The Railroad's Photography and Access Policy

For everyone's safety, the railroad insists on the following policy regarding photography in particular and access to railroad property in general. The entire railroad is private property and trespassing is not allowed. Access to railroad property is by permit only. Permits may be obtained from the railroad (Right of Entry application). While photographers are welcome to photograph the railroad's equipment, structures, and activities, this must be done without setting foot on railroad property. This includes the photographer, anyone appearing in the photos, crew, and observers.

We suggest you seek out public locations such as sidewalks and road shoulders where you can safely and legally be that afford a good view of some railroad activitiy. The photo above was taken from the shoulder of a public road about 25 feet from the closest rail where the track crosses the road. A good zoom lens helps immensely.

Sanctioned Friends events are another good time to get access to certain railroad property and get good views for photography. The photos at left and right were taken during an annual SMVRR/Friends BBQ at the railroad yard in Betteravia.

Be equally careful not to trespass on the property of railroad neighbors. Much of the property along the railroad is also private and permission must be obtained to be there as well. This includes farm lands, industries, other commercial businesses, and private residences. For example, most of the land outside of trackage and the railroad's offices at Betteravia (including the old sugar mill itself) are controlled separately.

For more information on being safe around trains and the reasons that can be a challenge, see Operation Lifesaver.