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  #1  
Old 01-08-2014, 01:10 PM
mike1w mike1w is offline
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Default railroad property

Norfolk Southern railroad has a line going through my town, 2 tracks actually. Can I detect in the area between and along the tracks? Lots of dirt, sand, and gravel. I already walk my dog back there and have never had a problem with anyone saying anything about me being there, but maybe detecting is different.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:23 PM
T-Man T-Man is online now
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I know in my part the RR owns the right away on the tracks and can some times get a little testy with people being on them. Not to mention if you happen to get into a zone with the headphones on swinging and are to close to the tracks when a train comes thought I don't think that's a battle you would win. Thats being said I have scanned around the embankments near some tracks in my neck of the woods. It's mostly all poor rock and trash so even if you find anything you're more flipping rocks then cutting any plugs. I gave it about 30 minutes and then figured it wasn't worth the effort. If you have any depots nearby that had alot of traffic in the past and can get permission those may be worthwhile looking into. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:36 PM
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Not only no, but hell no. Railroads are VERY touchy about "their" property. They don't even like people walking next to tracks. You could do it (detect) and may get away with it for a while, but eventually a RR official will see you. RR's have their own police force and they have every right to arrest you for trespass.

You might want to do some web researching on RR laws before deciding whether or not to proceed.

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:42 PM
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RR police actually have more powers than local police and are not to be toyed with. If you are within 25 foot of any active tracks and it is considered trespassing and could even be charged with criminal trespassing.
They WILL take your detector, they Will call local police and you WILL have a date with a judge.
Since railroads are considered an essential part off the infrastructure to move goods throughout the country, their protection is high on the list of priorities for the government.
My advice is to stay far, far away from them.

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:42 PM
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The RR people have never liked people hanging around their property, but since 9/11 that attitude has increased about 1000%.

There have been a couple of posts over the years from hunters that had run ins with RR security people and I can tell you they are not the real nice sort with a sense of humor...at all.

Heed choppadude's sage advice...stay away.



Railroad Trespassing Laws
By Tom Chmielewski, eHow Contributor



It is an iconic image, that of a person walking along a lonely stretch of railroad track. It is a path of contemplation, a shortcut, an escape. It's also dangerous and against the law. Many states have trespassing laws dealing specifically with railroads. Even in the states that don't, general trespassing laws apply. Have a question? Get an answer from a Lawyer now!



The U.S. Federal Railway Administration (FRA) reports about 500 trespassing deaths along railroad tracks each year. A fact sheet released in 2008 by the FRA calls trespassing on railroads' private property and along rights of way "the leading cause of rail-related fatalities in America." To combat those deaths, the FRA has pushed a model code for states to enact to prevent railroad trespassing. Many of the states have adopted such an act.


A long freight train barreling behind you can take a mile to stop, and surprisingly you might not hear or see it in time to move out of the way, especially if it's coming around a bend. You're in particular danger if you cross a railroad bridge or enter a tunnel, because even if you step off the track, there's not enough clearance for you and the train. Even in the open, standing too close to the tracks puts you at risk of being struck by coal or gravel flying off a hopper car, or by metal cargo straps that break loose.


Hunters are Trespassers, Too

States often encourage private property owners to give access to hunters, but that doesn't include rail lines. The FRA, in its analysis of the model code, points out that a hunter shooting from railroad property to another location, or shooting from another location onto a rail line, are both considered trespassing. "Should the hunter be so lucky as to successfully shoot a prey from a safe and lawful location, he or she would then probably have to enter upon the railroad property to get the carcass," according to the FRA website.


Rail Enthusiasts Beware

Rail enthusiasts differ from other recreational users of railroad tracks because they're looking for trains, often to shoot pictures of them. But if an enthusiast stands on railroad property to shoot a photograph that's published in a magazine or distributed on the Web, the photo can be used as evidence of trespassing.



Putting Those on Board at Risk

The FRA argues that trespassers also put train crews, rail passengers and the community at risk. To avoid striking a trespasser, a locomotive engineer might engage the emergency brake, which could derail the train, risking injury or death to anyone aboard. He could also risk spilling hazardous material from a freight car, threatening people in nearby homes.


Facing the Judge

Trespassing on railroad property is usually a misdemeanor, with penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000, and some jail time, depending on the state. If your trespass results in the injury or death of someone else, you could face felony charges. If you vandalize railroad property, such as painting graffiti on rail cars, you could face other charges.

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  #6  
Old 01-08-2014, 01:55 PM
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wow, this is really wierd. Mike1w states the following:

" .... I already walk my dog back there and have never had a problem with anyone saying anything about me ....."


And then everyone answering so far, has given a resounding "absolutely not!". Followed up with certain fears of arrest, lots of dire sounding "don't even step here" type rules they can find, etc..

Ok, I'll bite: how then is mike1w able to walk his dog there, and never have a problem?? I'll bet it mike1w (and every other of the 100 persons who walked along the RR tracks that day) had asked "can I?", that you're absolutely right: someone would be obliged to tell them "no".

Therefore, let's forget the question of whether or not mike1w can metal detect there TO BEGIN WITH. Let's all jump on him for his horrible-ness of having walked his dog there. Shame on you mike1w!! How can you even call yourself a human being? tsk tsk.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:04 PM
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As Joe Friday would
say. WE are just stating "The facts maam, just the facts"
I used to drive drunk all the time when I was younger and got away with it, guess it's OK then right?

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  #8  
Old 01-08-2014, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choppadude View Post
As Joe Friday would
say. WE are just stating "The facts maam, just the facts"
I used to drive drunk all the time when I was younger and got away with it, guess it's OK then right?
ok, hold on, let's play this back in slow-motion. You can choose amongst two moral options:

a) drive drunk

b) walk your dog on the RR tracks.

Good comparison! Is there any difference at all between the "who cares" aka "reality-factor", of those two options? If you see those two as equivalent, then by all means, don't md or walk along RR tracks.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2014, 02:24 PM
mike1w mike1w is offline
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for the record, I don't walk on the actual tracks for more than a few seconds while crossing to the other side. I walk on the land on the outer edge of the berth.

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Old 01-08-2014, 02:36 PM
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the guys on here are right. There's probably better spots that will be more productive with less possibility of being hassled. Doesn't seem worth it.

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  #11  
Old 01-08-2014, 04:29 PM
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Tom, you're barking up the wrong tree on this. You have always preached to do your own research instead of asking (which I totally agree with), but here the LAW is very clear. Being on railroad property is trespassing and it's not tolerated.

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  #12  
Old 01-08-2014, 04:40 PM
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What do you guys think about abandoned railroads?

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:32 PM
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RR tracks are seriously littered with big iron...

I've ridden my mtb along the tracks and have seen a lot of dirt bikers do the same. Don't really enjoy it much, so it has been awhile. I've also looked down on a train and seen people huddled in the areas around where the box cars fit on... So people do trespass a lot apparently.

With all the metal in the ground I just wouldn't think it worth the risk take a chance swinging around them. Just my 2, nothing more.

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Old 01-08-2014, 06:26 PM
mike1w mike1w is offline
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suppose the maintenance yard leader hypothetically gave me permission. From a finds point of view would it be worth it under those circumstances?

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Old 01-09-2014, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason in Enid View Post
Tom, you're barking up the wrong tree on this. You have always preached to do your own research instead of asking (which I totally agree with), but here the LAW is very clear. Being on railroad property is trespassing and it's not tolerated.
You're absolutely right. The rules are the rules, and not only should he/we not detect along RR tracks, nor should he or we walk along them. That's the technical answer.

In my "preaching" I am more about if the "rules" said "no metal detecting". But in this case, it can be extended to the mere fact of simply being there. So FORGET md'ing. I guess what I am trying to say here (as hypocritical as it sounds), is that this one (the mere act of being there) stinks of other factors. I can not think of anyone who would think he can't walk along RR tracks (100's of people do it a day in my town, as the RR tracks lace right along a neighborhood where YOU CAN'T GO ANYWHERE UNLESS you cross them). But does that "make it right"? I suppose no. So in this case, and cases like this, you enter into another realm of actual reality. But you're right: technically, no, no one can be there. Whether or not it's largely ignored, and whether or not anyone cares (unless you were being a nuisance), appears to be outside the technical answer.

therefore, sure: don't do it. Oh, and stop walking your dog there too.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:35 PM
omahaorange omahaorange is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
wow, this is really wierd. Mike1w states the following:

" .... I already walk my dog back there and have never had a problem with anyone saying anything about me ....."


And then everyone answering so far, has given a resounding "absolutely not!". Followed up with certain fears of arrest, lots of dire sounding "don't even step here" type rules they can find, etc..

Ok, I'll bite: how then is mike1w able to walk his dog there, and never have a problem?? I'll bet it mike1w (and every other of the 100 persons who walked along the RR tracks that day) had asked "can I?", that you're absolutely right: someone would be obliged to tell them "no".

Therefore, let's forget the question of whether or not mike1w can metal detect there TO BEGIN WITH. Let's all jump on him for his horrible-ness of having walked his dog there. Shame on you mike1w!! How can you even call yourself a human being? tsk tsk.
It's not so much "fear of arrest" they allude to. As far as Norfolk Southern, they do have their own police department. They do not have a large enough force to cover every inch of the tracks they own. It is trespassing to be on the tracks or right of ways they own. Local and state police will enforce these rules.

Having seen first hand the results of a collision between a train and a human body several times I can see why they'd be so picky about this. One of the areas I cover is split by tracks. There are ways to safely get over these tracks, but most take the lazy way (even though it's clearly posted) and go through a hole in a fence and walk directly across the tracks. One surviving family member actually sued Norfolk Southern. It's been highly publicized, and this Borough's police department watches this area, and has issued several trespassing citations.

My opinion, stay away from the tracks. Even if you think you may hear it coming, you chances of dodging a train moving 40-70 mph are slim. I've had to deal with too many people making this incorrect assumption.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:53 PM
mike1w mike1w is offline
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of course I am careful. I can see at 3/4 of a mile in either direction, and can hear at least 2 miles of a train. Also, I rarely go within 20 feet of any track. But point taken. It is railroad property and marked thus, but as long as you are not on the tracks, or committing any crimes, no employees, or law enforcement bother you. However, detecting is probably a different issue, since you would be quite obvious, and any material belongs to the railroad, i.e. stolen if taken. As far as dog walking, I will check and ask if its a problem, but I don't think it will be. Yes its private property, but mere pedestrian traffic, with no other violations, doesn't seem to be a high priority for either NS or the local cops. There is a small area of dirt and gravel outside of the marked private property zone. I am not sure who owns or controls that area. I assume the NS ROW starts at the sign, or the actual track, whichever is first encountered.

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Old 01-12-2014, 08:29 AM
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I didn't see it posted yet but don't dream of picking up any railroad track parts if there are any laying around. It is against the law to be in possession of any railroad components.


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  #19  
Old 01-12-2014, 10:09 AM
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Default RR Police

I've put many a penny on a track. I detected a smashed up quarter along side of a RR track. I've collected lots or RR spikes walking along the tracks. Am I a bad guy. Not if I don't get caught by an over zealous RR cop who wants me arrested, throwned in jail, and fined. I learned about RR laws a few years ago, and now I play other places. Right or wrong, fun or not, I just don't want to be caught in a possition where I have no control, and may be in BIG TROUBLE, thank you
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikerdude View Post
I've put many a penny on a track. I detected a smashed up quarter along side of a RR track. I've collected lots or RR spikes walking along the tracks. Am I a bad guy...
Yes, you are most certainly a bad guy for putting those pennies on the tracks as a kid. Shame on you. Repent. In fact, I'll help you with pennance: Box up 50% of all your md'ing finds for this past year, and send them to me. I will absolve you of all guilt, and your conscience will be cleared. No .... don't thank me .... it's the least I can do for a good friend, and the furtherance of our fine hobby!
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