Is it Legal to Take Fall Photos on a Railroad Track in Montana?
Fall is here. That means there's a lot of demand for excellent photo shoots. Earlier this week, Michael wrote about some amazing places in Billings to take photos in the Fall. However, one place you may want to reconsider taking photos is the railroad track. While it may seem absolutely gorgeous if the photos work out, going out to take photos there may cost your wallet or your life.
The Photos are Admittedly Gorgeous
Railroad tracks seem to be a really popular location for photos, especially for Senior photos or engagement photos. It gives a sort of rustic look to the photos, which admittedly looks amazing when properly framed. But, did you know that it is absolutely dangerous and reckless?
Trains move at around 55 to 60 miles per hour and can take up to one and a half miles to stop once the brakes are applied. That means that if someone isn't paying attention on the tracks, a train can barrel down upon them. If the train makes contact, it's likely going to be fatal.
Not Only is it Dangerous, but It's Also Criminal Trespassing
According to Montana Senate Bill 163, railroads are considered private property. This means that unauthorized people on railroad tracks, in a rail yard, or on a train itself are subject to criminal trespass charges, which can lead to prison time and fines. An article posted by BNSF mentions that photographers who know about these charges will likely deny a client the opportunity to take photos on the railroad.
In short, it's illegal and incredibly dangerous to take photos on a railroad track. Just don't do it. Is taking a beautiful photo potentially worth jail time or your life? I don't think it is.