It is worth remembering that the rules around photography are different for London Underground and London Overground. The latter comes under the general rules of Network Rail (as much as TfL and LO staff will try to insist otherwise) and tends to be somewhat more flexible. Individual staff still may not be aware of this, and as usual I encourage anyone with issues to follow through the appropriate channels.
As far as London Underground goes, there are currently developments internally regarding photography and the guidelines and publicity that are put out, following an increase in incidents such as that expressed in the original post. I'll update the forum, of course, as and when things progress! That said, of course, common sense must always prevail, and the differences between taking photos and video can be quite significant.
As for discussion of @geofftech 's 'All The Stations' project, let's keep that to its own thread.
Last Edit: May 26, 2017 16:40:25 GMT by MoreToJack
I've had a lot of run-ins with station staff on the LU before, and it was getting old real quick. I was given the run-around by a station agent at Stratford in April who threatened to call the BTP on me even though I was very respectful and offered to leave the station. I tweeted TfL support, and got a reassuring response that non-commercial photography was perfectly fine assuming you're not using a tripod or flash. Here's a link to the Tweet.
I am surprised to hear that you've had problems at Stratford - in recent years I've often encountered BTP here (British Transport Police) and they are well aware that this station is popular with train spotters and are happy to have the extra eyes and ears which would be likely to notice if someone seems to be up to no good.
I think it matters where (at the station) you are at the time, whether its rush hours or a quieter time and if its a brain dead security guard who has not been properly trained so makes up regulations that don't exist. If they threaten to call the police this is usually to be welcomed, as providing you have a proper ticket etc., the likely end result is that the police will chide the security guard for wasting their time.
re: LU in general, the preference is that you to go to the station manager's office beforehand, so that they know that you are there. But its not always easy, for instance if you can see the Track Recording Train approaching, or the station manager says 'no'.
When special trains are running there is a general expectation that enthusiasts with cameras will be about and normally this makes life easy for everyone. I've even had staff feel very chuffed because someone chose to film the special train passing through their station (Mile End!) Conversely once at Piccadilly Circus I was given hassle by someone saying that filming is illegal and that I must delete my footage from my camera shortly before the 1938 tube stock train passed through. I suspect that he had not read the weekly staff publication that informs them about things they need to know, such as special train operations. As an aside, only a judge sitting in a court of law can order destruction of footage from a camera and its my understanding is that its a criminal offence for anyone else to even ask you to do this.
As for asking LU Press Office, there was a thread about this a while ago. The basic fact is that the press office don't like it and don't want any filming that is not authorised by them - or under their control. But this is because they are professional public relations people and do not understand or have the same love for trains etc., as per transport enthusiasts. For them the job could just as easily be at a major bank or chemical company.
If you receive a reply from the PR people its likely to talk about the charge for a permit, requirement to have someone with you at all times, plus the hourly / daily rate for the person. This is quite correct for a Hollywood feature film, but not a transport enthusiast who is likely to film ad hoc without forward planning.
The changes to the TfL Photography page suggest to me that LU is becoming more open and accepting of private photography now. So as always the best advice is to always check with the most senior person on a station (normally the Station Supervisor) first, before you start snapping away. I know this may seem laborious and tedious, especially those of us who, in pre-privatisation days, could arrive at an open BR Depot during a weekend and left free and unhindered to wonder around. However rightly or wrongly, things are very different now, so asking/confirming first, almost always prevents an awkward confrontation.
If you are challenged, remember to always remain polite and never become aggressive, even if you are irritated, as hostility would simply be confirming to railway staff that you shouldn't be permitted to capture images.
At school they taught me how to be, so pure in thought and word and deed, they didn't quite succeed Pet Shop Boys - It's a sin (1987) ___________________________________________________________________________ District Dave's London Underground Site Webmaster