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Railway photography in Spain


¡E viva España !

Warning to the photographs !

It is forbidden to take pictures of trains and railway installations in Spain !

The situation was already since long time quite uncomfortable (since the civil war in the thirties...), but the last bombings in Mardid-Atocha triggered a nationwide paranoid George W.Bush-like security madness, and the photographying railfans are (as usual...) between the first victims...

The result is an uncontrolled proliferation of diverse private security services (the "Vigilantes"), mainly in the big cities, and a controlling madness with, for exemple, X-ray luggage controls before boarding in the mainline trains (NB: the last bombings happened exclusively in underground and local trains, and for them there are NO boarding controls...) or before entering certain public places or events.

- How to
get the autorisation
- Rules to follow when you have got the autorisation
- If you got no autorisation
- Particuliar case: Madrid-Atocha

To take pictures, you will need to follow strictly some regulations:

A valid authorisation is INDISPENSABLE !

This autorisation can be obtained by 2 ways:

Note: This autorisation is valid only for the Renfe: If you also want to photograph the private railways (FGV, FGC, FEVE, etc.), you will need a separate authorisation for each railway company!

When you have got the autorisation:

To precise some things: When you are OK with the authorisation, and you observe the most evident security rules (Don't cross the tracks, don't try to access restricted areas, don't disturb the traffic, etc.), the vigiles oftly also get very friendly and cooperative. Some of them even gave me precious informations when I tried to see particular types of trains or engines.

If you didn't get the autorisation:

Particular case:
The station of Madrid-Atocha

At the top of this page, I spoke of paranoid security madness. This madness is particularely heavy at the station of Madrid-Atocha:
Short, it is perfectly impossible to photograph anything in this station.

Place to avoid !

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(C) Pierre-Noël Rietsch, Hinwil (CH) 1980-2005