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The world of trains according to David Graham

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Railfan Etiquette

Railfans are everywhere there are trains. In every county of every country that has railway tracks, you will find at least one person who can't get enough of the trains going through. All of us are into this hobby for one reason and one reason alone: it's fun. Here, then, are some étiquette tips to help keep this hobby fun for everyone.

On photography and conduct around trains and crew
Safety first, safety last, safety always. An unsafe railfan is a bad railfan.
Cabrides and cabshots are not trophies and should only be taken and posted with permission.
Stand well back from the tracks for your own safety and to avoid making the crews nervous about your intent.
Do not interfere with the operation of the railway. We are there to observe, not to get in the way or to "help".
Do not trespass on railway property. Photography is legal from public property just about everywhere, but it isn't from private property without the permission of the property owners. Please respect their property.
If you find an obvious problem on the tracks, such as a car stalled blocking a railway crossing, a railway crossing that is not functionning as it should, or rail that is physically broken, call the railway police and let them know. The number for the company is usually taped to the crossing circuit box or the crossing gates or bells at the nearest grade crossing.
On finding other railfans where you are
Go introduce yourself! Many railfans are shy to introduce themselves, but most enjoy meeting other railfans.
Avoid talking while trains are passing.
Avoid getting in the way of other railfans' cameras. To this end, if there are a lot of railfans present, respect the photo lineup that forms.
Keep prints of some of your best photos with you. Most railfans love to see others' collections between trains while trackside.