Stuff You Absolutely Must Know
Rather than give you a huge, legalistic epistle here, just keep in mind the following:
- There is no official connection, between either the webmaster or any contributors, to any railroad company, and nothing on any of the Frograil pages is intended, therefore, to be construed as being officially connected to any railroad company.
- Private property is just that: PRIVATE. Whether owned by a railroad company or an adjacent landowner, you have no legal right to be on another's property without obtaining prior permission. Trespassing is a serious offense, and the railroad companies are especially (and quite rightly) concerned about corporate liability issues, the safety of their employees, the protection of their assets and cargo, and, yes, your safety.
- Know your rights, though, in these days of heightened security and increased tension. You are still able to take photographs from public areas, even if someone says otherwise. A good source of details about your rights can be found on this ACLU site, http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers. Another good source is Bert P. Krages' The Photographer's Right page, which has a PDF guide to download to carry with you that explains your rights as a photographer. Krages points out that "neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography."
- Any comments in red are considered to be of high importance by the Webmaster. Do not ignore these comments.
- Railfanning is fun, but getting bopped over the head with a lead pipe isn't. Pay attention to the authors' treatment of the safety and security issue. If an area is described as being "rough" or some other such adjective, do not go there alone. Indeed, all of us recommend railfanning with at least one male friend. It's just wise.
- We've all done it: Tried to drive with one hand, read a map with another, adjust the squelch on the scanner with another and drive safely at the same time. It is humanly impossible to do so. One more excellent reason to have a friend or friends along.
- This is not a disclaimer, but is important to all railfans: Be a good citizen-railfan. Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints. Smile and say "hi" to the locals. Always ask yourself if you'd want someone in your backyard or where you work running around taking pictures.