DFF Item #28

28. Dear Mr. Railroad President:

A great deal has been written in the press concerning railroad security since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The enormous quantities of hazardous chemicals carried by the nation's railroads and those railroad's close proximity to urban centers make the nation's railroads a prime target for terrorist acts. It is clearly important for the railroad companies to be watchful for suspicious activities along the miles of track which span the nation. 

What, specifically, is the Lackawanna Terminal Railway doing to protect itself and the communities through which it runs from a potential catastrophe caused by a terrorist nation through their agents in this country; agents who, suspiciously and with nefarious self interest, freely roam the country alone and in groups, trespassing on railroad property, photographing equipment and facilities, writing down train dispositions, car counts, and other proprietary information? What have you done, Mr. Railroad President, to stamp out these undesirables who threaten the railroad industry and in doing so threaten the very lifeblood of our great nation? I am talking, of course, about those most abhorrent if individuals, the railfan! 

Here, on the R&IT Railroad, we have considered issuing Railfan Hunting Permits for the R&IT Railroad Police. This should give the patrols a focus during the warm weather when railfans run rampant over the property but with the obvious restrictions. Railroad police officers can only bag a certain amount of railfans during Railfan Season. Railfans caught out of season must be released. Also, there are size requirements as well. If one is too small or too young, it must be released back into the wild (or the nearest McDonald's). 

The Department of Railroad Security for the R&IT Railroad has brought this proposal before the railroad's Board of Directors and has vehemently argued it's case before them at the last Director's meeting. Our most considered and reasonable proposal was agued against by the R&IT Department of Community Relations, a butt kissing, feel good, touchy-feely group of useless, long haired, hippy do-gooders if ever there was one.

A compromise was reached after days of tedious negotiations. The Board of Directors of the R&IT decreed that railfans would be issued photo permit applications. Once the applications are filled out and submitted, accompanied by a check for a large amount of money made out to "CASH", photographers will be permitted to take photographs of R&IT equipment at one designated spot for a period of from twenty minutes to one hour depending on the size of the check.

Restrictions apply: 
1. Permits are given out first to the person who supplies the largest check then in descending order of amount tendered but in no case will a permit be given out for less than $200.00.
2. Personnel may be photographed with the following tariffs:
    Engineer: $50.00 for each photograph.
    Conductor: $10.00 for each photograph.
    Trainman: $5.00 for each photograph.
    Mechanical and track forces: $1.00 for each photograph.

Autographs cost extra and are negotiable.

Violations of these tariffs may result in confiscation of photograph equipment and imprisonment for up to 10 years but not less than 6 months. 

While the results of this compromise decision by the Board of Directors of the R&IT leaves a sour taste in the mouth of all who love our proud nation we, the proud, hardworking professionals of the R&IT Railroad Department of Security, will follow the directive of the Board of Directors of the R&IT and will refrain from killing those who justly deserve to be killed, including members of the R&IT Department of Community Relations.

Otto Vondrak
Security Director, R&IT Railroad

Dear Mr. Vondrak:

Thank you for your well thought out concept for issuing Railfan Hunting Permits to the R&IT Railway's Police Department. Our Commander, Lt. Marcus Sade, has just this day issued a directive authorizing such permits to be issued to Lackawanna Terminal Railway police officers. We are anticipating that such permits will be issued to all LT police officers by the end of this business day. 

We have, however, made some modifications to your idea. Since it is relatively impossible to tell the age of some of the photographers who would shoot pictures of anything LT, even through the scopes of our officer's high powered sniper rifles, we have decided that dead or wounded photographers who are too young and or too small to conform to the size/age requirements of the issued permits will simply be discarded in the nearest dumpster. This considerably simplifies paperwork for the already overworked staff of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's police department and provides an environmentally friendly solution to cleaning up the carnage expected when the normally overzealous LT police officers begin carrying out the requirements of the issued permits. 

It has also been determined that the frustration of having a target in their sights and not being able to pull the trigger due to any size/age limitations may result in bullet riddled road signs, mailboxes, cars and/or trucks and other seemingly innocent stationary and moving objects. Since these seemingly innocent stationary and moving objects, unlike railfan photographers, normally pose no provable threat to national security it has been deemed necessary to allow the holders of Railfan Hunting Permits to shoot at will and leave the sorting out of age and/or size violations to the good folks of the appropriate state's Fish and Wildlife Commissions.

Lt. Marcus Sade has also decreed that there be no seasonal limitation on hunting those who would surreptitiously photograph all things LT. Since the depravity of these meddlesome interlopers and the potential danger to our beloved railroad and the nation it supports know no bounds it is only appropriate that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's permit holders meet the challenge these "evil doers" proffer 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year until these interloping, terroristic, foreign fellow travelers are eliminated and the dangers they present are forever expunged from the earth. Once done, the Lackawanna Terminal Railway, and therefore the nation, will be forever safe.

Yours in obsessive support of Homeland Security,
Colonel Greta Freebish
Commandant, Lackawanna Terminal Railway's 
Police Department's Office of Homeland Security

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