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Videos of Trains

detectorguy

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What is a good distance to hover over a train track to get videos of a train rolling down the track ?
 
I would strongly recommend that you set your height at least above the highest point of moving train. I would use the same rule of thumb for anything that might be moving.
 
I was hovering over the railroad tracks at 100 feet waiting for that great shot of a moving train coming down the tracks. I started recording as the train approached, and when the train came by I lost all communication and video from my mavic pro. I paniced and tried to raise the elevation from the train. A short time later I started getting a picture again from my mavic pro but it was not in the same place I had it before.
I have taken pictures before of a moving train, but those were at 393 feet. I was going to try and get something a little closer that's all.
 
I shoot trains all the time. Just stay about 30 feet above them. They will generate some wind when they pass by.
 

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I have spent a lifetime managing rail track maintenance so know a little about trains.
1. In Australia you must be 30m from the edge of the nearest track to comply with CASA rules.
2. To go inside the reserve for the track you risk a trespass charge.
3. Watch out for overhead power wires, signals, telephone wires, tunnels etc etc.
4. If you try and get permission I am sure the railway will refuse (I know I would)
5. Try to appreciate the train crews point of view. If something goes wrong they cannot stop. If you fly close to the cab and startle them a emergency brake application can derail the train.
6. Remember there are many others who may be around the track including maintenance workers.
 
I have spent a lifetime managing rail track maintenance so know a little about trains.
1. In Australia you must be 30m from the edge of the nearest track to comply with CASA rules.
2. To go inside the reserve for the track you risk a trespass charge.
3. Watch out for overhead power wires, signals, telephone wires, tunnels etc etc.
4. If you try and get permission I am sure the railway will refuse (I know I would)
5. Try to appreciate the train crews point of view. If something goes wrong they cannot stop. If you fly close to the cab and startle them a emergency brake application can derail the train.
6. Remember there are many others who may be around the track including maintenance workers.

I also work on the railway. In the U.K.
I attend the gruesome incidents when it all goes very wrong for someone. I’m never amazed at the stupidity of some people who think it’s safe to go near a live railway. The electricity can jump 9 feet from our overhead wires, and the third electrified rail is almost impossible to tell apart from a normal rail for the untrained. Let alone the danger from trains themselves which at 125mph can take a mile to stop and can be on top of you in seconds.
I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve had to collect in bags and buckets or had to hacksaw off the couplings.
One intrepid photographer was found dead next to the line, below a bridge, with a camera lens embedded in his forehead. The memory card photos showed him hanging over the bridge, and even photos taken keeping his shutter pressed on the way down when stupidity lost and gravity won.
Having said that, I encourage and actively engage and encourage all photographers, still and drone, as long as they are sensible and safe.
 
I also work on the railway. In the U.K.
Worked around the LUL system for a few years so know all about 3rd rail etc.

Was in Queensland when they powered up the 25kv system on the coast. Saw a number of times how far that can jump. Idiots urinating from bridges found how it can travel back up into them. Not a pleasant way to go. Like you I have cleaned up after a number of accidents, Mainly level crossing collisions and graffiti so called artists.
 
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I've always stayed just off to the side of the locomotives to keep the Mavic out of the exhaust and then slowly moved over the center. I never really filmed from too far away so Its easy to see just how far the Mavic is above the moving train. Signal bridges and road overpasses are good to use to judge a safe height above the train before it gets there also
 
I've had no negative effects from flying near trains, I have never been near one as soon as it passes, possibly such a sudden change of environment? maybe depends on the cargo in one of the cars?

Much fun though, heres a pretty long train I filmed in close proximity (skip a minute)
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The most famous locomotive on the planet passing through my hometown...
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Best train vid Ive ever seen.....
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I have spent a lifetime managing rail track maintenance so know a little about trains.
1. In Australia you must be 30m from the edge of the nearest track to comply with CASA rules.
2. To go inside the reserve for the track you risk a trespass charge.
3. Watch out for overhead power wires, signals, telephone wires, tunnels etc etc.
4. If you try and get permission I am sure the railway will refuse (I know I would)
5. Try to appreciate the train crews point of view. If something goes wrong they cannot stop. If you fly close to the cab and startle them a emergency brake application can derail the train.
6. Remember there are many others who may be around the track including maintenance workers.


Good rules to follow. The OP was 100 feet above the track, and therefore more than 30 m from the train.
 

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