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Dangers of taking photos on train tracks

Posted at 6:30 AM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 07:54:30-04

It's graduation picture season and you've probably seen graduation photos and even engagement pictures on train tracks.

Train tracks make for a good rustic look and you may think it's a great spot to snap a picture - but you'd be wrong.

Rachel Stayton is a second generation railroad signaling contractor with nearly 60 years of family history in railroading.

"I've just grown up around it and fell in love with it," said Stayton. I've been doing it ever since I graduated high school."

So, she was shocked when she saw a photographer with three teenagers in their cap and gowns in the middle of the train tracks in Broken Arrow.

"This is something that has been a problem in the industry for years," said Stayton.

Not only is it incredibly dangerous if a train comes - it's also illegal.

"If they're hauling 80 plus cars, even going 10 mph, they can't come to a stop like a car can," said Stayton. "Railroad property right of way is 50 feet - 25 feet on each side of the railroad tracks. It's subject to a $1,000 fine and up to a year imprisonment if they violate that."

There are usually signs on the property line to show where the railroad company's land begins.

But Stayton says in the past year, there were more than 570 deaths or injuries from people trespassing on railroad property.

So, it's best to think twice before snapping that picture.

"The railroad has the right to ask the photographer or the owners to take the pictures down if it's online or on social media because they do not want to advocate that this is allowed," said Stayton. "No photograph is worth your life."

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