Old 01-28-2010, 09:10 PM   #26
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EMT, how was I trespassing? I asked the attendant in the check-in booth if I was allowed to watch the action and I was told yes, and I parked my car where she pointed me to park it. I went right to the platform and sat down on the bench as close as I could before the sign "Amtrak employees only"....
I dont beleive I was trespassing.
And as for an update and what I've done so far...
I emailed amtrak on the customer service portion of their website asking for the policy on railfanning at Amtrak stations and havnt received a response as of yet.
Also, the Amtrak Officer turned over the radio to CSX and after speaking with CSX, the radio will not be returned. Their reports show it was reported lost by a CSXT employee and now shows it recovered. So...im out of luck. Happy F****** railfanning..... I can detect from the tone of the CSX guys voice.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:21 PM   #27
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First, I want to apologize about last night's post. I was inappropriate in placing it, and my only excuse is an "unclear" head

Now, for my logical response on the subject:

If you purchase a VHF radio, it is capable of being programmed to transmit on any frequency within it's specs. RR, Fed. Gov't, or anything else may fall in those parameters.

Is it illegal? It is not illegal to possess a radio with the capability of transmitting. The offense occurs when you squeeze the button. Just like it is not illegal to go to the retailer of one's choice and purchase drain cleaner, cold medicine, and matches out the wazzoo. You will raise a flag, but the offense occurs when you take those items and manufacture it in to meth. Or, in Pennsylvania it is illegal to detonate certain fireworks without the proper license. However, it is NOT illegal for us to go to Ohio and purchase them and bring them back-just don't light the fuse.

Kevin's response was in the right direction. Why anyone would have a radio for railfanning with the ability to transmit is beyond me. We already get enough flack from the uninformed, why add to it? He was also right in his reputable dealer post. A "dealer" will not program a radio to transmit for you unless you have the paperwork to prove that you have permission to talk on each frequency. We established that Scott didn't buy the radio from a dealer.

Thanks to sites like Ebay and Craig's list, anyone can buy a radio, programming software, and a cable and program anything they want into a radio. I have the stuff to do most older Kenwood radios. Am I an authorized, licensed Kenwood dealer? No comment. Ebay does seem to be cracking down on the software department, but I suspect it is more for the pirating over every Tom, Dick, and Harry programming things into radios that they have no right to use.

Scott,

IF in fact you were not transmitting with your radio, you may have a valid reason to fight to get your radio back. Although you were technically trespassing, so I don't know how that may fall under the committing a crime with the radio on your person. I would contact either or both the local Amtrak police and I think you said Sheriff's Dept. and explain the situation to them better and try to get your radio back. If you get it back, take it directly to you local Motorola dealer and toss them the $40 to make it unable to transmit.
Thank you. First off Chase, I was not apologizing for being wrong, because I am not wrong on needing FCC paperwork to purchase an AAR transmitting radio and the double wammy of actually using it. Second, I will revisit the "coolness" idea. Okay, you guys want better "gain", less interference and the such? BUY ONE THAT CANNOT TRANSMIT! Period. To the OP, regardless if you were trespassing or not, you purchased a STOLEN railroad radio, you could not tell that the situation was kinda shady? Shame on you then..... Third, if I offended anyone, I'm sorry but, I just don't see the point in owning one, really.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:37 PM   #28
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Well, at least hope you dont get arrested for theft. I always wonder when I see things like this for sale on ebay. As far as the illegality of posessing a radio that is capable of transmitting, I have heard both ways, its better to ask an actual lawyer. Cops are so misinformed of the laws they are paid to enforce its silly, especially a fringe type law like this. I was once railfanning in Tampa and 2 cops (in 2 cars mind you) come blazing up lights on and accused me of being a copper thief. I was sitting in my truck at 78th street crossing just waiting with my scanner on and camera equipment and the cops came and gave me the 20 questions for about half hour, ran my license, asked about my scanner, etc. I was sitting on public property, they said someone at CSX called me in. After my l checked out with no wants or warrants, they left, acted apolagetic actually after they realized I wasnt doing anything wrong, but as I was waiting they kept asking me questions, I told them I was taking pictures of trains and both of them thought it was the strangest thing, one of them even went as far as to tell me if I like trains so much why dont i work for the railroad. I find it frustrating to explain the hobby to people, I dont even bother. All this post 9-11 security nonsense really is absurd, the terrorists won. Bin Laddin is sitting in a cave somewhere laughing at us.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:54 PM   #29
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Hate when that happens.

Yup, that'll happen when you finally get a few nights in a row off.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:08 AM   #30
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EMT, how was I trespassing? I asked the attendant in the check-in booth if I was allowed to watch the action and I was told yes, and I parked my car where she pointed me to park it. I went right to the platform and sat down on the bench as close as I could before the sign "Amtrak employees only"....
I dont beleive I was trespassing.
And as for an update and what I've done so far...
I emailed amtrak on the customer service portion of their website asking for the policy on railfanning at Amtrak stations and havnt received a response as of yet.
Also, the Amtrak Officer turned over the radio to CSX and after speaking with CSX, the radio will not be returned. Their reports show it was reported lost by a CSXT employee and now shows it recovered. So...im out of luck. Happy F****** railfanning..... I can detect from the tone of the CSX guys voice.
Even though you asked the attendant, Amtrak passed a policy about a year ago that only ticketed passengers are to be on the platform (there is a thread on here somewhere about it). Hence, you were trespassing. The attendant was also at fault for granting you access. It happens all of the time, whether like in your instance, or a friend sneaking you in the cab for a ride along down the branch for the day. Those instances are very appreciated on our part, but technicalities are technicalities. It would be like you telling one of your friends that they can borrow your dad's car. You gave him permission, but it's not your car to say so.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:21 AM   #31
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Here is Amtrak's photography policy:
http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1241267362248
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:26 AM   #32
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To the OP, regardless if you were trespassing or not, you purchased a STOLEN railroad radio, you could not tell that the situation was kinda shady? Shame on you then.....
Really? Shame on the guy because he inadvertantly purchased a stolen item? Do you blame the woman when she gets raped because she "could not tell the situation was kinda shady?" Indefensible...

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, if I offended anyone, I'm sorry but, I just don't see the point in owning one, really.
I'm confused...I thought a few people said they have one for better range, clarity, etc. What's not to understand?
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:39 AM   #33
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Not my fault the attendant didnt do her job by not letting me in. And there is no signs posted that say otherwise.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:53 AM   #34
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Third, if I offended anyone, I'm sorry but, I just don't see the point in owning one, really.
I'm confused. You don't see the point in owning one, yet I expressed a valid reason as to why one may wish to own one and you commented below..

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I will revisit the "coolness" idea. Okay, you guys want better "gain", less interference and the such? BUY ONE THAT CANNOT TRANSMIT! Period.
As far as buying a receive only radio, or in other words, a scanner, there is no problem with that, BUT, if one is looking to expand their coverage, a HAM radio (capable of transmitting over HAM channels) is definitely a wise investment. So in other words, the only way to gain coverage is to buy a transmit capable radio. I still don't see a problem in owning a radio that can transmit over the AAR channels, as long as you do not transmit. If you do infact end up transmitting, then that is a whole different story. I still highly recommend locking the TX feature if you don't have a license, as it only takes one time to transmit when the wrong person is watching/listening.

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Old 01-29-2010, 03:05 AM   #35
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Not my fault the attendant didnt do her job by not letting me in. And there is no signs posted that say otherwise.
Let me rephrase. You did the right thing by stopping and asking, she did not by allowing you, since that is Amtrak's policy. I would venture to say that she was either reprimanded, or she pulled the boner and played the "I didn't see him go through card." I have had a few backs turned on me when I ask for whatever too. Greatly appreciated.

There shouldn't need to be any signs though. The signs are only for those Darwin ppl. that like to play on the tracks and get run over, then turn around and sue the RR because there were no signs up advising them of the dangers of playing on the tracks.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:45 AM   #36
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Not my fault the attendant didnt do her job by not letting me in. And there is no signs posted that say otherwise.
I have to admitt that I find it hard to believe that a railfan doesn't know Amtrak's no platform policy. It's kinda been mentioned over and over in railfanning circles lately. It's been in every Trains magazine since it was announced. (I don't have a subscription right now, but they carry them in ever Books A Million I go to.)

Ignorance of the law, of course, is no defense. If you get caught doing 55 in a 35, don't expect to tell the LEO that you didn't see the speed limit sign and get away with it too often.

About the scanner, it seems that you got screwed. Such is often the case when buying something on line. I don't do scanners anymore, but I'd like to think that someone selling a CSX two way radio on eBay would sound off an alarm or two to me. At least to the point of asking around first if this was on the up and up.

Amtrak's policy sucks and it needs to change. But as for now, it is Amtrak's policy. I'd like to be able to go down to the station here in Columbia and get a shot one night, but I suspect that's not happening. Station platforms aren't the best area for photography anyway, but Amtrak only runs at night through here, so I guess for now I'm out of luck until Amtrak is way late again or until they run another private car train through here.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:58 PM   #37
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Joe,

I recommend doing some research on the station and confirm whether or not Amtrak actually owns it. Here in Charleston, Amtrak leases the building, therefore allowing me to photograph from the platform, since technically I am not on Amtrak property.

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Old 01-29-2010, 07:26 PM   #38
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Amtrak leases a LOT of their facilities, that does not stop them from trying to enforce their policies whenever they feel like it. It's likely not worth getting arrested trying to reason with some of these cops.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:27 PM   #39
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I just shake my head....
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:25 PM   #40
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Joe,

I recommend doing some research on the station and confirm whether or not Amtrak actually owns it. Here in Charleston, Amtrak leases the building, therefore allowing me to photograph from the platform, since technically I am not on Amtrak property.

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Sorry Chase, whether I lease or own my house, you won't be leaving under your own power if you just walk in without an invite.

So if you lease your car, I can just come and ride in it at my discretion?
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:53 PM   #41
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I just shake my head....
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I concur.
Why does the railfan believe that they can enter a corporation's property (owned or leased) to pursue the hobby. Perhaps it is only, me but there are so many locations, angles and conditions that outweigh station shots. Very similar to the Garden of Eden, you can have or do anything the in the garden except from that particular tree, but you know the rest of the story. I don't want to sound like a preacher sermonizing, but why do some believe that they are arrogantly entitled to do what they want for the sole purpose of their pleasure? Right or wrong, agree or disagree with Amtrak's policy, stupid as it may seem, but it is their right to protect their property, assets and employees as they see fit. When I was with CN, I don't recall in my rules instructions classes that my job was to include being a prop for someones trackside hobby photos.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:26 PM   #42
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I concur.
Why does the railfan believe that they can enter a corporation's property (owned or leased) to pursue the hobby. Perhaps it is only, me but there are so many locations, angles and conditions that outweigh station shots. Very similar to the Garden of Eden, you can have or do anything the in the garden except from that particular tree, but you know the rest of the story. I don't want to sound like a preacher sermonizing, but why do some believe that they are arrogantly entitled to do what they want for the sole purpose of their pleasure? Right or wrong, agree or disagree with Amtrak's policy, stupid as it may seem, but it is their right to protect their property, assets and employees as they see fit. When I was with CN, I don't recall in my rules instructions classes that my job was to include being a prop for someones trackside hobby photos.
Very well said. However, some folk believe that they can simply do as they please and act as they please. Unfortunately, the same is true with this radio issue. The only arguement presented was better range, gain and less interferrence. Really? Risk it all for that? And to Chase and Chris Paulhamus who are "confused", my opinion is simply that, my opinion. And Chris, the rape analogy is totally irrelevant to this, seriously. Just take a step back and analyize this from a different perspective, you may see it differently and understand that this is not an arguement or combative standing from me, I'm just trying to help some stay out of trouble.

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Old 01-29-2010, 10:34 PM   #43
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Sorry Chase, whether I lease or own my house, you won't be leaving under your own power if you just walk in without an invite.

So if you lease your car, I can just come and ride in it at my discretion?
I guess a teen does not get the idea of "lease" with this instance!
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:40 PM   #44
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Very well said. However, some folk believe that they can simply do as they please and act as they please. Unfortunately, the same is true with this radio issue. The only arguement presented was better range, gain and less interferrence. Really? Risk it all for that?
So long as the radio's "tongue" is cut out (as Kevin A. mentioned), it should be a non-issue...that setup is actually legal in most states whereas a scanner is illegal in many states (because they are readily able to receive police frequencies, which can be used in furtherance of a crime [trespassing on railroad property, for instance]). Also worth noting, virtually every amateur radio I have encountered does not transmit on the railroad band unless modified by the end-user to do so...hence, when stock from the factory, it's not an issue, and is perfectly legal when used by someone currently holding an amateur radio license.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:01 AM   #45
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So long as the radio's "tongue" is cut out (as Kevin A. mentioned), it should be a non-issue...that setup is actually legal in most states whereas a scanner is illegal in many states (because they are readily able to receive police frequencies, which can be used in furtherance of a crime [trespassing on railroad property, for instance]). Also worth noting, virtually every amateur radio I have encountered does not transmit on the railroad band unless modified by the end-user to do so...hence, when stock from the factory, it's not an issue, and is perfectly legal when used by someone currently holding an amateur radio license.
Good to see someone with logic post here.....
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:09 AM   #46
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I'm pretty sure Amtrak does own the Columbia station since it was built for them in the 80s. There are times when maybe it would not be unwise to test a policy or a law. I suppose each person must do that on their own. Getting a shot of an Amtrak train at this location when Amtrak personelle are on scene, to me, would not be one of those times. As you cn see, the sight lines are not that great as both Amtrak trains use CSX track between midnight and 4 a.m. (usually.)

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Of course, a coal train is another matter....

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Or a wood chip train

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The last two shots were obviouly taken on Amtrak property and both before the new photography policy. Both shots were taken when no one was on duty. I see folks down there a bit scoping out the scene and there are shots on Flickr that I've found from people who probably don't know and don't care what Amtrak's policy is. Unless they have added it recently, there's no signs about no photography there and no signs about unathorized access. I guess I was technnically wrong to be there, but raise your hand if you've never done anything like this, either by design or by just not thinking it through.
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:53 PM   #47
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I guess I was technnically wrong to be there, but raise your hand if you've never done anything like this, either by design or by just not thinking it through.
I don't think any of us are arguing the fact that we have had rules bent for us, or broke them ourselves. Our argument is that if we are on private property, we are not "entitled" to anything as some seem to think.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:58 PM   #48
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So long as the radio's "tongue" is cut out (as Kevin A. mentioned), it should be a non-issue...that setup is actually legal in most states whereas a scanner is illegal in many states (because they are readily able to receive police frequencies, which can be used in furtherance of a crime [trespassing on railroad property, for instance]). Also worth noting, virtually every amateur radio I have encountered does not transmit on the railroad band unless modified by the end-user to do so...hence, when stock from the factory, it's not an issue, and is perfectly legal when used by someone currently holding an amateur radio license.
I don't see how that should be a problem today, with sites like this, http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?ctid=598, letting anyone at anytime listen to police frequencies from their home.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:24 AM   #49
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Sorry Chase, whether I lease or own my house, you won't be leaving under your own power if you just walk in without an invite.

So if you lease your car, I can just come and ride in it at my discretion?
I think of it this way. If someone is renting a home and I am taking photos from their front lawn, and they request that I leave, I simply will not. However, if their landlord (the actual owner of the property) asks for me to leave, then obviously, I'm going to leave. This is what the "photographers right" clearly states.

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I concur.
Why does the railfan believe that they can enter a corporation's property (owned or leased) to pursue the hobby. Perhaps it is only, me but there are so many locations, angles and conditions that outweigh station shots. Very similar to the Garden of Eden, you can have or do anything the in the garden except from that particular tree, but you know the rest of the story. I don't want to sound like a preacher sermonizing, but why do some believe that they are arrogantly entitled to do what they want for the sole purpose of their pleasure? Right or wrong, agree or disagree with Amtrak's policy, stupid as it may seem, but it is their right to protect their property, assets and employees as they see fit. When I was with CN, I don't recall in my rules instructions classes that my job was to include being a prop for someones trackside hobby photos.
Well said and I do see your point, although, it was clearly visible that no signs at or near the station platform stated that photography was strictly prohibited, therefore allowing me to capture my quick image. As I previously said, the property is leased and the owner of the property (I believe the City of Charleston owns it, and if that is the case, the station would be considered "public" property, therefore definitely providing me with the right to photograph there) has not stated that photography is restricted.

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Very well said. However, some folk believe that they can simply do as they please and act as they please. Unfortunately, the same is true with this radio issue. The only arguement presented was better range, gain and less interferrence. Really? Risk it all for that? And to Chase and Chris Paulhamus who are "confused", my opinion is simply that, my opinion. And Chris, the rape analogy is totally irrelevant to this, seriously. Just take a step back and analyize this from a different perspective, you may see it differently and understand that this is not an arguement or combative standing from me, I'm just trying to help some stay out of trouble.
Kevin, not quite understanding your logic on this one. Giving us the "right" to photograph where we please. You seem to be think us "railfans" are bad people thinking we have the right to take photos wherever we want and own CSX radios.

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And Chris, the rape analogy is totally irrelevant to this, seriously. Just take a step back and analyize this from a different perspective, you may see it differently and understand that this is not an arguement or combative standing from me, I'm just trying to help some stay out of trouble.
Your comment regarding the weed was quite irrelevant and there was no need to post it.

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:38 AM   #50
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I think of it this way. If someone is renting a home and I am taking photos from their front lawn, and they request that I leave, I simply will not. However, if their landlord (the actual owner of the property) asks for me to leave, then obviously, I'm going to leave. This is what the "photographers right" clearly states.
1) You have no right to be on private property, whether it is rented or owned by someone.

2) Someone renting that private property does have a right to be there and is in control of it. If they tell you to leave, they are in the right. You are the trespasser.

3) There is nothing in the Photographer's Rights statement that mentions the word lease or rent. You are simply assuming that owner does not refer to leasers and renters. Let me assure you that you are wrong. If you are on my front yard and I am renting the home. I have a right to be there and you do not. If I call the police and you still refuse to leave, you will be arrested.

If you are standing on the street, you can take a picture of my house, whether I own or rent it.

I post this not to join this fight (I honestly am annoyed by it) but to try and protect you from what could be a very ugly situation based purely on your misunderstanding of the law.
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