Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just Railfanning... Or Worse?

CN 2542 at St. James Junction
I ran into a railfan friend of mine last weekend. While we were talking, he asked if I had ever had any trouble at St. James Junction in Winnipeg. "No," said I, then he proceeded to relate an incident to me.

While my friend was waiting for trains at the diamond, someone from the apartment buildings near the diamond (just off the right edge of the above photo) came out and started yelling at him. He was accusing my friend (and railfans in general) of being pedophiles and photographing his kids. The gentleman threatened to call the police, and my friend said, "sure, go ahead."

The police did come and talked to both people. They saw nothing wrong with what my friend was doing and encouraged my friend to call them should he be confronted again.

If you knew my friend, you would know that he is not confrontational but is also willing to stand up for his rights. I respect that in him.

I'm sure there are stories like this all over the railfan community. I've never had any run-ins like this and I hope I never do. I know I'm not trespassing and there's nothing wrong with taking pictures and video of trains. I encourage every railfan to know their rights but also to be responsible and enjoy their hobby legally and safely.

What stories do you have?

1 comment:

One Man Committee said...

People seem hyper-suspicious of anyone taking pictures of anything. There are loads of news stories and youtube clips about people harmlessly taking pictures of trains, planes and buildings being confronted by people or police officers. I myself have received unpleasant comments from people who have seen me taking pictures of buildings and street scenes.

I don't understand how it got to be this way. No one seems to mind that every building you set foot in these days has cameras recording your every move. But someone standing in a field taking a picture of a passing train? Obviously a terrorist, pedophile or some horrible combination of the two. Give me a break!