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Railroads try to shut down train photographers

Railroad tracks are a popular place for just about every kind of photo. But there are a lot of associated risks with snapping pictures on the tracks.

It's not just the impeding danger of a train coming down the tracks, although that's a pretty significant risk. Mark Davis, a Union Pacific spokesperson, elaborates.

“You see photos of people balancing on the rail and things of that nature,” Davis noted. “If that person were to fall and hit their head on the rail, that steel is very unforgiving.”

There's also the question of trespassing. Technically, standing on rail equipment like the tracks, signal switches and the like is trespassing on private property. However, if the photo is taken and the railroad happens to be in the shot, then it's constitutionally protected.

Union Pacific has reached out to photographers that are found displaying their portraits online and let them know that what they are doing is illegal and dangerous. Many photographers don't know, and are more than willing to take the pictures down to make sure they don't continue encouraging others to take railroad photos.

So, if you want to take railroad track portraits, make sure you're not trespassing and otherwise endangering your family. I would settle for a picture of the tracks in the background, instead.

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