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  1. #1

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    Chicago photo ban at train stations

    More good news. I pulled this off a train geek site after I saw a blurb in one of are local rags.

    "August 16, 2006
    CHICAGO - Union Pacific Railroad has announced that with the recent
    increase in security concerns across the United States, it will no
    longer allow photography of trains from Metra station platforms in
    the Chicago area. Metra is the region's commuter-train agency.

    "We recognize that railroad fans can be our eyes and ears out
    there," said UP spokesman Mark Davis. "But we live in different
    times. The number one concern for Union Pacific is the safety of
    everyone. Right now, and since 9/11, security has been heightened
    and increased. This is part of that effort." Davis added that, "This
    stuff about UP not liking railfans is not true. But we have to be as
    safe and secure as we can."

    Metra was pulled into the photography-rights controversy last year
    when two railroad fans were detained by Morton Grove, Ill.,
    municipal police and Metra police while photographing trains from
    the public train-boarding platforms at town's Metra station. That
    route, the Milwaukee District North Line, is owned by Metra. Union
    Pacific owns the property on its three commuter routes, and UP
    employees operate the trains under contract to Metra.

    After the glare of publicity enveloped the Motron Grove incident,
    Metra recanted its position and publicly reversed its stance, saying
    it would allow photography of trains from its stations.

    Metra spokesman Tom Miller today told Trains News Wire that as long
    as people are in areas accessible to the public, are acting in a
    safe manner, and are willing to provide identification if asked by
    authorities, that Metra has no problem with them taking photos. "But
    as far as the UP policy, we have no comment on that," Miller said.

    UP might be on shaky legal ground if it attempts to enforce its ban.
    Attorney Walter Zullig, who did legal work for New York's Metro
    North Commuter Railroad, today told Trains News Wire, "There is
    nothing in statute that prohibits photography from public areas.
    There is no federal law on this, and nothing from Homeland Security.
    The U.S. Supreme Court considers photography a part of free speech
    protected under the First Amendment."

    In a column that will appear in the October 2006 issue of TRAINS
    Magazine, Zullig writes that research has not turned up any state
    law on the subject in existence anywhere. According to Zullig,
    railfans have the legal and constitutional right to photograph
    whatever they please from locations "open to the public," which
    would seem to include Metra and other passenger-train-boarding
    platforms.

    Maryland's MTA rapid-transit and commuter-train system has a photo
    ban on MARC commuter trains, which run on CSX and Amtrak trackage,
    as well as the Baltimore subway and light-rail systems, but Zullig
    believes there is no legal basis for the ban and is attempting to
    get MTA to explain its legal basis for it.

    Both the New York City Transit Agency, which operates the city's
    vast subway system, and New Jersey Transit, which operates commuter
    trains and bus and trolley lines throughout the Garden State,
    attempted to adopt photography bans but withdrew their proposals
    after a flood of negative comments and threatened lawuits on
    constitutional grounds.

    Public financial support of transit and commuter facilities may or
    may not have any bearing on the legality of such bans. In the Union
    Pacific instance, UP, a private railroad, contracts with Metra, a
    public entity, to provide the commuter-train service, on three
    routes out of Chicago. Metra uses tax money to fund the service and
    maintain the station facilities, including the train-boarding
    platforms."

    end quoted material.

    In other news, the SP Heritage loco is going to be unveiled at
    Roseville this Saturday. The event is supposedly only open to UP
    employees and their families. The locomotive arrived in Roseville
    under tarps yesterday. One UP employee stated that security around
    the unit is tighter than airport security. The CRSM SP Daylight E
    unit is also up at Roseville for the ceremony.

  2. #2
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Photography is not a crime. Criminal activity involving photography is.
    Makes about as much sense as banning cars to prevent drunk driving.

  3. #3
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner
    Photography is not a crime. Criminal activity involving photography is.
    Makes about as much sense as banning cars to prevent drunk driving.
    They didn't say it was a crime, only that they were not going to let you do it anylonger!

    Don't make a lot of sense..beings more than half the people carry cell phones with cameras in them, I don't know of to many terrorists that use 8x10 cameras!

    dave

  4. #4

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    Your are free to photograph Metra trains from any road or sidewalk that crosses or goes under the tracks, just not from the platform. The policy makes absolutely no sense, but if they own the platform, they can kick anyone off of it. But as far as I understand, any photos that you take before they give you the boot are perfectly legit.

    That said, if you live by a CTA line, then take that instead of this.

  5. #5

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    I just saw in the tribune that they decided to allow photography.

  6. #6
    Sparky's Avatar
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    If you think THAT'S bad, we've got people like Lord Wakeham in England trying to get all water sources (including old wells in people's back yards and 'public' lakes) privatised, so that any drink of water costs money - !!

    In the meantime, the FBI never bothered formally charging Bin Laden for 9/11, the presumed perpetrator...!

    What the hell's going on in this world??!

  7. #7
    eclarke's Avatar
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    We are falling right into the hands of terrorists and woud-be terrorists when subtle threats can put the entire nation into a tizzy of silliness, we certainly aren't scaring them. Maybe we need to "bite the bullet" and land a few nukes in strategic places..that would scare them...eC

  8. #8
    Frank-G's Avatar
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    You're kidding, right?
    f you think THAT'S bad, we've got people like Lord Wakeham in England trying to get all water sources (including old wells in people's back yards and 'public' lakes) privatised, so that any drink of water costs money - !!

  9. #9
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank-G
    You're kidding, right?

    Nope. No joke. He was Maggie Thatcher's right-hand man, sat on the board of directors for Enron, is on the IMF/World Bank Board, on the board at NM Rothschild (basically the real axis of evil!) - just google his name and 'water' and 'privatise', etc.. see what you come up with.

    I mean - from THEIR perspective I'm sure it makes sense - ! You have to 'enter markets like that to maximize financial gains...' that's what it's all about.

  10. #10
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Personally, I think a lot of these threads, like all the airline threads, should go to the doom and gloom area.

    I'm sitting here in La Guardia waiting for my flight to Mexico. Two cameras, lots of film, two laptops, etc... right next to me and lots of other gear (mostly lighting and stands) checked in. Took me all of 10 minutes to get through security this morning. Most of it was waiting in line.

    What was all the bruhaha about?

    Regards, Art. (The sky is falling, the sky is falling!)
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

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