Trainspotting: is this currently essential?

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Dutton165

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I’ve noticed over the last few weeks a handful of people are still trainspotting, I appreciate that we are all currently missing out on things we enjoy, but is this really necessary?

I think it would be acceptable to take a photo or two if your daily exercise close to home is near the railway, but I noticed three chaps today, all in the same spot for over an hour, all with cameras at the ready. The only guideline they seemed to be following was the one about social distancing, but I guess that wouldn’t normally be a problem for them.
 
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bramling

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I’ve noticed over the last few weeks a handful of people are still trainspotting, I appreciate that we are all currently missing out on things we enjoy, but is this really necessary?

I think it would be acceptable to take a photo or two if your daily exercise close to home is near the railway, but I noticed three chaps today, all in the same spot for over an hour, all with cameras at the ready. The only guideline they seemed to be following was the one about social distancing, but I guess that wouldn’t normally be a problem for them.
No it’s not essential, but then neither is a lot of what’s going on at the moment. On my train home I noticed massive queues for both Halfords and B&Q. Has it suddenly become *essential* for masses of families to have a day out in Halfords?
 

pdeaves

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I noticed three chaps today, all in the same spot for over an hour, all with cameras at the ready.
Does that make you a train spotter spotter? :D If you saw them for over an hour, what were you doing in that more than hour that was any different?

Not having a dig. It seems that different people have different ideas of how to get fresh air and exercise whilst avoiding everyone else.
 

HH

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No it’s not essential, but then neither is a lot of what’s going on at the moment. On my train home I noticed massive queues for both Halfords and B&Q. Has it suddenly become *essential* for masses of families to have a day out in Halfords?
People are fixing their cars and homes to ward off boredom. Just like trainspotting I suppose. I think a bit of common sense is needed here.
 

221129

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I think if they are out of the way off railway premises then fine whatever they're not actually doing any harm. But to the few idiots that are still showing up at stations across the country and just hanging around then I think that is downright unacceptable.
 

Mag_seven

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I’ve noticed over the last few weeks a handful of people are still trainspotting, I appreciate that we are all currently missing out on things we enjoy, but is this really necessary?

I think it would be acceptable to take a photo or two if your daily exercise close to home is near the railway, but I noticed three chaps today, all in the same spot for over an hour, all with cameras at the ready. The only guideline they seemed to be following was the one about social distancing, but I guess that wouldn’t normally be a problem for them.
Trainspotters (i.e. number takers) or railway photographers are running the risk of a fine by the police as neither activity is listed as an excuse to leave the house. This is just a statement of fact as per the (English) regulations


Does that make you a train spotter spotter? :D If you saw them for over an hour, what were you doing in that more than hour that was any different?
Ah here is this "one hour" thing again. The phrase "one hour" does not appear anywhere in the aforementioned (English) regulations.
 

bramling

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People are fixing their cars and homes to ward off boredom. Just like trainspotting I suppose. I think a bit of common sense is needed here.
The trouble with manufacturing tasks is that a key worker could turn up needing, for example, a headlamp bulb, and have to wait. That’s unacceptable.

In that sense a solitary trainspotter parking themselves at the extreme end of a platform is actually pretty harmless, and being a niche activity is probably more harmless than some of the mass honeypotting.
 

Fawkes Cat

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I’ve noticed over the last few weeks a handful of people are still trainspotting, I appreciate that we are all currently missing out on things we enjoy, but is this really necessary?

I think it would be acceptable to take a photo or two if your daily exercise close to home is near the railway, but I noticed three chaps today, all in the same spot for over an hour, all with cameras at the ready. The only guideline they seemed to be following was the one about social distancing, but I guess that wouldn’t normally be a problem for them.
No, of course it isn't essential. And given that there are fewer trains out there than usual, it also seems a little bit pointless from the point of view of the spotters.

But there may be things that we don't know. For example, the rules around only going out for exercise once a day have been formally relaxed for people who need (not want) more - see, for example https://www.autism.org.uk/get-invol...0-04-09-guidance-on-exercise-coronavirus.aspx
The Government has now published new guidance making clear that, if you’re autistic or have a learning disability, you can leave your home more than once a day and travel beyond your local area if this is important to your health. If you need carers with you, they don’t have to stay the two metres apart from you that is usually required by social distancing. However, it is still important to be careful and only go out when you really need to, to reduce the chance of getting ill or infecting other people.
As someone has said above, the particular spotters don't seem to be causing any harm. So while it would probably be better if they weren't at the end of the platform, there's probably no need to report them.
 
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kieron

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No it’s not essential, but then neither is a lot of what’s going on at the moment. On my train home I noticed massive queues for both Halfords and B&Q. Has it suddenly become *essential* for masses of families to have a day out in Halfords?
I don't know about Halfords, but I believe B&Q was initially closed for anything except collection of things bought on-line. If the shop you saw had just gone back to opening as normal, then a rush is not at all surprising, as people make visits they've had to put off for the last few weeks. At the moment, a rush of customers turns into a queue very quickly. It doesn't help that many of B&Q's competitors (such as garden centres) remain closed.

If you feel you deserve priority access to a shop, you should take it up with the shop owners (or anyone who may take the issue up on your behalf), rather than complain about the shoppers.
 

bramling

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I don't know about Halfords, but I believe B&Q was initially closed for anything except collection of things bought on-line. If the shop you saw had just gone back to opening as normal, then a rush is not at all surprising, as people make visits they've had to put off for the last few weeks. At the moment, a rush of customers turns into a queue very quickly. It doesn't help that many of B&Q's competitors (such as garden centres) remain closed.

If you feel you deserve priority access to a shop, you should take it up with the shop owners (or anyone who may take the issue up on your behalf), rather than complain about the shoppers.
We’ve already had that with the Sainsbury’s near my work. Priority access was agreed with the store manager, however in practice it’s caused so much indignation that most people just can’t be bothered with the hassle, so don’t bother.

People should be looking beyond the end of their noses. Whilst we have one group of people lounging around bored looking for things to do, this doesn’t apply to everyone. I’m quite sure there hasn’t been a rush of proper essential purchases at places like hardware stores.

I’m sure some people just think everything is just magically happening at the moment. It’s the same mentality that expects a Christmas holiday with all the normal things ready for the taking, yet expresses disgust and horror at the thought of themselves not having two weeks off work. In that sense, wrapping this back to topic, a bit of trainspotting is comparatively innocuous at the moment providing it’s solitary and doesn’t involve actually riding on trains. It would probably be rather boring though with the limited services running.
 
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farleigh

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We’ve already had that with the Sainsbury’s near my work. Priority access was agreed with the store manager, however in practice it’s caused so much indignation that most people just can’t be bothered with the hassle, so don’t bother.

People should be looking beyond the end of their noses. Whilst we have one group of people lounging around bored looking for things to do, this doesn’t apply to everyone. I’m quite sure there hasn’t been a rush of proper essential purchases at places like hardware stores.

I’m sure some people just think everything is just magically happening at the moment. It’s the same mentality that expects a Christmas holiday with all the normal things ready for the taking, yet expresses disgust and horror at the thought of themselves not having two weeks off work. In that sense, wrapping this back to topic, a bit of trainspotting is comparatively innocuous at the moment providing it’s solitary and doesn’t involve actually riding on trains. It would probably be rather boring though with the limited services running.
You seem indignant that you have to work.May I remind you that many people have been laid off and still more on reduced wages who would love to be at work. Unless of course you are volunteering. I assume you are still on full pay in which case I don't think you are doing anybody any favours tbh.
 

Ianno87

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No it’s not essential, but then neither is a lot of what’s going on at the moment. On my train home I noticed massive queues for both Halfords and B&Q. Has it suddenly become *essential* for masses of families to have a day out in Halfords?

The queues are outside because customers are served outside and are not permitted in the store.

And not once have I seen anything that would constutute a "family" queueing.
 

yorkie

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You seem indignant that you have to work.May I remind you that many people have been laid off and still more on reduced wages who would love to be at work. Unless of course you are volunteering. I assume you are still on full pay in which case I don't think you are doing anybody any favours tbh.
Agreed; my thoughts are: not this again. I know @bramling has said this before. I feel incredibly lucky to be working right now. All of us who are still working should be grateful in my opinion. Others are welcome to disagree of course!

I’ve noticed over the last few weeks a handful of people are still trainspotting, I appreciate that we are all currently missing out on things we enjoy, but is this really necessary?
Leaving the house for the purpose of spotting trains is most definitely is unlawful; see https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/contents/made

I think it would be acceptable to take a photo or two if ...
... you are engaging in a lawful activity that happens to be near the railway, such as exercising, yes.

And it is reasonable to take a brief break from the exercise, so no reason why someone cannot pause their run/walk/cycle ride and take a photo of a train during a reasonable break period.
but I noticed three chaps today, all in the same spot for over an hour, all with cameras at the ready.
Yes from what you have said this sounds likely to be unlawful.
 
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Ianno87

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Agreed; my thoughts are: not this again. I know @bramling has said this before. I feel incredibly lucky to be working right now. All of us who are still working should be grateful in my opinion.
Agreed. Might be hard work for me at home with the kids but I'm damn grateful to be in employment.

I'm sure the vast majority of people laid off or furloughed are very much not enjoying "lounging around" and are genuinely worried about their financial future.

Unemployment is unquestionably ****.
 

bramling

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Agreed; my thoughts are: not this again. I know @bramling has said this before. I feel incredibly lucky to be working right now. All of us who are still working should be grateful in my opinion.
Oh don’t get me wrong I sort of agree, the larger part of me is pleased to be working and doing my bit to keeping things ticking over. I’ve been glad of elements of the social contact this has maintained, and it’s not appropriate to pursue most of my leisure pursuits at the moment so there wouldn’t be much value in not being at work.

However make no mistake about it there’s an element of the population treating the whole thing as little more than a holiday. That attitude hasn’t been helpful, it’s been obstructive to those who are attempting to carry out essential work, it’s prolonged the lockdown, may well have cost some lives, and has led to a degree of intoxication. I remain of the opinion it was not too much to ask people to quietly sit at home as far as possible for a few weeks.

No doubt it’s also infuriating for those who *have* made a decent attempt at following the guidelines.
 

bramling

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Getting back on topic, I live near the railway, and I travel on the railway (and bus) to/from work. I am a key worker. (and very thankful to still be in work).

On a couple of occasions, I have taken my camera with me when I know something of interest is about to pass by
I really don’t see why this should be an issue. As long as it’s not being obstructive then no problem. One of the benefits of having a niche hobby!
 

nedchester

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I am glad to see a sensible approach to this on these board. Personally, I see no issue with people going out and taking photos (for example) as long as it is near their home. There's still a lot of freight activity out there.

There have been some groups on social media that have banned or discouraged photos during the current crisis. One moderator saying it was 'disrespectful' to be out enjoying yourself while people were dying. He didn't take kindly to me telling him that people die every day!

At the end of the day life goes on the vast majority of the company and as long as we are being sensible and keeping out social distance I really don't see the issue.
 
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yorkie

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Yep providing someone is out for a legitimate reason, pausing to take photos is not an issue at all.

We should all try to enjoy our lives, and support one another, as much as possible during this time. It's absurd for anyone to suggest otherwise.
 

bramling

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Yep providing someone is out for a legitimate reason, pausing to take photos is not an issue at all.

We should all try to enjoy our lives, and support one another, as much as possible during this time. It's absurd for anyone to suggest otherwise.
Why do I have visions that tomorrow there will be a thread entitled “trainspotter fined for going out to take photos”?! ;)

As I say I can’t see a major problem as long as people aren’t congregating. In the same way I’ve just been out birdwatching for the last couple of hours, with no other humans in sight. A lot of the difficulty has been some people have failed to be more imaginative than a honeypot car park or a day out to their local Halfords!
 
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LMS 4F

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The problem, if that's what it is, doesn't concern train spotting or any other activity. It is the regulation which was put into place without being properly thought through , as perhaps was understandable.
There are precedents for this where legislation is rushed into being and later revealed to be just not up to the job. The dangerous dogs act of the 1990s comes to mind as a good example of the type.
With this regulation made under earlier legislation by ministerial order and not debated in Parliament it has had loopholes in it large enough to get a train through and even today Police leaders are calling for clarity and they are the ones tasked with enforcing it. By any means it is a shambles but it maybe excusable in the circustances.
 

sjpowermac

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I am glad to see a sensible approach to this on these board. Personally, I see no issue with people going out and taking photos (for example) as long as it is near their home. There's still a lot of freight activity out there.

There have been some groups on social media that have banned or discouraged photos during the current crisis. One moderator saying it was 'disrespectful' to be out enjoying yourself while people were dying. He didn't take kindly to me telling him that people die every day!

At the end of the day life goes on the vast majority of the company and as long as we are being sensible and keeping out social distance I really don't see the issue.
I have to admit, I’ve changed my mind on this one. Initially I wasn’t going to take any pictures or post to any groups during the lockdown. I’m not completely certain what my reasons were, I think I was just a bit frazzled from working in an environment with, at the time, zero social distancing!

I’m fortunate in being able to see a main line from home, so I certainly don’t think train spotting from there is illegal! I can walk to quite a nice location within ten minutes and include it on my way to the shops or work. By judicious use of Traksy I can time things so that my pause for a photo is minimal.

I really don’t see the harm if people watch trains whilst they are out exercising: what is the alternative, should they cover their eyes whilst the train passes;)
 
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Gemz91

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People can try and find loop holes in the Corona Virus rules as much as they like, but isn't the point of them to stop the spread of a potentially deadly disease?

If ones daily exercise takes you across a railway bridge, or along side the line, fair enough stand for a rest for a few moments and take a photo. But there's certainly people out there, standing at less used stations and in fields for a few hours, days in a row still watching trains. In my opinion thats not right. No difference from people going fishing, walking in the Lakes, buying a coffee or pre packed sandwich in the COOP or buying paint for non essential maintenance to their house in B&Q.

I guess its all about interpretation of the lock down rules for the individual and up to them, and people will defend their actions as much as they want.
 
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