Network Rail are are responsible in the UK for management of the railway infrastructure, stations etc. They have issued a set of guidance rules which all people photographing railway subjects, whether professional or amateur, should note. Guidance advice - Network Rail web site
2) Respect the countryside.
As so much of our hobby interest takes place in the countryside and in rural and semi-rural areas I hope that we all learnt from the dark days of the Foot & Mouth outbreak in 2001. This section has been added as with the current feelings amongst country communities the farmers must once again be given the view that as a body the railway enthusiast fraternity are generally a responsible group who care for the countryside. We have all seen this handful of idiots walking in standing corn, parking and blocking lanes, speeding to the next photographic location, climbing dry stone walls etc etc. Thankfully those of us who don't are the majority but we must continue to behave responsibly so that any damage done to enthusiast - farmer relationships by the stupid minority will be negated.
All I say for the future is be a good custodian of the countryside, care for it, respect it, treat it wisely, understand it's moods, work with it not against it and avoid the dangers. My own values when out linesiding evolve around just one famous phrase -
"Take only photographs - leave only footprints"
There is no better summary of the way to behave, no matter how many words were to be written, and I urge you all to take that philosophy onboard for the future.
In line with (2) above as a now retired Emergency Planning Officer the webmaster of this site fully endorses the current Steam Railway magazine's hard line approach to railway photography from "wrong side" locations. It's not the nanny state, just plain common sense!
4) Overseas photography ( was France bans all railway photography for security reasons)
The former section withdrawn as the information previously supplied to me in 2005 became out of date. However as lineside and railway station photography was banned in France in 2005 due to the then heightened security state in the country it is probably still prudent to check from time to time rather than risk arrest and especially so at potentially security critical places such as the Channel Tunnel environs. To conclude I wish you all good linesiding whether home or abroad!
For more information regarding my interests in railways see my existing page on this site Railways