Taking Railway and Train Photographs

For rail and photography enthusiasts, taking photos of railway and trains makes for an interesting and entertaining past time, and it is something that is enjoyed by many throughout the world. There are, however, some guidelines should be followed.

Before You Reach the Platform

As you make your way to the platform to take your railway photographs, you should inform the staff at the reception desk of your intentions-that you have arrived to take some train photos. This is a good and fair curtsy as it will allow station staff to be able to go about their duties without being suspicious or having any concerns over what you are doing! Also, check if you require a platform ticket to access the platforms.

When You are on the Platform

Upon arrival at the platform to take your railway photographs be sensible and respectful at all times. As always, stay clear of the platform edge and stay behind the yellow lines. Always be fully aware of your surroundings. Furthermore as you set about taking your train photos follow these rules:

  • Do not walk on to the tracks or another part of the railway where passengers should not be attending.

  • If you are with other people in a group situation, do not gather at busy areas of the platform, avoid being where you are in the way of other passengers and staff who are trying to go about their commute and journey.

  • Do not climb on to any structure and do not take any action that may interfere with platform equipment.

  • Make sure you do not obstruct any signalling equipment or any important signs which are essential to the safe running of the railway.

  • Be respectful of how you dress. For instance, it would not be a good idea to wear anything that is similar in colour to safety clothing, like a high-visibility jacket, as this could provoke confusion to drivers, other railway employees and passengers who believe you to be a member of staff or other official

  • A good tip, and again a form of courtesy is to avoid peak running hours (Monday to Friday 6.00 am to 10:30 am and 15:30 to 19:30).

Filming at Stations

So, yes, you can take railway photographs and train photos at a station. However, you should not sell them. If you did require some material for commercial purposes you would be required to seek permission before going ahead with taking the photos. The exact same rules apply for filming. Again, make sure the station staff know what you are doing even if you have gained permission beforehand.

Keep in Mind

  • You are not allowed to take photographs of any security-related equipment.

  • You must never use flash photography. This is because it can distract train divers as well as dispatch staff which could potentially be very dangerous.

  • Please be careful regarding photographing other people: you must respect that some people may not want to be photographed or filmed.

  • Sometimes if you are travelling by train you may be asked to remain in the normal waiting areas with the other passengers. Please follow these instructions respectfully, keeping in mind that staff have many different duties to action, with lots of things to consider, and must always put the good running of the station as a priority.

There is no reason why a spot of railway photograph taking or the capturing of train photos can not be enjoyed! But there are certain rules in place to help make sure that both staff and passengers are kept safe and the actions of any photographers do not cause any kinds of disruption to this important service.

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