Amtrak Photography and Filming Policy

As far people have been ranting and asking questions why I can’t take pictures or do a filming train leaving the station or in any way just because an conductor says no? Who is right? Who is wrong? What happened to the policy? Is this because of what happened after 9/11? What are the policy so I can be aware about it? Rest assured, I will guide you through and understand better more on this Photography/Filming Policy. The policy below was provided by Amtrak so I would suggest you to either print this page up or show the policy to the conductors or the police so they can be better aware about this new updated policy.

If you prefer, you can either download the Snapshot:  Photography/Filming Policy & Moynihan Train Hall Media Policy (Save the file to your phone).

Amtrak Corporate Guidelines on Photography and Video Recording

Section I. Policy

The taking of photographs and/or videos is permitted within public access areas on Amtrak property and as otherwise stated in Section III.

In emergency and/or special circumstances (for example, declared elevation of Homeland Security Advisory System to High or Severe – orange and red) and where actions are deemed suspicious or inconsistent with this policy by observing/reporting persons, photographers and videographers may be approached and questioned to determine if further investigation or action is necessary.

Photography and video recording within restricted areas are prohibited. Individuals found in a restricted area will be subject to investigation and possible arrest and seizure of photography and/or video recording equipment may occur pursuant to the arrest. This policy applies in all circumstances, including where Amtrak may be promoting a photography contest or event.


Section II. Definitions

Commercial and Special Photography. Photography that requires explicit authorization from Amtrak and includes engagements for commercial gain or profit such as, movie films, commercial television productions, and photography for commercial advertisements.

Photography. Photography shall mean the taking of moving and/or still images.

Public Area. An area open to general public access and occupancy (station areas and platforms for ticketed passengers only) that is not otherwise posted or restricted by posted signs or locking devices. Signage, building design and physical barriers, i.e. fencing, bollards, etc., may also distinguish a public area from a restricted area.

Restricted Area. A restricted area is any area not open to or occupied by the public, or is open to or occupied by the public on a limited basis. Signage, building design and physical barriers, i.e. fencing, bollards, etc., may also distinguish a restricted area from a public area.

Restricted areas include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Platforms (ticketed passengers are exempt)
  2. Crew and Employee Work Areas
  3. Maintenance Facilities
  4. Unoccupied Trains and Engines
  5. Office Areas
  6. Employee Elevators
  7. Baggage/Delivery Areas
  8. Commissaries
  9. Right of Way and Track Areas
  10. In service train cars

Section III. Exceptions

  1. Commercial and Special Photography. Prior arrangements must be made with Amtrak’s Real Estate Department at (215) 349-1956 for approval.
  2. News Photography. Members of the news media are entitled to the same access for photography purposes as the general public. News media may request additional access by contacting the Amtrak Media Relations Office, 202-906-3860. Amtrak recommends that members of the news media present valid press credentials when they film (print and video photography) in the public areas at Amtrak’s stations and strongly encourages the news media to contact Amtrak’s Media Relations Office in advance to facilitate and ensure appropriate access, particularly at major Amtrak stations. As a courtesy, Media Relations Representatives will frequently issue a letter or accompany news media in the Northeast, Chicago and California regions. It is understood that during breaking news events advance contact with Amtrak’s Media Relations Office may not be possible.
  3. Ticketed Passengers on platforms may photograph or video record during the time they are preparing to board or immediately after alighting from a train. Equipment is limited to hand-held devices. Such photography, including equipment set-up will be done in a reasonable, safe and timely manner.
  4. Ticketed passengers on board trains may take photos or video record on a train when it does not interfere with passengers or crew and in accordance with any directions given by Amtrak onboard train personnel.
  5. Other photography or video recording not covered by this policy requires advance approval from the area Amtrak Station Manager.

Section IV. Law Enforcement

Amtrak Police and Security personnel may approach photographers and videographers upon a complaint from a member of the public or Amtrak personnel that the activity is suspicious in nature, or based upon their own observation that the activity is suspicious in nature or inconsistent with this policy.

  1. Amtrak Police and Security Personnel will advise the individual that an inquiry is being conducted for security purposes. Amtrak Police and Security personnel will follow established departmental regulations in this area.
  2. Nothing in this policy limits or expands the authority of Amtrak police officers to initiate and pursue investigations, perform a pat down or frisk based upon reasonable suspicion, and/or conduct searches based upon probable cause or any recognized exception to the probable cause requirement in accordance with all legal authority. But the taking of photographs and/or video may not, in and of itself, rise to the level of reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

Moynihan Train Hall Media Policy

Contact Info & Inquiry Type

For news inquiries related to the Moynihan Train Hall or Amtrak, including filming and photography at the station in the Amtrak designated areas (i.e., main concourse, Metropolitan Lounge, Ticketed Waiting Area), contact [email protected].

For non-travel and train news stories, including questions about the station’s artwork, and commercial and real estate inquires (filming and video for commercial gain or profit such as advertising, movie/TV films, promotions, documentaries, or that requires the use of actors, models, sets or props), contact Empire State Development.

All LIRR/MTA inquiries should go to their press office.

Pre-Filming Logistics

All media inquiries need to be approved in advance by a member of the Amtrak press team. You will be required to provide information about your media outlet, story topic, crew size, amount of equipment and expected filming time.


Media are restricted exclusively to the public areas of the station (i.e., the main concourse or an area open to general public access and occupancy that is not otherwise posted or restricted by posted signs or locking devices.). All private areas of the station, including the station platforms, tracks, trains, Metropolitan Lounge, Ticketed Waiting Area, employee work areas and more, are off-limits unless escorted by a member of the Amtrak Media Relations team.

Only designated and pre-approved Amtrak spokespeople can be interviewed. No other Amtrak employees are allowed to be interviewed.

Any filming or photography must not interfere with operations, customers, passenger safety, passenger flow or privacy at any time. Filming with any camera wires that are on the ground and/or tripods could be a tripping hazard for anyone walking through the station.

Federal law requires all train station visitors (i.e., customers, employees and members of the media) to wear a mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status or state or local laws. This includes during interviews. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law.

All members of the media should be prepared to show valid press credentials at any time.

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