Swanage Railway Swanage Railway Swanage Railway

Photography, Drones and Trespass

With thanks to Network Rail for their guidance.

We welcome rail enthusiasts and passengers who would like to visit, take photos or film at our stations.

The following guidelines are designed to help you to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

On the platform

Act safely and sensibly at all times. Stay clear of the platform edge and stay behind the white lines where they are provided. Be aware of your surroundings.

Do not:

(1) Trespass on to the tracks or any other part of the railway that is not available to passengers.
(2) Climb on any structure or interfere with platform equipment.
(3) Obstruct any signalling equipment or signs which are vital to the safe running of the railway.
(4) Wear anything which is similar in colour to safety clothing, such as high-visibility jackets, as this could cause confusion to drivers and other railway employees.
(5) Gather together in groups at busy areas of the platform or where this may interfere with the duties of station staff or passengers boarding trains or moving around the station.

Photography and film at stations

You can take photographs at stations provided you do not sell them or use them as advertising or marketing to sell other products or services. 

For any commercial photography, prior permission must be sought and agreed.

For any student course-work photography, prior permission must be sought and agreed.

If you are filming for quite a while or might be using bulky equipment you should let our station staff know so that the reasons for your filming are clear.

We do not issue lineside photography permits. 


You are not allowed to take photographs of security related equipment, such as CCTV cameras.
Flash photography is not allowed at any time. It can distract train drivers and train despatch staff and so is potentially very dangerous.
Tripods should be avoided where possible. If you need to use a tripod you must speak to our station staff to ensure you are in a safe area.
Please respect the fact that some people may not want to be photographed.

Drone Photography

It is illegal to fly a drone on or near the railway.

If a train collided with a drone, it could cause a serious accident.

A drone could fly into and damage vital equipment – such as signalling equipment – costing thousands to repair and causing train delays. A drone falling from the sky – malfunctioning or out of power – could hit a member of public or our staff, and cause serious injury or death.

Criminal offence

You must not fly a drone anywhere near the railway – it could result in a serious accident.
It is a criminal offence to fly a drone on, over or within 50 metres of the railway or within 150 metres in built up areas.
It is a criminal offence to fly a drone on, over or within 50 metres a railway station or within 150 metres in built up areas.
You could be taken to court and face a penalty of up to £2,500.


Trespassing on the railway is illegal and dangerous. You could be taken to court and face a £1000 fine.

When we see someone trespassing, we have to stop all trains in the vicinity to make sure everyone is kept safe. This not only delays the train nearby but can affect all trains on the branch.

Certain parts of the railway, including stations, viewing and picnic areas, are open to the public. But when people go onto the tracks, embankments or other areas, they are trespassing.