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April 19, 2016

SEPTA asks that you please not take photos on the tracks

Agency warns filming on rails is dangerous and illegal

Transportation Safety
SEPTA Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A SEPTA Regional Rail train.

SEPTA understands the lure of capturing that perfect image on the railroad, long a symbol of American progress — but warns photographers and videographers that staging a photo shoot on the tracks is both dangerous and illegal.

The transportation agency sent out a press release Monday reminding people of that fact. Scott Sauer, SEPTA's Assistant General Manager of System Safety, said that a picture or video recorded in the way of a potential oncoming train "might be the last footage you take." Per the release:

With the better weather upon us, residents are taking out their cameras and smartphones to capture the colorful spring scenery. SEPTA is warning all photographers to stay away from train tracks. "The place for selfies, family, engagement, wedding and school photos might be a studio or a park, but not the rail right-of-way," said Sauer, who is also a board member for Operation Lifesaver Inc., a national organization dedicated to rail safety. "No one should ever assume that there is a time when tracks are completely clear of train traffic. A train can come on any track at any time in any direction."

SEPTA cites a recent study from Priceonomics that found since 2014, selfies taken in dangerous locations have resulted in 49 deaths.

If you're truly set on shooting on SEPTA's rails, the agency does provide a process in which you can safely gain access to their tracks for a period of time. Potential projects need to be run through their media relations department (215-580-7842), and more information can be found here.