Paris Stations

alexdodds

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Finally im going to Paris this September. How do I go about getting permission to photo in the terminals and also is it easy to photo on metro/rer i.e not get caught by staff.
 
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U-Bahnfreund

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I just googled for you and found this thread on the SNCF website:

SNCF said:
http://questions.sncf.com/questions/439979-photographier-gare

(...)les photos prises par des particuliers (photographes amateurs) et dont l'utilisation est limitée au cadre strictement privé sont, quant à elles, autorisées sans formalité particulière dans les parties normalement accessibles au public.

Cependant, compte tenu des particularités que revêt une gare en termes de sécurité tant de ses usagers que des circulations ferroviaires, l'utilisation de pieds, flashs ainsi que d'éclairage d'appoint est interdite.
SNCF said:
Photos taken by individuals (amateur photographers) and if their usage is limited to private use strictly, can be taken without any particular authorisation in those places, that are normally open to the public.

However, given the particularities of a railway station in terms of the safety of its users as well as of the railway traffic, the use of tripods, flashes and auxiliary lighting is prohibited.
However, other threads suggest that some member of staff do not know of these regulation, so just be careful. I never had problems taking pictures on French railway stations or in the métro.

I do not know the exact regulations in the Paris Métro and RER (which is not fully under SNCF control), so you might need to research a bit for that.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Metro and RATP portions of the RER = no permission available*.

Doesn't mean you can't get away with a discrete snap or two, but if you hang about and are obviously doing pictures you will very quickly see a few uniforms converging upon you.

SNCF portions of the RER = covered by the normal SNCF rules.

There's always the option of doing a few pictures from the lineside on the public side of the fence as well. Again, I'd suggest discretion and not hanging around too long in any one place.

You can also try to book a hotel that overlooks a line which gives you the ability to grab a few more pictures first and last thing each day.




*The "rules" posters on each station do say "...sauf l'authorisation de la Regie..." which implies that permission is available, but RATP will refer you to the Ile de France regional authority and the I de F authority will refer you to RATP... ad infinitum!
 

Gordon

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Finally im going to Paris this September. How do I go about getting permission to photo in the terminals and also is it easy to photo on metro/rer i.e not get caught by staff.
This subject comes up over and over again on the various European railway forums, including I notice last year from your good self:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=127762&highlight=SNCF+photography

I don't think much has changed since last year. If anything France's 'Vigipirate' / the state of emergency is likely to be enforced more strongly in the light of events around Europe in recent months.

Briefly, the facts are as follows (all potential issues are more prominent with the present security situation):
  • there is an official position on SNCF photography. It is generally allowed, BUT there is a caveat in the rule which says that at any time the 'yes you can phot' can be overruled if the local situation / staff deem it necessary to prohibit - and the likelihood of security personnel invoking that rule at present is high
  • Experience of various photographers over the many many years proves that there is no hard and fast situation. One visitor can spend ages on a station and not be challenged, another can be approached immediately and sent on their way. I had trouble way back in 1981 but have had no problems on some more recent visits.
  • underground railway operators worldwide are generally not favourable to photography, especially not with a flash

There was on older thread:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=79053&highlight=photographing+on+SNCF



.
 
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duesselmartin

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I think its interesting in the light of recent terror events. I remember being checked by British Transport Police 25 years ago and send in my way die to IRA concerns.
 

alexdodds

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29 Jul 2009
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Chester-le-Street
This subject comes up over and over again on the various European railway forums, including I notice last year from your good self:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=127762&highlight=SNCF+photography

I don't think much has changed since last year. If anything France's 'Vigipirate' / the state of emergency is likely to be enforced more strongly in the light of events around Europe in recent months.

Briefly, the facts are as follows (all potential issues are more prominent with the present security situation):
  • there is an official position on SNCF photography. It is generally allowed, BUT there is a caveat in the rule which says that at any time the 'yes you can phot' can be overruled if the local situation / staff deem it necessary to prohibit - and the likelihood of security personnel invoking that rule at present is high
  • Experience of various photographers over the many many years proves that there is no hard and fast situation. One visitor can spend ages on a station and not be challenged, another can be approached immediately and sent on their way. I had trouble way back in 1981 but have had no problems on some more recent visits.
  • underground railway operators worldwide are generally not favourable to photography, especially not with a flash

There was on older thread:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=79053&highlight=photographing+on+SNCF



.
Whoops I forgot about that. But anyway I suppose il just treat the metro/RER like the tube. and also I meant where on the SNCF stations do I have to ask permission if I have to.
 

rg177

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Never had any issues taking photos, even with armed police sauntering past me at Gare d'Austerlitz or on the depths of the Paris Metro.

Heck, a driver on RER Line E once invited me into his cab to take some photos one time! Was all very casual.
 

Gordon

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Never had any issues taking photos, even with armed police sauntering past me at Gare d'Austerlitz or on the depths of the Paris Metro.
Heck, a driver on RER Line E once invited me into his cab to take some photos one time! Was all very casual.
Yes, that's exactly my point. Sometimes it is casual / one can be lucky, but sometimes you can be unlucky and it is not casual (and on occasions people have had unpleasant experiences). I had a cab ride once on a 72000 - but also around the same period was told to stop photting on Grenoble station.



.
 

duesselmartin

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Just took a series of fotos at Gare Nord, Est
, Austerlitz and Gare de Lyon using a compact camera. I was not questioned or stopped despite lots of security about. Nord and Austerlitz had the most loco hauled. The latter was pleasant as it was not as crowded, so less pic pockets fears. Est is a nice station but very uniform traffic. Gare de Lyon is certainly confusing. Some station halls are busier than others.
My impression, of you don't look too professional, No problem. However I did not attempt the underground RER stations.
Love the station architecture.
Is there any other station I should not miss in the Paris area?
Martin
 
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Taunton

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Paris is not just trains. It is wonderful food, great wines, Belle Epoque architecture. La Politesse, and so on. And trains.

If you want it all rolled into one, the Train Bleu restaurant at Gare de Lyon cannot be beaten. In one corner a serious business meeting between those in suits. In another, weary travellers with multiple suitcases scattered around grabbing something between trains. They do reservations, but will invariably try hard to fit you in - and if you say you want a view over the trains, will doubly do so. It's one floor up from the centre of the concourse at the station.
 

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