They Look Great but is it Illegal to Take Pictures on Railroad Tracks in Texas?
Its a story that we don't hear very often but we always have to ask "Why?" That would be about someone getting killed or seriously hurt because they got hit by a train. And sometimes we'll see a photoshoot of someone posing on or around a train track that look spectacular. Problem is, at least in Texas, that kind of picturesque picture taking is illegal.
They are Beautiful Photos
We've seen them on Instagram or other forms of social media or even art displays of magnificent looking photos of a model posing on or around a train track. Those scenes could be on a single rail in the countryside or the multiple rails of a railyard. Even high school seniors have chosen this locale for their senior pictures. Problem is, by Texas law, this is illegal to do.
Texas Penal Code 28.07
There is a lot of legal speak but Texas Penal Code 28.07 says that a person or persons can not enter a railroad property (pose on a railroad track) or place an obstruction on a railroad track or right of way (setting up a camera tripod). Penalties can range from Class C misdemeanor all the way to a first degree felony.
In other words, don't set up a photoshoot on a train track.
There is a line in the law that says "without the effective consent of the owner." So I would assume that you might be able to call a rail station and possibly set something up at that location. I can't speak for those stations, though, so you would just need to call them and ask.
This is the full penal code below:
(a)?In this section:
(1)??Railroad property? means:
(A)?a train, locomotive, railroad car, caboose, work equipment, rolling stock, safety device, switch, or connection that is owned, leased, operated, or possessed by a railroad; ?or
(B)?a railroad track, rail, bridge, trestle, or right-of-way owned or used by a railroad.
(2)??Tamper? means to move, alter, or interfere with railroad property.
(b)?A person commits an offense if the person:
(1)?throws an object or discharges a firearm or weapon at a train or rail-mounted work equipment; ?or
(2)?without the effective consent of the owner:
(A)?enters or remains on railroad property, knowing that it is railroad property;
(B)?tampers with railroad property;
(C)?places an obstruction on a railroad track or right-of-way; ?or
(D)?causes in any manner the derailment of a train, railroad car, or other railroad property that moves on tracks.
(c)?An offense under Subsection (b)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor unless the person causes bodily injury to another, in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.
(d)?An offense under Subsection (b)(2)(A) is a Class C misdemeanor.
(e)?An offense under Subsection (b)(2)(B), (b)(2)(C), or (b)(2)(D) is a Class C misdemeanor unless the person causes pecuniary loss of $100 or more, in which event the offense is:
(1)?a Class B misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is $100 or more but less than $750;
(2)?a Class A misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is $750 or more but less than $2,500;
(3)?a state jail felony if the amount of pecuniary loss is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;
(4)?a felony of the third degree if the amount of the pecuniary loss is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;
(5)?a felony of the second degree if the amount of pecuniary loss is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; ?or
(6)?a felony of the first degree if the amount of the pecuniary loss is $300,000 or more.