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Permission for Rail Photography & some useful tips for the same  
2 Answers
Jun 08 2012 (9:47AM)

Entry# 1173     
Soumitra Chawathe*^~
Permission for Rail Photography & some useful tips for the same

General Travel
Aug 09 2012 (8:31PM)
Blog Post# 500953-0     
Amarnadh Varma*^~   Added by: Amarnadh Varma*^~  Aug 09 2012 (8:34PM)
The Procedure of How to Apply Photography/videography Permit.
Please Refer Chapter 2 & 3 To know The Full Details.
The requests of the foreign nationals (along with the clearance wherever
necessary), seeking permission for still/video photography in Railway premises/
trains, are required to be submitted (either directly by the applicants themselves or
through their authorized representatives in India) to the Director Information &
Publicity, Public Relations Directorate, Ministry of Railways.
In the above para,it is clarified that foreign nationals should apply to the concerned department of the Ministry of Railways and not individually to the zonal railways.As no email id is visible on the Public Relations department's web page,you may need to send a snail mail letter well in advance for the requisite permissions.Please preserve a copy of the letter and send your letter by registered post only to the Ministry of Railways,New Delhi.
3.2 The requests of the Indian nationals seeking permission for still/video
photography in Railway premises/ trains are required to be submitted to the Chief
Public Relations Officers of the respective Railways/Units depending upon the
locations for which permission is sought.
3.3 In both the above cases, the persons/ parties seeking such permission should
clearly specify the locations to be covered, the likely date(s) of coverage and the
purpose for undertaking still/video photography.
4.1 Permission for still/ video photography to Indian nationals shall be granted by
the Chief Public Relations Officers of the respective Railways/Units.
4.2 Permission for still/ video photography to the foreign nationals shall be granted
by the Public Relations Directorate, Railway Board. However, if still/ video
photography is to be undertaken for commercial purposes, approval (in
principle) will be conveyed to the concerned Railways/Units advising them to
grant permission after completing necessary formalities and charging the
prescribed licence fee.
4.3 The permission letter, indicating the conditions mentioned in para-4.5 to 4.7
and 5.7 (wherever applicable), shall be issued by the Public Relations Directorate
Railway Board or the CPROs of the Railways/Units (as the case may be) directly
to the individual applicants (or their representatives) endorsing a copy thereof to
the Security Department also.
4.4 In respect of foreign nationals, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) shall also be kept
informed by endorsing a copy of the permission letter to the Deputy Director/IB,
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block, New Delhi.
4.5 The permission letter issued under para-4.3 is to be treated as authority enabling
the applicants to take still/ video photographs in railway premises/trains till the
validity period indicated therein. The rules/ procedure (if any) regulating entry
into a particular railway premises, train, etc will have to be followed
meticulously. It is clarified that the permission letter, allowing still/video
photography, is neither a travel authority nor does it ipso-facto authorize the
holder to enter any railway premises/train.
4.6 The holder of the permission letter is required to give prior information to the
Station Manager/In-charge of the concerned stations/premises before undertaking
still/video photography. He has to observe safety and security regulations in
vogue on the Railways and ensure that still/video photography is confined to
railway premises/trains only; it does not affect normal working of the Railways;
it does not cause inconvenience to other rail users; and it does not cover places
prohibited for still/video photography by the Railways
4.7 The holder of the permission letter should disclose his/her identity and show the
permission letter to the railway officials on demand. In addition, the foreign
nationals should have valid Passport/Visa while visiting various locations and
they shall be under an obligation to show the same on demand by the local
railway authorities.
While our foreign friends will probably find it easier to obtain the permits,NRI's holding Indian Passports would need to route their requests through the CPROs of concerned zonal railways.

Jun 08 2012 (9:41AM)
Blog Post# 447848-20     
Soumitra Chawathe*^~   Added by: Soumitra Chawathe*^~  Jun 08 2012 (9:47AM)
How do I get permission for photography? Is permission really needed?
As discussed above, often it is best to avoid problems by getting a permit ahead of time (apply 2 months or so in advance) if you plan on doing any significant amount of photography or videotaping. A permit may be obtained by writing to the Joint Director of Public Relations, at the Rail Bhavan in New Delhi, or to the Senior PRO (Public Relations Officer) of any regional division, or the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of a zonal railway. List
the stations where you intend to take photographs, and the dates for which the permit is desired.
You must also state that the photographs are for personal use and not for commercial gain, and that you will not "tarnish the image of the railways" or otherwise defame IR with your photographs(!). You will receive a sheaf of permission letters -- multiple copies of the permit, which you hand out on demand to various officials later. Normally permits are issued only for still photography. Video photography permits involve more red tape.
Although a station master may not always ask to see the permit, it's a good idea to drop by the station master's (or assistant station master's) office and let him know before engaging in extensive photography. A station master at some of the bigger stations (e.g., New Delhi) might also dispatch an orderly to accompany you while you are photographing, which prevents further hassles with security personnel. Similarly, before photographing at a shed you should talk to the shed foreman. A permit from the CPRO of the zonal railway is almost a necessity at some loco sheds (e.g., Bandra Marshalling Yard) and even that may not work; a letter from Rail Bhavan is often not sufficient. Even railfans with multiple permit letters have sometimes been turned down by shed foremen and others.
[2001] It has recently been reported that in some cases the CPRO's office now charges a fee for the photography permit, about Rs 2000, although it is not clear if the fee is for a permit for a specific location or one valid across many areas. Many offices do not yet charge this fee.
A photography permit may also be obtained from an Indian embassy or consulate, especially one of the larger ones. This can take a long time, however.
Note that videotaping or using movie cameras is not permitted, technically, under the terms of the standard photography permit issued to railfans; however, possession of an official piece of paper on Railway Ministry letterhead may be better than nothing in some sticky situations, and may smooth over the concerns of security personnel or other railway staff.
Sheds and Workshops, Production Facilities: Permits are needed to enter and visit carsheds, loco sheds, workshops, and production facilities. You may be able to get an invitation from an official at such a facility; otherwise, you need to get a permit from the concerned PRO's office. Loco sheds, workshops, etc., are under the relevant zonal railways' PRO; manufacturing facilities like CLW, DLW, etc., have their own PRO offices. Even with the permit, you need to arrange for the visit at a specific time -- you will be escorted around the facilities and cannot roam around on your own (this is mostly for your own safety since there are hazardous locations and equipment in these facilities). The permits for visiting these facilities may or may not allow photography, and you are advised to double-check with your appointed guide when you do visit the facility.
Source: IRFCA
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