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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:27 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:29 am
Posts: 316
Location: Schuylkill County, PA
I'd file a harassment suit against the railroad. What a bunch of pricks.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:06 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Honestly, the railroad acts like they've never heard of "railfans". They're in a world of trouble if they keep that up. They might get away with calling the cops once because he's an unknown quantity at that point. But once they and the cops have surmised that he is just a railfan, it would be all manner of illegal for them to keep harassing him. I see components of "filing a false police report" and "extortion".

Of course we are seeing it "on TV", where the presence of the camera is presumed. That has its own issues, separately being played out in the world of CopWatch. Who watches the watchers watching the watchers?


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:26 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
Posts: 728
The police seemed very reasonable with the guy, very polite and not abusing their power. They definitely aren't the problem, and sooner or later they'll get really sick of being used as a way of harassing railfans.

We've all heard the story of the boy who cried wolf- how long before the railroad gets eaten because they've cried wolf for so long?

I would worry about a company that is so concerned about its employees possibly being filmed doing something wrong (in the words of the supervisor)... is there something they are doing that the public should know about?

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:30 pm
Posts: 209
Oh man... As Strother Martin once said: "What we've got heah is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach." And that railfan seriously could not reach these dumb railroaders no matter what he said.

This video reminds me of the time an overzealous Three Rivers Park cop asked me what I was doing one day back in 2006 when I caught the 261 rolling through Hopkins. He had approached as the train was rolling through town and I assumed he was an escort. Wrong: He was just a flatfoot who was bored and needed to interrogate somebody to pass the time. I kept explaining to him why I was there --on public property by The Depot coffeehouse-- but he was dense as a fog bank. I finally shut him up when I flashed him my Citizens for Rail Security card.

I can't believe the guy could not see I had an engineer cap festooned with buttons and my blue Milwaukee 261 t shirt on and that a steam engine had just rolled through town! What was the guy, blind? Since when to kill-crazy terrorists foreign and domestic dress up like that?? What an idiot, and it looks like these boys in the video are his understudies.

On the flip side of the coin, out railfanning in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a cop rightfully asked who I was, got my ID, and then saw I was no threat; he even wished me luck railfanning! That guy was a good cop.

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Tony Held


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:55 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:30 pm
Posts: 209
One more thought: I would have given those two railroaders five seconds to cut the bull and beat it, or I would first call their boss to file a complaint, then I would call my attorney. These railroaders were not cops, nor were they in the right to harass this railfan because he was on public property, and to h-e-double hockey sticks with their bull about their train crews feeling "uncomfortable." As the fan tells them, it is a free country last time I looked.

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Tony Held


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
Posts: 323
Location: western Maryland
" . . it is a free country last time I looked".

It's not a "free" as it used to be.

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Someone could in essence take 30 second clips for 5 days straight of a train crew putting together a train. at the end of the week, those clips even though they were only 30 seconds add up to how to hook everything up or unhook everything. This footage could then be used as a training tool for terrorists.


So terrorists are too stupid to use google, Youtube, Bing Maps and the like? They're not smart enough to type in "How to couple railcars" or "Railroad R******k" (Don't want to give them any hints)?

This is the same type of logic that gets used over and over. Yeah, a terrorist is going to buy some guy $3K work of camera gear to go out and shoot what he can find online with a couple of mouse clicks for free?

Meanwhile, I'd have been tempted to call the cops and tell them I was being harassed, but apparently his dealings with them weren't much better if I understand right?


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Railfan Photography Public Property Debate
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:29 am
Posts: 316
Location: Schuylkill County, PA
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Bobharbison wrote:
What if what the terrorist is looking for is NOT on the internet?

Fear is NEVER a valid reason to subvert the Constitution.


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