Stations where spotters were not welcome

bramling

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Blimey! I was at Clapham Junction last month scoping it for possible shots of 61306. Took some photos without any problems whatsoever. Either I was lucky or you were unlucky.

Have only had real hassle at two stations. Once at Chorleywood during a Steam on the Met event back in the 1990s. One member of staff started ranting that I could not bring a dog onto LT property. Complete nonsense of course but he went on to say that if I did not leave the station he would throw all the photographers off the station. To avoid further confrontation I left the the London bound platform and went to the carpark. As the train approached, I stepped onto the Amersham bound platform, took my picture, gave the guy a cheery wave and went on my way. This was the only time I had any hassle during any of the Steam events. The other station was Arlesey a few years ago. The chap in the booking office was a miserable old git at the best of times but seemed to reserve the worst of his attitude for spotters. He'd make announcements over the tannoy and if you ignored them, he'd leave the booking office and come on to the platform to confront you with all manner of nonsense.

I find Arlesey a depressing place at the best of times, so no wonder the booking office person was miserable.

It always smacks as strange when staff makes a scene at those sort of stations, as once the booking office closes the place is left to its own devices, at which point anything goes.

We had a similar encounter some years ago with a rather obnoxious woman at Wadhurst. The conversation essentially concluded with her being told that our activities were continuing whether she liked it or not, and perhaps she might instead attend to the increasing queue at the booking office window, which did do the trick, albeit with a huff.
 
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MatthewRead

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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.
 

bramling

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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.

Stevenage is surprising. Although there have been issues there in the past, my belief is enthusiasts are comparatively welcome there these days. Hitchin tends to be the preferred location as it’s more photogenic - from what I gather enthusiasts are quite welcome there.

It’s interesting how things vary from one place to the next. Really the industry should have grabbed hold of this many years ago. It isn’t a difficult issue to address, and it smacks of weak management that doesn’t know or doesn’t care what’s going on.
 

EbbwJunction1

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Good point.
Wondering myself iff that it is the same at London liverpool Street ie yes signed in network rail but final approval from abeillo Anglia control or staff dependent on day and situation at the time?.

Liverpool Street is the only place where I've (as far as I can recall) ever had a problem with photography.

It was only a few weeks ago, when I was taking some shots of the war memorials and the station generally on the upper concourse. I took an image of the lower concourse and was asked by one of the security staff if I had a pass. Not being aware that I needed one, I replied that I didn't, and was told that I had to go to the NR office on Platform 12 to get one. This I did, with the full picture etc., and went on my way. It was a bit of a chore, but if they're the rules, that's fine - it would have been nice to have known before, but where do you find out about this?
Back in the mid-1960s, at the end of steam, the entrance to the long footpath by Crewe station that led to Crewe South shed had a properly made railway enamel notice in the standard LMR style reading "TRAIN SPOTTERS MUST NOT PASS THIS POINT". You can imagine that Crewe had more than its fair share of them, but was it unique to have a specific notice made about them?

I remember that one .... although I didn't always obey it, working on the principle that you look for the shedmaster's office and ask there.
 

colchesterken

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Some time ago someone I believe who was a BT police officer tried to set up an Approved Spotter scheme, with a badge to show staff
Clearly it did not get off the ground, Shame it would have given us the right to be there, and save worrying the suicide prevention people
 

Sm5

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Some time ago someone I believe who was a BT police officer tried to set up an Approved Spotter scheme, with a badge to show staff
Clearly it did not get off the ground, Shame it would have given us the right to be there, and save worrying the suicide prevention people
I dont think we have a “right” to be there, just the same rights as a passenger at best, and most of us usually are passengers as well.

Thing is how does carrying an “ID” help ? If we have to sign in, its the same as carrying an ID. I’m not against signing in, Ive found where I have signed in, the carpet has been rolled out on a few occasions. Railriders was a good PR activity that linked the hobby with the industry, but i’m not sure the new railriders really does that.

A good website where we could “check in” might suffice.
What I think is hard is where “pre-approval” is needed, which is where TFL seems to be heading.. how does emailing 2 weeks ahead of time work on a 1Z99 coming in 2 hours?

this link is pretty clear (and very commercial) but the essence on private photography is on “passing through” a station, which suggests hanging around is not…(very bottom of page).


The links for Southern and Network Rail are much less restrictive /less commercial.

(Southerns website link doesnt work, but their page can be found here)
(and the broken link is this one to Network Rail, ive emailed them twice but its still not updated)
 
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306024

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Back in the mid-1960s, at the end of steam, the entrance to the long footpath by Crewe station that led to Crewe South shed had a properly made railway enamel notice in the standard LMR style reading "TRAIN SPOTTERS MUST NOT PASS THIS POINT". You can imagine that Crewe had more than its fair share of them, but was it unique to have a specific notice made about them?
The tunnel that used to lead from the front of Stratford station to the depot had a sign at the tunnel entrance:

“No spotters without prior authority, no access to station”.

The sign is now at Mangapps Museum at Southminster.
 

nlogax

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The tunnel that used to lead from the front of Stratford station to the depot had a sign at the tunnel entrance:

Makes me wonder how on earth I managed to wangle a look around Stratford depot in the late 80s. Don't remember the signage!
 

EbbwJunction1

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The tunnel that used to lead from the front of Stratford station to the depot had a sign at the tunnel entrance:

“No spotters without prior authority, no access to station”.

The sign is now at Mangapps Museum at Southminster.

Makes me wonder how on earth I managed to wangle a look around Stratford depot in the late 80s. Don't remember the signage!

I have a feeling that I remember that one, as well ... see Crewe Depot for my reaction!
 

xotGD

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I was asked to leave Amsterdam Centraal when trying to take a few phots.

So summarising Amsterdam:

Drugs: OK
Sex: OK
Photographing trains: Not OK
 

lyndhurst25

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Sheffield Midland also had a fenced off “spotters’ compound” for a short time in the 1980s, and they used to strictly enforce the 1 hour limit in platform tickets. Maybe the guy behind the similar restrictions from Chesterfield got a transfer?

Horton in Ribblesdale has had for a long time what looks like an unofficial home-made sign, prohibiting “train spotters vehicles”, but not spotters themselves. The official railway sign above it has much same meaning.

0B7C49F4-B9E8-4B30-9E9D-C4CF03207210.jpeg
 

Ashley Hill

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The tunnel that used to lead from the front of Stratford station to the depot had a sign at the tunnel entrance:

“No spotters without prior authority, no access to station”.

The sign is now at Mangapps Museum at Southminster.
I,ahem, never noticed it on many occasions ;)
 

neilmc

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Bunked Stratford many a time, and Crewe. Nobody took any notice of such signs, all that mattered was where the shed foreman's office was and whether there were holes. gaps in fences, etc if the official entrance was too dodgy.
 
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The oddest experience I've had was when spotting at Water Orton 3 or 4 years ago, the guard of one of the few Cross Country 170s that deigned to stop there walked up to me once the train had come to a halt and the doors had been opened and asked me to leave the station as unauthorised admittance, photography and filming was not acceptable (denoted by my camera). I explained to her that I was in a public area and for all intents and purposes I even showed my tickets as I had arrived and was later to leave by train (lo and behold the return working she was on, but that's another story...). But for a station not even managed by Cross Country (London Midland at the time, West Midlands Railway now) I still find it extremely peculiar to this day.
 

warwickshire

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The oddest experience I've had was when spotting at Water Orton 3 or 4 years ago, the guard of one of the few Cross Country 170s that deigned to stop there walked up to me once the train had come to a halt and the doors had been opened and asked me to leave the station as unauthorised admittance, photography and filming was not acceptable (denoted by my camera). I explained to her that I was in a public area and for all intents and purposes I even showed my tickets as I had arrived and was later to leave by train (lo and behold the return working she was on, but that's another story...). But for a station not even managed by Cross Country (London Midland at the time, West Midlands Railway now) I still find it extremely peculiar to this day.
Also on the Bridge earlier on this year away from station and social distancing too.
Strange.
However in recent times water Orton is again becoming a bit worrying especially with the nursery and very young children nearby.
Sadly the behaviour off some enthusiasts is going to spoil it and please don't let it happen to us.
Surprisingly it's the very elderly spotters the ones who should no better.
The ones who should know better.
Please note there is a Tesco supermarket nearby to spend your pennies in .
And Al'so on your supplies to.
Please please respect other enthusiasts there. Please don't spoil things for us.
 

Journeyman

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Bunked Stratford many a time, and Crewe. Nobody took any notice of such signs, all that mattered was where the shed foreman's office was and whether there were holes. gaps in fences, etc if the official entrance was too dodgy.
I successfully bunked Stratford just once, but it was dead easy. By the time you got anywhere near anyone who would yell abuse at you for being there, you already had a nice long list of locos to underline in your Combine. :)
 

nickw1

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At East Croydon I've been forced to sign in same at Clapham Junction.
Never had a problem at either, although admittedly it was the mid- or late eighties when I visited them for rail enthusiast reasons, which, despite some issues at Stafford in that kind of era (see above), was perhaps overall a less paranoid period.

At either I found the stations were so busy you just blended in with the non-enthusiast passengers.
 

01d-and

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Going back a good many years , I devised a "cunning plan" to get around Stratford Depot. If I looked like a raiiway employee , I would , as suggested earlier , "blend in to the background" , [pre hi - vis days of course]. But with a flask , sandwich box and newspaper to carry , I found it very difficult to actually have a spare hand to write nmbers down. :lol:
 

BluePenguin

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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.

Some official looking staff also approached us at Manchester Piccadilly. They asked us what we were doing and asked to see our tickets. They were very polite and went away after a brief chat.

A very bossy man came up to us on the platform at London Euston to say that filming was banned and that I needed to register my details and get a permit. I was filming my friends talk about their trips to Blackpool and was not even filming any trains at the time. Needless to say the filming carried on after he went away...
 

Sm5

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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.

YMMV but ive not had any issue, but havent loitered there excessively either.

out of interest, set aside photography, has anyone had issues just watching trains & collecting numbers or is it a photograph thing ?
 

scrapy

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Don't forget no one can ask you to delete photos from your phone it's your copyright only the police can but with a court order. Ie written.
Security cannot. Security or pcso have no justification whatsoever.
This rule has also been mentioned on YouTube especially the police audit ones good information on them.
However both London euston and Manchester Piccadilly is on there and it appears it has changed very recently.
Or it could be for the next few months or so as lockdown measures are ending.
Also as well especially at the momment with both Manchester and the anniversary off the very sad tube incident ie underground bombings on the tube trains both together and both in mind.
Anyone can ask you to delete them (whether or not you choose to is your choice but they are not comitting a crime or in the wrong to politely ask). Nobody can force you to.
 

XAM2175

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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(!)
So were they police officers or not, then?
 

Elecman

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Sheffield Midland also had a fenced off “spotters’ compound” for a short time in the 1980s, and they used to strictly enforce the 1 hour limit in platform tickets. Maybe the guy behind the similar restrictions from Chesterfield got a transfer?

Horton in Ribblesdale has had for a long time what looks like an unofficial home-made sign, prohibiting “train spotters vehicles”, but not spotters themselves. The official railway sign above it has much same meaning.

View attachment 99588
Because that is a private road upto the station belonging to the adjacent houses
 

306024

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Going back a good many years , I devised a "cunning plan" to get around Stratford Depot. If I looked like a raiiway employee , I would , as suggested earlier , "blend in to the background" , [pre hi - vis days of course]. But with a flask , sandwich box and newspaper to carry , I found it very difficult to actually have a spare hand to write nmbers down. :lol:

My cunning plan was to get a job on the railway, although I had given up spotting by then. Even so it was quite satisfying to walk past the sign and through the tunnel at Stratford knowing you were on company business.
 

bramling

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Sheffield Midland also had a fenced off “spotters’ compound” for a short time in the 1980s, and they used to strictly enforce the 1 hour limit in platform tickets. Maybe the guy behind the similar restrictions from Chesterfield got a transfer?

Horton in Ribblesdale has had for a long time what looks like an unofficial home-made sign, prohibiting “train spotters vehicles”, but not spotters themselves. The official railway sign above it has much same meaning.

View attachment 99588

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).
 

Harvester

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Bunked Stratford many a time, and Crewe. Nobody took any notice of such signs, all that mattered was where the shed foreman's office was and whether there were holes. gaps in fences, etc if the official entrance was too dodgy.
On my first visit to Old Oak Common in 1963 there was no hope of getting in by the official entrance, and we were about to leave. Then a member of staff coming off duty asked if we wanted to get in and see the engines. He then told us about the gap in the fence by the canal, and we were in. Used that entry point on all subsequent visits.
 

Bevan Price

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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.

Some official looking staff also approached us at Manchester Piccadilly. They asked us what we were doing and asked to see our tickets. They were very polite and went away after a brief chat.

A very bossy man came up to us on the platform at London Euston to say that filming was banned and that I needed to register my details and get a permit. I was filming my friends talk about their trips to Blackpool and was not even filming any trains at the time. Needless to say the filming carried on after he went away...
I once had a "security type" who seemed concerned about me taking photos at Euston, but he went away when I told him I was "filling time" waiting for someone to open the doors of the train I was waiting for. (A Class 350). (Must be around 10 years ago, as it was still Central Trains, and I was using a Great Escape ticket.)
 

ABB125

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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.

YMMV but ive not had any issue, but havent loitered there excessively either.

out of interest, set aside photography, has anyone had issues just watching trains & collecting numbers or is it a photograph thing ?
I was at London Bridge in early June, taking a few pictures in the terminus section for a specific purpose. I was there for maybe 20 minutes. Just before I left, a dispatcher approached me and asked if I had a permit. I didn't, and he said I needed one and gave me instructions as to where I could obtain one. I didn't, because I'd got what I came for by that point. He was perfectly pleasant though.
My cunning plan was to get a job on the railway, although I had given up spotting by then. Even so it was quite satisfying to walk past the sign and through the tunnel at Stratford knowing you were on company business.
Always the best plan! :D
 

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