I caught that on the Colbert Report the other night. Funny yet sad. There were similar incidents of folks trying to take pictures of Union Station in DC and getting hassled by security there. When a local TV news crew picked up the story and got hassled filming there, security got re-educated. No problems since.
Gets harder every day to photogragh trains. Everyone thinks your out to sabotage the trains. BNSF had a system inplace called Citizens for rail Security. You could join up on there web site. Do not know if his is still in affect but it was one way to keep from getting harassed by them at least. They issued a card to you. Later RJD
This problem became significant a few years ago and NJ Transit were especially tough on folk taking pictures from public places - like platforms.
Railfan & Railroad Magazine met with the transit cops and published guidelines for dealing with over-zealous police. Basically, they have no right to stop you taking photos from public areas of anything: trains, seagulls, cars, etc. But if you look suspicious as well (bulge at waist from explosive belt, etc.) then they can question you. Just be polite and ask them to check with their superiors.
My brother was sent to Romania several times many years ago (prior to the overthrow of the communist dictatorship) to determine how things would go for sending a larger contingent of American factory employees to train some Romanian factory workers in how to operate some machinery they were purchasing from the U.S. company.
The communist dictatorship was VERY BAD about what people were allowed to do, especially tourists. My brother, being a rather brave soul, did many things to "test" the system there.
These were innocent (to us) things... like one day after leaving the factory, it being a nice warm day, he decided to walk to the hotel instead of taking the bus the 6 blocks from the factory to the hotel. He had several stereotypical "spys" following him at all times during the day. On this day, he actually managed to walk fast enough that he got to the hotel at about the same time as the bus (he said he crossed the street from the bus stop to the hotel with a couple of passengers from that bus).
When he entered the hotel he was grabbed by the secret police and taken to a small room where he was "interrogated" (with the "spy movie" desk lamp bare bulb lamp aimed at his face) about where he had been and why he had not taken the bus. After two hours of asking the same questions over and over ("Where were you?" "Why didn't you take the bus?" "Why did you walk?" ... "I walked from the factory to the hotel." "It is only a short distance." "It was a nice day.") they let him go with the warning to never do it again.
Another of his stories that ties to this tread is:
One afternoon he decided to go "sightseeing". He put on a wild "Hawaiian" shirt, cut off shorts and sandals and slung his camera around his neck and went downtown to take photos of some of the really old buildings. At one building, as he was preparing to take a photo, a guard came running toward him, waving his hands and shouting something that my brother did not understand... at least as far as the Romanian words were concerned... he knew that this was a government building and that photographing it was forbidden. My brother smiled at the guard and waved back, held the camera up to take a photo of the guard. The guard stopped and "posed" for him to take the photo!!!! Then he came over to my brother, took the camera away from him, opened it, removed the film and exposed it all to the sun, closed the camera and handed it back with the strip of now ruined film... including the image for which he had so politely posed!!!!! Then with some broken English and lots of hand gesturing conveyed that photographing the building was not allowed.
Silly thing is, I have seen a photo of that building! My brother took the photo, too! Seems the guards are only on duty until 5:00 PM, so my brother went back at 5:30 PM and took several photos of it. I asked about the people that had been following him and he said they all went home at 5:00 PM also.
I asked my brother WHY it was forbidden to take photos of the building. He said that as he understood it, they feared that with the photo you could count the windows and from that determine how many offices there might be in the building and from that determine how many government officials there were in that building. I then said, "What's to stop a spy from standing in front of the building, pointing at each window and counting 1, 2, 3, 4, and then going back to the secret spy headquarters and reporting how many windows there were per story and how many stories there were?" He said he asked the same question of the U.S. State Department (who always interviewed him upon his return from his trips to Romania, but without the bare bulb) and was told that without the photograph there would be no proof of the count.
Back in HS German class, the teacher showed many slides she had taken on verious trips to Germany.
The wrong side of the Berlin wall.
They caught her taking the forbidden photos. She decided to play dumb tourist and pretend she didn't understand German. After several "humorous" minutes, as she describes them, she began reciting "They're coming to take me away!" They must have decided she was harmless 'cause they didn't even take her camera or film.