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Stations where spotters were not welcome

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Sm5

Member
Joined
21 Oct 2016
Messages
422
Went to Clapham Jn yesterday, first time since the “incident”..

Place is back to normal, 5-6 pm saturday afternoon, Chelsea fans streaming through one side, surreygirls streaming home from a thameside chardonney afternoon on the other. Trains loaded to standing.. its like August 2019.

SES have gone.

indeed there was very few staff around, even platform despatch staff are absent, only thing that stood out was that almost every retailer is shut (or gone out of business).. it was like the 1990’s.. even got an Intercity Swallow 47 too..

Good way to end the day catching a few 66’s on Ballasts, LSL 47s and 37254, after chasing all the other tours around the south yesterday.
 

52290

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2015
Messages
317
In 1970 I did a tour to West Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria and it was the Czech bit that I found unfriendly towards railway enthusiasts, as you might imagine just two years after the Russian invasion. As soon as I got off the train at Cheb I was ordered back on again whilst visas etc were inspected. When I was eventually allowed off I found my train to Chomoutov, hauled by a big 475 class 4-8-0. I did get a couple of photos but a soldier with a gun came up to me and indicated I should put my camera away. Traveling through the country I was careful with the camera and I found the larger stations were the best as the soldiers couldn't be everywhere. I did discover that besides a gun every soldier carried a bottle opener for opening bottles of Pilsner Urquell.
In 1986 I was in Magdeburg, East Germany and went for a ride behind a class 50 2-10-0 to Altengrabow. When I got there I found it was in the middle of a Russian army base and again I was told to put my camera away. I did get some photos though, including one with a Russian officer on it. I suspect there were some missiles pointing at the UK not far away.
 

Sm5

Member
Joined
21 Oct 2016
Messages
422
Ive found Russians quite hospitable about photography, I got to a Russian AFB in Moscow 20+ years back, and got a guided tour (it was a pre-arranged visit, just me and interpreter, with the base commanders approval), but still photography wasnt an issue, though they chose where I went, and the route, which wasnt always the most direct. I did see soldiers accomodation, curtains were largely made of uniforms washed (or unwashed) hanging around with toilets being totally exposed pits at the ends of the alleys, in a weird way the layout it reminded me of Butlins chalets with their dual floored accomodation.
 

MetsonIJ

New Member
Joined
12 Jul 2021
Messages
1
Location
nr Winchester
Reading this thread just makes me think that there's a lot of jobsworths wanting to spoil harmless fun. Like Sm5 above I've had some great experiences abroad, including an Israeli AFB where we ended up sitting in F-16s after little overt checks, naturally they'll have checked us out covertly, but it was just weird to be ticked off for spotting at Clapham Junction on my way home!
 

Tryfan

Member
Joined
4 May 2021
Messages
50
Location
Peak District
Interesting read indeed. I don’t recall any incidents of being told to move on or asked to leave any station for spotting / bashing / taking photos etc. Perhaps I was just lucky.

This includes long hours festering at Derby waiting for something interesting to arrive on summer Saturdays. Days spotting at Grantham, Tamworth and Crewe in my pre bashing days armed with my Zorki 4.

Chesterfield was a station I only visited in my bashing days and always whilst on an East Midlands Ranger ticket. I used to avoid travelling north from Derby for quite some time as the fare to Sheffield was disproportionately bigger than going to New Street and there was a distinct probability of encountering a golden gripper. So good chance of only getting one journey in and possibly difficult questions about being on a child’s ticket etc. So Chesterfield was somewhere I tended not to stay at for very long.

I can remember problems arriving at Kings Cross behind a Deltic in their last weeks with large numbers of spotters on the platforms and staff being rather fractious.
 

73128

Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
266
Location
Reading
Guess I've been lucky then, got the two finger salute off a First driver in Chester back in 2013 but that's it thankfully....
Almost bus drivers are happy and give you a wave (and sometimes slow down) but just before the 726 was cut back from Bromley to Croydon I took some pictures of one in Bromley and got a bad reaction from the driver. Presumably driving illegally and didn't want to be recorded!!

Are platform tickets still even a thing?
yes, available at many staffed stations at 10p (EMR 20p), both not on Avanti or East Coast managed booking offices.

More generally I had problems at Fenchurch Street years ago, and have been asked what I was doing by safety staff at ends of platforms at stations including Berrylands, Clapham Junction and Ally Pally fairly recently, all of whom were satisfied when they know what you are doing. But Stafford, Crewe, Chester, Reading, Oxford, Paddington, Barking, London Bridge, East Croydon to name but a few that others have had issues on have never caused me problems.
 
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warwickshire

On Moderation
Joined
6 Feb 2020
Messages
997
Location
leamingtonspa
Chester can be keen. At times especially when filming the merseyrail 507 508 units. Some security staff do enforce that you sign in at times even for 5 minutes. Even iff between trips on the above mentioned units whilst they are in platform 7. Between arrival and departure straight back out again.
 

75D

New Member
Joined
16 Oct 2021
Messages
1
Location
Horsham
I recently started chasing trains again having given up in 1970, at that time at Clapham Junction there were signs saying no train spotting allowed. I also only managed 2 short visits around Stratford shed before being evicted. I have done a few trips around London over the last couple of years and spent several hours at Clapham Junction, Vauxhall, London Bridge, West Hampstead Thameslink, Stratford and South Kenton, without even being spoken to. I don't do Liverpool Street finding it better to get the Overground to Bethnal Green where myself and the other people that where there were again not disturbed. The only place I have taken photo's is Bethnal Green and was again undisturbed. I have not tried photography at the other locations.
 

Inversnecky

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2021
Messages
548
Location
Scotland
Those keen to tell enthusiasts off wouldn’t have known where to start in this footage of Birmingham New Street in 1988!

I think there’s more spotters than passengers - sorry, customers - here.

B307B620-EC9E-4161-85D5-C08D71F1DA95.jpeg

 

nanstallon

Member
Joined
18 Dec 2015
Messages
334
Generally no problems, but to this day I remember quietly taking photos on Preston station in 1968 of the few remaining steam workings, and being ordered off the station by a policeman who threatened to book us (myself and friend). And in summer 2020 I travelled to Shrewsbury on a steam special and even though I was on the 'right' side of the no trespassing notice was told to go back by a jumped up private security oik. On a happier note, at Plymouth in the early sixties I would buy a child day return to Devonport for 3d instead of a platform ticket for the same price - got a steam ride to Devonport Kings Road and back, then could spot on Plymouth station as long as I liked, without the one hour restriction.
 

spyinthesky

Member
Joined
17 Aug 2021
Messages
53
Location
Bulford
Visiting most London stations today, see how it goes
A long but successful day as it was my first day since the late seventies.
Grateley-Waterloo
Waterloo East-Charing Cross
Charing Cross-London Bridge
London Bridge-Cannon St
Walk to Fenchurch St(closed)
Walk to Liverpool St
Liverpool St-Stratford
Stratford Liverpool St
Walk to Moorgate
Moorgate-Highbury & Islington
Highbury & I to Finsbury Park
Finsbury Park to St Pancras
Walk to Kings Cross(Pint at the Parcel Yard)then Euston
Walk to Marylebone then Paddington
Circle to Victoria
Bus to Waterloo(no trains from VIC-CLJ
Bus to Kings Cross and St Pancras
STP-Blackfriars
BFR-London Bridge
LBG-WAE(Pint at Waterloo tap after fish and chips)
WAT-CLJ
CLJ-WAT
WAT-Grately

Never made any great plans apart from visiting as many Termini as possible. As you can see I don’t like standing around too long. Never had any problems and even some helpful gateline staff at STP and KGX.
 

Colin1501

Member
Joined
10 Apr 2019
Messages
128
The problem is that railway enthusiasts and photographers often seem to be treated as 'soft' targets. In 2005, I was at Southall station photographing the (then) new Heathrow Connect services. A member of station staff left his office on the opposite platform, crossed the footbridge, and walked the length of the platform to my position to tell me that I could not take photographs on the station. Undeterred, I told him there was no legal basis to what he said (I had travelled there on a valid ticket) and that I would leave the station once I had taken the pictures I wanted. He did not pursue the matter, and walked off. In the event, I got the required picture almost immediately, and followed him back along the platform and over the footbridge. On the footbridge, four young men were huddled in a corner. Money and packets of a substance were changing hands, yet their presence went completely unchallenged! I have some sympathy with the staff member's reluctance to challenge them, but that doesn't make it acceptable to go after someone you think will be no trouble as an alternative.
 

John Luxton

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Joined
23 Nov 2014
Messages
631
Anyone experienced any problems at Heysham?

Yes I know its basically just used by the service connecting with the afternoon Isle of Man Steam Packet sailing thus probably doesn't attract that many rail enthusiasts but the location does attract ship enthusiasts.

My transport interests also include shipping and security at Heysham can be a bit over the top. The hi-viz brigade have no problems with people taking photos of one another sat in the waiting room but try pointing a camera at something that moves it can be a different story.

I discovered this back in 1999 when a coach exiting the ship which required driving across the concourse became wedged under the station roof. I managed one photo before security pounced!

Okay I know this was an embarrassing moment - but I am aware that others have encountered problems at Heysham over the years photographing ships and trains since then.

It really does seem very strange as one can photograph ships from the Isle of Man terminals at Douglas and Liverpool without any problems.

This is a link to the photo of the coach incident at Heysham.

Heysham Terminal Incident | At the present time with all the… | Flickr
 

william

Established Member
Joined
13 Jul 2007
Messages
1,439
Location
UK
Yeah, I nearly got run over! Bloody lethal :D

And where can you find a decent vantage there for the ships? I couldn't see any obvious place so quickly bailed on the same train.
 

d9009alycidon

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
686
Location
Eaglesham
Back in the 1960s platform tickets were withdrawn on Fair Saturdays at Glasgow stations and spotting was discouraged due to the high volumes of passengers. At Central the dodge was to say your dad's car was parked on platform 11/12 and to nip down to 11A. It was worth it as the dated extras would throw up unusual haulage
 

kevconnor

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2013
Messages
589
Location
People's Republic of Mancunia
any one had problems at Heysham Station which is shared with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. They can be very anti-photography which appears strange.

When you mentioned Heysham I wondered first of all was it to do with the proximity of Heysham Power Plant.

The only time I've caught the ferry to the IoM from Heysham, the police turned up just before the incoming ferry arrived, the reason, I was told, being the possibility of terrorists coming from Northern Ireland via the IoM. Maybe that explains any problems at Heysham Station.

This second message then reminded me, I know a few in the Irish community in Manchester spoke badly of the security at Heysham port, this would be the experiences from 70's and 80's during the peak of the troubles when there was a regular ferry service going to Northern Ireland and Heysham was the most convenient port for foot passengers to use. I've used Heysham a few times to travel to Ireland by car and have never had any issues with security there transiting through the port. It's possible though, like with Blackpool North, old habits die hard and those attitudes still persist on the railway side.
 

John Luxton

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Joined
23 Nov 2014
Messages
631
When you mentioned Heysham I wondered first of all was it to do with the proximity of Heysham Power Plant.



This second message then reminded me, I know a few in the Irish community in Manchester spoke badly of the security at Heysham port, this would be the experiences from 70's and 80's during the peak of the troubles when there was a regular ferry service going to Northern Ireland and Heysham was the most convenient port for foot passengers to use. I've used Heysham a few times to travel to Ireland by car and have never had any issues with security there transiting through the port. It's possible though, like with Blackpool North, old habits die hard and those attitudes still persist on the railway side.

When you mention the power plant in the 1990s there was a visitor centre there and tourists were actually invited in. Not sure when that closed but it is easy to photograph the plant from any ship sailing into and out of Heysham. One of the bizarre things is taking photos from the ship is never an issue. Many people do and no body says anything.

I only started using Heysham for occasional trips to IOM in 1990s and never had any experience of the then BR Sealink Belfast service.

For a very brief period of time in around 20 years ago Sea Containers who then owned the Isle of Man Steam Packet did restart the Heysham - Belfast passenger services using SeaCats which lasted around three seasons - but that was after the coach incident. Incidentally, myself and several other enthusiasts known to Sea Containers local management were invited to Heysham for the service relaunch and on that day with management being present we could wander to various places and poke our cameras where ever we wanted!

If you have used Heysham recently to go to NI has that been with SeaTruck?

Some friends of mine have used SeaTruck and they are quite transport enthusiast friendly and departures are through the freight area and not through the passenger terminal as their passenger service is limited to 12 per crossing. The ships run as freighters. Thus you probably would not come into contact with the passenger terminal security if you went through there.
 

WesternLancer

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
4,083
Anyone experienced any problems at Heysham?

Yes I know its basically just used by the service connecting with the afternoon Isle of Man Steam Packet sailing thus probably doesn't attract that many rail enthusiasts but the location does attract ship enthusiasts.

My transport interests also include shipping and security at Heysham can be a bit over the top. The hi-viz brigade have no problems with people taking photos of one another sat in the waiting room but try pointing a camera at something that moves it can be a different story.

I discovered this back in 1999 when a coach exiting the ship which required driving across the concourse became wedged under the station roof. I managed one photo before security pounced!

Okay I know this was an embarrassing moment - but I am aware that others have encountered problems at Heysham over the years photographing ships and trains since then.

It really does seem very strange as one can photograph ships from the Isle of Man terminals at Douglas and Liverpool without any problems.

This is a link to the photo of the coach incident at Heysham.

Heysham Terminal Incident | At the present time with all the… | Flickr
Problem I had was after buying a cup of tea at the sparsely used (but newly renovated) foot passenger terminal and sitting down to drink it back in July - a passing terminal manager type in hi viz stopped to tell me to put my covid face mask on. She moved on too quickly for me to ask why they had a counter selling drinks if you were unable to consume them by taking off your mask.

I have no problem with using a mask but there was no indication that to partake in the refreshments they were selling one was presumably expect to go outside (where there is no seating) to consume them.

So if this was an indication of the general attitude then I can imagine they may make a fuss about other things....
 

73128

Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
266
Location
Reading
Anyone experienced any problems at Heysham?

Yes I know its basically just used by the service connecting with the afternoon Isle of Man Steam Packet sailing thus probably doesn't attract that many rail enthusiasts but the location does attract ship enthusiasts.

My transport interests also include shipping and security at Heysham can be a bit over the top. The hi-viz brigade have no problems with people taking photos of one another sat in the waiting room but try pointing a camera at something that moves it can be a different story.

I discovered this back in 1999 when a coach exiting the ship which required driving across the concourse became wedged under the station roof. I managed one photo before security pounced!

Okay I know this was an embarrassing moment - but I am aware that others have encountered problems at Heysham over the years photographing ships and trains since then.

It really does seem very strange as one can photograph ships from the Isle of Man terminals at Douglas and Liverpool without any problems.

This is a link to the photo of the coach incident at Heysham.

Heysham Terminal Incident | At the present time with all the… | Flickr
After getting off the train back in October I took some pictures before heading for the boat check in - no problems although I was only a few minutes.
 

kevconnor

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2013
Messages
589
Location
People's Republic of Mancunia
I only started using Heysham for occasional trips to IOM in 1990s and never had any experience of the then BR Sealink Belfast service.

If you have used Heysham recently to go to NI has that been with SeaTruck?

Some friends of mine have used SeaTruck and they are quite transport enthusiast friendly and departures are through the freight area and not through the passenger terminal as their passenger service is limited to 12 per crossing. The ships run as freighters. Thus you probably would not come into contact with the passenger terminal security if you went through there.

I use it to go from Heysham to Dublin on the night ferry. It's cheaper than other options (can be £80 single). Then from Manchester, I can be in Heysham in an hour.

The port security can be odd, I had one who had my Irish passport in hand asking why I 'didn't 'sound very Irish?' (30 years of living in Manchester have taken care of that)

Once you get to Sea Truck office they ask you to park up behind their office so you don't have much of a view of anything, other than a portacabin and the headlights of freight leaving the port. It's probably if there in daytime it would have a much better view of what is around.
 
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