Recently here in the Philadelphia area there have been several stories about suspicious surveillance of trains. As a railfan the following articles are something I don’t like to see. Things like these just add to the paranoia. I saw the news piece from the local ABC affiliate last night on TV and they were sensationalizing the story. First one is from the local ABC affiliate news http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/052004_nw_trainprobe.html Second one is from Time Maganzine: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101040524-638410,00.html When I rail fanned on a regular basis I was known by many of the trains crews and a few of the police officers. Now when I go I usually have the kids with me. Since I am certified as an Amtrak contractor I carry an Amtrak contractor ID and on the back of it is Amtrak Police phone number. I also carry a cell phone and I will report any suspicious activity I see. I do need to get Norfolk Southern and CSX’s Police numbers and carry them with me. In my opinion the rail fans can be a good thing for the railroads. We are out there because we like trains. We don’t want to see anything bad happen to them. We can act as another set of eyes and ears for the folks that are charged with secure the railroads. As such there are rules and a code of conduct that must be followed. I stay off of private property. I do my railfaning from public areas or areas that railfans use on a frequent basis. I don’t try to hide the fact that I am out there. I wave to the crews and acknowledge and respect them. As of yet I have not been approached by security personnel, but I am sure it will happen some time down the road.