25 years of Railway Photography
2019 marks 25 years of professional photography for the rail industry for Peter and his team at Alvey & Towers. During this time much about the rail industry has changed, and much about the photography industry has changed alongside it. When Alvey & Towers started out it was with film running through our cameras and transparencies being sent out to our customers. Nowadays we can capture a digital image and send it to a client straight from site!
Over the years photographic commissions have taken us to many different railway locations and continue to do so with shoots including scenic trackside location work, working depots and yards, PR shots of events and personnel, passengers on board trains and studio work for product photography.
What certainly has not changed is the fact that if photography is taking place anywhere within the railway environment there are stringent safety procedures that must be adhered to at all times. For this reason, historically Peter has been PTS certified and always carried a Personal Track Safety Certificate.
Personal Track Safety Certificate
In order for a Personal Track Safety Certificate to be valid during a photoshoot it is essential that the commissioning client has facilitated sub-sponsorship of Peter prior to the shoot taking place. For some of our clients this has not posed any problem at all, however increasingly of late it has become apparent that some companies are encountering difficulties with the administration for this.
An alternative option for arranging railway site access for Peter is to issue a Track Visitors Permit, commonly know as a TVP. Several of our clients have tried to exercise this option instead of arranging sub-sponsorship, but unfortunately TVPs cannot be issued to anybody already holding a Personal Track Safety Certificate, so they have been refused.
In order to assist our clients in making arrangements for their railway shoot, Peter has now taken the decision not to renew his Personal Track Safety Certificate. This means that for any photoshoots requiring access near or on a railway line, a client will be able to apply to the Sentinel system for a Track Visitors Permit, which should make the whole process much more simple and swifter than it has been in the past.
Peter continues to carry a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card, which is beneficial for access to areas where site building development is taking place. He also of course carries a full set of PPE at all times, and has completed the Industry Common Induction Qualification.
Working for our railway clients has been enormously enjoyable over the last quarter of a century and we look forward to continuing to do so, whatever changes may come our way.