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Re: PC: Tresspassing Prosecution Pros/Cons...

I think that tbe whole issue of going on railroad property is just so
much hot air.  It is illegal, period.

Try going on property of JFK airport to take a picture and see how
quick you are told to leave and maybe arrested.

Try to go on industrial property small or large and see how "nasty"
they can get.  I know that you will be told to get lost if you tried
to go on the property of your local utility  to take pictures. 
Virginia Power will have you arrested without question.  Remember,
PRIVATE property is private.  Take your pictures from public land and
you have very few problems.

---Gene.Fusco -AT- Symbios.com wrote:
> OK, my *personal* opinion on the tresspass issue is "No harm, no
> That is as long as I am not interfering with the normal operations
of the
> railroad, there is no problem with where I stand to watch, wave or
> photos.
> Why do the RR's have a problem with this? I think it's liability
> RR's property is privately owned. Allowing tresspassers to wander
> over their ROW's may open them up to all sorts of liability lawsuits
> ranging from "attractive nuisance" to being forced into granting
> easments!  
> Also, many industrial operations are very leary of photograpers in
> general. They don't want to open their house up to the public eye.
Face it,
> one well timed photo of an accident, or documentation of unsafe
> conditions could cost a company millions regardless of the veracity
of the
> photo, or it's publicly percieved message.  Problems can arise for
the RR
> even inadvertently. imagine if you will, you manage to take a photo
> you submit to a rail magazine. Some legal type manages to get a copy
of the
> magazine and sees your photo and decides there's "something wrong
with this
> picture" and manages to initialte some sort of suit...
> Lawsuits aside, lets look at a sligtly different aspect. Crews are
> operating their trains, and can't spend the time attempting to
determine if
> you are a friendly railfan, or a vandal. Yeah, the camera equipment
> scanner usually give you away, but it isn't sure fire.  Vandalism
and theft
> can cost a RR big, arguably more than they might benefit from the
> public relations" gained by being railfan friendly.
> So what are we to do as railfans?  One thing is to take the hint
from the
> hunting crowd.  Out west, there are a lot of bumper stickers urging
> to "Ask first to hunt or fish on private property".  In the railroad
> this means a quick visit to the yard office. The worst that can
happen is
> you will be asked to leave.
> Here is what I would like to see. Just as the RR employees have
> railroads should set up a railfan pass system. Any railfan of legal
> would be allowed to apply for a pass that would entitle them to
access the
> private ROW and any number of enumerated yard locations *without*
the need
> to secure permission each entry. Access to non-authorized areas
would be
> allowed with permission, to allow better tracking of your activity. 
> in/check out procedure) In order to obtain the pass, each applicant
may be
> subject to passing safety exams and signing waivers.  Violation of the
> terms of the pass would subject the bearer to loss of the pass and
> prosecution. 
> I personally would not have a problem with this type of system. I
> expect to be required to pay my way for any costs associated with the
> training/legal process to obtain the pass. 
> In this manner, I think the RR's could open access to the truly
> fans, protect themselves to some degree, and improve public
relations to a
> great extent.  Would it work?  I don't know.. it would certainly be
a hard
> sell to the RR's legal departments.  The largest problem is that
> are not worth much more than the paper they're written on, and the
> precedent of offering legal access to the ROW may be legally more
> threatening than just slectively allowing or prosecuting tresspassers.
> Gene Fusco        | (970) 223-5100 x9404   Gene.Fusco -AT- Symbios.com  
>                   |
> S/W Development   |   Why do I take pictures of trains?
> Symbios Inc.      |   Because they're too big to take home.
> Fort Collins CO.  |                                                

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