View Full Version : Here's another thing to get harassed about.

03-09-2004, 09:26 AM
Alright people. We all know that there is the potential to get harrased by unfriendly RR employees and RR cops. Also questioned by local cops because we might be terrorists. But here is a new one for me. I went out Sunday to pick up a few shots in the town that I live near. I had heard the NS dispatcher lineing up a couple of west bounds. So i headed out. When I got to the location I set up and waited and watched the block signal just ahead of me get knocked down to red. As I got ready the dispatcher called them to stop and check their train for a bad order car. They had to set it out and while I was waiting I moved around some and was looking at some different angles from where I was at. While I was waiting this woman pulled up in a minivan and asked me what I was taking pictures of. I told her trains. The way she replied I could tell she didn't belive me, and she said"Trains? their ain't no trains around here." and I tried to tell her that there was one that I was across the river from where I was and coming this way. Then she said that she lived around there and had kids and had seen me taking pictures. Course what she actually saw was me framing up my shot and seeing what kind shutter speed I was getting. But she drove off and a few minutes later I saw her sneak around a house on the other side of the tracks from where I was at and take a picture of me sitting in my jeep. I was seriously tempted to flip her a bird then, but I choose to remain civil. What p***ed me off the most was the fact that she implied that I was some kind of threat to her kids :x . I stayed a little while longer but a storm had blown in and my light was shot. Also it started raining. Fortunatly before she showed up the train i was waiting for pulled up to me and then reversed past me so I got two opertunities to shot it, once on a tele and the other at a wide angle.


Chris Starnes
03-10-2004, 01:17 AM
I wouldn't worry about it Robert.

She is just wanting to be noisy (typical woman?).

Keep some RR magazines in your car, maybe print off a few photos and keep them with you as well in case someone who matters (a cop) asks what you are doing.


Lord Vader
03-11-2004, 04:39 AM
Your story brought back a memory. I was chasing a train on the CSX LH&St.L Subdivision near Louisville, Ky. back in 1993 when a woman comes roaring up to me in her station wagon and accused me of taking her picture, though I was positive I had not. Apparently, this individual had been at the previous crossing I had shot at, thought I had taken her photo and got stopped by the train, whereas I was on the other side and continued the chase. Well, once she caught up, she proceeded to give me all kinds of hell. The train stopped about five miles up the road with this chick still following me. Finally, a county sheriff pulled up and I figured that this was going to be interesting. He waved at me and proceeded to tear this woman a new @#$%hole in some spectacularly colorful language seldom heard from a public official. Apparently she had a paranoid disorder that seemed to occupy a lot of the local law enforcement communities time. :shock:

Chris Starnes
03-11-2004, 04:54 AM
Well....you WERE in Kentucky weren't you?! :lol:

(this should get a good response!)

03-11-2004, 06:52 PM
See that's the kind of thing I worry about. Not the legality of what I was doing but what somebody else might do. Cops and RR employees are bound by rules, but you get some general idiot comes along and starts in they could do anything. Here is another security concern that I ran into back in Nov. Check out this pic:


Back past the trees behind the BNSF engine is a trashy little trailer park. I shot this on a Sun. the following Fri the cops busted a suspected meth lab in one of the trailers there. This was the last time I shot this location because I didn't think that it would be a good idea to be hanging around the area with a camera with a zoom lens on it. Might be surveilance or somthing.

Guess my main thing is for everyone out there to be aware of your personal safety. I mean we all need to be cautious to the hazards of railroading. But also your whole enviroment.


03-11-2004, 11:37 PM
I was seriously tempted to flip her a bird then, but I choose to remain civil. What p***ed me off the most was the fact that she implied that I was some kind of threat to her kids

Good choice not to flip her the bird. What you were dealing with was a protective mother. You can't blame her for looking out for her kids because, sadly, the world now-a-days has alot of sick, sick people in it. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago in Florida that some sicko was caught on video kidnapping (and later murdering) a girl from carwash?

And let's be honest: sitting along the tracks waiting for a train to go by does look a little suspicious to those not involved in the hobby. It's not stupidity or nosey-ness; it's just ignorance to a hobby that we enjoy.

A couple weeks ago in Dallas, I had some guys from Trinity Railway Express come out to me in my rental car just to see what I was doing. One of the guys was like, "I just wanted to make sure you weren't going to drive out in front of the train and kill yourself." I laughed, thanked him for his concern, and told him what I was doing.

Be nice, be polite, and even ask the individual if they would like you to move if it makes them uncomfortable. Make them be the ass...

03-12-2004, 11:57 PM
Expect to get questioned a little more in light of the Spanish train attack:


Damn terrorists...

03-14-2004, 08:14 PM
I felt a bit uneasy Friday. I was listening to talk radio hosts discuss the implications of rail safety as I sat in my car near the tracks. Every car that passed-by, the driver gave me a long, suspicious look.

I had my run in with the law, secondary to nosy residents. Read the comment for this pic: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=47182

The world's changin', and it aint' for the better.

03-15-2004, 04:25 AM
I can deal with cops. Because as I said earlier they are bound by rules. So as long as you are not tresspassing there isn't really much they can do other than tell you to move along. I have been questioned three times by cops. Twice was also at this same location. The other was in a small one stoplight town. His main concern was if I was from one of the newspapers.
One thing I plan to do is keep a binder with some prints of mine in my vehicle. Another thing is if anyone asks is to tell them I'm a freelance photographer(technically I am, my pictures are for sell if anyone should want to buy any :D ). When I talked to my parents about it they took a very dim view on her attitude. My dad told me that I should have told her to mind her own buisness. And I don't care if she is a protective mother. It dosen't give her the right to harass me. If she had a problem with what I was doing she should have called the police.

03-22-2004, 06:20 PM
Yes you were dealing with a protective mother and protective mother's can be a pian in other aspects of life like when tring to get a date to Senior Prom. Welcome to my life!

Curtis Wininger
03-22-2004, 07:13 PM
If you are on public property or your own property, you can point your camera wherever you want. They can't even make you leave unless you are in a place that is causing a problem with traffic or something like that.

03-23-2004, 03:33 AM
If you are on public property or your own property, you can point your camera wherever you want.

Not really. What if it's in your neighbor's window while she's taking a shower? "But officer, I was just taking pictures of trains..." :lol:

03-23-2004, 11:22 AM
If you are on public property or your own property, you can point your camera wherever you want.

Not really. What if it's in your neighbor's window while she's taking a shower? "But officer, I was just taking pictures of trains..." :lol:

Well, let's be realistic here. Who would do that in the first place?! :lol:

But Curtis is right. If you are on public property, you have the freedom of pretty much doing anything you want (as long as its legal).

03-23-2004, 07:11 PM
Who would do that in the first place?!

It depends on how hot she is, obviously!!! :wink:

Curtis Wininger
03-23-2004, 08:58 PM
If it's in view from public property, it's her responsiblity to put up a curtain or something. That's the way the law is.

03-25-2004, 11:55 PM
I haven't had any trouble with law enforcement, and not even the BNSF rent-a-cops on Cajon Pass. One day a REAL BNSF cop drove by, just smiled and waved...

Lately, though, and I'm beginning to have strange thoughts, there has been a BNSF ENGINEER who snaps photos from the cabs as he passes. I am sure it is the same engineer (because the camera ALWAYS flashes in broad daylight), but three times in three weeks now he's hung out of the cab window and snapped photos of me (and I'm sure he knows it's me every time, as my vehicle sticks out like a sore thumb...bright red). This last weekend, he snapped a photo, and then I heard some broken conversation on the radio about "fomaers all over the place" (yeah, right..I was out in the middle of nowhere, nobody else around) and within ten minutes the rent-a-cops all seems to home in on my location -- but they couldn't do a damn thing as I was on a public road. All they did was look, and drive off. (It was a few miles east of Summit...Summit Valley Road, around Lugo.) I wonder if this engineer is just playing with his camera...or is he trying to catch one of us railfans six inches into BNSF property...??

Anyone else up there see this situation on their visits to the pass?

Chris Starnes
03-26-2004, 01:24 AM

Chances are if his camera is popping the flash in broad daylight, Im guessing the camera's quality or his photography skills will prevent anyone from making heads or tails out of them anyway :lol: