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4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Take Portraits on Railroad Tracks

By Tanya Goodall Smith on November 10th 2013


Photographers are notorious for taking safety risks and ignoring laws in order to get the perfect shot. Trespassing onto railroad property to photograph people on tracks seems to be a common action taken by photographers in recent years. With an increase in pedestrian rail trespass casualties in the United States, Union Pacific and organizations like Operation Lifesaver, have been urging photographers to just stay off the tracks. Here are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t take portraits on railroad tracks…

1. It’s Dangerous!

According to Joyce Rose, president and CEO of Operation Lifesaver, a person or vehicle is hit by a train approximately every three hours across the U.S. Modern trains are quiet, move faster than you think they do and overhang the tracks by at least three feet, all factors contributing to accidental death. Would you seriously want to put yourself and your clients in harms way?

Photo by Hanssie Ho

Follow these Pedestrian Rail Safety Tips by Operation Lifesaver when considering photographing near tracks:

The only safe place to cross is at a designated public crossing with either a crossbuck, flashing red lights or a gate. If you cross at any other place, you are trespassing and can be ticketed or fined. Cross tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.

Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and trespassers are subject to arrest and fine. If you are in a rail yard uninvited by a railroad official you are trespassing and subject to criminal prosecution; you could be injured or killed in a busy rail yard.

It can take a mile or more to stop a train, so a locomotive engineer who suddenly sees someone on the tracks will likely be unable to stop in time. Railroad property is private property. For your safety, it is illegal to be there unless you are at a designated public crossing.

Trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet in both directions; loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even further. If you are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, you can be hit by the train.

Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first. Trains can come from either direction. Wait until you can see clearly around the first train in both directions.

Flashing red lights indicate a train is approaching from either direction. You can be fined for failure to obey these signals. Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing, and DO NOT cross the tracks until the lights have stopped flashing and it’s safe to do so.

Do not {photograph}, hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad trestles. There is only enough clearance on the tracks for a train to pass. Trestles are not meant to be sidewalks or pedestrian bridges! Never walk, run, cycle or operate all terrain vehicles (ATVs) on railroad tracks, rights-of-way or through tunnels.

Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time. A slip of the foot can cost you a limb or your life.

Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Any Time is Train Time!

2. It’s Illegal

Trespassing onto railroad property, including tracks, bridges, buildings and signal towers, is illegal. Violators are subject to a citation for trespassing. Union Pacific will seek removal from publication any photograph or video that violates this policy. For more information, see Union Pacific’s Policy for Photography and Video Recording.

If you really want to photograph on the tracks or other railroad property, contact the railroad company to request permission.

3. It Sets a Bad Example

In an article on the Union Pacific blog, Community Ties, one photography studio was criticized for simply using an artificial backdrop that depicted railroad tracks because it communicated to children and teens that it’s ok to walk and play near tracks. As photographers, we might justify the fact that photographing on tracks that are no longer be in use is safe, but people seeing our images wouldn’t know any difference. People tend to think that if everyone else is doing it, it’s ok for them to do it, too, which may be why so many photographers continue to photograph on tracks. Did you know it was illegal and dangerous? Or did you just figure it was ok to go out on the tracks because so many other photogs are doing it?

4. It has become cliché

We photographers love railroad tracks because they create great leading lines in our images. They can lend a romantic or edgy feel to our portraits. But, let’s be honest, pics of high school seniors sitting or standing on tracks are a little over done. And, now that I think about it, photos of babies or little children sitting in the middle of railroad tracks all alone are quiet disturbing… Why are they there? Alone. On tracks…? For tips on how to safely photograph babies, check out our Newborn Photography Workshop.

So, let’s get creative and try to find a way to incorporate trains and tracks in our images in a legal and safe way. It’s perfectly ok to photograph from the shoulder of a public road or parking lot with tracks in the background, or maybe from a hillside overlooking the train yard.

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Tanya Goodall Smith is the owner, brand strategist and commercial photographer at WorkStory Corporate Photography in Spokane, Washington. WorkStory creates visual communications that make your brand irresistible to your target market. Join the stock photo rebellion at

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Diana Zavaleta

    People that weren’t paying attention on the train tracks caused these laws to happen.. walking the tracks over 20-30 years ago-  was a way of life in towns….especially when you didn’t drive a car.. But, now when people are so close to a place/store for rx or food & dr. office to be at.. just a track walk away or walking along the tracks, even… in 15 minutes (if that)..   they have to go around the world on buses that take an hour or hours..  It maybe doing you best to be safe.. but not everyone is clueless to the trains.  sometime these rules are total overkill.

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  2. Troy Young

    Let’s not forget, either, that if any vintage passenger trains use the tracks, there’s always the lovely fact that their toilets empty straight down onto the ground between the rails. You take the chance of walking/standing/sitting in some nasty stuff.

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  3. Mama Bear on Railroad Tracks: Fun or Nah? | Capre Photography Blog

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  4. Man Struck, Killed on Train Tracks While Posing for Photo in Auburn, WA

    […] Please review the safety and legal guidelines regarding photographing railroad tracks here: 4 REASONS YOU SHOULDN’T TAKE PORTRAITS ON RAILROAD TRACKS […]

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  5. Alex S.

    My most regrettable moment in life was the time I left a nameless baby on some train tracks in eastern Oklahoma. I had intended to take a few snapshots of the little critter crawling about on those railroad ties, but soon I became distracted by the stunning black swallowtail butterfly (of the cutely-named subfamily Papilioninae). I quickly forgot all about the crawling white wormlike child on those rust-studded creosote logs. I don’t really remember what happened afterwards, except that I was consumed by severe boredom. I guess the little nude golem went inchworming into the woods (or something). All I have now are some photos to remind me of the awe-inspiring iridescent cobalt hues on the tail of the female Lepidopteran.

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  6. Jack Sprat

    Please see my article ” 1000 reasons why you should not post half nude and nude boudoir pictures of my clients in the public forums such as Facebook”. Number 3 is hilarious and is actually causing you to be very very hypocritical. I think posting half nude photos of young girls in what “appears” to be public or wide open spaces is telling young woman everywhere to frolick nude and expose your self to thousands of men at all times. Well you did succeed in the true reason you wrote this article….exposure. Pun Intended.

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    • Jack Sprat

      My mistake that wasn’t you. Although number three is still ridiculous. I dont think you should leave babies on beds by themselves either. I think having such risky pictures makes other babies want to be up on high beds by themselves. It is DANGEROUS. A baby can flip and tumble in a split second. It never ends. You should have written an article on taking railroad track pictures safely and give the 4 reasons not to, along with the 4 safe way ways how to. Instead you take the prohibitive stance of fear and humiliation for deterrence. Well now that I think it is dangerous its well uhh ….its its just cliche so you are dumb if you do it and your photos will look cliche.

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  7. Joe S

    Wow you people are a bunch of ass-kissers. Tracks are only dangerous to people who are too careless and stupid to watch out for trains.

    And yes it can be cliche, but saying all railroad shots are cliche is like saying all ocean or sunset shots are cliche. Railroads are part of our world and are just as valid as anything else. The challenge is to use them creatively.

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  8. EWish

    There are no more active trains in my county. Not one, but there is hundreds of miles of legacy track that is now pseudo-public land (old railroad companies have given access rights to most sections). Too bad the fourth reason is still true here.

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  9. Drew Pluta

    #4 is really the only point of discussion here. The others (as stated right up front) are pointless to mention simply on grounds of the obvious tendency by artists to disregard these factors in pursuit of art.

    As Creatives we should all be in aggressive denial and rejection of such trite, overdone and obviously non creative setups. We should rip apart these kinds of cliche’s at every opportunity. Pure rejection of bad ideas. There are way too many people executing a functional understanding of the craft without offering anything interesting. This is the role critique should be playing in art.

    If we accept everything with a smile , how will real talent be recognized?

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  10. Mark T

    I work on the railroad and I completely agree with every angle of this article. I have worked in yards where shoving cars (with the locomotive on the rear pushing the cars) is very common. You can not hear the cars coming, even when they are right up on you. If that doesn’t make you think twice then take this into consideration… A locomotive weighs over 400,000 pounds and is almost entirely made of metal. Now think about that travelling at 70mph. There are also high speed rail trains in the DC area ran by Amtrak, called the Acela, that runs at a top speed of 150mph. I would also like to point out, taking your life out of the equation, to think about the engineer and possibly the conductor that are on the locomotive that strikes you and/or your client. I have seen first hand the mental trauma that is experienced by the crew that strikes a trespasser (because that is what you are while on railroad property without permission). There is NEVER a reason to jeopardize your life or your clients life to get the “perfect shot.”

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  11. M. Daniels

    1. It’s Dangerous – that’s part of being a photographer. Hanging over a cliff to get that unique perspective, being in the middle of a civil war in order to document something that will be in our children’s history books, swimming with sharks to better understand their behavioral patterns, etc…

    In regard to railway, one can always complete a Rail System Safety Certification Program.

    2. It’s Illegal – I’m pretty sure trespassing is on every photographer’s résumé. However, it’s no longer illegal if one obtains a right of entry permit or an encroachment permit.

    3. It Sets a Bad Example – when did photographers become the parents of every child on the planet? If one of my children ends up playing on railroad tracks, I’m certainly not blaming photographers. That’s like blaming Super Mario Bros. if you find your child eating mushrooms from your lawn.

    4. It has become cliché – that can be said for pretty much any portrait photography location. Many say beaches and parks are cliché locations as well. It is the photographer’s duty as an artist to create unique images, no matter the location.

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  12. Rob

    “Union Pacific will seek removal from publication any photograph or video that violates this policy.” They can seek removal all they want, but that doesn’t mean they will get it. The most they can do is issue a trespass notice not to come back on their property, but once the photo is taken they have no legal say in whether the photographer deletes it or not.

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  13. Cherie-Lynn

    The thing people need to remember is that when someone looks at that photo they have no idea if it’s a dead rail line or not. Many people look to pro photographers for inspiration. In my opinion it’s just easier to stay off the tracks. I’ve lost clients because I refuse to shoot on the tracks. Which is sad because I have a lot of other great spots they could have chosen from.

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  14. V.R.

    I am sort of said to see U.S. the former land of freedom is more and more becoming a country of private properties, restrictions, control etc… and all from media mass-produced fear.

    I always liked U.S. and their citizens for their free spirit, open mind and kindness.

    Well, may the force be with you all.

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  15. Riaz Hathey

    In South Africa it’s a huge problem. Education and responsibility is very important. I believe no matter how great the pic will be, if it has dangerous, it’s irresponsible and it’s not worth it. Train accidents a daily occurrence here. I agree fully!…..Thanks

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  16. ihtoit

    Disclaimers, right off the bat:
    I am a photographer.
    I also work a nine and a half mile stretch of live railway.

    Fortunately for me, that line runs a tight passenger schedule and the top 5 miles of that line are booted 5 days a week. The bottom 5 miles are the run for the gypsum plant. The gypsum train is nearly a mile long and rolls at no more than ten miles an hour, even on the main line, however it still requires the last two miles to come to a stop. The passenger trains are also limited to ten miles an hour, but they don’t hit the mainline – the limit is why I’m there: the lines are very old and are under constant attack from burrowing mammals. I have been on that line with trains rolling up and down and yes, I have had to physically remove people, particularly photographers who a: have no business being there and b: even if they had, they didn’t have permission nor were they aware of the schedule. I have seen people get poleaxed on the mainline, it’s not pretty. On there the trains regularly exceed 100mph, and they have standing instructions that if they do hit someone they do not stop until they reach the end of the line, and they radio ahead so a shroud can be erected to receive the front of the loco. Last one I kicked off the line had the dubious fortune of witnessing a suicide-by-train while he was arguing with me, that made up his mind pretty quickly after that.

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  17. Kyle Steinke

    Really? 150mph isn’t high speed rail? I beg to differ. “So lets stop taking sunset photos too because they’re cliche.” Well….How about you stop taking photos on the tracks because you ARE subject to arrest. Is jail time not enough for you people?

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  18. Daniel Turner

    As a Locomotive Engineer I can say this happens way to often. Not only have I seen these morons taking pics on the tracks, I had the misfortune of hitting and killing one only a year ago. Trains are no joke, stay away from the tracks. And to clear up some earlier statements, there is high speed rail in america. Unless 150mph isnt high speed to you.

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  19. Mike

    From what I am reading here it’s simply a matter of people not wanting to obey the trespassing laws. We have a real “why do I have to do what you tell me” problem nowadays. We all used to cut through yards walking home from school. Does that mean I should grab my tripod and set up a shoot because I like the way it looks there? Do railroads gets sued because some one decides to play chicken on a the tracks with a train and gets blasted? Yes they do. Is it their fault. Nope. So if they make a blanket restriction to the public, so be it.

    Anyway it’s not the normal photographers or hikers that cause problems for us. It’s the ones that disrespect the railway people when they are told to leave.

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  20. Deirdre

    In your 10 Basic Wedding Poses article you have a pose on railroad tracks ;)

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  21. Frank Villafañe

    As a railfan, I’ve frequented many rail yards and photographed many engines. Most of the time I approach the rail yard management prior to coming onto the yard and get permission. The few times I neglected to do so, I was summarily kicked off the yard (and deservedly so). Nevertheless, some tips for railfaning photographers:

    1) Scout the area first. Look for the best vantage points on PUBLIC property.
    2) If you MUST traverse the railroad’s PRIVATE property, get permission beforehand (this usually involves a sidetrip to the rail yard’s management office).
    3) Always work with a partner. Photographers will become so engrossed in “getting the shot”, they become oblivious to their surroundings – this is where a partner will be your “eyes and ears”.
    4) STAY OFF THE TRACKS! Unless the tracks are in disuse, best to not cross them. If you must, however, see point 3 above.
    5) PAY ATTENTION! Any creak, snap or disquiet should be checked out. Cars can roll, and frequently do…NEVER walk between cars. In some instances, homeless and/or wild animals may frequent the more remote locations. Again, PAY ATTENTION! Safety first.

    Realize that most, if not all, yards will have cameras, so if you’re caught trespassing, apologize and exit gracefully, and never argue with a railroad official (which brings me back to point number 2 above).

    Finally, railfan groups abound (such as There you will find advice, like-minded photographers, and (usually) the best locations to photograph without incurring any issues.

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  22. Michael Lloyd

    I met the Sr. Special Agent – Supervisor for Union Pacific a few years ago. He was working a tornado / train collision that happened near the town that I live near. The tornado won. In short- he is an extremely nice guy and fellow photographer. However, I have no doubt that if he or one of his team catches you on railroad property they will fine you. If you get belligerent (most won’t be as brave as they are in the internet), they’ll arrest you. The fine will far exceed anything that you would make off of a train track portrait session. Sometimes, if you are a “big enough deal in photography”, and they see your images online, they will find you and fine you as an example and because they can.

    So, keeping in mind that doing anything on railroad tracks is illegal and railroad tracks are extremely cliche (unoriginal, boring, lacking in vision, etc) why not do portraits in a tornado? A tornado is more powerful than a train and nobody else does them :o) You could be a leader instead of a follower, at the tail end of a really long “train” of photographers.

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  23. TewTam

    My comment is on the hypocrisy of this article. SLR Lounge posted this article to tell us to be safe, but in the same month publishes a photo of a happy couple walking down the tracks as part of their Wedding Poses article. Please follow link and see

    What we need is a society that takes responsibility for its actions, not more rules or fear propaganda. What’s next, you going to tell people to not climb mountains or swim with sharks because they could get hurt? Most of your customers are grown ups…respect them as such.

    As far as railroads…well I currently live in Belgium. I also have a bit of common sense. Trains here are super fast. So no, I won’t be doing portraits with HS students on Belgian rails. However, European train stations are interesting subjects. But beware of the boogey man at the train station, he may bite!

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  24. Trish

    “It’s cliche.”

    Let’s all stop taking pictures with the sunset, food, selfies, etc because it’s “cliche.”
    This post sounds like it was written by a 16 year old.

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    • Kyle Steinke

      Yeah, how about just specifically on railroad property so you don’t get killed, arrested, ticketed, or injured.

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  25. Frank

    “Ok Mum, i won’t take any photos on rails” ;)

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  26. Marc

    I agree with point number 4, it is cliched, especially in my area. In Boise, there is a *very* well known landmark known as the Boise Train Depot (Google it). It’s used for many public functions and is actually owned by the City of Boise. It’s also one of *the* places to do pictures because of the dramatic backdrops and the layout of the city. The main street that runs through the center of town is straight off of the Depot, runs right to the Capitol building and has the mountains in the background, GORGEOUS place to do pictures. It *also* has two sets of tracks running behind it. These tracks are maintained, but are not in regular service any longer, as Boise doesn’t have regular passenger service. Here, the tracks are cliched because it’s one of the few places where you can safely, and legally do pictures on the tracks without a lot of research ahead of time. The generalization that the author makes about safety are just that….generalizations and may not apply everywhere. Do Your Research Before Shooting……it’s called scouting; don’t just look for the cool places, check to make sure that it’s legal, permissible, and safe.

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  27. Joe

    This has to be the best PSA for railroad safety =D

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  28. Wedding Poses | 10 Basic Poses for Wedding Photographers

    […] Note: Since taking this image, our studio has stopped taking photos on railroad tracks! Ready Why Here. […]

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  29. Myles

    Luckily on Vancouver Island we have the tracks, just no train, ever again.

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    • Tanya Smith

      Interesting. I didn’t know this. No train at all?

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    • Myles

      No, the tracks deteriorated so they had to stop using them. The was only a dayliner that used to run from up island to Victoria. Some want to redo the tracks, others want them ripped up and it to be used as a nature trail. Either way, no train

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  30. Greg

    I will grant you that it is illegal, and a bit of clique. However, as someone who grew up two blocks from a busy set of train tracks, and grew up watching all these commercials, ads, and assemblies in school, about how not to get hit by a train. And through all those experiences I wanted to scream: HOW HARD IS IT TO NOT GET HIT BY A TRAIN? I have no sympathy for someone who was too much in a rush to wait for the train too pass or decided to go hiking down the rails with their ipod on.

    That being said, I have taken great images of models on the tracks, and trespassing has never stopped me before

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    • Dan Ellis

      It’s real easy to avoid getting hit by a train. Stay off the track. Much the same as you don’t have any sympathy for someone else getting hit by a train, I won’t have any sympathy when I hit you. I just hope your model get out of the way in time.

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    • gregory Hitchcock

      don’t worry, she will be fine.

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    • GREG

      Whatever Dan Ellis, you’re a little bitch!

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  31. So Cal Tog

    As a photographer that’s married to an engineer in California…
    While we don’t have high speed rails per se, freight and passenger trains do travel up to 70mph. Much of california is hil y and curved and too many areas have a quiet ordinance. What does that mean? It means that no horns are to be used except in emergency conditions. Without horns you will NOT hear them until it too late. Seems like monthly my husband hits someone trying to get off the tracks or simply walking too close.
    IMO it should never be done and shame on togs who do. Thank you for posting an article to bring this issue to light.

    Side note: other railroad operations regularly look for photographs depicting tracks to fine them. Proof is in the pudding

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    • Karen Rice

      Your husband hits people every month?

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    • So Cal tog

      Sadly, he does

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    • Tanya Smith

      Thanks for sharing. I think so many (as evidenced by all the comments today) are in denial about the potential dangers.

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    • Shannon Bager

      My husband too is an engineer. He luckily has never hit anyone – his only fatality has been a suicide who threw himself into the side of his train. But he knows engineers who have hit many, many people. One engineer hit three people in three days. It is so sad.

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    • Autymn Castleton

      fare, not travel
      shall, not will
      swift, not fast

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  32. Alex Reinhard

    These reasons suck.

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  33. Andrew Lynch

    I work as a railway engineer and out on track regularly. It’s really dangerous out there. Fact is they are so quiet and fast that it will just sneak up on you. When photographing your not looking about every 5 seconds for trains. When I see pictures on tracks I just shake my head. You can tell if it’s used if the track is shiny due to the wheels cleaning the rail from corrosion. When I’m out on track there is a team dedicated to looking out for trains and a plan of where to leave the tracks for a place of safety.

    Don’t do it!!

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    • tanya

      Thanks for your perspective, Andrew.

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    • Shannon Bager

      Thank you Andrew! My husband is also a railroad employee – he is a locomotive engineer and I would never take photos on tracks. It amazes me how dangerous tracks are. I too played near tracks as a child – and now I educate my children and other peoples children about the dangers of tracks. Stay off tracks!

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  34. Peter Cannon

    You guys should also know that Photographers go to what ever lengths it takes to get a shot that tells the story they want to tell it. Valid points about the dangers. I don’t know many people that would try shooting on a busy railway line. Most are in areas where trains are sparse. We all take very Cliche’d shots and put our own sway on it. I have walked out into the middle of lakes and traversed down dangerous areas to get the unusual angle on a shot, so I can’t see that sort of thing stopping any time soon. We all want a new angle and a different feel to the photos we produce and some times we push the limits to get those shots. We certainly must not put our models in danger, but for our own shots we’ll no doubt keep pushing the limits.

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  35. Zach

    The whole “Bad Example” comment is kind of sad IMO because we shouldn’t be held responsible for how others perceive what we do. People (adults, that is) are to (or at least should be) held accountable for their actions, and if they do something then they need to either be smart enough to research it upfront or man up and suffer the consequences if they don’t and get in trouble. The saying that “ignorance is bliss” does not excuse punishment for doing something illegal so don’t blame someone else for your actions.

    As for “it’s cliche,” well yeah, but is that bad? I always hated this when I was in school because while something might be cliche, it’s that for a reason: people like it. If people like it then why is that a reason not to do it, or not to do it well?

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  36. Mark Devillier

    It’s really hard for me to believe that the subject & photographer don’t have plenty of notice in advance of the dangers. As far as I know, there are no “High Speed rails” in America. Quit trying to get the shot before you have to start again and all will be fine. If we limit ourselves to the places we shoot, the art of photography is limited.

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    • Curious

      Depends on what you mean by high speed rails. The tracks next to my building have CalTrain trains that come up on you very fast, about 70MPH. It would only take mere seconds of being distracted to end up dead. We were averaging over one high schooler on these tracks per month.

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    • Dan Ellis

      We don’t have “high speed rails” but at 79 mph, the train can cover a hell of a lot of ground quickly. If we follow your logic, we don’t want to limit “cool” shots just because it’s illegal and dangerous, why not stand in the middle of a highway? That would make a great shot. Especially if you have the rapid fire shots of someone getting hit. If you can’t find shots that don’t involve breaking the law and putting peoples lives at risk, maybe you should leave photograph to those who can. I’m speaking from the perspective of an engineer. If you would like, I can describe what it’s like to hit and kill someone on the track.

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  37. John

    Out here in California, there are quite a few disused rail lines, with miles of track and trestles (and even passenger cars). Best thing to do it research your location in advance. Be safe!

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    • tanya

      I agree.

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    • MLB Martine Brucheau Photography

      I like the fact that you are informing everyone, especially the amateur photographers. But I have to say that when I was a kid, we would walk the railroad tracks to get home, to get to school, to get to grandmas house or just have secret places along the tracks near the forest to build a club house and what not. Taking pictures on the tracks can be dangerous and the Laws are written for a reason. But as John stated, here in California their are so many unused and non functional tracks, can we not use them? Thats why I always get written permission and a permit when I need them. I always give the rail system a copy of my license, business insurance and carry a copy of the permission letter and permit with me so the local police doesn’t ruin my shoot. When I do this,It gives the railway system a sense of comfort when I have my profession in order.

      However we should not be help responsible for this action. Their are movies, cartoons that violate this issue and they have more of an impact on kids than a portrait where parents can control what their kids see sometimes, remember I said sometimes. But good article

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  38. tanya

    They do look great, which is why we all go there. Maybe many are unaware of the dangers, which is why I felt this was an important topic. I assumed trains are loud and slow moving and it wouldn’t be a problem to move out of the way, which is apparently what most pedestrians who are killed on tracks assume.

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    • Mike

      I beg to differ. I’ve seen many railroad tracks used as backdrops for portraits (even on the cover of pro photographer’s books which I won’t name) and I’ve yet to find one of these portraits alluring. I need to understand a connection between model and backdrop to enjoy a portrait and deem it successful. A railroad track as a model backdrop never made any sense to me. It’s the last place I’d think about as a portrait setting. I think some people like it because there is a certain sense of drama and possible danger about the setting. It’s a little bit like photographing someone in the middle of a road.

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    • Autymn Castleton

      Don’t several movies show pedestrians on train tracks?

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  39. Jason Borg

    I’m not sure how to react to this article. All 4 points made are legitimate reasons for photographers to stop taking railroad track shots, but they are cliche for a reason, a lot of people like the way they look.

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  40. Ito

    Really the only valid reason imo is the 4th one.

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    • Richard

      Most railroad tracks in the main metropolitan area near me has been shut down and trains haven’t ran in years. But I agree, it is cliche and if is private property.

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    • Anthony

      The fact that it’s illegal isn’t a valid reason?

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    • Ziggy

      All are valid, but #4 is what will most likely sway everyone.

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    • Dan Ellis

      Then you don’t mind if I break into your studio and use your props and back drops because I think I could get a cool shot?

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    • Alex S.

      @Dan Ellis — Sorry, but that logic is about as sound as a pile of cake crumbs. Forming an analogy for something that doesn’t require an analogy leads to (what I call) “cake crumb” territory. Oh, I know, I know, what a slippery slope!

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