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Author Topic: Tapeing trains is a threat?!  (Read 5861 times)
jettrainfan

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« on: April 03, 2010, 05:15:26 PM »

I was at berea today (as usual) i talked to my dad and we decided to check out rock port. We caught a coal with back engines, a NS. & CN dash8s! i knew they would cut off the power and send them to rockport so i told him to go to the Brook park RTA station parking lot. I got my shots and showed him them. A RTA cop noticed me and started to walk over. I just figured he was curious. He asked us if we knew about the bombing in Moscow, that... was a huge surprise. My dad said yea and the cop said well, you cant tape trains here.

First off, Why would a 14 year old boy tapeing a train be a threat?! I tape at triskett a lot and i actually get a friendly wave from them. I even went when a bombing was reported, no problem. So why now? Also, why do they think im a threat? I plan on e-mailing them later but for now, I'd like to get a little more info about this situation.

Any info would be great. 
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richg
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 05:41:04 PM »

Stuff happens and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.

Rich
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jward


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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 07:54:57 PM »

this is a debate that keeps coming up. it has been well covered in trains magazine over the years. bottom line: you are allowed to photograph from public property which the rta station would seem to be. unfortunately, some cops are either not aware of this, or like to intimidate people. somewhere online there is a photographer's bill of rights. i would suggest that you find it and print out a copy.

what i would have done, especially if the officer in question was rude or belligerent, is to contact somebody at rta headquarters and ask what their policy is on photography. if they say yes, it is permitted from the parking lot i would give them the officer's name and/or badge number and explain how you were trerated, and that he obviously hasn't gotten the message.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jettrainfan

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 07:57:21 PM »

The man was kind, he seemed sorta uncomfortable saying it. Thanks for the info!
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 08:09:08 PM »

If you are in the U.S.A.
If you are on railroad property they can order you to leave. however if you are on public land you can take as many pictures and video tapes as you like. with respect to the officer your Dad needs to ask him to show you the code for the law in his book or an addendum to his book of codes. some law enforcement has lost all sight of common sense  and our rights as citizens.
 
don't get yourself in trouble, be respectful but don't let a bully ruin your fun.

My dad was a Deputy Sheriff, one of the reasons he retired early was because he said he could not stand working with bullies or guys who were bullied as children getting back at society.

NM
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jettrainfan

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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2010, 08:16:07 PM »

alright, i just read "The Photographer's Rights" ( http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf ) and it seems i should be alright. I'm gonna keep a copy for when i go to triskett.

NM, true, I saw 4 Rta cops on the platform once and they were pretty fed up with this guy caught with weed. I cant see how someone could live with a career like that! Last thing i want to do is make it worse for them.
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 09:09:00 PM »

 Jet, unfortunately an event like Moscow puts everyone on edge. The bomber in Moscow was a 17 year old. Over paranoia is the name of the game.
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Guilford Guy


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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 10:25:55 PM »

I was on the B&M's Fitchburg Division today waiting to get pictures of a detouring freight trains (for the first time in 20 years they're running through freights on the east end of the Fitchburg Route) and had a conversation with a Police Officer who came over to debunk any threat. When they ask, just be pleasant and tell them why your there. The officer I talked to was a decent guy as are most, and started telling stories of the B&M freights and circus trains that ran through town when he was a kid, eventually leaving. It's sad that you can't really take pictures without being suspected, but there's not much else you can do rather than be friendly and not screw things over for the rest of us by being hostile.
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Alex

jonathan


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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 10:59:37 PM »

It is unfortunate.  World events do create more nervous precautions in this country, for good reason.  Folks in the peace and security profession are more alert and on edge these days.  They have to be.  We were always safe from radical violence, until 9 years ago.  Now, we are forced to be more vigilant.  I agree most authority figures want to be as accomodating as possible.  I think we have to understand the tough position they are in these days. 

Regards,

Jonathan
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WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2010, 01:01:49 AM »

And guess what?.....the terrorist groups won......again.

Every time something like this happens (a 14 year old not allowed to tape a train).....the terrorists have won...again.

Every time you have to remove your shoes at the airport....they won....again.

Every time some security/police/military over-reacts to a once normal situation....the terrorists have won....again.

Our global experiment has gone horribly awry.

Sid
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jward


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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2010, 09:30:28 AM »

jonathan,

i think you have to put things in historical perspective. this problem with security, no matter what they want you to believe, didn't begin with 9-11-2001. there were attempts on the world trade centers many years prior to that, some lunatic blew up a federal building in 1994, the weather underground and other groups engaged in terrorism in the 1960s and 1970s, and there was always the threat of espionage and sabotage. in the late 1930s some nut case derailed a southern pacific streamliner in the nevada desert with great loss of life.

the point i am trying to make is, the threat has always been there, but the paranoia is new. previous to 9-11 nobody much cared about photographers as long as you weren't trespassing. now we have"terrorists" under every rock according to them......

by all means, be respectful when confronted, but know your rights. and if those rights are violated, follow up with complaints to that officer's superiors. that is the only way we are going to get the balance between rights and legitimate security concerns back in balance.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Cooped


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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 09:35:59 AM »

I hardly think there are any terrorist groups who will be celebrating that we have to take our shoes off in the airport.

I recently took a flight where in a last minute rush to pack I stuffed a brand new still in it's box full size tube of toothpaste in my carry on luggage, completely forgetting about the maximum volume rules until it was found by the vigilant operator of the baggage X-ray machine. Was I upset when they confiscated it? No. I was pleased to see the security in place was effective.

Modern times bring modern threats. It's an unfortunate aspect of human nature that a small section of society will seek to exploit anything in order to further their terroristic goals and disrupt what we see as 'a normal life'. So normal has to change. It has been this was throughout the whole of history. Someone discovered fire, keeps you nice and warm and you can cook stuff. Then someone discovered you can burn villages etc.  Someone found how to forge steel, what was it mostly used for? Weapons so the soldier in the battlefield had to change their normal dress to wearing those heavy cumbersome suits of armor. Some bright spark came up with the internet, now we all need a virus checker and firewall on our computers to stop someone else invading our own little cyber worlds.

PD is right, one of the Moscow bombers was 17. So your day was a little spoiled through neither party fully knowing the laws, not as bad a day as if you were a passenger on a train which was the target of an attack. Imagine how you or your family would feel if the attack could have been stopped if a cop had been a little more 'paranoid' over someone who looked like a railfan, but was in fact surveying where to plant a bomb?

Was the cop over paranoid? Maybe. Better than risking an attack? Definitely.

Just my 2c.
Dan
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Yes dear, I'm looking at trains again........
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 12:16:34 PM »

The terrorism started when President Reagan put Marines into Lebanon.

You think the cops in Berea are going too far? Come to NYC and ride the subwqys! They check all the baggage and, if you really want trouble, start to film. Since the subways are under MTA control, not NYC, they have the right (they claim) to forbid filming. A filmmaker, or anybody else, can get a permit. By the way, New Yorkers don't like strangers filming them. It is an invitation for trouble.

The silly thing is that the NYC subway system has been well documented over the years. A smart terrorist could do research in the library of Grand Central Terminal (yes, there is a railroad library in the building.) One of the subway fan groups meet there regularly.


 A friend teaches engineering. He found blueprints to several bridges (including the associated underground structure) in the main library on 42nd street. There are few secrets.

People need to respect railroad property and seeking permission goes a long way in letting you stay where you may not belong!


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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 05:40:03 PM »

I hardly think there are any terrorist groups who will be celebrating that we have to take our shoes off in the airport.

Taking our shoes off, loosing our toothpaste, long lineups at security, being banned from taking photos, and a thousand more.  All minor inconveniences  Minor inconveniences that multiplied by millions of times a day are costly and constant reminders that somebody who does not like us is quite successfully manipulating us just to demonstrate their power over us.  Like the school yard bully who forced us to take the long way home to avoid him, they use our fears against us to continually remind us of their presence.  I have to agree with WoundedBear that all these little inconveniences are small wins for the terrorists, and multiplied by their millions, add up to large wins.

Jim
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 06:29:53 PM »

 Now I have to ask, what would terrorists be doing in Canada? Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh?
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