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UnionPBS

Ridin the rails

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Can soemone drop some education on me about ridin rails, which trains to ride, and what not, it would be grteatly appreciated. Thanx

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They already have. Don't be lazy, look through all the threads listed here, there are several about hopping. In particular read the Yard Safety thread just to get started, then anything by a guy named Kabar.

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Thanx, but i read a lot, and i still cant really find out how to reach a destination point, even one within a 100KM of where i am going, so can someone help me, thanx!!:D

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Just ask...

 

Originally posted by Fox Mulder

to find out where someothing is going you pretty much have to ask a worker.

 

I remember when I didn't know shit about hopping trains I always wondered how the fuck you're supposed to know where a train is going???? Then some homeless guy downtown came up and we talked for probably 2 hours and he told me all this crazy shit about riding freights and whatnot. He had just got here from kansas City (Seems someone's always just getting here from Kansas City from a freight...hmmm) I hooked him up with a few bucks..yeah anwyay..

Just ask one of the yard workers and they will tell you.. Most of the time. Seems crazy but it's true.

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Thanx a lot wits, i appreciate it, my buddies dad is a worker, but i can never get a hold of him, thanx anyway, i will use that fer sure:king:

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be careful and respectful when talking to workers....dont ask to much and dont be stupid. remember they are there working and sometimes might not have all the time you need from them get what you can out of them but be frank. old timers are the best most of them understand the history of ridin and can give you all kinds of info. its best not to apporach with a pack on or if you live in the area check out the yard a couple days before leaving for info and find out of there are any daily trains that leave everyday from the same spot or come thru. trains are confusin but sometimes you gotta faith ride them.

 

weeeeee

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RIDING THE RAILS ISN'T PRETTY, ITS' A TOUGH JOB, NOT TO MENTION ALSO DANGEROUS, THERE ARE ALOT OF ''WACKO'S'' OUT THERE TOO, LOOKING FOR GUYS LIKE YOU, A ''NOVICE'', BUT WHAT THE HELL,SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT, AND YOU GOT TO START SOMEWHERE....THE BEST ADVICE ONE CAN GIVE, IS....ALWAYS BE ALERT!!!!!!!!! AND TRY TO NEVER RIDE ALONE, UNTIL YOU GET SOME MILES UNDER YOUR BELT, BUT IT'S ALWAYS SAFER TO RIDE WITH A PARTNER....RESEARCH IT WELL, VERY WELL, THERE IS ALOT TO KNOW, AND LEARN, AND BEING MISINFORMED WILL MOST LIKELY GET YOUR ASS IN JAIL, BEAT UP, OR ON SOMEBODY'S WEBSITE AS A BLOODY-DISMEMBERED PHOTOGRAPH.......BE SAFE, BE SMART.........

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Guest mugshot

A BUUDY OF MINE WAS RIDING WITH A FRIEND OF HIS FROM TEXAS, THE FRIEND UNFORTUNATELY LOST HIS LEG BELOW THE KNEE FROM A FALL THEN BECAME TANGLED UP AND DRAGGED, SO SHIT AINT A WALK IN THE PARK, I'D ADVISE STUDYIN UP ON SHIT 1ST..

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Novice Advice

 

Find an experienced trainhopper to go with at first.

Travel in a pair, at least.

Always take at least a gallon of water with you.

Never drink booze or take drugs before hopping.

Don't jump a moving freight--board while the train is standing still.

Stay seated with your back against the forward bulkhead as much as possible.

If you're in a boxcar, always deadman the door with a 2x4 so it can't rattle shut.

Never board a car with a stranger, and if a stranger boards your car, GET OFF. Tell them, "Hey, this car is full." If they come on anyway, get off the car.

Start off with short hops, from one rural area to another rural area at first. Urban trainhopping can be exceedingly dangerous.

Don't skyline yourself, not in a Yard, and not on a train. HIDE.

Wear darker clothing, wear boots, take gloves and a hat. If you're going at night, take a blanket or two rolled up into a "bindle" with a cotton rope for a sling.

Take a map of the area, a compass, and a legal knife. I also carry a little flashlight I got at WalMart for $8--it takes two AAA batteries.

If you need to sleep, go off away from the Yard and the trains and find a safe place to sleep by yourself.

 

READ DUFFY LITTLEJOHN'S BOOK--"Hopping Freight Trains in North America," Sand River Press, 1319-14th Street, Los Osos, CA 93402. It costs $13.95 + shipping $1.95. California add $1.01 for sales tax. Sixteen bucks out-of-state, seventeen bucks if you're from California. More or less.

 

The more you study trainhopping, the safer you are. USE COMMON SENSE.

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Guest LethalDosage

KABAR

 

North Bank Fred's Website

 

Kabar--

 

Just wanted to point you in this direction in the small chance you haven't seen this. I'm sure you have but here it is anyways.

 

For everyone else this is an AWESOME site for Railfan, Hopping, Photo's, and a few urban adventure stories to boot...

 

Definately worth checking out, and the stories are really good too.

 

A.

 

LD

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North Bank Fred

 

North Bank Fred is a major trainhopping and streak documentarian. The "Boxcar Bertha" photograph of FTRA members on the FTRA web site is his. (The ludricrous story beneath Fred's photograph is the work of Eric "Jaks" Jackson, who really ought to know better.) I've actually exchanged emails with NBF, and a few other "famous" trainhoppers, but they are laying low on the net because of all the heat generated by news stories about yuppie hobos, alleged FTRA killers like Sidetrack, 9/11 and so on.

I've been told that North Bank Fred gets his moniker from the "north bank" of the Columbia River route, which he supposedly frequented when younger and still rides some.

 

There is a loosely-organized group of trainhoppers, artists, photographers , musicians and so forth that all know each other. I believe North Bank is part of this group, and that they contribute to each other's websites and other artistic endeavors.

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Guest LethalDosage

Jaks was definately a little outspoken...i used to be on the OOOOLLLLDDD hobo newsletter/mailing list from a few years back with him and MANY others, he seemed to really know his shit. Does he still runs www.DeadTrainBums.com ???

 

I could never tell that dudes age though, sometimes he seemed not a day over 19...then sometimes he seemed 50. Was kinda mysterious guy...

 

dunno...just wanted everyone to get that site...its a gem.

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jumping on the fly

 

i also wouldnt recommend jumping on the fly without practicing on trains that are moving pretty slow a few times first. some of the first advice i got on train hopping is dont jump unless you can see the "screws" on the insides of the wheels moving without blurring so to speak. its also not a bad idea to carry a multitool with you that includes a blade for absolute emergencies. another thing to be careful about if jumping on the fly is if you are jumping into a boxcar, oldtimers have been know to push oncomers out of the train with their gear before they get a chance to even gain balance inside. which is another reason why it is best to have your car picked out first and know that it is vacant beforehand.

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Make your own Amenities

 

This is very true, of course. If you want plumbing, water fountains and so on, best ride Amtrak.

One of the pre-hop chores that needs to be done before hopping is filling your own water bottles. I carry two 2-liter plastic Coke bottles in my ruck and a gallon of water in my jug. That works out to be 23 pounds of water, way more weight than is considered acceptable by hopping gurus like Littlejohn, whose opinion I respect. Even that much might not be enough, depending on where you're headed and the time of year. If you're headed towards the central deserts (eastern California, Nevada, Arizona, etc.) you would be very wise to take along a large quantity of water. Five gallons per person, in a camping water jug doesn't seem like too much to me, if you are going to the desert. You want to be double extra careful you don't get sidetracked out in the middle of nowhere. You should always have a good map and a compass, too. Try to keep track of exactly where you are all the time. It's not easy, but it is a very good idea.

 

Another good idea is to scrounge around trackside before you board a train and collect those blue plastic water bottles that litter the ditches around every single rail line these days. My local yard has hundreds of them. It doesn't matter if you have a cap or not. When you have to piss, do NOT stand in the door, or wet down the corners. Piss in the bottle, and once you are done pitch it out the door carefully, WITH THE CAP OFF. There's no reason to be grotesque and leave nasty ass bottles of piss all over America. Throw it out without the cap. That way you won't get piss on you, you won't fall out the door or off the car with your dick in your hand and you won't disgust and infuriate anybody (probably everybody) who might find a disgusting sealed-up bottle of urine trackside.

 

If you are female, to make life easy (easier, anyway) take along a box of plastic kitchen garbage can bags and a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Line the bucket with the bag (it only needs to fit around the top edge of the bucket, it doesn't need to go all the way to the bottom) and you can use it as a field-expedient toilet. When you're done, just pitch the bag out the door in a rural area. Yes, it's littering. Yes, you could just pee on the floor of a boxcar. How about if you're riding in a container well car? The space available for riding is too confined and restricted to permit peeing on the floor.

 

As for emptying your bowels, make a habit of taking a shit before you hop, that way you'll have empty bowels to start with and won't be likely to need to take a dump.

 

If you get caught short, and just have to take a dump, there's various ways to do it. One, just shit on the floor of the car and live with it. This is obviously a bad solution, but it will work in an emergency. Two, put down some newspapers or a piece of cardboard in a corner, shit on the newspapers , then fold them all up, containing the feces, and pitch them out the door in a rural area. Women could certainly use the 5-gallon bucket arrangement, above. For that matter so could guys.

 

My late ex-wife, who was a fearless hitchhiker and trainhopper in her day, and who travelled with me thousands of miles across the U.S. and Canada by thumb and by freight train, usually took along a long flowing "hippie skirt". She wore blue jeans or shorts under the skirt. This permitted her to answer nature's call with a certain amount of privacy, no matter where we were. She just dropped her skirts over the bucket, pulled down her shorts and sat down on the edge of the bucket, with the skirt covering everything. She used the 5-gallon bucket arrangement, above, when in dire straits, but we never used any plastic bags (we didn't have any). She just expected me to pour it out at a convenient time. I usually waited until the train stopped, hopped off, dumped the mess, and washed the bucket out with a little water. Whenever she had to avail herself of the 5-gallon bucket, we usually threw it away and scrounged another one, because she didn't like having a "dirty" bucket around.

 

We were only on a car once with anybody else when she needed to relieve herself in the bucket. The other tramp and I turned our backs, like gentlemen. It was an embarrassing moment for her (to have to tell me that she needed to use the bucket), but it was made a lot easier by the fact that it was at night, and that we men acted decently and gave her some privacy.

For the most part, female tramps are pretty tough customers, and not too modest.

 

The real reason we carried a bucket had little to do with elimination of wastes, but instead, was used as a step-stool, so she could board a boxcar, because she was too short to jump in, and did not have sufficient upper body strength to pull herself up. She also was totally opposed to me boosting her up. We tied a piece of twine to the bucket handle, and after she got in, she pulled the bucket up in behind her with the twine.

 

She was a brave woman, but she had a temper. We split up before I joined the Marines. She was murdered in 1989, by her landlady's ex-convict son, who killed her during a burglary. He got seven to life.

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Guest LethalDosage

for what its worth...

 

my condolences...

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kabar

 

thanks for that post, really good solutions to a very real problem. human waste. i would take at least a roll of tp with me also. anyways stay safe ! peace!:idea:

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dont ride tankers i almost lost my life shit was doin 50 in some cold ass weather i woke up in the hospital had to do some therapy.. that was back in 97

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Guest Merdle
Originally posted by UnionPBS

Can soemone drop some education on me about ridin rails, which trains to ride, and what not, it would be grteatly appreciated. Thanx

heres some educatio for ya. TOYS HAVE NO BUSINESS IN TRAIN YARDS WHAT SO EVER!!!! SO STAY OUT!!!!!!:)

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Thanks for the sentiments

 

I do understand what you're trying to say. It's just too bad, the whole horrible thing. She was a brave woman, and pretty much fearless when we were hitching or hopping. She had a real "redneck girl" way of looking at life. Once when we left an IWW Convention in Chicago, we were travelling with the Wobs from State College, PA. They had a ratty ass old car, and it didn't run all that great. They were supposed to give us a lift to I-57 on their way to !-80 East. We were going to hitch south, back to Texas, and they were headed home.

Anyway, we're on the freeway in Chicago, and all the sudden there's a puff of smoke, a "pop" noise and the car goes dead. We roll to the side and all the men (she was the only woman) get out and we're all staring into the engine compartment like we know what the fuck we're doing (we didn't.) She says, "Let me see." We ignored her. She repeated, "Hey, let me take a look." Everybody just looked at her like, being a woman, what would she know about cars?

Then she got pissed, and yelled (in her best East Texas drawl,) "Listen up, motherfuckers! I wasn't married to a goddamned hot rodder for four years for nothing! Get the hell out of the way!" At that, of course everybody got out of the way, saying stuff like "Well, go ahead , if you know so much!"

Within a minute, she announced, "You idiots. Look at this--the coil wire shorted and burned right through." We were dumbfounded. It was a Sunday. Now what? "I guess we're screwed--where are we going to get a coil wire at this time of day on a Sunday?"

 

Across the freeway, there was an MG sports car parked , broke down. She pointed. "Right there." She jumped the freeway divider fence with one of the guys from State College, and was back in two minutes with an MG spark plug wire. Another two minutes to remove the burned wire and replace it with the stolen MG wire. "Try it." VROOOM. Off we went.

 

I never told her a damned thing about cars again. She told me once--"Hey, I DIAPERED BABIES with clean shop rags. There ain't nothing about a small block Chevy that I don't know."

 

She was a tough cookie. Sometimes I miss her. She was a great companion in a crisis, but she could not handle routine life well. She was an adrenaline junkie, and what she loved best of all was two crazy-ass Texas men, both armed to the teeth, dukeing it out over her. After her ex-husband and I came close to shooting one another out on the side of the Eastex Freeway in Houston one afternoon, I resolved to never fight over an unfaithful woman again. And I haven't. But I still put flowers on her grave once in a while.

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Kabar- I read half of Littlejohns book(got it from the library) But than i had to return it before i could finish it... it was a struggle reading through the train machanic parts of the book and by the time i got through it i had to return it! But i wanna read the rest and i tried ordering it a couple times... each time they said it was out of print... is the source you listed still good?

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