Railway workers who alerted transport bosses about members of the public taking photos of them have had their objections rebuffed.

The RMT union alerted management at South West Trains about ‘members of the public taking pictures of staff without permission’, according to a message posted on the RMT news blog.

The union blog informs members: ‘This has been raised at company council level and was informed (sic) by the company that British Transport Police have advised them that this is not against the law to carry this out.

‘To advise that we have now asked for a legal opinion from the union solicitors to see if what BTP are saying us (sic) is correct.

‘As soon as we get a response on this we will update you further.’

Chris Milner, deputy editor of The Railway Magazine, who spotted the blog posting earlier this month, told Amateur Photographer: ‘Railway staff are a vital and important part of the everyday scene, and have been for more than 185 years.

‘The majority of staff are courteous, obliging, happy to engage in conversation, but normally don’t mind being photographed doing the job they enjoy.’

Milner, who is also a keen photographer, added: ‘Let’s not forget that we are also recording tomorrow’s history today.

‘It is no more than a storm in a tea cup.’

  • Christopher Westcott

    Are railway workers complaining that members of the public, perhaps more typically enthusiasts, are capturing images specifically of them at work, or that they are simply in a photograph taken of a station or rolling stock.

    If the latter, any complaints do come across as jobsworth… sadly. I also suspect that this is only a very small minority of railway staff… in my experience most encourage enthusiasts, that is not to say that there aren’t wallies in the photography/enthusiast community.

    Even if images do end up on the internet, as far as I’m aware, there are no Data Protection Act (DPA) issues unless details (e.g. name/address etc.) are also included.

  • kenneth clacher

    This is getting beyond the [ unfunny ] joke !