Railfan Safety

The Florida East Coast Railway mark and trade names are the property of Florida East Coast Railway, L.L.C.
and are used under license from FEC

Railfanning can be a ton of fun, but if you are new to the hobby there are things you should know, and things that can prevent you from a fun day being ruined and prevent you from getting hurt or even killed.


The Railroad is one dangerous industry that does not have a fence around it.

The number one rule is to expect a train at any time in any direction. On double track, this is especially dangerous as an approaching train can mask the sound of another behind you.

Do not go into yards, shops, etc without permission first. One sure way to get into trouble is to go where you do not belong. Find a place on public property where you can watch, a street, station, or overpass.

In rural locations we all will "walk over tracks". I do not recomend that, but remember trains can come at ANY time. DO NOT walk on to railroad bridges, tunnels, or any other place where clearences are tight. If you must walk over tracks, do not step on the rails. Step over them. DO NOT STAND ON THE TRACKS. 

Do not stand close to the tracks when trains pass by. Occasionall a train may drag a wire or metal strap. You do not want to get hit by it. Trust me.

Respect others property. I do not recomend going on private property to get that "shot". Some people in the more rural areas will answer your presence with a shotgun. Leave public areas as you found them.

Try not attract unwanted attention. Some railfans have been checked out by law enforcement, most will understand what a railfan or railbuff is. If you get stopped and have a scanner, turn it off. Most law enforcement won't care if you have one, especially if you only have railroad frequencies in it.

Be aware of your surroundings. There are some pretty rough neighborhoods where railroads run especially in the big cities. Some places are not worth the risk. If you must go into a bad part of town, stick to the main roads and always have a way out. If someone approaches, leave.

You will find Florida a very safe and enjoyable place to railfan. Have fun and BE SAFE!!!

Web page update 02/07/2013
This entire web site is copywrited 2004-present by the Florida East Coast Railway Society, Florida, USA