Train afficionado Kurt Weber was standing on the platform of a train station in New Jersey shooting video of a departing train when he was asked the age-old question.
“What are you doing?”
And why are you doing it?
Thus began the age-old process of bringing up 9/11 and lying about laws that are not in place.
Weber, who emailed a complaint to New Jersey Transit, just received the following reply, which confirms that photography is allowed in train stations:
Thank you for contacting NJ TRANSIT. NJ TRANSIT allows photographs to be taken of facilities and equipment as long as all safety and security procedures are followed. Thus we have alerted the rail line superintendent to your email, and he will speak to these individuals and take any indicated corrective measures.
NJ TRANSIT appreciates you taking the time to share this information. It is important to us as we work to improve our service to you.
NJ TRANSIT Customer Service Team
Here is Weber’s original posting of the incident on subchat.com.
Today, I went on a railfanning excursion to Morristown and Danbury. The train I had coming back to Long Branch, where I live, was a doubleheaded train powered by 4214 and 4141. As I recorded the train leaving, two gentlemen approached me. I will here refer to him as “Suit,” since that’s what he was wearing.
Suit: “Hey, How ya doin?”
Me: “I’m doing alright, how about you?”
Suit: “I’m doing okay. What are you doing?”
Me: “I’m recording.”
Suit: “Excuse Me?”
Me: “I’m recording.”
Suit: “Recording what?”
Me: “The train.”
Me: “Because it’s my hobby.”
-At this point, I switched the video off, which I really wish I hadn’t.
Suit: “Okay. Taking a video of that train isn’t really allowed, since it’s going through a railyard. Following 9/11, we clamped down on a lot of things of that nature.”
Me: “It’s my understanding that Warrington issued a letter precisely to the contrary.”
Suit: “Well, Warrington isn’t the GM anymore. It’s no problem being at a station and getting a passing trains, I understand that-a lot of guys have that hobby, but certain points, such as tunnels, bridges, and yards, can not be videod or photographed anymore. Especially railyards, since it also draws unwanted attetion to employees, which is what we are. It’s no problem being at a station and getting a passing trains, I understand that-a lot of guys have that hobby, butI’m not trying to bust your chops, I’m not going to confiscate your camera or anything, but I’m telling you that you’re not allowed to do that.”
Me: “I’ll remember that.” (I had a strong desire to terminate the encounter)”You have a nice night.”
Suit: “You too.”