Quote Originally Posted by Dave Parker
I happen to disagree, a private corperation that owns the property has the rights to do what they want when they deny access to the property, short of killing someone or maiming them, this is not a government situation, this from what I have read was a private corp dening access to photographers to their property...

I do know one thing, running around calling companies fascist, does not further our cause to have access to the areas we want to photograph, this is not even a 1st amendment thing, from the articles I have read, 100% in whole this is private property..

And I have worked for many corperations, and I agree that many are very militant in their thinking, I also spent 26 years in the military, so am very familier with the terms and definitions, but I can tell you this, if someone showed up on my personal private property and started taking photographs with out permission, they run a good chance of getting a butt full of rock salt from the 12 gauge..and here in Montana, I would win in court...personal private property rights are held in the highest reguards where I live.


While I agree with you that a private corporation has every right to control access and usage of its property - in the particular instance this is not a clear-cut situation.

From what I understand of the Metra/UP set up it is this: UP (a private corporation) owns the rail right of way. Metra (a public agency) owns the stations, including the platforms and certain surrounding land (e.g. parking facilities).

Metra also contracts with UP to operate commuter train service for it.

As such, we have a mixed situation with property ownership divided b/w a private and public entity and with a private entity operating services on behalf of a public body. Those services likely include security (either directly or via sub-contract).

UP was apparently out of bounds in announcing that photogs could not take pics from the Metra station platforms because they were attempting to restrict usage on what is actually public property. I believe this is why they ultimately did a climb down.

However, if UP did own the station facilities then, yes, it would have the right to restrict access and/or usage.

This particular situation arises because UP once owned the facilities and provided the service. The public sector stepped in and acquired the facilities (but not the ROW) when UP could no longer financially make a profit. It then contracted with UP (as an experienced operator) which, under such an arrangement could now operate profitably since it was relieved of such costs as station maintenance and repairs. UP was acting according to an ownership structure that no longer exists - and was call on it.