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Train Hopping


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#1 caravanman

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:21 PM

I know you guys have trouble with playing BBC tv online, but maybe you can access the radio?

 

"The last red blooded American adventure out there" - the words of a man who doesn't need to ride the rails, but does it for excitement.

Train hopping has a long tradition in America - from Jack London to the 1930s, when the unemployed took to the rails to find work. Despite increased security since 9/11, train hopping is far from a forgotten way of travelling in the USA - but the demographics are new.

Today the vast majority are illegal workers, mainly Hispanic, who seek to cross the border in to the States, and join legal migrants following the seasonal work - from lumber cutting in the north, to the melon fields of California. They risk entanglement with border guards and heavy machinery, even hanging in wire baskets under the units to avoid detection. Others take that risk voluntarily - seeking fun and adventure - getting their information from handbooks, conventions and websites giving safety tips and eulogising the thrill to be had taking to the rails. Finally, there are the hobos - people who choose to spend their lives on the road, and rails - welcomed annually as romantic heroes in Britt, Iowa, at the Hobo Festival.

Peter Bowes hears from the train hoppers of the 21st century - hair-raising tales from illegal migrants from Honduras and El Salvador; the engine drivers who takes two mile long freight trains across the remotest wildernesses in America, spotting 'jumpers' alongside the desert tracks; and those who prefer the excitement of an open box car to the safety of the wheel - preferring to lie on top of a lumber car and watch a starry sky as the wheels thunder below. Romance and danger - desperation and fear - the real world of "Train Hopping In The USA" today.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b01p71wl

 

Interesting programme

 

Ed. :cool:



#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

:cool: Nice find Eddie! When I was in Taylor last week on a Double points Run there was a Band of Young Musicians that had come to Austin for South by Southwest waiting in the Taylor Yards to hop a Freight North! They told me they had ridden all over North America and Canada this way and werent really Harassed much by Rail Road Police like Hobos used to be in the Freight Yards! 


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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#3 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:17 PM

I ran across someone at the NOL French Market who had a similar story to tell.  Inner City Organic Pictures 


I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.

#4 DET63

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:49 PM

The_traveler, of course, takes train-hopping to an entirely different level. I'll bet the BBC didn't feature that in their documentary.



#5 George Harris

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:31 PM

Just a couple of weeks ago was talking with a man who was in track maintenance in time past.  Somehow he got to talking about picking up bodies and pieces of bodies of train-hoppers that had been killed.  In years past there was none of this biological hazard concept and you just picked the chunks up and hauled them to your truck.  One of the strange ones he mentioned was finding a shoe with the foot in it.  Called ahead and the crew in the yard found the rest of the person hanging on the end of a freight car, but dead having bled out. 

 

Yes train-hopping can be considered the "Last red-blooded American adventure" but the questiong becomes, how much of your red blood can you afford to spread along the track? 



#6 DET63

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:08 AM

Include a tourniquet in your travel kit if you go train-hopping.



#7 CHamilton

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 09:58 PM

An interesting story of freight-hopping across Canada from 2010.


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#8 Bob Dylan

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:06 PM

An interesting story of freight-hopping across Canada from 2010.



Wow! Truely an amazing feat, especially in the Canadian Cold! 😉

We just think riding the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver is a long trip!!
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 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#9 FrensicPic

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:34 PM

Nicely produced piece. Thanks!


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#10 Rover

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 12:25 AM

I ran across this freight hopper on You Tube. He doesn't tell a verbal story, other than letting the HD camera show you parts of America not normally seen by the average person.

His Channel is RanOutOnARail

https://www.youtube....h?v=NiZG_eKO6EI


Edited by Rover, 23 August 2018 - 12:26 AM.

I've ridden: ~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~
Books: ~ Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition

 

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 


#11 railiner

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 10:22 AM

I really hate it every time this topic comes up, and possibly inspires otherwise sensible people to take up this dangerous and illegal activity..... :angry:


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#12 cpotisch

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 01:02 PM

I really hate it every time this topic comes up, and possibly inspires otherwise sensible people to take up this dangerous and illegal activity..... :angry:

Agreed. It sounds fun (and probably is in some ways), but it's a pretty terrible idea. In fact, the fact that it sounds cool makes it that much more likely that someone sees an article or video like that and decides to go do it.


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#13 Rover

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 02:02 PM

I really hate it every time this topic comes up, and possibly inspires otherwise sensible people to take up this dangerous and illegal activity..... :angry:

Agreed. It sounds fun (and probably is in some ways), but it's a pretty terrible idea. In fact, the fact that it sounds cool makes it that much more likely that someone sees an article or video like that and decides to go do it.

 
And yet, what we are shocked at here, is commonplace in other places, and the danger is the norm.
 
1412285522498_Image_galleryImage_Mandato

Edited by Rover, 23 August 2018 - 02:02 PM.

I've ridden: ~ The Empire Builder 1981 ~ The Coast Starlight 1981 ~ The Texas Eagle ~ The Sunset Limited ~
Books: ~ Time-Life - The Old West ~ The Railroaders * Rail Ventures - 4th Edition

 

I think it is absolute mythology that there's any national system that is profitable. And I think the naysayers just have to get over it. ~ Amtrak President Alex Kummant ~ June 2008

 


#14 cpotisch

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 02:03 PM

 

I really hate it every time this topic comes up, and possibly inspires otherwise sensible people to take up this dangerous and illegal activity..... :angry:

 

 

 

I really hate it every time this topic comes up, and possibly inspires otherwise sensible people to take up this dangerous and illegal activity..... :angry:

Agreed. It sounds fun (and probably is in some ways), but it's a pretty terrible idea. In fact, the fact that it sounds cool makes it that much more likely that someone sees an article or video like that and decides to go do it.

 

 

And yet, what we are shocked at here, is commonplace in other places, and the danger is the norm.

 

1412285522498_Image_galleryImage_Mandato

 

Just because a ton of impoverished people in a third world country have to ride on the roof of a train doesn't mean it's not a bad idea to freight hop.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#15 MikefromCrete

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 10:18 PM

Freight hopping is not only illegal, but dangerous. Freight cars aren't designed to carry passengers. Your fellow travelers are also probably not the cream of society. 



#16 CSXfoamer1997

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 01:33 PM

Train hoppers are absolute idiots. They give the rest of us railfans a bad name.



#17 railiner

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Posted 26 August 2018 - 01:49 PM

Train hoppers are absolute idiots. They give the rest of us railfans a bad name.

Any one who tries to ride a freight train, should not even be considered a "rail fan".... :angry:


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#18 CSXfoamer1997

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 04:38 PM

 

Train hoppers are absolute idiots. They give the rest of us railfans a bad name.

Any one who tries to ride a freight train, should not even be considered a "rail fan".... :angry:

 

You could say that again! Another example is Stobe The Hobo!



#19 Steve4031

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 08:25 PM

I shared the one for the coast starlight route with the railroad police. Never got a response. But should be easy to prosecute if they wanted to pursue.




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