Railways call time on lineside photo permits

THE days of the lineside photography permit may be numbered as a number of preserved railways blame rising insurance costs and safety concerns for their decisions to end the issuing of permits to photographers.

Lineside passes have traditionally been issued on an annual basis for a set fee. Successful applicants are then supplied with safety handbooks and often given training in Personal Track Safety (PTS) before they are allowed to venture beyond public areas of a railway.

Newly outshopped ‘Black Five’ No. 45305 Alderman A E Draper climbs past Woodthorpe with the 14.45 non-stop Loughborough-Leicester North service on November 17 during the GCR’s Last Hurrah gala. GRAHAM NUTTALL

Permits enabled photographers to reach parts of a railway that offer better vantage points away from crowds, and have helped keep trespass figures down both on railway and neighbouring land.

Yet incidents of lineside damage and safety breaches, where trains have had to stop owing to the actions of a linesider, have caused some railways to rethink this policy.

Back in July, the South Devon Railway posted a statement on its website saying: “Unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to offer Lineside Photography Permits. This is due to the rising administrative and operational burden in managing the scheme and maintaining the appropriate level of safety controls.”

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