Page 1 of 1

Train Hopping

Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:53 am
by PatAzo
If you've a mind to watch any of the train hopping videos on You Tube and a few expletives won't offend you, watch this one. Be sure to watch to the very end...the very end.

If you ever watch Brave Dave's Big Fat Train Hop you might be interested to know he planned to visit Canada again for a train hopping adventure. Arriving in Canada for trip two he found that CP Rail Police had issued an arrest warrant. Immigration gave him the choice of entering Canad and being arrested or taking the next plane back home.

Re: Train Hopping

Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:11 pm
by ~Z~

Re: Train Hopping

Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:44 am
by hoborich
How times have changed. I traveled around the country in the summer of 1962, mostly on trains. Trespassing wasn't an issue back then. I had a railroad dick tell me to "stay away from the autos, and no one will bother you". Auto racks were not enclosed back then. While wandering around the Wabash Melvindale yard, now Oakwood, I had a train crew tell me and a buddy, "Climb up in the second unit, and don't touch anything. If anyone says anything, we didn't know you were back there". Rode to Ft Wayne in an F-7 in the engineer seat! In Nashville, a conductor said, "I've got a son your age. C'mon and ride in the caboose. You'll be safer there". That's how it was back then. Train crews would tell us what track they were making up a train, when it was called, etc. The only bad experience I had was in Birmingham, Alabama, when a rail dick put me in his car and drove me about a half mile out of the yard, and dumped me out on a pitch black road at 3:00 am and told me to start hitch hiking. No headlights in sight, and no idea where I was. As soon as his tail lights disappeared, I beat it back to the yard and found my empty box car, just as the train was taking slack. Some train crews would even tell us when and where the rail dicks were. I was standing on the platform in Biloxi, Mississippi one night around 11:15, when the L&N Pan American pulled in. Right behind the engines and ahead of the baggage cars, was a dark, empty Pullman car they were deadheading somewhere. I walked over and tried the door, and it was open. I jumped in an closed the door as the train started moving. I pulled my flashlight out of my duffel bag and looked around. I pulled down a berth, climbed in and fell asleep. Woke up the next morning on a siding somewhere. Walked to a restaurant and found out I was in Montgomery. Good times. A different era. Couldn't do that today. :D

Re: Train Hopping

Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:06 pm
by J T
hoborich wrote:How times have changed. I traveled around the country in the summer of 1962, mostly on trains.

With all that train riding, you must have smelled pretty bad.

Re: Train Hopping

Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:10 pm
by hoborich
Not really. I pretty much knew my way around train yards. A couple times, I walked into a yard office, and right back to the crew room and took a shower. No one said anything. Maybe they thought I was a crew. Back in the day, crews were not put up in hotels. They slept in their assigned caboose, or the crew room, which had several bunks and a shower. And made a return trip the next day. Things were just much different back in the 60s.
When I worked at Pontiac for the GTW, we had people roaming through the yard all the time. They brought buckets, and scooped up spilled grain for their animals, and spilled coal. Nobody cared. Grain was shipped in boxcars with plywood and cardboard grain doors. Some of the older cars had holes in the floor, and there would be a pile of grain where the car sat a while. This was all before the lawsuits and lawyers got started. When the locals returned to the yard, the railroaders were all over them, scavenging lumber that was used to brace a load, or broken pallets of bricks that the customers left in the car. There was plenty of good bracing lumber left in the cars, with only a few nails left in it. At Pontiac, we had a cleaning track, where anything left in the cars was pulled out and burned. So anything left in the cars was free for the taking. That's just how it was.

I've watched the train riding videos, but it would be really difficult today, with all the cameras, and train crews calling the police. And you just don't see many open box cars anymore. And riding an open intermodel car, or the end of a covered hopper doesn't look like much fun. Especially if the weather is bad.
Sorry bout the blurry pics. That's how those old snapshot cameras were. Those pics were taken southbound on the old Gulf, Mobile and Ohio, somewhere around Jackson, Tennessee.