Stations where spotters were not welcome

Peter0124

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2016
Messages
819
Location
Glasgow
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 ?
On an unrelated note, the enforced queuing around platforms 1 and 2 of Glasgow Central is why I now avoid boarding Avanti services there and instead board at Motherwell. I don't think any other station does this for Avanti (From my experience at Euston there was no queuing) and I find it a lot of hassle.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
6,278
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!
I know what you mean. When I started my railway career as a booking clerk at Effingham Junction in the mid 90s (Alan Williams was a regular), there was a woman of about 70 who would come up to me on a practically daily basis and rant about staff working on the track, which passed the back of her house. She clearly had nothing better to do. She got increasingly ridiculous and angry about really trivial things I could do nothing about. I nodded and smiled for ages until eventually she really wound me up, and I quite irritably pointed out that everything she was moaning about was part and parcel of living next to a railway line. At this point she yelled "I'm stressed enough as it is!" and stormed off, never to be seen again.

She actually bore an uncanny resemblance to the legendary Mrs. Mangel!
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,177
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
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….

It wouldn’t surprise me at Llangunllo - it certainly appears someone has done everything possible to make the station invisible, and to give a “you shouldn’t be here” feel. As I say, we didn’t have any issue, though on reflection the comment from the woman might well have been more pointed than we thought - perhaps an attempt to get us to move to the end of the platform further away from the house.

I have no time for this sort of thing, in fact it annoys me greatly. I’m not sure why some people seem to spend their whole life curtain twitching - I certainly don’t spent my whole time staring out the front of my house.
 

warwickshire

On Moderation
Joined
6 Feb 2020
Messages
741
Location
leamingtonspa
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 ?
Know it seems a bit extreme.
Fare evasion as well.
Because a sadly its quite high from there.
To make sure everyone has a ticket so I
am told from a few staff members there. And around there.
However even milton Keynes can be keen but at least when I am there I do let staff know and show them a valid tkt and its cool and a pleasure to be there.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,177
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
Know it seems a bit extreme.
Fare evasion as well.
Because a sadly its quite high from there.
To make sure everyone has a ticket so I
am told from a few staff members there. And around there.
However even milton Keynes can be keen but at least when I am there I do let staff know and show them a valid tkt and its cool and a pleasure to be there.

I've always assumed it's a combination of "because this is how it's always been here", and the fact that they have more than their fair share of problem people to deal with.
 

D1537

Member
Joined
11 Jul 2019
Messages
129
Know it seems a bit extreme.
Fare evasion as well.
Because a sadly its quite high from there.
To make sure everyone has a ticket so I
am told from a few staff members there. And around there.
However even milton Keynes can be keen but at least when I am there I do let staff know and show them a valid tkt and its cool and a pleasure to be there.

There's a big difference between effective revenue protection and treating your customers like they're something you stepped in. Also, it was like that when full barriers were the norm anyway.
 

antharro

Member
Joined
20 Dec 2006
Messages
474
Let's see.

I've been told to stop taking photos (even though I wasn't) when I was accompanying another forum member somewhere in North London. I forget where, it may have been Willesden Junction, or one of the stations in that part of the world. We were passing through and he decided to take a few photos of the station and passing trains. Got approached by someone with a bit of an attitude who didn't so much tell my friend to stop taking photos as give him a "bit of a talking to". Friend didn't take kindly to this as a simple polite request would have sufficed, but IIRC a train turned up before things could go further so we got on it and left!

On the night the SWT franchise ended, I visited a couple of my local stations to capture some of the last announcements and trains. I tried to check in with the staff at Bournemouth who are usually accommodating, but the guy on duty that night did *not* appear to be a in good mood and gave me an outright and rather blunt "no". So I went down to Poole instead which at that time of night was unstaffed.

On the positive side, I did a great photoshoot at Waterloo when certain Paddington trains were being diverted there - I emailed in advance and was asked to check in, which I did. I got the usual safely talk but was also told "I'd give you a high-vis jacket but I've run out!" :D Friendly bunch.

Can also +1 for Eastleigh being good - given their location and what's nearby, I expect they get a lot of spotters and photographers. I've been there a few times and they've always been welcoming.
 

adc82140

Established Member
Joined
10 May 2008
Messages
2,038
I know what you mean. When I started my railway career as a booking clerk at Effingham Junction in the mid 90s (Alan Williams was a regular), there was a woman of about 70 who would come up to me on a practically daily basis and rant about staff working on the track, which passed the back of her house. She clearly had nothing better to do. She got increasingly ridiculous and angry about really trivial things I could do nothing about. I nodded and smiled for ages until eventually she really wound me up, and I quite irritably pointed out that everything she was moaning about was part and parcel of living next to a railway line. At this point she yelled "I'm stressed enough as it is!" and stormed off, never to be seen again.

She actually bore an uncanny resemblance to the legendary Mrs. Mangel!
The actress who played Mrs Mangel had a twin sister, who lived in Cobham. Must be a common look in that part of the world.
 

75A

Member
Joined
31 Mar 2021
Messages
232
Location
Midlands (ex Brighton 75A)
On the Southern in the 80' Spotters were rare and treated as peculiar, but not unpleasantly, we'd always talk if spoken to. Don't remember ever seeing them in the Brighton area, but whenever we went to Kensington Olympia there were always a few and we'd let them 'cab' the loco (normally a 47). The only other place I remember seeing them was Haywards Heath for the Ardingly stone train which was a pair of 33's.
 
Joined
20 Nov 2019
Messages
647
Location
Merthyr Tydfil
Last Saturday I had spent about two and half hours taking photos at Birmingham New Street before being told by a staff member I needed to get a pass from reception to do that. He was quite polite about it, but my main point of contention was that I'd been all over the station for two hours and passed countless staff, none of whom had any issue with me.

I ended up just leaving the station and coming back later for my train home. I had already seen everything I wanted to and was contemplating a quick trip to Moor Street anyway.
 

Nonsense

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2009
Messages
292
Last Saturday I had spent about two and half hours taking photos at Birmingham New Street before being told by a staff member I needed to get a pass from reception to do that. He was quite polite about it, but my main point of contention was that I'd been all over the station for two hours and passed countless staff, none of whom had any issue with me.

I ended up just leaving the station and coming back later for my train home. I had already seen everything I wanted to and was contemplating a quick trip to Moor Street anyway.
The other staff had no issue with you because it's not an issue. There's no such thing as a photo permission pass.
 

warwickshire

On Moderation
Joined
6 Feb 2020
Messages
741
Location
leamingtonspa
I was also filming some trains on my phone as well so maybe that was it? I don't know if that would make a difference.
I have noticed myself at new Street in Birmingham sometimes filming on the mobile phone ie trains.
Gets the ses group seicurity officers. A bit dipsy and overkeen. Claiming no pass no film. And even with one still cannot do what we where given permission to do with pass.
Claiming security risks ie the old chestnut.
However myself have witnessed them challenging vulnerable and spotters on there own.
Yet not challenging a group off youths or a small crowd videoing themselves on the platforms especially end off platform two to four area. At the northern end off the platforms there.
 

Nonsense

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2009
Messages
292
I have noticed myself at new Street in Birmingham sometimes filming on the mobile phone ie trains.
Gets the ses group seicurity officers. A bit dipsy and overkeen. Claiming no pass no film. And even with one still cannot do what we where given permission to do with pass.
Claiming security risks ie the old chestnut.
However myself have witnessed them challenging vulnerable and spotters on there own.
Yet not challenging a group off youths or a small crowd videoing themselves on the platforms especially end off platform two to four area. At the northern end off the platforms there.
Its bullying. Nothing more nothing less.

If there is no sign up saying "No Photography" and no bylaw stated to support it, then photography is absolutely permitted and challenging train spotters is just harassment.

I've never been in the situation but I wouldn't hesitate to kick up the most enormous fuss with the operator. Rights are rights and bullying is bullying.

</rant>
 

LowLevel

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2013
Messages
5,389
Its bullying. Nothing more nothing less.

If there is no sign up saying "No Photography" and no bylaw stated to support it, then photography is absolutely permitted and challenging train spotters is just harassment.

I've never been in the situation but I wouldn't hesitate to kick up the most enormous fuss with the operator. Rights are rights and bullying is bullying.

</rant>

There is no right to loiter on a station for the purpose of trainspotting or photography. The authorised person asking you to not to and then directing you to leave is sufficient notice for the byelaws.

It might be worth a complaint, in fact I would encourage it, but it is important not to misunderstand things that potentially have legal consequences.
 

Nonsense

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2009
Messages
292
There is no right to loiter on a station for the purpose of trainspotting or photography. The authorised person asking you to not to and then directing you to leave is sufficient notice for the byelaws.

It might be worth a complaint, in fact I would encourage it, but it is important not to misunderstand things that potentially have legal consequences.
Agreed. But loitering is a different activity to photography.
 

6Gman

Established Member
Joined
1 May 2012
Messages
6,984
Agreed. But loitering is a different activity to photography.
In this legal context I'm not sure it is necessarily.

Your ticket is a contract for the railway to take you to wherever it is (let's say Rugby for this purpose).

I suspect it gives you no right to remain on the platform for an extended period of time.

Byelaw 13 states that an authorised person has the power to instruct anyone loitering to leave. Not sure it defines loitering, but the legal definition is to remain with no apparent purpose. Given that stations are the property of the railway I suspect that they can define "purpose", and I feel they would define it as using the rail service. Which photography isn't!
 
Last edited:

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,177
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
In this legal context I'm not sure it is necessarily.

Your ticket is a contract for the railway to take you to wherever it is (let's say Rugby for this purpose).

I suspect it gives you no right to remain on the platform for an extended period of time.

Byelaw 13 states that an authorised person has the power to instruct anyone loitering to leave. Not sure it defines loitering, but the legal definition is to remain with no apparent purpose. Given that stations are the property of the railway I suspect that they can define "purpose", and I feel they would define it as using the rail service. Which photography isn't!

Whilst I suspect the above is probably right on, this does raise the interesting question of how things might be regarded on the loitering front if, for example, somewhere with an hourly train service, and someone turns up 59 minutes before the next service and starts taking photos.

It's all rather silly though, and I've never really understood why railway staff harass rail enthusiasts except when they are causing a genuine problem. Why people would want to create extra work and hassle for themselves is beyond me.
 

Nonsense

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2009
Messages
292
In this legal context I'm not sure it is necessarily.

Your ticket is a contract for the railway to take you to wherever it is (let's say Rugby for this purpose).

I suspect it gives you no right to remain on the platform for an extended period of time.

Byelaw 13 states that an authorised person has the power to instruct anyone loitering to leave. Not sure it defines loitering, but the legal definition is to remain with no apparent purpose. Given that stations are the property of the railway I suspect that they can define "purpose", and I feel they would define it as using the rail service. Which photography isn't!
Possibly splitting hairs here, but the original complaint was photography, not loitering to take photos.
The site management has the discretion to remove whomever they please, but it's a stretch to suggest that the purpose of remaining on a platform with a camera is not apparent. It is the national hobby, after all. So I would argue, that if there is no specific policy regarding train spotters or platform activities, like at Blackpool, for example, which should be indicated, then staff choosing to make an issue of it, are doing so on their own initiative for their own amusement in the name of the operator. Definitely worth making a stink about.

It takes a certain, repugnant, mindset to expel a person doing what they love and causing no harm, just because the rules say they can.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,177
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
It takes a certain, repugnant, mindset to expel a person doing what they love and causing no harm, just because the rules say they can.

Welcome to Great Britain, where we seem to breed such mindsets!

This isn't unique to railway staff, photography in public places can be fraught with similar issues too.

Having said that, some enthusiasts really don't help themselves by the way they carry on, but I see no good reason for this to lead to staff tarring everyone with the same brush.

It was touched upon somewhere else on here that this country has an odd attitude to hobbies, yet people also moan about people hanging around doing nothing. It seems you're a problem unless you live the 2.4 Children lifestyle of work 9-5 Mondays to Fridays, and spending the weekend visiting the garden centre / supermarket / Beefeater / whatever.
 

Nonsense

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2009
Messages
292
Welcome to Great Britain, where we seem to breed such mindsets!

This isn't unique to railway staff, photography in public places can be fraught with similar issues too.
Its not unique to Britain. Its human nature. I see it in the workplace, see it in the local pub. But it takes guts to call it out, right there in the flesh, in the moment. Even when it's a lowly small minded uniformed oik riding the highs of petty power.

There's nothing wrong with pursuing an interest. Those that take issue with it are the problem.
 

frodshamfella

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2010
Messages
1,338
Location
Frodsham
One of my local stations I use is Acton Bridge. It has a very small car park, and pre covid, can often be full, so parking is an issue particularly if you are trying to catch a train in the middle of the day. Its common to see spotters on the platforms, however I do not welcome using the car park if they are not a fare paying passenger.
 

John Luxton

Member
Joined
23 Nov 2014
Messages
391
It's all rather silly though, and I've never really understood why railway staff harass rail enthusiasts except when they are causing a genuine problem. Why people would want to create extra work and hassle for themselves is beyond me.

I think sometimes it can be management putting pressure on others. My interests extend beyond ships to shipping and following 9/11 and many sea ports started being treated in same manner as airports and suddenly quaysides became out of bounds. Quite a few ports issued photo (and fishing passes) to those who wanted to enter but that all came to an end in the early naughties. Though fortunately where I am located it became possible for the local branch of the World Ship Society to negotiate some concessions with regard to members at the local port - but there were several years between 2003 and around 2010 when we could not enter.

However, during the in between period there were several locations one could just enter as there were other businesses located there. Thus when a particular ferry was moved to an accessible location one afternoon three of us walked in took a few photographs but then had a chat. As we were talking a Port Police van drives up. Bobby gets out sees our cameras and said something along the lines "I can see you are not doing anything other than taking photos - but I have been sent here because you have been seen on that camera - which he helpfully pointed out and I have been asked to move you on." He was almost apologetic about it. As we wandered away - he then said "Next time come in quickly get your photos and leave before anyone sees you!" - He was very decent about it.

Around a year or two later our local WSS Branch had been invited by the local RNVR to visit a warship which was located in another part of the docks. Thus we legitimately entered and had a visit to the said warship the officer on duty who had shown us around gave us permission to take photos. After disembarking we took some more from the quayside. Then suddenly entering the scene at high speed was a port police van. The officer jumped out yelling and screaming at us. Now were were a group of approx 12, 35 to 70+ year old adults. His shouting and screaming didn't impress. We turned around and told him we had permission and if he didn't believe us go on board and ask.

Realising he would be put in an a difficult position as our claims would obviously be confirmed he then started lecturing on us about health and safety and why it was dangerous to be there so he went from being concerned about security to being bothered about health and safety.

Just an example of how two employees of the same private police force can have two different attitudes to the same sort of situation, the second guy was clearly a jobsworth. It prompted one of our members to write to the local RNVR commander about what had happened. He then contacted the port police and we never did have any more problems with photography on visits to naval ships.

Just going back to railways - and inhospitable locations for photography - 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.

This photo I took of a coach stuck on the concourse due to striking the roof caused a bit of a fuss back in 1999. All disembarking vehicles pass across the end of the station platform.

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

John
 
Joined
25 Aug 2019
Messages
20
Location
Lancaster
Not trainspotting, but I was in Blackpool one day last year, went to Blackpool North, and asked about a memorial plaque which I'd read was somewhere in the station; it commemorates a policeman who saved a life at Blackpool Central station during WW2. I asked at the ticket barrier where the plaque is, and was told it was on the other side of the barriers, at the far end of the concourse, and there was no problem letting me go through to take a couple of photos of it.
 

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
2,406
Just going back to railways - and inhospitable locations for photography - 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.

This photo I took of a coach stuck on the concourse due to striking the roof caused a bit of a fuss back in 1999. All disembarking vehicles pass across the end of the station platform.

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

(My bolding) -- thinking of the exchange on page 1 of this thread, about the Isle of Man Railway in the old days -- could it be that this is a Manx thing :s ?
 

Bevan Price

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2010
Messages
5,759
I think sometimes it can be management putting pressure on others. My interests extend beyond ships to shipping and following 9/11 and many sea ports started being treated in same manner as airports and suddenly quaysides became out of bounds. Quite a few ports issued photo (and fishing passes) to those who wanted to enter but that all came to an end in the early naughties. Though fortunately where I am located it became possible for the local branch of the World Ship Society to negotiate some concessions with regard to members at the local port - but there were several years between 2003 and around 2010 when we could not enter.

However, during the in between period there were several locations one could just enter as there were other businesses located there. Thus when a particular ferry was moved to an accessible location one afternoon three of us walked in took a few photographs but then had a chat. As we were talking a Port Police van drives up. Bobby gets out sees our cameras and said something along the lines "I can see you are not doing anything other than taking photos - but I have been sent here because you have been seen on that camera - which he helpfully pointed out and I have been asked to move you on." He was almost apologetic about it. As we wandered away - he then said "Next time come in quickly get your photos and leave before anyone sees you!" - He was very decent about it.

Around a year or two later our local WSS Branch had been invited by the local RNVR to visit a warship which was located in another part of the docks. Thus we legitimately entered and had a visit to the said warship the officer on duty who had shown us around gave us permission to take photos. After disembarking we took some more from the quayside. Then suddenly entering the scene at high speed was a port police van. The officer jumped out yelling and screaming at us. Now were were a group of approx 12, 35 to 70+ year old adults. His shouting and screaming didn't impress. We turned around and told him we had permission and if he didn't believe us go on board and ask.

Realising he would be put in an a difficult position as our claims would obviously be confirmed he then started lecturing on us about health and safety and why it was dangerous to be there so he went from being concerned about security to being bothered about health and safety.

Just an example of how two employees of the same private police force can have two different attitudes to the same sort of situation, the second guy was clearly a jobsworth. It prompted one of our members to write to the local RNVR commander about what had happened. He then contacted the port police and we never did have any more problems with photography on visits to naval ships.

Just going back to railways - and inhospitable locations for photography - 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.

This photo I took of a coach stuck on the concourse due to striking the roof caused a bit of a fuss back in 1999. All disembarking vehicles pass across the end of the station platform.

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

John
No, I have not had problems taking photos of the train at Heysham, but I am only ever there between the arrival & departure of the daily train.
 
Joined
25 Aug 2019
Messages
20
Location
Lancaster
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.
 

Top