Quote Originally Posted by Dave Parker

I understand the situation as you do, my only point in this was that if we all go off hell bent for election, often times we are going to be met with a flying bird, it is quite obvious the cooler heads prevailed in this situation and the photographers still have the permission to photograph the trains...Often times in our zeal to invokve the rights we believe we have, our actions dictate the outcome of the situation..

I am glad to see that if I visit this area, I still have the right to set up my camera and take photographs, this really is a situation we should ALL keep an eye on, but sometimes we need to enter through the back door instead of bursting through the front with guns blazing..


Quote Originally Posted by DBP
The position of railroads as far as property ownership is pretty ambiguous. Many US rail lines were built on easements acquired by the government through the right of eminent domain, then transfered to the railroads. Other similar arrangements also exist. Whether this makes them truly private property I will leave to a real estate attorney.
Dave: One of the things that concerns me with these threads is the thinking that folks have that they have an "unfettered" constitutional right to take pics on public property. That is not true. No right is "absolute".

So I agree that to go off "half cocked" screaming about rights is likely to result in diminished freedom. If you constantly petition the courts you may be disappointed in the decisions.

In situations such as this (at least before the UP climb down) I think it is important to keep two thoughts in mind:

1) It is easier for "functionaries" to be safe and say "NO" than to take a risk and say "YES".

Therefore, as regards shooting pics in "questionable" circumstances.

2) It is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission!

DBP: I am an attorney and work in R/E law. The rights-of-way conveyed to RR's and other common carriers by the grantor (property owner - whether public or private) include all of the rights of control as if the grantee were the fee simple owner of the property.*

With one caveat:

So long as the grantee of the ROW continues to use the property for the reasons vested in the conveyance by the grantor (e.g. to operate a railway line).

*BTW: this usually includes the obligation to pay property taxes.