Stations where spotters were not welcome

DB

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The issue at Horton is very much parking, no one will bat an eyelid on the station itself. To be fair I can see the issue with the parking, it would probably irritate me if I lived there (though by the same token it’s something to consider when choosing to live there).

Horton also has trouble with people going to do the three peaks - making a row at dawn in the middle of summer, parking in the way, etc. It's not surprising that people who live there have run out of patience with inconsiderate visitors.
 
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voyagerdude220

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I had this once at South Kenton a few years ago. I politely informed the officious clerk that if he did not return to his booking office, I would report him for abandoning his duty. He promptly turned around and walked back the other way and I never saw him again
By all means the member of ticket office staff shouldn't have such an unpleasant attitude, but you certainly don't have any cause to complain to their employer that they had "abandoned their duty."

As a member of Railway staff, they are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of everyone on the Station. If this involves talking to a member of the public, who happens to be an enthusiast, on the platform who they felt the need to talk to, so be it.

I have been known to leave my Ticket Office on numerous occasions to deal with trespass incidents I had witnessed, or potential welfare issues.

Unless I was working with a Colleague, I would prioritise dealing with the trespass over my ticket selling duties, particularly if there was concern a train could be required to be stopped/cautioned and there was a limited time to contact the Signaller etc.
 

bramling

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By all means the member of ticket office staff shouldn't have such an unpleasant attitude, but you certainly don't have any cause to complain to their employer that they had "abandoned their duty."

As a member of Railway staff, they are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of everyone on the Station. If this involves talking to a member of the public, who happens to be an enthusiast, on the platform who they felt the need to talk to, so be it.

I have been known to leave my Ticket Office on numerous occasions to deal with trespass incidents I had witnessed, or potential welfare issues.

Unless I was working with a Colleague, I would prioritise dealing with the trespass over my ticket selling duties, particularly if there was concern a train could be required to be stopped/cautioned and there was a limited time to contact the Signaller etc.

Dealing with an issue is one thing, however the point where it turns into picking an unnecessary argument (as was my experience at Wadhurst) then I’d say it becomes abandoning duty. Having satisfied themselves that there is no safety issue, it should be back to the booking office - especially if people are waiting to be served.
 

voyagerdude220

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Dealing with an issue is one thing, however the point where it turns into picking an unnecessary argument (as was my experience at Wadhurst) then I’d say it becomes abandoning duty. Having satisfied themselves that there is no safety issue, it should be back to the booking office - especially if people are waiting to be served.
It sounds to me that you're purely trying to cause trouble for the member of staff, simply because they "dared" to challenge you. Everyone will deal with a scenario differently. Just because they spent more time talking to you than you felt necessary doesn't mean they were trying to cause an argument.
 

Islineclear3_1

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By all means the member of ticket office staff shouldn't have such an unpleasant attitude, but you certainly don't have any cause to complain to their employer that they had "abandoned their duty."

As a member of Railway staff, they are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of everyone on the Station. If this involves talking to a member of the public, who happens to be an enthusiast, on the platform who they felt the need to talk to, so be it.

I have been known to leave my Ticket Office on numerous occasions to deal with trespass incidents I had witnessed, or potential welfare issues.

Unless I was working with a Colleague, I would prioritise dealing with the trespass over my ticket selling duties, particularly if there was concern a train could be required to be stopped/cautioned and there was a limited time to contact the Signaller etc.
The member of ticket office staff DID have such an unpleasant attitude as he came waltzing down the stairs and along the platform waving and shouting for me that photography wasn't allowed. He certainly showed both me and himself up to the other passengers. Had he been very polite and enquiring, then I would have taken a difference stance. However, he immediately got my back up. Anyway, he could easily have watched me on the CCTV to see that I was acting in a safe (and professional) manner

I have had many a pleasant conversation with the drivers of Bakerloo line trains at South Kenton who have seen me pointing my camera in their direction
 

bramling

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It sounds to me that you're purely trying to cause trouble for the member of staff, simply because they "dared" to challenge you. Everyone will deal with a scenario differently. Just because they spent more time talking to you than you felt necessary doesn't mean they were trying to cause an argument.

No. The Wadhurst woman came marching up (on what IIRC was a Sunday morning) and straight away started a confrontation, that taking photos on the station was not allowed, which is of course not the case. I simply pointed out to her that she might like to attend to her duties (there were by this time people trying to buy tickets), whilst she carried on insisting that we should not take photographs. In the end I told her that my activities would be continuing whether she liked it or not, at which point she went off in a huff. Her entire attitude was unpleasant and confrontational from the start, hence why it had a bad outcome for her.

On a more serious point, I’m not sure it’s particularly judicious for a lone member of staff to be going around starting arguments with people on a single-staffed and comparatively isolated and quiet station.
 
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nickw1

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Ive heard London Bridge can be sensitive to photographers, from several enthusiasts whilst out and about, though Ive not seen it myself.

London Bridge historically was extremely busy, even outside rush hour, and volumes of both trains and passengers, especially on the through platforms means photography isnt the best anyway. Staff are generally just “not in the mood” at the best of times, so could see why they might want to move enthusiasts on.

On the other hand I'd have thought staff would have enough other things to do at somewhere like London Bridge to have any time to ask enthusiasts to leave the station!

Interestingly, I came home from 3 weeks away last Friday and had more than my fair share of menace staff.

Liverpool Lime Street is AWFUL in particular for this. I was there for a week back in June. I stopped to take photos and videos of trains when passing through the station. Almost every day I was accosted in some way. I was constantly I approached by staff to tell me taking photos and videos was not allowed. Some would say I needed a permit but lost their words when I asked where I could get one. A mob who looked like BTP came up to us whilst we were chatting below the departure boards to ask "how we were". Apparently someone had reported they were "concerned" as they had seen us approach a platform and then walk away - so suspicious(!)

At London Bridge, whilst waiting for our service home, my friend was shouted at for taking photos of a Networker bound for Cannon Street. He continued and was threated to have the police called on him if he did not stop. These incompetent On Track agency staff need the book throwing at them

At Chester, I was once told to avoid filming peoples faces with my Go Pro, even though I was not near many passengers. But this was the mildest interaction of the lost, so not too bad.

That last incident actually does have some sense, as it has privacy implications, and if it's a GoPro presumably you were taking a panorama which means more chance of unintentionally including people's faces at identifiable range. But the first two incidents are of the 'don't do this' (without giving a reason/qualification) variety and therefore less tolerable.
 
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Pigeon

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Only time I've ever had any trouble taking railway photos I wasn't even on railway land at all. I was standing on top of a wall to take photos of what was in Crewe works with a long lens. After a couple of minutes some bloke appears and starts screaming and ranting and doing his nut ["WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" - "I'm standing on a wall." - "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" - "Yes I can, look, I am doing it" etc.] for no reason. Apparently he had something against people who stand on walls. But he was not nimble enough to get up there himself and hassle me at close range, so after a bit he gave up yelling and screaming and wandered off to finish having his heart attack somewhere else.

I wonder if some of the problems people have had being screamed and yelled at for just looking through a camera could be dodged by using something like a TLR or a medium-format camera with a waist-level finder. If you're not holding something up and not even looking up, you surely have a better chance of them not realising what you're doing, or at least taking long enough to figure it out that you're already done before they open their gobs.
 

pdeaves

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I wonder if some of the problems people have had being screamed and yelled at for just looking through a camera could be dodged by using something like a TLR or a medium-format camera with a waist-level finder. If you're not holding something up and not even looking up, you surely have a better chance of them not realising what you're doing, or at least taking long enough to figure it out that you're already done before they open their gobs.
Or, depending on what sort of image you are after, take pictures on a phone. I have never come across anyone who's had problems doing that (though have no doubt that it must have happened at some stage). It seems (generally) that using a Proper Camera is a bad thing but using a phone doesn't matter. In terms of picture quality, many phones are way better than 'acceptable' nowadays.
 

bramling

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Only time I've ever had any trouble taking railway photos I wasn't even on railway land at all. I was standing on top of a wall to take photos of what was in Crewe works with a long lens. After a couple of minutes some bloke appears and starts screaming and ranting and doing his nut ["WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" - "I'm standing on a wall." - "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" - "Yes I can, look, I am doing it" etc.] for no reason. Apparently he had something against people who stand on walls. But he was not nimble enough to get up there himself and hassle me at close range, so after a bit he gave up yelling and screaming and wandered off to finish having his heart attack somewhere else.

I wonder if some of the problems people have had being screamed and yelled at for just looking through a camera could be dodged by using something like a TLR or a medium-format camera with a waist-level finder. If you're not holding something up and not even looking up, you surely have a better chance of them not realising what you're doing, or at least taking long enough to figure it out that you're already done before they open their gobs.

Not sure on the latter, some people just want there to be "a problem" for them to moan about. The very presence of someone out of the ordinary can be enough to cause upset.

There is an absolute definite correlation in that one is more likely to be hassled in a less nice area (I'm more thinking of on the street rather than on stations, though it does follow through to some extent). One wonders if it's partly that people in such areas are simply less likely to have been brought up to appreciate that part of living in a civilised world is that other people wish to do things which they themselves don't - in other words some level of regard for others.
 

warwickshire

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Another recent one Leicester.
Since about early may 2021.
However this boils down to respect.
A few enthusiasts where going beyond the prohibition signs both platforms at the Depot. Locomotive Depot side off the station to take photos off the locomotives in the yard ie under the bridge virtually on the entrance to the walkways across the track to the Depot.
Hence each side a huge extra blue hoarding being put up.
However fair play it has been made easier for some for how far they go ie a barrier you can't miss.
Stay right side off Barrier and you're more than okay.
Go the over side at your own peril.
Then its game and spotting well and truly over.
 

GarethW

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The above dit about Crewe works reminds me of a RCTS depot visit early in 1986 where I was shouted at when I tried to take a photo of the Class 89 under construction.

Of course I doubled back away from the guided tour a minute or so later and snapped away to my hearts content.:D

I have remembered a slighty amusing story.

A warm Summer Saturday circa 1989 I was sitting on the hot tarmac at the country end of one of the long through platforms nicely ensconced with a packed lunch and a cold four pack of Strongbow and photo kit resting on the old camera case when I spy a member of the platform staff trotting quickly towards me.

He stops short does a double take and says something like “Ive been sent up here to make sure you dont get so pissed you fall off the platform……but”.

I assured him there was no chance of that being a big strappling lad in my mid twenties.

He then said “bloody hell I could do with one of them right now, but Im on till six”.

I can only presume that someone had said there was a trainspotter with a load of booze and theyd presumed it was some spotty underaged kid”.

Different times because I suppose these days it would actually be illegal for multiple reasons.
 

_toommm_

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To be fair, in my experience BPN don't even like passengers, let alone rail enthusiasts.

I was actually allowed on the platform for half an hour last night whilst waiting for my train weirdly enough.

Although I did have a tape barrier pulled across in front of me by the staff because my train was ‘dangerously overcrowded’.
 

Aictos

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I've had problems with this at Hither Green, Purley Oaks, Stevenage and St Mary Cray.
At East Croydon I've been forced to sign in same at Clapham Junction.
Also London Termini stations are very touchy about spotters I remember when I went looking for refurbished HEX 332's and I was told to stop filming there.
A few years ago as a staff rep I brought this up as it was a problem back then with colleagues all having different views on how to deal with the situation which didn't look good for the TOC concerned so the company to their credit did actually deliver a briefing to all staff which I not only helped to design but had to help deliver explaining the company's position on people taking photos of trains or taking train numbers down.

That was a few years ago now mind you.
 

thesignalman

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I only pop into this forum accasionally but was amused to read some of the comments about Blackpool North. I have a small story of my own to relate, although its a few years ago now.

Back in 2012 I was in the area so I thought I would take the opportunity to photograph the signal box - I'm not a train photographer so that was my sole interest. I presented the standard Railtrack letter (not sure if the equivalent still exists) to demonstrate the validity of my intentions and after very close scrutinisation of it was told it would be OK as long as I was quick. By the time I had walked to the end of the platform, snapped a couple of pictures and walked back, my time was clearly up because I had been locked on the platform and it took me about 15 minutes to attract somebody's attention to release me!

It is the first and only time I have encountered any deliberate animosity.

John

PS - there is still a photography document with Network Rail:
Just printing a copy now to go in my camera bag for my next visit to Blackpool, ha ha.

John
 

scrapy

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Just printing a copy now to go in my camera bag for my next visit to Blackpool, ha ha.

John
Just be aware that document does say that at times staff may on occasions require you to move to another area or leave the station altogether. By handing that to staff at Blackpool it may give them all the ammunition they need to require you to leave*.

*I personally have never had any problems with staff at Blackpool but am basing the comment on the experience of others on this forum.
 

thesignalman

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Of course - as a retired railwayman I fully understand such times may exist and would willingly comply with such requests. But your comment is being "economical with the truth" by not mentioning the following sentence which reads "Station staff should be happy to explain why this is necessary" and I would expect that at whatever station I visited if there was a reason. Regardless of my previous employment I don't expect access as a "right" if there are good reasons.

John
 
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On a more positive note, I was once at Brocklesby station (since closed) taking exterior shots of the signalbox adjacent to the platform. The signalman invited me in to take interior shots and even stopped a train (by setting the signals at danger) so I could continue my journey. The guard was rather bemused as to why his train stopped there though.
 

Sm5

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Has anyone got a reason why Blackpool North is, as it is ?
Its been a restrictive station (both to public and enthusiasts) ever since the late 1970’s, it could well be even longer. As long as ive been alive, even as a kid, North swept the platforms of people, locked entrance and enforced queuing / ticket checks until boarding.. I know Ive missed countless 6 car white stripe class 104’s by running out of seats / time before they closed the barrier.

is it just a hang over from the 1960’s heydays when dozens of trains would be in rapid rotation ? Or is there a more recent reason ?
 
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Blinkbonny

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A result of countless passenger incidents over the years, I shouldn't wonder.

Don't envy them their task on a Summer Saturday or a late night Stag session.
 
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I once had a member of staff at Southampton Central approach me and ask what I was doing at the end of the platform taking photos, I explained I was an enthusiast and he seemed satisfied and went back to his work. Had something similar around five years ago at Wimbledon with my Dad (if I'm remembering it right). I seem to remember he didn't understand why we were hanging around the station, and I don't think he was happy about us being there, but he didn't make us leave.

I also recall a time when I was little spotting with my Dad at King's Cross (I believe this was around 2008-09, I seem to remember the trains in National Express livery). A member of staff was attending to some duty on the opposite platform and noticed us. For some reason he didn't take kindly to our presence and shouted something across at my father. They exchanged some words before the staff member said he was going to come over to the platform we were on to talk to us. When he left though my Dad thought it best to just leave the station.

To this day I'm not sure why he had a go at us, in hindsight I wonder if without realising we were beyond the line that passengers aren't allowed to cross or something like that.
 

ian1944

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The signal box at Girvan is at the south end of the platform with its south wall in line with the start of the ramp. In other words , its whole frontage is on a level platform wholly accessible to passengers. About three years ago, while waiting for the train back to Glasgow I followed my usual custom when having a fair time in hand of slowly strolling full lengths of the level platform, liking to keep moving. While adjacent to his box, I was told by the denizen that I was on a "working" part of the station where I had no right to be. I told him that I could see that he really liked his job, and left it at that. There were, naturally, no signs to support the assertion.
 
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Not particularly enthusiast related but wasn’t there a station somewhere in Cymru where at one point more or less anyone who dared to set foot on the (single) platform was harangued by the owner of the house backing onto it?
 

bramling

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Not particularly enthusiast related but wasn’t there a station somewhere in Cymru where at one point more or less anyone who dared to set foot on the (single) platform was harangued by the owner of the house backing onto it?

Can't recall this (anyone able to elaborate as to where?), however Acton Bridge has known issues.
 

bramling

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Somewhere on the top half of the HoW maybe?

We “did” all those last month without any issues, though of course may have been lucky.

Llangunllo is an odd one - there’s absolutely nothing from the road at all to indicate how to enter the station, the access in fact being along what looks like the driveway to a house (the former station house). Actually, thinking about it we did get a comment from the house owner there “you know the train stops at the far end of the platform”, though it seemed friendly enough. Putting two and two together it could be this one, since it’s been made very much that one can’t readily find how to get onto the station unless in the know.

The only other one I could think could be Hopton Heath, which is another one where the former station house is quite domineering.

One place spotters definitely aren’t welcome is the level crossing adjacent to Ponthir disused station (between Cwmbran and Newport). From what I gather there’s an Acton Bridge type couple living in the former station house there.

I’m not really sure why people buy properties in public places like stations or alongside the railway, then get the hump when they find there’s occasionally people there - especially the ones who haven’t heard of things like window nets!
 
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We “did” all those last month without any issues, though of course may have been lucky.

Llangunllo is an odd one - there’s absolutely nothing from the road at all to indicate how to enter the station, the access in fact being along what looks like the driveway to a house (the former station house). Actually, thinking about it we did get a comment from the house owner there “you know the train stops at the far end of the platform”, though it seemed friendly enough. Putting two and two together it could be this one, since it’s been made very much that one can’t readily find how to get onto the station unless in the know.

The only other one I could think could be Hopton Heath, which is another one where the former station house is quite domineering.

One place spotters definitely aren’t welcome is the level crossing adjacent to Ponthir disused station (between Cwmbran and Newport). From what I gather there’s an Acton Bridge type couple living in the former station house there.

I’m not really sure why people buy properties in public places like stations or alongside the railway, then get the hump when they find there’s occasionally people there - especially the ones who haven’t heard of things like window nets!
Ah yes, Llangynllo, that was it.

Can’t vouch as to whether the rumours of bad behaviour were true, I should say.

I live in West London so nimbyism has taken over from rugby union as the local sport of choice in recent years….
 
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