Think twice before taking photos on Spokane railroad tracks - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Think twice before taking photos on Spokane railroad tracks

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Everyone is looking for that perfect photo with that beautiful backdrop. But a Facebook post has sparked quite a conversation. It was a photo of a woman taking a photo of a guy on railroad tracks. Those with Operation Lifesaver say it’s not only illegal it’s also dangerous.

“This is becoming more and more prevalent,” says Travis Campbell, state director of Idaho Operation Lifesaver.

He used to be a locomotive engineer, and says that he’s seen close calls in his career. The thing now is that trains are a lot quieter than before, so if it’s not whistling, you might not notice it.

“The average freight train weighs 12 million pounds. It takes a mile to stop going upwards of 70 mph. By the time that you hear that train coming and react to it, it might be too late,” Campbell says.

BNSF says going on railroad tracks without permission is trespassing, and emphasizes how dangerous it is. Just two days ago, a Kennewick man was killed while sitting on railroad tracks. So far this year, there have been 12 deaths in the state related to people being on train tracks.

Photographer Paul Morgan says he won’t do shoots on railroad tracks and there is protocol that professional photographers follow.

“There's so many other beautiful things in Spokane to make wonderful backdrops and wonderful photos,” Morgan says.

Campbell says Operation Lifesaver has a program dedicated to educating photographers. Here’s a link to that website: https://oli.org/education-resources/safety-tips/Photographer-Safety-Tips

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