Virgin Trains welcomes photographers in its stations

Virgin Trains welcomes photographers in its stations

Virgin Trains has started a campaign to inform photographers about their rights, and duties, when taking pictures in its stations

Speaking to BJP, Ken Gibbs of Virgin Trains’ press office says that the poster campaign – Keep Us in the Picture – has been designed to welcome photography enthusiasts while reminding them of the company’s basic rules. It was first launched in October 2009.

The poster reads: ‘Virgin Trains welcomes rail enthusiasts and passengers who wish to take still or video images at our stations. We ask that you do not interfere with the flow of passengers and respect the wishes of both passengers and staff not to be photographed.’

It adds that ‘if you are filming for extended periods and/or using bulky equipment you should make yourself known to our station staff so that the reasons for filming are clear. Flash photography is not permitted at any time and the use of tripods should be avoided wherever possible. If you wish to use a tripod you should locate and speak wit hte Station Team Leader to ensure that you are in a safe area.’

Gibbs tells BJP that the posters were designed after Virgin Trains was forced to deal with ‘some incidents’ at its stations. ‘In the UK we have a lot of rail enthusiasts, and some think they have carte blanche,’ he says. ‘What we wanted to say was “yes, we welcome you, you can pursue your hobby, but be aware of where you are”. We need to keep these photographers and our passengers safe.’

He adds: ‘We don’t to put people off photography, on the contrary, we welcome photographers. But if they are going to be using bulky equipment or if they want access to certain parts of our stations, they should make themselves known to us so we can look after them.’

Photographer Gordon Shoosmith, who contacted BJP about Virgin Trains’ campaign, has welcomed the move. ‘If similar posters to this one – seen on Oxenholme railway station – were put up around the country specially London, photographers would be able to point it out to over zealot officers that we are not breaking any laws by using our cameras,’ he says.

Update: Since the launch fo the campaign in October 2009, First Capital Connect has also started showing similar signs in its rail stations in and around London, BJP has been made aware.

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