Lineside Photography

PTS courses and photographers’ lineside permits

All persons going onto the lineside or on or near the line for the purpose of photography must obtain a Lineside Photographer’s Permit (LPP).

The LPP is yellow and certifies the holder as having completed and passed a Personal Trackside Safety (PTS) course and having paid their fee for the Lineside Permit.

LPPs are only available to users age 16 years or older.

Application Process

Applicants for a LPP must be made via the application process.

Applicants must successfully complete a Special PTS Course for Lineside Photographers, at which they must, to the satisfaction of the course leader, engage in the discussion and activities of the course. Two passport sized photographs will be required to be provided by the candidate.

Candidates are issued with a set of written guidelines regarding conduct on the lineside, and must sign a form to confirm they have been briefed, completed the course, been issued with the guidelines, and agree to abide by them all.

All successful candidates will be issued with a credit-card type permit which includes their name, photograph, the date it was issued, the expiry date and the issuing office.


LPPs are valid for two years from the date of issue.


To renew an LPP the same process as initial application must be followed. Candidates must attend the PTS course every two years in order to ensure their competence is retained.


A fee shall be payable by the applicant for the combined PTS course and two years’ access to SDR property. The fee is currently £20.


Drones may only be used on SDR property, or within 50m of SDR property with the written permission of the Railway Manager. Each request is judged on its merits.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Photographers must wear, as a minimum, a full-size HV vest. The vest must be approved by the PTS course leader.

Stout footwear must be worn when on the line / lineside.

Wearing red or green clothing should be avoided.

PTS From Other Railways

The SDR does not accept PTS qualifications from other railways.

SDR Working Volunteers

SDR working volunteers who hold full SDR PTS are still required to obtain an LPP, but need not attend the Lineside Photographer’s PTS course.

The LPP will only be valid for as long as that person’s PTS is valid AND they remain a working SDR volunteer.

No fee will be charged.