Old 12-22-2005, 10:19 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
I understand 100% that it's a cop's job to check. I must have been getting a little greedy.
Maybe it was because you were railfanning in Gary Indiana? Was East St. Louis too crowded?
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:24 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicTrain35
There's nothing to hide. It's just the cop was really rude about it. Of course, I didn't really have any part of what happened about the licence and laptop, since that was between the cop and my dad. I kind of listened in though.
If you're not doing anything wrong and not giving an attitude, a cop really has no right to be rude or give you an attitude. If they persist, afterwards I'd call and talk to the person in charge and they'll generally be receptive. I know where I live, this has worked many a time. From what I've heard, from cops too, is that generally the ones that have the "cavalier" attitude are the new officers, who feel they have to "make a mark"/establish a reputation. Like I said, just talk to the person in charge, explain the situation, and you'll usually end up with an apology from the officer.
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:42 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ru1056
Maybe it was because you were railfanning in Gary Indiana?
Very possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopes09
If you're not doing anything wrong and not giving an attitude, a cop really has no right to be rude or give you an attitude. If they persist, afterwards I'd call and talk to the person in charge and they'll generally be receptive. I know where I live, this has worked many a time. From what I've heard, from cops too, is that generally the ones that have the "cavalier" attitude are the new officers, who feel they have to "make a mark"/establish a reputation. Like I said, just talk to the person in charge, explain the situation, and you'll usually end up with an apology from the officer.
I'd try that but it was quite some time ago that it happened. If it happens again, I'll try that.
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Old 12-24-2005, 05:49 AM   #29
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Good points-- And a citizen has the right to ask for the officer's supervisor to come to the location-- Normally, that will deflate an enlarged ego-- If the officer refuses to call a supervisor, do not press the issue, as some of those guys are not wrapped too tight-- There are good cops, and some not so good cops out there-- You can always file a complaint later--
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Old 12-24-2005, 02:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ru1056
Next generation railfanning is right. Whatever happened to just taking your camera?
I brought my laptop once. I hooked it up so that I could save space on my SD card. I ended up loosing 20 pictures in the transfer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ru1056
Let me ask you this, if someone was sitting outside your home on a public street with a camera, laptop, GPS, and all the goodies you talked about, what would you think about that?
A map, scanner and extra cards are all I take.
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Old 12-24-2005, 05:06 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
I brought my laptop once. I hooked it up so that I could save space on my SD card. I ended up loosing 20 pictures in the transfer.


A map, scanner and extra cards are all I take.
Your pictures should still be on the SD card, if not there is a check box "Delete Photos after download" uncheck this box and you will never lose a photo again, you can check your hard drive than delete your SD card. I have down loaded 1000's of photo's and never lost one. But I feel you should go track side with whatever makes your trip fun, no matter what anyone else takes. When we moved from 35mm to digital how many said it would never work and look at us now. Just have FUN!
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Old 12-24-2005, 05:19 PM   #32
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Quote:
When we moved from 35mm to digital how many said it would never work
There are people who still say that. Of course, there are some people who still travel via horse and buggy...
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Old 12-25-2005, 12:19 AM   #33
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Default It is a public street

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ru1056
Next generation railfanning is right. Whatever happened to just taking your camera?

Let me ask you this, if someone was sitting outside your home on a public street with a camera, laptop, GPS, and all the goodies you talked about, what would you think about that?

I am not knocking anybody for this hobby (I do it too), I don't have all of the gadets and gizmos that some of you do. But that is the way I railfan, different strokes for different folks.

I am not saying it is wrong to have a laptop, or any other things with you while you railfan. But you are taking a risk of making yourself look like more than a railfan. To most people, trains are nothing more than a nuisance, and to want to photograph trains probably rates about a 10 on most people's wierd-o-meter.

I am just trying to provide another side to this. Everybody thinks the local police, FBI, or whomever is out to get them because they railfan. That isn't the case. We are stopped and questioned because we are taking pictures of a possible terrorist target.
I don't see your point of someone standing out in the open along a track taking pictures and someone sitting outside your home, but I would take some coffee out see what neat stuff he (she) was using and see if I could learn anything, see I have nothing to hide and I love technology and I love to learn new things and meet new people. I found out you can't look through a viewfinder and over your shoulder (for the man) at the same time, I prefer the viewfinder. I do have two signs I use they are caution yellow in large letter that read, " CAUTION railfan hobbyist, photographing, video & recording please stay clear!" I have had police drive by many times very slowly and a few stop, I ask where is a good place to get lunch or my granddaughter needs a safe place to use a bathroom and they tell me and are gone. After 8 or 10 hours with a eight year old and she not ready to go home you know you have had a good day. Trains make it fun my toys keep it fun and the great people I meet add something special. God bless my granddaughter the greatest little railfan in the world. PS: I got her a laptop for Christmas. (I hope you don't think she is a terrorist).If it's not fun it's work, I like fun better. Have fun.
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Old 12-25-2005, 01:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by signmasters
Your pictures should still be on the SD card, if not there is a check box "Delete Photos after download" uncheck this box and you will never lose a photo again, you can check your hard drive than delete your SD card. I have down loaded 1000's of photo's and never lost one. But I feel you should go track side with whatever makes your trip fun, no matter what anyone else takes. When we moved from 35mm to digital how many said it would never work and look at us now. Just have FUN!
This was over a year ago, and I had "cut-and-pasted" them to my hard drive. If I remember right, I heard a train coming and disconnected my USB cable to take shots. They are like a $10 bill to a junkie... long gone. So now, rather than worry about clearing cards in the field, I will just buy more cards to copy at home.

Now I have a card reader and only copy (not cut) each folder to the hard drive. I format the card next time I go out; thus ensuring I keep the photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by signmasters
" CAUTION railfan hobbyist, photographing, video & recording please stay clear!"
This is a great offensive move. But I can see what 1056 is saying as well.

Picture it from a "non-railfan" point of view. Imagine a guy in downtown, sitting in his car for hours on end. Getting out frequently to photograph a building. You can see a video camera perched on his dash. You walk by the car on your way to lunch and see a laptop on the frontseat with other equipment. A scanner and phone are also visible. Unfortunately this photographer doesn't have a sign advertising that he is an architectural photographer and is getting different lighting shots throughout the day.

Hats off to you and your technological know-how. I found it cumbersome and more of a pain to drag the laptop out with me. But also, I didn't care to draw more attention to me.
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Old 12-25-2005, 03:37 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
This was over a year ago, and I had "cut-and-pasted" them to my hard drive. If I remember right, I heard a train coming and disconnected my USB cable to take shots. They are like a $10 bill to a junkie... long gone. So now, rather than worry about clearing cards in the field, I will just buy more cards to copy at home.

Now I have a card reader and only copy (not cut) each folder to the hard drive. I format the card next time I go out; thus ensuring I keep the photos.

This is a great offensive move. But I can see what 1056 is saying as well.

Picture it from a "non-railfan" point of view. Imagine a guy in downtown, sitting in his car for hours on end. Getting out frequently to photograph a building. You can see a video camera perched on his dash. You walk by the car on your way to lunch and see a laptop on the frontseat with other equipment. A scanner and phone are also visible. Unfortunately this photographer doesn't have a sign advertising that he is an architectural photographer and is getting different lighting shots throughout the day.

Hats off to you and your technological know-how. I found it cumbersome and more of a pain to drag the laptop out with me. But also, I didn't care to draw more attention to me.
Maybe that's why people think like they do about railfans why are you afraid of attention, I would give up 100 good shots to bring one new railfan aboard and I have done just that, "it's great fun for everyone" I pass out little cards with links to help get people get started. As far as the laptop whatever turns your crank, just have fun. There's two kind of railfans said best by two songs, one Ricky Nelson's "Garden Party" (showing my age here) and Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the wall". When I love something as much as I do nothing is to cumbersome I'll go the extra mile and have.There is time to do both, if we act like weirdo than guess what. Have a very Merry Christmas and keep railfanning fun.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:29 PM   #36
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Default Times changes rapidly

From BNSF website:
Paragraph #5 may be of interest to some

BNSF On Guard Program Puts Safety First
2005-12-27
BNSF is committed to the safety of employees, the communities it serves, and the security of facilities and customers’ materials. In a post-Sept. 11, 2001, world, BNSF has fully cooperated with the Office of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of goods vital to this economy. As stated by the Resource Protection Solutions Team (RPST), "Safety is a shared responsibility."

As such, BNSF has a detailed security plan and has worked with employees to heighten awareness of possible security risks. An outgrowth of BNSF’s security efforts is the ON GUARD program, which launched in 2003. The program encourages employees and others to report suspicious behavior, security violations, trespassers or crimes in progress on BNSF property. To date, more than 200 reports of suspicious activity or persons have been reported through BNSF ON GUARD.

When contacting a suspicious person or trespasser, BNSF police officers will use the proper law enforcement procedures to gain information, including checking identification, asking questions, informing the person of potential safety dangers and, when necessary, appropriate follow-up with other local, state or federal agencies. Concerns will be elevated if the suspicious activity or trespasser is around a train or critical infrastructure.

"Our employees are vital to the overall security of BNSF," says John Clark, assistant vice president, RPST. "They can make the difference in a timely police response by reporting suspicious activity directly to our Resource Operations Command Center (ROCC)."

BNSF recognizes there are many railroad enthusiasts throughout the system who can be helpful in reporting security violations and suspicious activities. Next year, BNSF will launch a new program similar to the internal BNSF ON GUARD program to gain rail fan support as another layer in rail transportation security. More details of the program will be released in the future.

In the meantime, anyone who notices anything suspicious should call the Resource Operations Call Center at 1-800-832-5452. However, do not take action on your own if you spot a possible problem – call 1-800-832-5452. For more information about the ON GUARD program, go to the Resource Protection intranet site and click Protection Solutions.

BNSF Headquarters
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Fort Worth, TX 76161-0057
Phone: (817) 352-1000

Let's see where it goes..Ken
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:04 AM   #37
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I don't think that most of the employees really care if railfans are by the track. I have a few examples. I was taking pictures of a passing train and two workers were walking toward me away from the rest of the workers. I thought they were going to ask me what i was doing, but the looked at me and walked over to a newly laid track. My second example was when i was taking pictures of a bnsf dash 9 that was waiting. i heard the engine start up, pull forward a little, uncouple and then stop. The conductor then walked from the rear of the locos and looked at me then went onboard the loco. He came out a few seconds later and asked me if i wanted to come aboard. He then offered me a ride to the back of the train to retrieve the EOTD on a parallel track. I think most the time railroad personel understand and sometimes might even reward you.
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Old 01-27-2006, 03:59 PM   #38
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I have a theory...do Railroad police, station secerity gaurds, etc. get to pick where they patrol? If so, wouldn't it be logical that if you were given the choice of where to patrol, and you chose the train tracks, wouldn't you like trains? And the enginers and conducters pretty much have to like trains, otherwise why would they work for the railroad? Maybe the railroad employees don't care as much because they have something in common with us; we both like trains. Maybe if the secerity gaurds do not get to pick where they partrol, and are just assigned, maybe they don't give a hoot about trains or this "hobby", all they care about is just making the station safe. To me, taking pictures of trains is safe.
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:53 AM   #39
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The only time I've been confronted by any kind of law enforcement was when I was getting some shots of a train leaving from the downtown SLC area, My car was parked on a dead end road where there was no reason for any traffic. The Local Police man was checking my car when I walked back to it, all he was doing was making sure my car wasn't listed as stolen. It is nice to know that local law enforcement is keeping an eye out for anything suspicious even if it is just me. He also noticed that my radio was missing (I took it out to put it in my truck). Kudos to the Local law.
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:04 AM   #40
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I've only been confronted once..........by the UP police. I was in Rochelle and I was walking to the Depot and he was waiting there for me, and gave me a warning and not a ticket. He said I was too close to the tracks, like heck I was . Anyway the other to places I watch trains havn't been a problem. One place is on the edge of town where it's impossible for the Police to see me. The other location is in a train yard, there is a Police gas station nearby and the Police are in and out all the time, they drive by us all the time, they know who we are and why we're there so they don't bother us.
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Old 03-11-2006, 03:12 AM   #41
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Default Laptop?

I don't have a laptop (yet), but I used to bring my PDA with me when I was out waiting for trains. Worked very well for editing code for the big transfer of my website from a free site to my own domain last year. Too bad it's not working right anymore...

I think having a laptop with wireless access would be cool, not only for railfans but photographers in general, just imagine being able to post photos instantly from trackside or wherever you're vacationing! Someday...
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Old 03-11-2006, 03:20 AM   #42
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My boss got a card for his laptop through his cell phone provider... it's about DSL speed, faster then dial up and slower then cable, but works anywhere. When I finally get my cell replaced I'll inquire about one for me as well
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