worldwide drive to criminalize
such "unauthorized" photography.

Virtually every segment of public transportation is being affected,
with examples continuing to come to our attention. One would think
that Amtrak's intercity rail passenger service carrying a
relatively high proportion of photo-snapping tourists would be
immune from the hysteria infection. But, alas, as the following
incident from last August (2005) suggests, such is not the case.
James Craig Bourgeois of Houston, Texas provides this description of
his (almost "worst-case-scenario") experience:

My biggest fear, in recounting what happened to me August 19, 2005
in New Orleans, is that people will have a very difficult time
believing me. I am sure some folks will be sure I am embellishing
the facts, exaggerating, or outright lying. None of this is the
case. Everything I state here happened as I say it.

I am a 60-year-old, recently retired pharmaceutical rep, with three
grown sons. I have a particular fondness for trains, and riding on
Amtrak. Friday morning, August 19, I departed Houston on the Sunset
Limited, bound for Pensacola, Florida for a short vacation. The
train had a layover of several hours in New Orleans, so I thought I
would kill some time taking photographs of the terminal and Amtrak
facilities. I had taken a lot of photographs along the way, and I
have started a photographic album intended to document the Sunset
Limited all the way across Louisiana. There is no way to know how
much longer Amtrak will run this train.

It is important to know that there are no signs on the platform
forbidding passengers from walking down the platform into the area
beyond where the lead engine would be, and no signs that prohibit
passengers from taking photographs. There are "No Trespassing" signs
on the gate to the Amtrak maintenance facility, on Earhart, but they
are not visible on the platform.

Two female Amtrak employees drove by and asked me what I was doing.
I said I was taking photographs, and that rail photography was a
hobby of mine. They admonished me to "watch out for the Amtrak
police." I did not take that warning seriously, because I was not
doing anything wrong. I joked that maybe "they would beat me up, so
I could file a multi-million dollar lawsuit." That, being an idea so
ridiculous, anyone would know it was meant in a humorous vein.

I walked a little further down where I encountered a young guy, who
was also an Amtrak employee. He inquired as to why I was
photographing the switcher, and I explained to him that I was just a
railfan, and I wanted photos of the Amtrak equipment. I asked if I
could walk further down the platform to take a couple more
photographs. He said he preferred I wait until he could get someone
to accompany me down there. I said "fine", and I waited.

By then the two female employees had returned and we were all
standing around talking and waiting for whoever was supposed to come
to see about my request. After a while an Amtrak policeman arrived.
I figured he would say I could, or I could not go further down the
platform.

When he got out of his car, I could see he was already in a highly
excited and agitated state. He was not in the mood to dialogue. He
explained I was trespassing on private property (remember, no
signs), and was not supposed to be taking photos. I was not about to
argue with him, or be the least bit confrontational, knowing the
reputation of New Orleans police, but this was an Amtrak policeman,
and I was an Amtrak passenger. I merely inquired if this was not
public property, since Amtrak is a publicly supported entity. At
that he told me to turn around, and he handcuffed me.

I naturally protested that I had done nothing wrong. But he was
determined to handle things the way he had, I believe, decided to
handle them before he ever showed up. He took me up to his office,
and contacted someone, who I assume was his superior. He gave the
person an embellished, and almost completely false account of what
happened. For instance, he stated I had said, "This is public
property, and I can be here if I want to be."

I begged the policeman not to take me off the train, but he
continued to repeat that I was "going to jail." I really got upset
at this point and insisted he let me talk to someone in the Amtrak
office. After asking him over and over to let me speak with someone,
he finally put an agent on the phone. I told the agent at the
terminal I had done nothing wrong, and to please come get me out of
this mess. The agent said he could not override the policeman, and
generally conveyed the attitude that he did not give a damn what my
predicament was.

The policeman ran my ID, and, of course, it came back that I had
never been arrested, and that I had no criminal record. He was
unfazed by that information, and instructed the agent to remove my
bag from the sleeper room I had occupied. In the stress of the
moment I forgot about my large hanging bag that was in the lower
level rack. It made it to Orlando, and I will get it back this week.

As we were driving out of the terminal area, on the way to the
Orleans Parish Prison, he pointed out the "No Trespassing" sign on
the chain link gate, which is not visible to any passenger on the
platform of the terminal. Upon arrival at the jail, I was processed
in, and at that point the Amtrak officer committed a gross violation
of procedure, by keeping my wallet, camera, and a pocket knife that
the jailer had taken out of my pocket. This was to have major
ramifications, later, when I finally had the opportunity to bail
myself out of the facility.

He had also erased certain photographs in my digital camera, while
up in his office, a violation of my civil liberties. While waiting
for him to show up I had photographed two A-10's that were flying
over. He wanted to know why I had photographed the A-10's. I
responded, "Because I'm a pilot." I do hold a private pilot's
license, but my response seemed to stun him slightly, and he moved
on.

The Orleans Parish Prison is one of the worst jails in the country.
The jailers there treat all inmates with contempt [and] disdain, and
do everything they can to make you feel there is no light at the end
of tunnel. My charge, incidentally, was criminal trespass.

You cannot bond out until you are "processed." For hours I watched
other inmates come and go, while my name was never called. Earlier,
in an odd difference in procedure, the watch captain said, "O.K.
Bourgeois, go to that window." I thought I had it made, but when I
got there, the first thing they wanted was a photo I.D. Too bad, it
was in my bag at the Amtrak police office. So, I had to be put
through a nationwide fingerprint search, which added more time to my
stay.

I went in the jail at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, slept (what little I
could) on the concrete jail floor, instead of the viewliner bed I
had on the Sunset Limited, and at four o'clock Saturday afternoon I
was still in jail. I could have been out at 11 a.m. of the same day,
but with no money, or debit card (remember, they were taken from
me) I could not bond out. So, along with about 60 other inmates, I
was put in the orange suit and moved to the big prison, with the big
cell block, just like you see in the movies.

By the grace of God I had done one thing right. I had managed to get
a phone book and write down the number of my cousin, who lives in
New Orleans. All phone calls out had to be collect, and you had to
have the number. I can remember exactly two phone numbers in my
head, one being [that of] my brother who lives in Lake Charles. I
was finally able to get in touch with my sister-in-law, and she made
numerous phone calls for me; most importantly to my friends in
Pensacola, who by now, were frantic. Not to mention my youngest son,
who lives here in Houston, who was sent into a tailspin. My cousin,
who had been gone when I first called, was home now, and around 6
p.m., she came down and paid my bond. In the manner of doing things
at the Orleans Parish Prison, I walked out of the jail at 12:30 a.m.
Sunday morning. I recovered my belongings the next day at the
terminal.

My vacation I had looked forward to was destroyed. My friends and
family had been traumatized, as [you only] can be when you cannot
account for the whereabouts of someone.

The lasting psychological effect of this is hard to predict. I have
been quite depressed since I came home. The overwhelming fact is, I
committed no crime. You cannot arrest someone for trespassing, when
there is not even a sign saying "no trespassing," and you cannot
arrest someone for taking photographs.

The entire amount of time that the officer spent with me on the
platform could not have been over one minute. What motivated him to
arrest me, when he could have easily said, "You cannot be here go
back to the train," I cannot say. What really bothers me is he
obviously felt he could get away with this gross example of false
arrest, and deprivation of civil liberties.

Continued->>

SD70MAC
02-17-2006, 02:30 AM
That points to something rotten in the system, itself. Combine that
with the total disregard of my welfare by the Amtrak agent, and
there is ample room for an investigation, and action to be taken.
The officer should be terminated, for sure, and following him out
the door should be the agent. The officer's superior who allowed him
to perpetrate this outrage, should also have to answer.

There is no stone I will leave unturned to get justice for this. As
I sat in jail my most consistent thought, after "I have to get out
of here," was "I have to make this count for something." This should
never happen to anyone, again.

bnsf sammy
02-17-2006, 02:43 AM
God darnet, this just makes me so mad as why people who work for the railroad should get so cruel to us railfans! :mad: I just don't get it! Is there anything we [railfans united] can do about this?

fuente1
02-17-2006, 02:49 AM
Very interesting. I have taken photos of Amtrak trains for over a year and the only reactions I ever get are a wave or a one fingered wave from the crew. Guess folks are railfanning in the wrong places.

cmherndon
02-17-2006, 02:57 AM
Excellent PR Amtrak has going on there. As if their image isn't bad enough already. They could always tout it as the "Ultimate Rail Travel Experience." That's right...Ride Amtrak. See the country. Arrive late. Get arrested. Derail. I think we have a winner!

fuente1
02-17-2006, 02:59 AM
Excellent PR Amtrak has going on there. As if their image isn't bad enough already. They could always tout it as the "Ultimate Rail Travel Experience." That's right...Ride Amtrak. See the country. Arrive late. Get arrested. Derail. I think we have a winner!

hehehhehe....Id rather get the bird than get arrested anyday! I think folks cross lines when this type of story surfaces.

golden_spike
02-17-2006, 01:45 PM
I think from now on ill just ride freights around the country. No rude people to deal with, better food to be found in trackside dumpsters, probably faster and more comfortable, and about the same chance of getting arrested...

Ween
02-17-2006, 04:50 PM
My biggest fear, in recounting what happened to me August 19, 2005
in New Orleans, is that people will have a very difficult time
believing me. I am sure some folks will be sure I am embellishing
the facts, exaggerating, or outright lying. None of this is the
case.

Is it just me or does this sound similar to:

Dear Penthouse,
I never thought it could happen to me, but...

I'm sorry, but I don't believe this guy's story. This looks like an attention-grab and nothing more...

dodi4200
02-17-2006, 05:05 PM
im really donot know what i can say about these situations that happened to the railfans.afriend of me working as adriver assistant told me that how any country arrest someone that take pix of something avaliable for all of the people in the country?how can they say no photographing of trains and trains runs everywhere in the countries and people see it all the time.

busyEMT
02-17-2006, 05:52 PM
I have read this somewhere in the last few months. Is this from a blog? A book? Oprah's Book of the Month selection?

ADD:Puts to shame their attempt at a calendar (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Copy/News_Release_Page&c=am2Copy&cid=1093553991403&ssid=180)

SAFETY FIRST!

Amtrak reminds the public and especially those who may photograph a train to stay out of danger. It is very important to stay away from tracks, moving trains, yards, railroad structures (such as bridges, trestles, towers and wires) and the railroad right-of-way. Photographers must not trespass on railroad property or on private property adjacent to the railroad. Instead, stay in public access areas, such as stations, sidewalks or parking lots. All participants agree to assume the risk of harm and release Amtrak from all liability for personal injury and loss of property. Photographers are reminded that railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and that trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Some stations served by Amtrak trains require advance permission for photography. Always obey all local rules and laws.

Emphasis added by me.

It isn't in the story, but what was the fine? Per LA state law:

http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78584

4. CRIMINAL TRESPASS

63. Criminal trespass...

C. No person shall remain in or upon property, movable or immovable, owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization. Wouldn't a ticket on that train be express if not implied authorization?

G. The following penalties shall be imposed for a violation of this Section:

(1) For the first offense, the fine shall be not less than one hundred dollars and not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both. He must have been a real bugger to be tossed in the klink. I think this would really have been a tag and release situation.

Wade H. Massie
02-17-2006, 07:00 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't believe this guy's story. This looks like an attention-grab and nothing more...

I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is in fact a true story. I've been handcuffed and interrogated for standing on a public sidewalk with a camera. In a separate incident an FBI agent showed up at my house to question me about why I was taking pictures (again from a public location).

fuente1
02-17-2006, 07:17 PM
Is it just me or does this sound similar to:



I'm sorry, but I don't believe this guy's story. This looks like an attention-grab and nothing more...

I am with you on this one Ween.

LAHDPOP
02-18-2006, 02:13 PM
I've always had great luck with cops, and RR cops in particular. I haven't had a situation yet, I don't think, that didn't end with name exchanges, hand shakes, and friendly smiles. A professional, cooperative, positive attitude goes a LONG way when dealing with such incidents.

That being said, two things jump out at me about this situation:

1) The photographer made some kind of comment about Amtrak being publicly owned, and him being on public property. His version and the cop's version differ, but he obviously made some kind of comment about his right to be there. That's never a good idea. Whether you're right or not, it comes off sounding defiant to a cop, and puts them on the defensive. Things don't get better from there.

2) He was in New Orleans. I have lots of experience with authorities in New Orleans. They can be very, very rude. They can also be very tolerant. Instant cooperation is a key factor in how a situation develops there. If he came off as arrogant to a New Orleans cop and/or RR cop, I can see the situation playing out exactly as he described.

So basically, I see it as probably being the photographer's fault (obviously I can't know for sure what went on). He agrees he made some sort of comment about his right to be there. From my experience with cops, and New Orleans cops in particular, that was a bad move. It's confrontational, and sets the tone for the whole encounter to go sour.

fuente1
02-18-2006, 04:05 PM
Bret I agree with you as well. I have some formal training in law enforcement and a cooperative attitude goes a LONG WAY. Folks need to remember that the police are only doing their jobs and rail security is an issue in the US. Photographers must abide by all rules and regulations. Most cops have hobbies just like we do and all the cops I have seen respect the hobby.

bnsf sammy
02-18-2006, 05:27 PM
Folks need to remember that the police are only doing their jobs and rail security is an issue in the US. Why is it an issue? I would think that airplane security would be way higher on the list, and has the US had any terriorist type rail accidents?

cmherndon
02-18-2006, 05:58 PM
Folks need to remember that the police are only doing their jobs and rail security is an issue in the US.

That they do. I was actually questioned back in September while shooting the CSX around Corbin. This was due to the fact that my friend and I were in an area that was well known for drug deals (we were unaware of that at the time). However, we cooperated with the officers and everything went smoothly. I think the problem is that people freak out anytime the law is involved.

Why is it an issue? I would think that airplane security would be way higher on the list, and has the US had any terriorist type rail accidents?

There was that Amtrak derailment in Arizona about 10 years ago, but I'm not really sure what became of that. However, railroads are targets for terrorist activity due to their importance in commerce and the large amount of hazmat that's being transported via rail. There's not been a large scale terrorist related derailment in the US, and I'm sure all of us would like to keep it that way.

fuente1
02-18-2006, 06:05 PM
There was that Amtrak derailment in Arizona about 10 years ago, but I'm not really sure what became of that. However, railroads are targets for terrorist activity due to their importance in commerce and the large amount of hazmat that's being transported via rail. There's not been a large scale terrorist related derailment in the US, and I'm sure all of us would like to keep it that way.

While Amtrak has human cargo, the main concern is hazmat shipments. The number of hazmat shipments via rail on a daily basis is staggering. Sure air is tightly watched, but rail is alot more accessible and carries far more hazmats than air. Next time you see a train go by look at the placards on the tank cars and you will see what I am talking about. Anyone recall the CSX hazmat accident in Baltimore a few years ago? The Amtrak derailment in Arizona if I remember correctly was caused by teenagers sabotaging a switch, while bad, imagine the mess had it been a tank train.

dodi4200
02-18-2006, 06:40 PM
However, railroads are targets for terrorist activity due to their importance in commerce and the large amount of hazmat that's being transported via rail. There's not been a large scale terrorist related derailment in the US, and I'm sure all of us would like to keep it that way.
i agree with you caleb also i wann to add that the railroads are atarget all over the world and i consider it the backbone of the economy of any country.
and also we shouldnot forget the explosions that happened in the trains of MADRID in SPAIN. i hope that nothing like this happen again.

Ween
02-19-2006, 04:42 AM
Why is it an issue? I would think that airplane security would be way higher on the list, and has the US had any terriorist type rail accidents?

Are you serious?!?!? Have you forgotten about the Spain and London train bombings that occured over the past year? It doesn't matter that it hasn't happened in the US; trains are a soft (read: easy) target.

bnsf sammy
02-19-2006, 05:20 AM
Ween, I was specifically referring to US related passenger trains, however you make a good point regarding trains are an easy target, especially freights when they are carrying all that hazmat.

fuente1
02-19-2006, 06:08 AM
Are you serious?!?!? Have you forgotten about the Spain and London train bombings that occured over the past year? It doesn't matter that it hasn't happened in the US; trains are a soft (read: easy) target.


Amtrak is a worry, but Im more concerned with the large amaount of hazmats on board trains today. They make a real easy target and can do a heck of a lot of damage.

Frederick
02-19-2006, 06:06 PM
Not really. Contrary to popular belief, rail is by far the safest way to transport dangerous chemicals.

Pat Lorenz
02-19-2006, 09:13 PM
I am with agreeance on this subject matter with most people. I think that this story is a fake, just something to get us all ri'led up about. I really dont care even if it is a real story anyways. But to me it seems weird that they took the guy to a prison, not just a police station or even the amtrak office. They made the guy suit up in the orange suit as well. That only happens after a trail.

That in it self says a fake. Plus Amtrak personnal are usually used to handling these kind of people. Thats why many people take Amtrak not becuase of the transportation but because of the expeiriance and the trains.

Also, why didnt the other employees say something, not stick up for the guy but mabey say something like, "he only wanted a picture".

Whatever, at first when i read this i was pissed but after i gave it some thought i figured it was a fake story.

All the cops and security i have ever ran into just was wondering what i was up to. A soon as they looked at my car and saw all the train stuff they figured i was legit. I have only been kicked off the railroad once out of 10 different confintations in 5 years. I hope i dont have any like this.

I try and educate the police about our hobby, rather then just argue or look stupid. I pull out the magizines and show them what we do. Plus it helps to have a huge lens!

fuente1
02-19-2006, 11:10 PM
Not really. Contrary to popular belief, rail is by far the safest way to transport dangerous chemicals.

I agree it is as well, however, it has the potential to be diasterous. Think about it like this.....is a terrorist going to try to target a truck on the interstate, where one load is present, or target a train with an endless supply of loads on it? You do the math.

Joe the Photog
02-22-2006, 04:31 PM
IThey made the guy suit up in the orange suit as well. That only happens after a trail.

Don't ask me how I kow this. But let's say I have it on good authority that in at least some states, once you get arrested and booked, you don the orange jumpsuit and get tossed behind bars.


Joe

Joe the Photog
02-22-2006, 04:42 PM
I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is in fact a true story. I've been handcuffed and interrogated for standing on a public sidewalk with a camera. In a separate incident an FBI agent showed up at my house to question me about why I was taking pictures (again from a public location).

I agree with Wade at least to the point that unless that is evidence this didn't happen, I am certainly willing to believe that it could have happened. I've luckily never been handcuffed and never had my images deleted, but I have been subjected to some really dumb ass cops who don't understand that taking a photograph of a train is actiually legal in this country. (Before anyone jumps on this comment, most by far of theLEOs I come in contact with through my hobby or myjob are great.


Joe

trainmonster
02-22-2006, 06:10 PM
All the cops and security i have ever ran into just was wondering what i was up to. A soon as they looked at my car and saw all the train stuff they figured i was legit. I have only been kicked off the railroad once out of 10 different confintations in 5 years. I hope i dont have any like this.

I try and educate the police about our hobby, rather then just argue or look stupid. I pull out the magizines and show them what we do. Plus it helps to have a huge lens!

The encounters I've had are usually something like, "you're taking pictures of TRAINS?!" Cops I've run into have no education about the hobby at all. Last time I got checked was in Sunbury (Pa.) and they were professional enough but did the whole run my ID thing.

I think they relaxed when I exhibited good knowledge of the local operation. ("...well, I'm waiting for 12R and he cleared Rockville bridge about an hour ago so he'll be here pretty soon and there's a southbound at MP 742 waiting so I wanna get a shot of him in good lighting blah blah blah..." They probably figured I was just a nut (probably right! :lol: and left.

However, back in the 70's I had an encounter with a Penn Central cop who was a real psychopath, certifiable. Trying to tell us it was illegal to watch trains.

I think if I had any more trouble around here I'd see if the local paper wanted to do a railfan story, not to hassle L.E. but to educate everyone.

Rich

David Telesha
02-23-2006, 04:32 AM
Today there was 4 of us and 2 cars pulled way off the road waiting for a train near a crossing.

These schmucks in a delivery trucks pull up and say:

"Do you guys need help or a hand with anything?"

We were like "Um, no."

Then the moron says:

"What are you gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I heard him but I said "What?"

He said it again "Whatcha gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I gave him a "WTF" look and said "No..."

They drove off.......

I'm like; First, I'm on a public road, I don't have to explain anything to some guy in a truck.

Second, WTF would 4 of us with cameras, scanners and RR hats be doing other than talking pictures? Did we look like we were gonna commit suicide?

I mean how fricken dumb and nosey can you get?

Point Images
02-24-2006, 05:08 AM
Parts of this story likely are true. A pair of A-10's often fly low over the city, and other details would indicate the story is at least based on being in the NOUPT. How much else is true is another story. "If" this guy got treated as described, which is difficult to belive, it is even more difficult to believe he was not bringing some of this upon himself.

If you get off a train at NOUPT, odds are no signs will be in sight telling you not to wander or take photographs. If some Amtrak workers give you a warning about the police - I'd take that as a "sign" to stop or go get permission. Entering the station from the street side, there are the typical passengers only and restricted area signs and anyone walking toward the platforms with a camera in hand will get notice, if not questioned. Even pre- 9/11, getting permission from Amtrak to take photographs was getting to be the norm. I suppose the hard-line at the station is ironic given what can be photographed in the French Quarter that would get you in jail in most other cities.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Ween
02-24-2006, 10:53 AM
These schmucks in a delivery trucks pull up and say:

"Do you guys need help or a hand with anything?" Yeah, God forbid anyone stopping and actually offering to help someone who they thought might be in need of it...

David Telesha
02-24-2006, 05:13 PM
Yeah, God forbid anyone stopping and actually offering to help someone who they thought might be in need of it...

Ween,

I know you're not blind. Did you miss this part?

"What are you gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I heard him but I said "What?"

He said it again "Whatcha gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I mean a few guys standing around talking, telling jokes, and laughing, need help from two dopes in a delivery truck?

They were not asking if we needed physical help, they were being smart-asses asking if we needed mental help.. As in we were wasting our time and should've been in a bar with them...

Maybe you had to be there....

ccaranna
02-24-2006, 08:49 PM
Ween,

I know you're not blind. Did you miss this part?


I mean a few guys standing around talking, telling jokes, and laughing, need help from two dopes in a delivery truck?

They were not asking if we needed physical help, they were being smart-asses asking if we needed mental help.. As in we were wasting our time and should've been in a bar with them...

Maybe you had to be there....

I'm agreeing with Ween on this one-

My bet is the "morons" in question were probably just being friendly until they were overcome with glaring looks accompanied by coarse attitude. In the future, wave, smile, and mutter the "WTF, leave me alone" under your breath. Let's try to keep public opinion of railfans a positive one, please...

David Telesha
02-25-2006, 12:31 AM
Really, you had to be there... They weren't just being friendly - if they were, I wouldn't have had a problem.

Also, I didn't say anything except "What" to his "are you gonna jump in front of the train?" comment and then "No.".

Now as for being friendly and positive, I have to be one of the most helpful suckers around.

Everytime I hang around a station I end up helping someone with the schedule, which platform to be on, etc. etc. - I don't mind one bit.

I don't mind explaining railfanning either - I welcome that especially...

But it doesn't help when the person isn't interested and is just trying to be a smart-aleck.

cmherndon
02-25-2006, 01:19 AM
But it doesn't help when the person isn't interested and is just trying to be a smart-aleck.

Get used to it. It'll happen more often.

fuente1
02-26-2006, 04:23 AM
I find all of this funny, as today we railfanned WITH the Police Department here. Seems they are railfans as well. Just goes to show ya cops are not on earth to cause trouble and its all about how you talk to them. I guess living in the South does have its advantages, folks are friendly down here!

Joe the Photog
02-26-2006, 06:02 PM
These are places I have had run-ins with LEOs while doing nothing more than taking photographs of trains --

Spartanburg, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Monroe, North Carolina
Waxhaw, North Carolina

The Spartanburg and Monroe incidents appeared to be heading for a real bad place, but the CEOs relented. Mind you, this is the south we're talking about.


Joe

milepost 48.1
02-26-2006, 08:06 PM
The Amtrak derailment in Arizona if I remember correctly was caused by teenagers sabotaging a switch, while bad, imagine the mess had it been a tank train.

The 9/95 Sunset Ltd. accident wasn't teenagers. Someone removed a track joint but used a wire to keep the electrical current flowing to keep the signals showing green. It was pretty professional and still remains unsolved, and is listed as one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism. There's much more to this (someone, I think an Amtrak employee, committed suicide over the whole thing) but it really starts to play out like a James Bond movie so I won't go into it here.

fuente1
02-27-2006, 03:22 AM
These are places I have had run-ins with LEOs while doing nothing more than taking photographs of trains --

Spartanburg, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Monroe, North Carolina
Waxhaw, North Carolina

The Spartanburg and Monroe incidents appeared to be heading for a real bad place, but the CEOs relented. Mind you, this is the south we're talking about.


Joe


Interesting, sorry to hear ya have trouble down there. I will avoid those areas.

Joe the Photog
02-27-2006, 12:50 PM
I wasn't suggesting anyone avoid these areas. In fact, esp. with Rock Hill, Waxhaw and Monroe, as much as I'm there, it was bound to happen at some point. Just remember to always be on your guard because someone somewhere will eventually call you in and an LEO will respond. And sometimes that LEO -- SOMETIMES, mind you, not all the time -- will not be the brightest bulb in the box.


Joe

fuente1
02-28-2006, 12:49 AM
I wasn't suggesting anyone avoid these areas. In fact, esp. with Rock Hill, Waxhaw and Monroe, as much as I'm there, it was bound to happen at some point. Just remember to always be on your guard because someone somewhere will eventually call you in and an LEO will respond. And sometimes that LEO -- SOMETIMES, mind you, not all the time -- will not be the brightest bulb in the box.


Joe

I hear ya Joe, I just prefer to not have to deal with LEO's. Ill have to make it down to RH, W, & Monroe one day, what is that CSX down there?

NSFan14
03-09-2006, 06:37 PM
I think from now on ill just ride freights around the country. No rude people to deal with, better food to be found in trackside dumpsters, probably faster and more comfortable, and about the same chance of getting arrested...
HAHAHA Thats Is so funny But its true.

firegator
03-14-2006, 07:24 AM
Ah, so true-- I've been following these posts, and being a retired LEO, I've tried to help folks understand why LEOs do what they do, but no more-- I've had to wonder at the ignorance of some of these officers-- Isn't this 2006? I mean come on, where are these people hiding? Aren't they getting any training at all? Certainly none, on day to day public relations--
Well guess what? Last week in South Texas, I had the opportunity to meet, in person, a real, live, walking, talking, rectal orifice-- Yup, he had a badge and a gun-- Made Barney Fife look like Joe Friday--
According to him, I was violating "The National Defense Law!" ??? Yes I was taking photos of trains, from the public roadway, parked legally-- Said he would arrest me if I didn't leave-- I started to leave, but he called me back and asked for ID, and told me to sit in the rear of my explorer (the hatch was opened)-- He saw my tripod case and asked me what it was-- When I told him, he asked me what it was for :shock: -- I reached for it to show him, he grabbed his gun, telling me to put my hands up-- Satisfied it was not a gun after his inspection, he told me to sit down again while he ran my ID--
He came back, returning my ID and telling me to leave, again-- Said he would arrest me if he saw me taking pictures again-- I took a chance, and told him to do what he had to, that I was on public property, and I wanted to see a real cop--
He got all red in the face and began shaking-- It was obvious he wanted to escalate the incident, but I didn't move or say anything-- Finally, he told me to leave-- He turned his back to me and walked back to his car--
This mental midget did not bother to check either my license plate or registration-- Nor did he look at the towel laying next to me, under which was my Glock .45, cocked and locked--
The point I'm trying to make here is that a guy carrying a badge and gun, who has a shoe size higher than his IQ, is dangerous-- Do not, under any circumstances, provoke or argue with one of these morons-- None of us know anything about his level of training, professionalism, or mentality-- Like my grandpa always said: "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit"--Sorry this was so long, but thought it important to share-- Best regards, da Gator

socalrailfan
03-21-2006, 02:56 PM
Man I'm sure glad I live on the westcoast!

Slopes09
03-21-2006, 11:06 PM
Ah, so true-- I've been following these posts, and being a retired LEO, I've tried to help folks understand why LEOs do what they do, but no more-- I've had to wonder at the ignorance of some of these officers-- Isn't this 2006? I mean come on, where are these people hiding? Aren't they getting any training at all? Certainly none, on day to day public relations--
Well guess what? Last week in South Texas, I had the opportunity to meet, in person, a real, live, walking, talking, rectal orifice-- Yup, he had a badge and a gun-- Made Barney Fife look like Joe Friday--
According to him, I was violating "The National Defense Law!" ??? Yes I was taking photos of trains, from the public roadway, parked legally-- Said he would arrest me if I didn't leave-- I started to leave, but he called me back and asked for ID, and told me to sit in the rear of my explorer (the hatch was opened)-- He saw my tripod case and asked me what it was-- When I told him, he asked me what it was for :shock: -- I reached for it to show him, he grabbed his gun, telling me to put my hands up-- Satisfied it was not a gun after his inspection, he told me to sit down again while he ran my ID--
He came back, returning my ID and telling me to leave, again-- Said he would arrest me if he saw me taking pictures again-- I took a chance, and told him to do what he had to, that I was on public property, and I wanted to see a real cop--
He got all red in the face and began shaking-- It was obvious he wanted to escalate the incident, but I didn't move or say anything-- Finally, he told me to leave-- He turned his back to me and walked back to his car--
This mental midget did not bother to check either my license plate or registration-- Nor did he look at the towel laying next to me, under which was my Glock .45, cocked and locked--
The point I'm trying to make here is that a guy carrying a badge and gun, who has a shoe size higher than his IQ, is dangerous-- Do not, under any circumstances, provoke or argue with one of these morons-- None of us know anything about his level of training, professionalism, or mentality-- Like my grandpa always said: "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit"--Sorry this was so long, but thought it important to share-- Best regards, da Gator

Yikes, definately would not want to deal with that officer. Did you at least call and talk to the police chief from that area? What he was doing practically constitutes harrassment.

firegator
03-23-2006, 02:00 AM
Interestingly enough, I have returned to South Texas due to a death in the family-- I checked up on who this yo-yo worked for, and discovered he is a constable employed by a county-- Although he is a legally constituted peace officer, his primary function is a paper server-- He was properly beefed(a cop term for having a complaint filed)-- He was not on duty, but the official I visited with said action would be taken-- The constable down here is an elected position-- I received a smile, an apology, and a hand shake, so we'll see what happens-- Keep smilin' and snappin'-- :-)
Best regards, da Gator

Slopes09
03-23-2006, 02:36 AM
Just continues my theory that most of the trouble railfans and others get from cops is from the rookies who want to prove that they have "the stuff" or from people who think they are cops(aka rent-a-cops and this guy).