Old 10-08-2006, 08:22 PM   #1
becker
Louis Becker
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 390
Question Standing on tracks for photos

What are some of your opinions about standing on tracks adjacent to trains to take photos? Obviously I'm talking about unused/overgrown or unusable sidings. Not main lines.

--Louis Becker
becker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2006, 08:32 PM   #2
Studogg120
Senior Member
 
Studogg120's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 195
Default

I don't know... still sounds like a bad idea to me. Whenever I go train watching, I stand at least 20 feet away from the tracks.
Studogg120 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2006, 09:25 PM   #3
Ken Carr
Senior Member: Vegasrails
 
Ken Carr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Henderson Nevada
Posts: 285
Default

I have done both for the shots I've wanted, even a few posted on this site. I don't recommend taking photos while standing on a main line or a siding, but to be honest I have done both. If I want the shot at a specific angle or point of view well I go with what I want. Taking in the most basic part of railfanning look both ways and be able to see a great distance.
This hobby like others has it hazards, taking a photo close to a switch or even 15-25 feet off the right of way has it's hazards. One of my Ludlow shots is the exact same spot of a derailment not many days later. One of my top rail shot at Siberia directly below the shot is debris from a manifest that lost part of a load per the track inspecter any fan they at the time would of had a couple of 100 lbs of lunber in their lap.
As to train crews some like us some don't, I know they sure are pleased after walking a mile long train to have a ride back to the head end in the middle of the desert or when the bus doesn't answer their request, or when they find someone hiding in one of the cars that they aren't alone out there chasing some guy off in the middle of the night.
Main thing use common sense and be safe.
__________________
Regional Coordinator for Operation Lifesaver
Southern Nevada and Southern Utah

See what I do for fun along the rails and in the desert

See some of my slide shows


Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!

Last edited by Ken Carr; 10-09-2006 at 01:38 AM. Reason: correction addition
Ken Carr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2006, 10:10 PM   #4
busyEMT
Senior Member
 
busyEMT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 902
Default

Overgrown tracks and ones "protected" with a derail device are still railroad property. Besides, trains can still sneak up on you if you think the line hasn't been used for a long time.
__________________
Aaron Florin- Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Visit Twin Cities Railfan.com
Visit the Twin Cities Railfan forums.

Don't do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics!
busyEMT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 12:20 AM   #5
hoydie17
We Own The Night...
 
hoydie17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 799
Send a message via AIM to hoydie17 Send a message via Yahoo to hoydie17
Default

It's a BAD IDEA.

The fact has already been mentioned that this is still railroad property, so you're trespassing.

Be mindful of the engineer and conductor on a train. They have close calls every single day out there with idiots who don't know any better.

Don't make their day any more complicated by doing something that YOU KNOW is dangerous and wrong. Train crews despise railfans for all sorts of reasons, don't give them further reason to hate us.

Sean
__________________
See my work on FLICKR: Night Stalker Photo Works on FLICKR

Or if you want to see my work here at RP.net? Click here.

"It's just a damn train son!"
hoydie17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 12:35 AM   #6
Christopher Muller
Senior Member
 
Christopher Muller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
What are some of your opinions about standing on tracks adjacent to trains to take photos? Obviously I'm talking about unused/overgrown or unusable sidings. Not main lines.

--Louis Becker
Unless you have permission from the railroad, you should never be on their property... period. There are some areas of railroad property that pertty much everyone will go on, but on the tracks is a big no no. Unless of course you have permission from the railroad or crew in the area.

Grabbing a shot with a train approaching on one track, and standing on another track right next to it is completely unacceptable, and if I saw another railfan doing it, I wouldn't just look away, I would call them in.

Being in a grassy open area thats railroad property next to the tracks is a little different than standing on the tracks.
Image © Louis Becker
PhotoID: 160893
Photograph © Louis Becker


Maybe I have higher standards or have less tolerance for people being on the tracks, but I work in Law Enforcement and hear all the reports of people tresspassing (including railfans/photographers). You've never seen a bloody mess until you've seen someone spread down the tracks a quarter mile.
Christopher Muller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 01:33 AM   #7
becker
Louis Becker
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 390
Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
Overgrown tracks and ones "protected" with a derail device are still railroad property. Besides, trains can still sneak up on you if you think the line hasn't been used for a long time.
That's unless the siding has been completely disconnected from the main line, such as one that I know of in East Grand Forks.

Then again, there is a whole business spur without a connection. But it's far away from the main line, so standing on it for photos is pointless. Unless they're shots regarding the history of overgrown lines.

--Louis Becker
becker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 02:30 AM   #8
Christopher Muller
Senior Member
 
Christopher Muller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
Overgrown tracks and ones "protected" with a derail device are still railroad property. Besides, trains can still sneak up on you if you think the line hasn't been used for a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
That's unless the siding has been completely disconnected from the main line, such as one that I know of in East Grand Forks. --Louis Becker
No, still railroad property.
Christopher Muller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 04:05 AM   #9
Pat Lorenz
Senior Member
 
Pat Lorenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 326
Default

I have stood on the tracks for certian shots, but it was within reason and i high tailed it off when the train got within a quarter mile or so. You really have to be cautious around the railroad at any times, even when your driving next to the tracks. When attempting risky shots i usually attempt them when i have a buddy with me. This way he can keep guard (meaning aware of where all the trains are) and i can do my thing.

You really have to know what your doing and know there area and the typical movements.

I am not saying its ok to do these, because its not.
Pat Lorenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 04:35 AM   #10
Ween
Senior Member
 
Ween's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,861
Default

I'm certainly not going to claim I haven't been too close to the tracks now and again, but I'm not going to try and justify it as being right. It isn't. I knowlingly took the risk, and trying to justify it as being acceptible makes one look foolish...
__________________
Ween is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 05:57 AM   #11
Pat Lorenz
Senior Member
 
Pat Lorenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 326
Default

I sure hope those comments werent directed toward myself. Because you obviously didnt read my post correctly.
Pat Lorenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 06:04 AM   #12
Ween
Senior Member
 
Ween's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,861
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
I sure hope those comments werent directed toward myself. Because you obviously didnt read my post correctly.
No, Pat, this isn't a digital vs. film thread, so my comments weren't toward you. If you re-read the entire thread, you'll see one person trying to justify standing on the tracks to get a photo...
__________________
Ween is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 10:28 AM   #13
Tåg
Senior Member
 
Tåg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 263
Default

One of the cardinal saftey rules on the railroad is to not foul tracks. At work I will stay as far in the clear as possible. Moving equipment is no joke, and it is 100% unforgiving.
__________________
Bob
Tåg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 02:04 PM   #14
busyEMT
Senior Member
 
busyEMT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 902
Default

I stay off the ballast at all times. If I am close to the tracks, say at a crossing while standing on the sidewalk, I get a telephoto shot then step back. Think of it like the truckers "if you can't see my mirrors, then I can't see you." The last thing I want is to scare the crew into throwing the train into emergency and causing some kind of scene... involving a special agent.
__________________
Aaron Florin- Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Visit Twin Cities Railfan.com
Visit the Twin Cities Railfan forums.

Don't do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics!
busyEMT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 02:42 PM   #15
Christopher Muller
Senior Member
 
Christopher Muller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
I stay off the ballast at all times. If I am close to the tracks, say at a crossing while standing on the sidewalk, I get a telephoto shot then step back. Think of it like the truckers "if you can't see my mirrors, then I can't see you." The last thing I want is to scare the crew into throwing the train into emergency and causing some kind of scene... involving a special agent.

Exactly. Whenever I am close to the tracks, it is at a crossing and I use telephoto then step back.
Christopher Muller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 03:44 PM   #16
RS27
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 30
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
Be mindful of the engineer and conductor on a train. They have close calls every single day out there with idiots who don't know any better.
Thank you! As one who works on the ground and in the cab I've seen plenty of stupid people taking trains way too lightly. When we are up in the cab we don't need anything more to think about. From a distance it isn't always clear which track you are standing on.

Ever wonder why MOW crews clear all the tracks when trains roll by - not just the one that is occupied [besides being the rules]? There are plenty of hazards - shifting loads, loose metal bands, debris kicked up by the train etc. and no one wants to be on the wrong end of any of that. We clear out 25 feet at least to get away from all of that. Just because you have a camera and think you know the typical movements, etc. doesn't mean you are any safer than the rest of us. Most railfans don't come with hardhats, steel toed boots, safety glasses, reflective vests...

So don't be stupid and make our jobs any harder. The last thing any of us want to do is to have to fill out an accident report...
RS27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 10:34 PM   #17
SD70MACMAN
The man with the plan
 
SD70MACMAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonds, Washington
Posts: 375
Send a message via AIM to SD70MACMAN
Default

Standing on the tracks next to a moving freight...sounds like a good way to get killed...

Never go onto the tracks unless its safe and legal. I took this shot after the train had passed while standing on a grade crossing when it was 100% safe to pass over said crossing.
Image © Mike Bjork
PhotoID: 137600
Photograph © Mike Bjork
__________________
~Mike Bjork

UP's new slogan for Amtrak:
"We'll help you spread you wings and fly right into a siding!"

TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS!!! May the fun never end!
I'm a traitor! Im on JP.net! But all my plane shots involve trains!

BN FOREVER!
SD70MACMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2006, 11:37 PM   #18
Tåg
Senior Member
 
Tåg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 263
Default

I would not foul a track even if there had not been a train on it for over 100 years. There are tracks in our yards that are not even conected to anything that I look both directions and will not foul. Its just habit.

We had an old head killed not to long ago that was walking allong the ends of the ties when he was struck by a kicked car. He had over 35 years of service.

Stuff happens in an instant on the railroad and you need to be aware of your surroundings and escape routes at all times. I would consider having a camera in your face not being aware of whats going on.
__________________
Bob
Tåg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 01:50 AM   #19
Joe the Photog
Senior Member
 
Joe the Photog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 7,899
Default

I try to set a good example. Even if the track is not connected or in use, sometimes you can't tell that from a photograph. So some kid might see that shot and think it's OK to stand on an adjacent track and shoot. THis the closest I've come to breaking my own rule --

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


The tracks end right behind me, but you can't tell that from looking at this shot.


JOe
__________________
Joe the Photog Dot Com
Joe the Photog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 04:26 AM   #20
hoydie17
We Own The Night...
 
hoydie17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 799
Send a message via AIM to hoydie17 Send a message via Yahoo to hoydie17
Default

Joe,

Thanks, you brought up another thought that I think is important to keep in mind as well.

Think about the people that frequently visit RP.net to look at photos. It is supposed to be a family oriented website.

That suggests that KIDS will be looking at these photos, and when they see photos that are clearly taken from track level, and even worse on adjacent tracks, think about the impression that it provides them?

The last thing anyone wants to do as a photographer is think that their photo made a youngster think that railroad tracks are not dangerous places. Adults should know better, and so one would expect them to intervene when a kid in their charge is "playing" on the tracks. Admittedly, some adults do not know better, and often they don't intervene when it's needed.

My point is, keep in mind that it's not always a railfan that's looking at your photos. Railfans, generally speaking, know the hazards involved near railroad tracks, John Q. Public doesn't necessarily understand railroads like a railfan may.

Sean
__________________
See my work on FLICKR: Night Stalker Photo Works on FLICKR

Or if you want to see my work here at RP.net? Click here.

"It's just a damn train son!"
hoydie17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 02:02 PM   #21
busyEMT
Senior Member
 
busyEMT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 902
Default

Cropping this shot tighter on the bottom, to cut out any of the curve, didn't work.
Image © Aaron Florin
PhotoID: 140514
Photograph © Aaron Florin
But in reality I stand on the other side of a grassy border which is > 7 feet wide.

While I am in control of my presentation in the photos I add, I can not determine what ideas people take away from them. Zoom lenses can be misleading.

But, when it is obvious someone is standing in middle of tracks that says a lot. J Q Public and John RR Law don't know from a single shot that trackage is free-standing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg raymond.jpg (274.5 KB, 272 views)
__________________
Aaron Florin- Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Visit Twin Cities Railfan.com
Visit the Twin Cities Railfan forums.

Don't do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics!
busyEMT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2006, 05:16 PM   #22
hoydie17
We Own The Night...
 
hoydie17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 799
Send a message via AIM to hoydie17 Send a message via Yahoo to hoydie17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
While I am in control of my presentation in the photos I add, I can not determine what ideas people take away from them. Zoom lenses can be misleading.

Telephoto lenses can be difficult I agree, but it's not difficult to tell when someone is farther away from the subject that it appears.

My point was directed more at the young children who may very well frequent this site. I do not want to give one of them the impression that being THAT CLOSE to a train is a wise notion, and that it's safe.

It is in fact VERY dangerous. A train traveling at even 25mph with a chain or piece of freight hanging off the car could easily decapitate you.

We had a guy about two years ago that got hung up in a tie down strap that was dragging off the side of a car, he lost both of his legs and is lucky he didn't die, as he was dragged nearly a mile and a half before he was discovered and the train was stopped.

It's one thing to be safety concious, but when guys with 35 years of working around the railroad can be killed by a mistake, it's safe to assume that someone with no time working on the railroad can underestimate the dangers of trains and the railroad.

Sean
__________________
See my work on FLICKR: Night Stalker Photo Works on FLICKR

Or if you want to see my work here at RP.net? Click here.

"It's just a damn train son!"
hoydie17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2006, 01:32 AM   #23
becker
Louis Becker
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 390
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
Cropping this shot tighter on the bottom, to cut out any of the curve, didn't work.
Image © Aaron Florin
PhotoID: 140514
Photograph © Aaron Florin
But in reality I stand on the other side of a grassy border which is > 7 feet wide.
Thank you Aaron for posting as this is the point I am trying to make.

--Louis
becker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2006, 01:42 AM   #24
busyEMT
Senior Member
 
busyEMT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 902
Default

I am not sure how this makes your point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
What are some of your opinions about standing on tracks adjacent to trains to take photos? Obviously I'm talking about unused/overgrown or unusable sidings. Not main lines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
Cropping this shot tighter on the bottom, to cut out any of the curve, didn't work.
Image © Aaron Florin
PhotoID: 140514
Photograph © Aaron Florin
But in reality I stand on the other side of a grassy border which is > 7 feet wide.
Thank you Aaron for posting as this is the point I am trying to make.
--Louis
I wrote, in response to Hoydie, that photos may lend an appearance of a photographer being very close to the right-of-way. But I am still in disagreement with standing in the center of any tracks (as a non-employee) and making it blatantly obvious in photos.
__________________
Aaron Florin- Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Visit Twin Cities Railfan.com
Visit the Twin Cities Railfan forums.

Don't do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics!
busyEMT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2006, 02:08 AM   #25
becker
Louis Becker
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 390
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
I wrote, in response to Hoydie, that photos may lend an appearance of a photographer being very close to the right-of-way. But I am still in disagreement with standing in the center of any tracks (as a non-employee) and making it blatantly obvious in photos.
SOZ, I'm talking about the point on a thread regarding this off the forums. What may look to be in the center of the tracks may not be. And that should be thought about before making accusations.

--Louis
becker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.