UP/Metra not allowing photography at Metra stations anymore

Jim Wiggin Aug 28, 2006

  1. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I heard on NPR this morning that UP and Metra will no longer allow railfans to photograph rail activity from Metra stations and platforms. Penalty for such activity is subject to arrest. A spokesperson for the Chicago Railfan community said that UP is preventing the very people who can document any illegal activity that may happen on the UP system.
  2. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter


    :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: ​
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Seems to me we've heard of previous such attempts, by other operations. Which have quickly been tossed by courts. The whole idea is ridiculous anyhow.


    Boxcab E50
  4. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

    Didn't this just happen in Chi-town or the Big Apple? The mass transit authorities made photography illegal? Didn't they overturn the ruling?
  5. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I know we have seen some stories in our railfan section here from NY and Chicago. We will be seeing more of this not only with railfans in major cities but also airliners (airfans?) One report I heard was some Metra passengers were disturbed by the presence of a guy with a camera. Fine by me as I find the area outside of Chicago a better place to railfan.
  6. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

    NJT tried this.Then they realized the more eyes the better.Is it me or is UP always doing something to make avid railfans,hate them?:eek:mg:
  7. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member

  8. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter


    I started my railfanning at the River Forest Il Metra Station on the Former Chicago & Northwestern.

    This really sucks.
  9. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member


    Metra Train Photo Ban 'Clarified'
    CHICAGO, IL -- A photo ban that had been issued by the Union Pacific Railroad for its public Metra stops has been "clarified," officials said, to allow train enthusiasts to continue taking pictures.
    Union Pacific had issued the ban on its Metra stops for security reasons, NBC5's Natalie Martinez reported. The new policy will allow photos, but suspicious activity would also allow any employee to question the photographer.
    One train enthusiast, William Shapotkin, is the president of the Railroad Club of Chicago and an author of books about trains. Shapotkin said he enjoys taking pictures from the Metra platform near his Wilmette home. Shapotkin pointed out that the Metra platform was a public space.
    "It's not like you're trespassing the railroad yard where you have no business being," he said.
    Shapotkin said in New York and New Jersey, similar bans were installed, but eventually, the railroad backed off there as well. A Metra representative said they were not informed of any of this by Union Pacific and learned of the original ban, like Shapotkin, in "Trains" magazine.
    Shapotkin added that the targets of the increased security were the very people most likely to notice and report something out of the ordinary.
    "The bottom line is we still live in the United States, these station platforms are a public area -- the public is being invited to come down there."
    Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union said he did not know of any federal or state statute that allowed someone to bar photography in a public space.
    One commuter said he did not see a problem with train enthusiasts taking photos from a public space. "It's a public place, pictures can be taken," said one commuter. "To have a prohibition -- I think there are too many prohibitions that are coming about lately." - WMAQ-NBC5, Chicago, IL
  10. Martyn Read

    Martyn Read TrainBoard Supporter

    Is that furious back-pedalling I hear? :D
  11. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Can you say "egg on our face"? I knew that you could.....

    In Texas, we call it "crawfishing"...........perhaps the suits at Omahaha read about the story of the two railfans hassled by Metra police who knew bupkus about civil liberties. Turned out the cops were way wrong, and Metra even acknowledged that fact. Don Phillips wrote an editorial about this incident in an issue of TRAINS some time back.

    Bottom line again- don't impede the flow of commuter traffic, stay off the tracks and all standing equipment, and you'll be fine. It also helps to keep your head pulled out & your brain in gear. Do all this, and they can't do diddly to you.

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