Old 10-30-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
golden_spike
Member
 
golden_spike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Canandaigua and Potsdam, NY
Posts: 60
Send a message via AIM to golden_spike
Default freight train riders... aka hoboes

I was wondering if any of you have ever seen people riding freight trains during your railfanning adventures?

Back at the end of the summer a friend and I saw a couple of them. We were sitting by the tracks near Rochester and a TOFC train came through. We were watching it pass and all of a sudden I saw something that looked like a loose piece of cloth beneath one of the trailers. I looked closer and realized it was somebody's shirt and there were two people lying down on the flat car. The train was going pretty slowly so we hopped in my car and chased the train a little way to see it go by again, and this time they were sitting up and we waved to them and they waved back. They were a guy and a girl probably in their twenties. It was definitely something memorable that I hadn't seen before.
golden_spike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2006, 08:27 PM   #2
SD70MACMAN
The man with the plan
 
SD70MACMAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonds, Washington
Posts: 375
Send a message via AIM to SD70MACMAN
Default

Ive seen that before a few times. Going up Stevens Pass I've seen people have been sitting in/on the cars. I hope they know about the 7.8-mile long Cascade Tunnel or they might end up in a black bag in Wenatchee or Seattle...

One of my friends was concidering hopping a freight from Spokane to Seattle to get home (ahh, college life). After my scolding, he decided not to.
__________________
~Mike Bjork

UP's new slogan for Amtrak:
"We'll help you spread you wings and fly right into a siding!"

TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS!!! May the fun never end!
I'm a traitor! Im on JP.net! But all my plane shots involve trains!

BN FOREVER!
SD70MACMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2006, 08:38 PM   #3
Callufrax
?
 
Callufrax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nth. Strathfield, Main Northern, CityRail - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 255
Default

Yup. Anyone that does it is stupid. There's a stupid twit, now, on one of the MySpace groups saying that he's intending on doing it. His reason is that he wants to travel, but hasn't the patience to save up the money.
__________________
A Thousand Miles
Cycling around the world, for FightMND, from 2021.
Callufrax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 02:17 AM   #4
Pat Lorenz
Senior Member
 
Pat Lorenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 326
Default

I think it would be cool, personally. What an adventure, dangerous and risky yes, but to travel like that would be very interesting.

I saw 2 hobos once, a few years back. I was on a hill side near the Tucson yard limits. They both man and women had there bags packed. They had to walk to the other end of the yard, as so they wouldnt be caught, or end up in the middel of the yard.

They yelled out that, they had been doing it for 10 years+.

I though it was cool.
Pat Lorenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 04:25 AM   #5
Ween
Senior Member
 
Ween's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,861
Default

Let's see these thrill-riders try this in North Dakota in January!!!! I think it's near-certifiable behavior to be even out taking photos that time of year...but somebody's gotta do it!
__________________
Ween is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 11:44 AM   #6
jfusaro
Senior Member
 
jfusaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Boone County, Kentucky
Posts: 109
Default

while traveling on a lonely stretch of highway in mexico, i stopped on an overpass to get some pics of a passing freight train. i was too busy taking pics to notice the five or six people perched on top of the hopper car when it came into the view finder. my point-and-shoot camera didn't cycle fast enough between shots to get a clear pic, but i do recall getting one shot. i will attach it in another post. it's on my home computer. i'm (supposed to be) working now.
__________________
best regards,

jeffrey fusaro
jfusaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 12:28 PM   #7
dodi4200
Senior Member
 
dodi4200's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: kfs city, egypt
Posts: 742
Send a message via Yahoo to dodi4200
Default

Yes thats happened one time when adriver of agrain train in the industerial line offered to me acab ride and when there were aswitching operation and the driver get aclear signal he began to run from zero speed to about 30kph with 8empty grain cars.When i saw the conductor he told me that there were 2 boys between third car and the fourth and they thought that the train will still run at alow speed and when the train began to run at 30kph they cried as they thought the train would accelerate and head to cairo union station .The conductor told them to still between the cars as the train will stop at the end of yard.When the train stopped they go and said we wonot do that again .
__________________
mohamed
bnsf-born 2 fight
big boy 4-8-8-4 ''best of the west''
(if you like an idea,thought alot in it and worked hard for it.you will get it)
click here 2 c my pix @ rp.net
dodi4200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 12:55 PM   #8
becker
Louis Becker
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 390
Talking

Quote:
Let's see these thrill-riders try this in North Dakota in January!!!! I think it's near-certifiable behavior to be even out taking photos that time of year...but somebody's gotta do it!
Well, I saw someone do it here a few years back in March. He was walking east near Crystal Sugar in East Grand Forks trying to hitch a ride. Of course, I, at the time, was traveling just ahead of eastbound coal loads. Sure enough, I got to station sign Simplot, and as the train went by, he was sitting on a coupler between two coal cars. Who knows if he knew he might go all the way to Cass Lake non-stop?

~Louis Becker
becker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #9
J
Senior Member
 
J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 532
Default

Foolish and dangerous. An FRA colleague once told me his office received a call from a man inquiring about hitching rides on freight trains. Apparently the man's daughter wanted to have the experience as part of a school project or something. I suppose the father didn't consider that many of the "clentel" riding freight trains would appreciate having his daughter along for a ride. Aside from the obvious hazards that would be faced by a young woman, a rider with a wallet of cash, ID, credit cards and fresh bottles of water might be easy prey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by becker
. . . sitting on a coupler between two coal cars . . .
~Louis Becker
Only ignorance would allow someone to ride in such a location. Unexpected slack action is the reason crews ride the sides of cars when they can.

Last edited by J; 10-31-2006 at 02:48 PM.
J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 03:12 PM   #10
mw25
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Brainerd, Minnesota
Posts: 59
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Let's see these thrill-riders try this in North Dakota in January!!!! I think it's near-certifiable behavior to be even out taking photos that time of year...but somebody's gotta do it!
Incidentally, North Dakota is the only place I've ever seen somebody hitching a ride on a train. I saw a man crouched under a tractor-trailer on a Z-train going about 60 mph near Casselton when I was out that way last April. It certainly would have been the cheap way to travel from Minot (assuming that's where he got on) to Fargo/Moorhead.
__________________
Mitch Wahlsten

Click here for my photos on RailPictures.net
Click here for my photos on Flickr
mw25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 07:59 PM   #11
WembYard
Senior Member
 
WembYard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 646
Default

We used to have a major problem in the UK with immigrants hitching a ride through the Channel Tunnel on freight trains. Most of them managed to get INSIDE the wagons by one means or other, but there were a number of fatalities with people falling out of wagons, getting run over after extracting themselves or getting out the top and electrocuting themselves on the overhead wires.
Security has now been considerably beefed up so this no longer happens, but it just shows the desperation of some people.
WembYard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2006, 10:01 PM   #12
Ru1056
Senior Member
 
Ru1056's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indianapolis IN
Posts: 438
Send a message via Yahoo to Ru1056
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mw25
Incidentally, North Dakota is the only place I've ever seen somebody hitching a ride on a train. I saw a man crouched under a tractor-trailer on a Z-train going about 60 mph near Casselton when I was out that way last April. It certainly would have been the cheap way to travel from Minot (assuming that's where he got on) to Fargo/Moorhead.
He should switch to Capitol One.
__________________
Billy

JREB.ORG. Moderated discussion forums about NS & CSX

Remember the ugly photo god.
Ru1056 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2006, 12:46 AM   #13
Pat Lorenz
Senior Member
 
Pat Lorenz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 326
Default

Whats that smell? Its just Earl honey! Good one on the captial one.

Last edited by Pat Lorenz; 11-01-2006 at 12:49 AM.
Pat Lorenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2006, 11:07 AM   #14
jfusaro
Senior Member
 
jfusaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Boone County, Kentucky
Posts: 109
Default

i was able to find two photos of the "passajeros" riding on top of the hopper car.

they are a little hard to see in this photo of the train approaching the overpass (#357).

once the train cleared the over pass, i could make out that five people were riding on the hopper car (#359).

the train was running in open desert area, but it was not moving terribly fast.

these photos were taken in may 2005. the weather was moderate, but even at that time of the year, the mexican sun can be merciless. i can't imagine riding "in the open" like that for too long. the train was heading north. if they were hoping for a ride to the u.s. border, they had a long way to go.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg APD00359.JPG (354.8 KB, 227 views)
File Type: jpg APD00357.JPG (366.2 KB, 225 views)
__________________
best regards,

jeffrey fusaro

Last edited by jfusaro; 11-02-2006 at 12:21 PM.
jfusaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2006, 11:46 AM   #15
dodi4200
Senior Member
 
dodi4200's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: kfs city, egypt
Posts: 742
Send a message via Yahoo to dodi4200
Default

I saw some people like that too but over passenger trains.When i were achild my dad show me many trains in Cairo-Alexandria main line for people above the passenger cars and told me that this is very dangerous as those people may be hit by any bridge as the train were running at speeds between 100-120 kph.
__________________
mohamed
bnsf-born 2 fight
big boy 4-8-8-4 ''best of the west''
(if you like an idea,thought alot in it and worked hard for it.you will get it)
click here 2 c my pix @ rp.net
dodi4200 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 12:41 AM   #16
Tåg
Senior Member
 
Tåg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 263
Default

Last month the my train was headed southbound out of Seattle, when my friend (conductor on the following train) radioed that they tripped a dragging equipment detector. As it turned out, three bummies one man and two women had hopped an open well car, and at some point in their trip the man slipped and fell through the bottom of the car. My friend who walked back to investigate the dragging equipment defect, was met with a mangled corps and two histerical drunk women.

http://www.wenworld.com/sub/story.ph...99-467&archs=y
__________________
Bob
Tåg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 12:43 AM   #17
Tåg
Senior Member
 
Tåg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 263
Default

http://www.utu.org/worksite/detail_n...rticleID=30991
__________________
Bob
Tåg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 01:30 AM   #18
Slopes09
Senior Member
 
Slopes09's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Here.
Posts: 837
Send a message via AIM to Slopes09
Default

Joe LeMay, Glenn Davis, and I met one while sitting on the Highlands bridge. This is in itself ironic because one of Hinsdale's nicknames is "Yuppyville." It was an older man who rode a funny little bike. He began talking to us, and then he asked, "So, have you ever ridden a train before?" We responded yes, we had rode the Metra here. We were very surprised when he then said, "No, I mean freight trains. I used to ride them a lot, and still do it occasionally for fun." It ended up being a rather interesting conversation, and we learned that apparently its faster than Amtrak.
__________________
-Mike W.
Railroad Civil Engineer

Pretty much the only Pentax Shooter.

Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Slopes09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 01:57 AM   #19
CG_F45
Senior Member
 
CG_F45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 413
Default

Mike,

How is Hindsdale for shots? I have been thinking about going there...there's a bridge there, no?


Ohh, and I have never seen a hobo on a train...
__________________
Chris G

My photos at RailPictures.Net
CG_F45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 01:59 AM   #20
busyEMT
Senior Member
 
busyEMT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 902
Default

I've seen a few riders on the ends of grain hoppers and on TOFCs.

Image © Ron Flanary
PhotoID: 58601
Photograph © Ron Flanary
__________________
Aaron Florin- Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Visit Twin Cities Railfan.com
Visit the Twin Cities Railfan forums.

Don't do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics!
busyEMT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 04:17 AM   #21
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Senior Member
 
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Marlboro, NJ
Posts: 1,956
Send a message via AIM to Andrew Blaszczyk (2) Send a message via Yahoo to Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by busyEMT
I've seen a few riders on the ends of grain hoppers and on TOFCs.

Image © Ron Flanary
PhotoID: 58601
Photograph © Ron Flanary
LMAO!! The wave is the best!
__________________
-Andrew Blaszczyk a.k.a. AB(2)
Proud fan of the Sabres, Islanders, Rockies, and Lions.

"My camera is an artistic medium, not a tool of terrorism."

www.ab2photography.com Coming soon!
My photos on RailPictures:
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=960
Andrew Blaszczyk (2) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 04:34 AM   #22
ssw9662
Senior Member
 
ssw9662's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 839
Default

I once saw a hobo riding in a gondola. It was at night and I may not of seen him if he wasn't waving.
__________________
Austin
Canon EOS 7D
Canon 70-200mm f/4 L
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon 50mm f/1.8
My Railpictures.net Photos
flickr
ssw9662 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 05:00 AM   #23
Slopes09
Senior Member
 
Slopes09's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Here.
Posts: 837
Send a message via AIM to Slopes09
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CG_F45
Mike,

How is Hindsdale for shots? I have been thinking about going there...there's a bridge there, no?


Ohh, and I have never seen a hobo on a train...
Its's pretty good for photos. Indeed there is a bridge. Just be careful where you put your scanner...the vibrations shake the bridge, and parts of the bridge are open framework....let's just say that if one of our scanners hadn't been positioned just over a girder, it would have been sitting on the top of a container train in Cicero yard.
__________________
-Mike W.
Railroad Civil Engineer

Pretty much the only Pentax Shooter.

Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Slopes09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 03:35 PM   #24
J
Senior Member
 
J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 532
Default

Here is more on the kid who fell through the well car.

http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/0644/hobos.php

Excerpt:
They had a full schedule in Seattle. One night, they went swing dancing at the Century Ballroom. The next day, they joined an anti-Bush march to the Federal Building downtown. That's where they ran into Whitney McCall, a 20-year-old from Tacoma who sported dreadlocks and Carhartt overalls. "She looked like a traveler girl," Rose says.
Striking up a conversation, the Litzners realized they had met McCall before—at a punk-rock music festival in Philadelphia—and decided to travel to San Francisco with her. The trio spent the night at Rose's mother's place in Tacoma and headed for a railway yard near the Amtrak station there the next afternoon. At 1:30 in the morning, a train pulled in that they thought was headed for San Francisco. As Jason hopped on to scout it out, the train started slowly moving. "Come on," he shouted to the others. Rose lagged behind to hand up their backpacks, guitar, and water jug. When she finally hopped on, she landed on the opposite side of a container from Jason and McCall, which explains why Rose didn't witness the fall that caused her husband's death.
From the accounts that McCall later gave Rose and Detective Elder, it seems that Jason had been cold and asked McCall to get a sleeping bag out of her backpack. He then got up to get a drink of water from his jug. As she was fishing out the bag, McCall felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around, but Jason had already fallen.
J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2006, 06:14 PM   #25
Ken Carr
Senior Member: Vegasrails
 
Ken Carr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Henderson Nevada
Posts: 285
Default Free ride

I've seen them ride in the well of well cars toaching me with a beer in there hand, in boxcars, among the trash of other cars and in the DPU's and 3rd and 4th engines. Each time I contact the emergency number of the railroad involved and give them a heads up.
30 plus years ago I rode the rails a time or two but now looking at it, it was foolish then and foolish now.
__________________
Regional Coordinator for Operation Lifesaver
Southern Nevada and Southern Utah

See what I do for fun along the rails and in the desert

See some of my slide shows


Click Here to view my photos at RailPictures.Net!
Ken Carr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.