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RiSC
06-24-2006, 10:28 PM
that was a pretty cool video, watched the whole thing

Oliver Clothesoff
06-25-2006, 12:57 AM
kabar if i ever chose go i wanna roll with u, u got this shit down to a science

KaBar2
06-25-2006, 05:24 PM
TPIX3227---

There's a good book that will teach you a lot, called "Hopping Freight Trains in America" by Duffy Littlejohn. You can get itdirectly from Littlejohn at his little publishing company online. Zephyr Rhoades Press www.zrpress.com I think online it costs about twelve dollars. I paid $18 for my copy, but I bought it through a distribution house.

If you intend to ride freight trains, you should READ THIS BOOK. It's not perfect, because Littlejohn sugarcoats it a little (well, sometimes he sugarcoats it quite a bit) but it has a TON of excellent information about safety, signals, rideable cars and so forth.

The most difficult part of trainhopping to master is finding the correct spot to catch out where you don't have to try to hit a rolling train. This information isn't exactly secret, but the long-time 24/7 riders don't want their catch-out spots blown up by a bunch of immature, inexperienced newbies who do stupid stuff and get arrested.

The Crew Change Guide is a book published by xeroxing by a mysterious old-time trainhopper called "Train Doc." There is a mystique about the CCG, because you have to "know somebody" to get a copy. They usually cost about $10, because the xeroxing is expensive. Most people who get one turn around and make a few more, for their CLOSE FRIENDS AND RIDING PARTNERS. The CCG is not to be sold for a profit, and it is not to ever be put on the Internet, ever. In order to obtain a copy of the CCG, you must raise your hand and agree to never sell it, give it to someone who is not a real trainhopper (like a cop or a bull or some wide-eyed kid) and never put it on the internet.

There is one guy who tried to put the CCG on the net a couple of times. He goes by a bunch of psuedonyms: Ray Tylicki, Transit Train, etc. He is a rip-off artist who stole over $1,000 from a trainhopper who let him crash at his house, Collinwood Kid, from East Cleveland, Ohio. Collinwood trusted him, Tylicki burned Collinwood, and now Collinwood and most of his friends despise Tylicki and are involved in a sort of cat-and-mouse game on the rails. They have discovered some of Tylicki's hides and jungles, and track his efforts to set up unsuspecting "marks" online. Tylicki is more-or-less a sociopath.

Tylicki thought that ripping off the CCG and selling it or publishing it under his own name (it belongs to TRAIN DOC) would be a good way to finance his travels. When he tried to do that, he became a "persona non grata" among tramps. He is not welcome at anybody's jungle. No one will help him, or give him money, food or water. He is "Out." When he realized this, he tried to compromise the CCG by publishing it on the internet, but when Flatcar Frank (of the National Hobo Museum steering committee) heard about it, he convinced the ISP to take it down as a copywrite violation. (Train Doc and friends copywrited the CCG to stop people from publishing it for money.)

The CCG is published every year, with fresh information. Trusted tramps spend all year riding the rails and making notes about what goes where, where the crew changes are made, how to find the catch-outs and so forth. They send the information to a person who shall remain unnamed, who is not a 24/7 railrider, who puts it into a word document as he receives it, by geographical location. Train Doc edits it, takes out old stuff, puts in new stuff, and they publish it in the summer, every year, before the National Hobo Convention. It gets distributed from tramp-to-tramp, never for a profit, only for the actual cost of producing it. All the research, all the information, all the typesetting, all that is donated. The only part you pay for is the photocopying. It is actually the work of several dozen tramps, all out riding all over the place and taking notes.

You could make your own Crew Change Guide, of course, from your own personal experiences. Ray Tylicki has said he intends to do just that, and then nobody can stop him from publishing it for money. Of course, if everybody is pissed off at him NOW, imagine how pissed off they will be if he blows up half the catch-outs in America? Poor Ray. I guess he will eventually just have to start working for a living instead of fucking over his former acquaintances. Really, the problem is that Ray is a lying blowhard who talks big but never accomplishes anything, except stealing from others. He's about one step up from a streamliner.

If you go on eBay and buy some railroad maps (they are available from time-to-time) or go online to DeskMap.com and buy a "Professional Railroad Atlas" (I've got the Second Edition, but I understand there is now a Third Edition out) you have a very good chance of being able to traverse the U.S. on freight trains.

My first couple of trips (back in 1970) I managed to get on a train headed more-or-less the right direction, but when I got to my destination, I was lost. I had no idea where the tracks went from there, I had no idea what railroad I wanted to be on (sometimes another rail yard a mile away has tracks going to where you wish to go, but if you don't know that, you're screwed.) There are scores of rail yards in Chicago. Only a couple have conections to the Hi-Line. The tracks exist, it's possible to send a train from Calumet Yard or Blue Island up to Cicero, but that almost never happens. But trains depart Cicero for the Hi-Line daily, if you know what you're looking for.

There are some little bitty towns out in the middle of nowhere that have huge rail yards. Avondale is a good example. Alliance, NE is another one. There are places in the rail system and in the trainhopping world that are virtually unknown to anybody except railroad workers, rail fans and trainhoppers. There are high-security rail yards that one MUST avoid, or you will be arrested. In order to know this information, you must learn.

Anybody can just jump on a boxcar and see where it takes you. But to be a true trainhopper or a true tramp, you need to study knowledge. A good place to start, if you are not yet 18, is TRAINS magazine. They have great articles, month after month, after month. Read and re-read them. Get a big railroad map and study it. MEMORIZE where the different railroads go. Do they go through the Rockies? That means tunnels and probably lots of them. BRING AN MSA DOUBLE-CHARCOAL-FILTER GAS MASK. Do they go through the western deserts? Be prepared for VERY, VERY HOT WEATHER AND NO WATER AVAILABLE. Do they go up on the Canadian border, like the Hi-Line? And it's late September? DRESS FOR COLD, COLD ASS WEATHER.

You should never board a train without some idea of where it is going. And never, ever break Rufe's Be-Like-A-Ghost Rule:

LEAVE NO TRACE, DO NO DAMAGE, MAKE NO DISTURBANCE.

rolling nowhere
06-26-2006, 02:39 AM
yea the other videos on squatetheplanet.com are some good ones!

CHECK EM OUT!

yeah thats a pretty cool site all around. lots of stories and pictures and stuff to keep you busy for awhile.

ps. kabar s the realest mofo on this site.

on the road again
06-26-2006, 02:49 AM
just orderd hopping freight trains in america sound like a good one.

snazzleshnazz
06-30-2006, 09:55 PM
If this question has already been asked, i apologize kabar, but when was the last time you got your ass on a train? After reading the first ten or so pages of these posts, i've become very irrate and cant sit to read anymore. You do give out SOME good information, but i've read a few things that make me think you havent caught out of anywhere in quite some time. Do you really think its okay to encourage kids that know little to nothing about freights to hop trains?

I'm a woman, i hop trains with other women and men, it all depends on who is willing to catch out with me when i'm leaving (i dont choose my road dogs based on sex). I'm not running from anything, i dont run with a crew, i'm not someone's bitch, i'm straight and grew up in a decent environment. I dont need to be protected. Out of the hundreds of tramps i've met, at least a one third to maybe half of them have been women. Strong, tough, beautiful decent women, NICE women. I'm telling you this because i am under the impression that you think women have to be emotionally disturbed, a lesbian, or running with a crew like FTRA to hop freights. I hope I'm wrong about you.

One other thing.. please do not tell people about the crew change. Crew changes are not meant for kids with no experience. They are very valuable to a tramp. VERY. They dont sell crew changes for a reason. They are supposed to be passed on to only people you trust and know will be responsible and cautious.

Oliver Clothesoff
06-30-2006, 11:52 PM
he doesnt hop anymore its illegal now adays

rolling nowhere
07-01-2006, 12:47 AM
illegal? what? no way.

rolling nowhere
07-01-2006, 12:49 AM
ps. kabar doesnt really encourage people to hop trains..id say he does the opposite if anything..when i met him he advised me to go back to school get a good job etc etc. and not to start hopping trains.

KaBar2
07-01-2006, 07:01 AM
snazzleschazz---

As far as I can tell, this is still a free country, and anybody can hop trains if they've a mind to do so. For every decision, there is a consequence. If one hops a train without knowing what the hell is going on, there is a very good chance that it might prove to be fatal. I answer questions that people ask, in an effort to at least give them the opportunity to avoid the biggest mistakes.

The Crew Change Guide belongs to all tramps and all train riders. I KNOW the people who produce it. You are in no position to try and control information about hopping freight trains. If they can convince someone who has a copy to let them xerox it, then they have just as much right to it as you do. This idea that somehow there is a train-hopping "elite" that has a right to catch out, and others shouldn't do so is a bunch of bullshit.

I started hopping freights in 1970. I did not know anything at all about it. I had a risk-taking, foolhardy attitude, and had it not been for my old friend Rufe, I might have gotten seriously hurt or killed eventually because instead of FOLLOWING THE RULES I was doing whatever the hell I pleased. I was young and stupid. Back in those days, I still caught on the fly. Catching rolling freights is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND STUPID. It's for chumps. I stopped hitting rolling trains years and years ago.

People who wish to hop freight trains are taking a risk. It doesn't matter what your race is, it doesn't matter what your sex is, it doesn't matter if you are gay or straight, none of that matters. What DOES matter is whether or not you are able to safely navigate the railways, and whether or not you are able to defend yourself. I know some "strong beautiful women" who hop freight trains too. They carry great big knives and a dog stick and are more than willing to defend themselves against bad guys. Most of the long-time female riders I know ride with men, sometimes with several men, but not always.

I have met a number of people even recently that have been robbed or raped either in jungles or on board a train with someone they did not know well. I can't tell you what to do. I'm sure you will do whatever suits you, but if you think that hopping freight trains is a safe thing for a single woman to do, you are crazy. My friend Frog, a former King of Hobos with many close friends in the FTRA, lost a leg several years after a vicious robbery attack by gang kids, in which they beat him up severely and then deliberately jumped on his leg to break it. The leg never healed properly, and it had to be amputated. Frog lives in a wheelchair now, because he doesn't like the idea of a prosthesis. Despite all this, he is a cheerful, positive kind of guy.
Lord Open Road was beaten so severely by two home guards in Dalhart, Texas, that he died. They robbed him of the pittance that he had (like $3.65) and bought beer with Open Road's money. They sat and drank beer and watched him bleed to death. If it had not been for Steamtrain Maury Graham sending Adman out to locate Open Road (he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave in Dallam County) he probably would never have been found. Adman got legal permission from Open Road's surviving family, had him disinterred, cremated, and Adman and another tramp brought Open Road's remains back to Britt on a freight train. He is buried in the National Hobo Memorial cemetary in Britt, Iowa.

A couple of years ago, a group of runaway kids hopped a freight without knowing where it was going. They wound up in Detroit, in the inner city, in the middle of the night. Walking around trying to find a telephone, they were acosted by a group of black kids, who promptly abducted them at gunpoint, took them to the rooftop of an abandoned building where the boys were shot and the girls gang raped all night.

If you think this shit can't happen to you, think again. All your "strong, beautiful women" crap pretty much goes away when the creeps and monsters pull guns and knives. I tell these kids, and I'm telling you, don't hop freights unless you are ready to defend your life. You might hop a hundred, or two hundred, and everything just goes peachy-keen, and Number 201 has A Resendez or a Silviera waiting for you. There are a lot of people in the world that are just blinded by their self-delusions. I used to be that way. I was an anti-war activist and an anarchist and a radical ecologist and all that shit back in the late 1960's. It was all a lot of self-deluded bullshit. Shitheels only respect one thing, and that one thing
is SUPERIOR FORCE. Some people just have to learn the Truth the hard way. Maybe you are one of them, maybe not.

The real danger in riding freights isn't getting pinched or dismembered OR attacked by some monster. The real danger is that you will waste years and years of your life in a pursuit that is a lot of fun, but ultimately pointless. When you are young, adventure and novelty and eccentricity are enough. Riding trains is a kick. But as you grow older, living just for the thrill is just no longer fulfilling. A life pickled in alcohol, or lived through a haze of marijuana smoke is not a satisfying one.

The last freight train I rode was August, 2005. Stretch and I caught out after the National Hobo Convention and rode from Mason City, Iowa to Shreveport, Louisiana. From there, I took a Greyhound back to Houston, because we ran out of time. That was a three-week trip. We kind of dogged it on the way home and took our time.

Pfffffffffft
07-01-2006, 07:19 AM
If this question has already been asked, i apologize kabar, but when was the last time you got your ass on a train? After reading the first ten or so pages of these posts, i've become very irrate and cant sit to read anymore. You do give out SOME good information, but i've read a few things that make me think you havent caught out of anywhere in quite some time. Do you really think its okay to encourage kids that know little to nothing about freights to hop trains?

I'm a woman, i hop trains with other women and men, it all depends on who is willing to catch out with me when i'm leaving (i dont choose my road dogs based on sex). I'm not running from anything, i dont run with a crew, i'm not someone's bitch, i'm straight and grew up in a decent environment. I dont need to be protected. Out of the hundreds of tramps i've met, at least a one third to maybe half of them have been women. Strong, tough, beautiful decent women, NICE women. I'm telling you this because i am under the impression that you think women have to be emotionally disturbed, a lesbian, or running with a crew like FTRA to hop freights. I hope I'm wrong about you.

One other thing.. please do not tell people about the crew change. Crew changes are not meant for kids with no experience. They are very valuable to a tramp. VERY. They dont sell crew changes for a reason. They are supposed to be passed on to only people you trust and know will be responsible and cautious.

my 2 cents..

you have to take into consideration that KABAR is speaking of his OWN life experiences on the rails. the heaviest time he rode was in the 70s.. people were riding for completely dif. reasons than they are now. the times and railroad security have changed. (you should know that) it doesnt take a genius to figure out that KABAR is much older than any of us on here. todays riders are all kids who want adventure and doing it because its increased in popularity among the "punk" scene. YES, its the ultimate in getting over on everything. but the crime on the rails is nowhere where it was in the great depression through the early 80s.. so yeah..you being a female out there, you do prob have it a little easier than the females in his time.

so i do think you are wrong about him..
not everyone is going to share the same views but you should learn from your elders.

on the road again
07-01-2006, 06:44 PM
id have to say that what kabar is saying is a good point because if you hop a freight expecting nothing bad to happen and it does come your way well then your screwd because you didnt prepare for it, sure the crime might not be as bad as it was in his time but people should always prepare for the worst so if somthing does come there way they are ready. so i think people who decide to go into the life of riding freights should be ready for a life like kabar said to defend yourself and fight for your life if the time presents itself. thats just how i feel.

Pfffffffffft
07-20-2006, 11:05 AM
bump!

whats new KABAR?

KaBar2
07-20-2006, 06:40 PM
Not too much, Pfffffffffft. I've been collecting plywood scraps for the new roof we're going to put on the hooch. I have eight 16" long 2x2's that I got out of a dumpster at a construction site and a bunch of odd-shaped 1/2" thick plywood pieces (like trapezoids and rhomboids, etc., from somebody decking in a complicated hip roof). As soon as Rolling Nowhere gets back to town (DEREK, WHERE YOU AT, EH?) we're going to ditch the flat roof that's on it now and put a regular gable roof on it, and deck it with the plywood scraps. Then we're going to roof it with tarpaper and roll roofing or maybe shingles.

I'm not going to be able to go to Britt this August, dammit. I started a new job, and I can't get the time off. But I'm planning on catching out for several weeks in late September/early October. It will be a lot cooler then, and I'm hoping for a nice fall trip.

Pfffffffffft
07-21-2006, 05:22 PM
good deal on getting the job..i know you were stressed over that..
are you still doing a similar line of work?

that roof sounds boss. if you go the route of the tarpaper and the singles then you will have a nice spot to crash in without the fear of getting your supplies wet. from the sounds of things you could use that fire pit and kick back in the dry.

KaBar2
07-22-2006, 06:03 AM
This is very true. We really don't need it so much in the summer, but in the wintertime Stretch and Burlington come down and use the hooch to crash in. Stretch located another good catch out, just south of I-10 where we're considering building another hooch, and a third one east of Lloyd Yard in Spring, out in the woods.

I'd like to build some sort of shelter near every good catch-out in Houston. We sort of cobbled this one together out of junk, shipping skids and political signs and railroad plastic. The one up in Spring would be a lot harder to build, because it's farther away from the road than the rest of them.

There's no big rush. We're not on a schedule or anything, LOL.

Pfffffffffft
07-22-2006, 06:56 PM
nice..

rolling nowhere
07-23-2006, 05:35 AM
ill be back soon-ish...probably a few days.

on the road again
08-08-2006, 05:30 AM
quick question. ive read in many places never get on a train if you dont know where its goin but how are you supposed to know were its goin, now i have a atlas of northamerica for train lines but i live in a small town and the town is not even shown in the atlas so if i wanted to ctach out from here how do i know were the trains are goin?

Mister Incognito
08-08-2006, 05:53 PM
can anyone suggest a way to keep the boxcar door open???...i have only caught out super short distances, then jumped/rolled off before the train really leaves the yard.....i would like to catch out for real someday....and KaBar your advice and stories are inspirational and informative- thanks!

or do i have the wrong idea as riding in a boxcar is stupid???

rolling nowhere
08-09-2006, 02:35 AM
stick a rail spike under the door. jam that fucker in there good that door isnt going anywhere...in theory anyway
kabar will probably drop some knowledge about a deadman..my hand hurts so im not typing anymore

Mister Incognito
08-09-2006, 10:21 PM
thanks for that^^ the thought of being trapped in a box car kinda scares me....

KaBar2
08-13-2006, 04:15 AM
Mister Incognito---This sort of information winds up getting asked over and over. If you read the hread, I think it got covered about three or four times in the last couple of years.
Riding in a boxcar isn't dangerous, exactly, but most of the boxcars I've seen recently were of the "plug-door" type. The doors run on a EXTERIOR door track, so there's no place to jam a spike or place a deadman. If you find an empty boxcar or two and take particular notice you'll see what I mean.
You could tie the door open with chain or some steel banding, but his is too unsure of a method. If the door is still able to move at all, it could roll shut, or, it could bounce off the car and fall alongside the tracks ("Ow!", $$$$ if they figure out you did it.) The safest way is to find a plug-door boxcar that has an exterior LOCKING LEVER (sometimes this is actually a LOCKING WHEEL.) Roll the door about half open or so, and LOCK THE DOOR AGAINST THE EXTERIOR DOOR TRACK BY SCREWING THE LOCKING WHEEL SHUT. his totally prevents the door from moving at all, and it also secures it saffely so it can't fall off the car.

If the boxcar is not an old-fashioned "revenue" boxcar or the newer type of plug-door boxcar with a locking lever or locking wheel, it cannot be safely ridden. Look for a better ride, like a grainer, an empty gondola or a container well car.

BTW, jumping on and off trains just for the hell of it is dangerous. You're taking all the risk for none of the pleasure. Stop jumping off of moving rail cars, and NEVER hit a train "on the fly." Catching out on the fly is for saps and amateurs. STOP DOING IT, unless you want to get your legs chopped off. ONLY HIT STANDING TRAINS. NEVER CATCH ON THE FLY.

KaBar2
08-13-2006, 05:31 AM
On the road again--- Again, if you guys read this whole thread, we've covered this several times. There are several ways to determine where a train is headed. If you are young and obviously a newbie, it's a problem, because the rail workers may feel that you are so young and inexperienced that you're going to get hurt, so they might rat you out to the railroad bull or the cops.

Some yards send the majority of trains always to the same location. For instance, 99% of the UP trains that leave Shreveport, Louisiana go to Houston's Englewood Yards or Settegast Yards. Stretch and Burl have caught different trains at different times of the day and night out of Shreveport headed south, and they ALL wind up in Houston near Interstate-59 and Quitman Street, headed east on the Englewood Yards feeder track. They almost always stop right near the container yard west of Englewood. The last several times we bailed, we bailed right there, or north of there at F.M. 1960 east of I-59 where the UP tracks cross F.M. 1960. This doesn't mean that they will ALWAYS stop there, but they seem to most of the time.

You need to find out where the trains do a Crew Change near your catch-out. Sometimes the switchmen in the local yard will tell you.

Mainly you need to watch the trains arriving and departing, and figure out where they are coming from and/or going to. Buy a railroad scanner (over 200 channels) and program all the existing railroad radio channels into it (there are 97 railroad channels, plus a bunch that are digitally scrambled.) That way, regardless of whast channel they are on, you will probably receive their transmissions. MAP THE LOCAL YARDS. Go visit every one and scope it out. Mapping the yards is called "map reconnaisance" and going there to check it out is called "ground reconnaisance." Take binoculars, scanner, maps, high-liters, etc. and make notes of what you see. Do certain tracks always seem to have trains with two or three units and a blinking FRED? Those are your "departure tracks." Does one particular track just seem to always have long trains that roar right on through? That's the "high iron," the mainline.

If there is a major rail route heading north from, say, California, and you see a lot of empty lumber racks on trains, they are probably going up to the Pacific Northwest. If you are in New York, and you see a lot of white Orange Juice cars headed south, they are probably going to Florida. Get a great big map of the rail lines in the U.S. and look at it and figure things out.

For instance, if you look at a railroad map of the central U.S., you'll see that there is a rail line running between Los Angeles/Long Beach (the nation's second biggest port) and Chicago (the nation's busiest rail hub.) Most of this line used to be the old Frisco Line. It's now called the "U.P. Superhighway." There must be seventy-five trains a day on this line, both ways. If you catch a container well car in L.A. or San Bernadino, there's a good chance you could ride it all the way to Chicago. It goes from Long Beach, to L.A., to San Bernadino, to Las Vegas, to Salt Lake City (maybe Ogden) to Cheyenne, to North Platte, to Denison, to Cedar Rapids, to Clinton, across the Mississippi, to UP's Chicago Proviso Yard or maybe Global 1.

The real consideration is whether you are willing to learn all this geography, etc. If I were you, I'd try to set up a "triangle" route, or a loop. Here in Texas, I could ride from Houston to Fort Worth, to San Antonio, to Houston again, and get off right where I started. Or just ride a train from one city, to another and back again for a while until you get some experience. You may have to ride the bus home a few times at first. That's no shame--you're trying to learn the ropes. If you attend a few hobo gatherings and make friends, you'll eventually be trusted enough that someone will be willing to let you get a copy of the Crew Change Guide. If you do get a copy, don't carry the original with you. Carry a photocopy and keep your original in a SAFE PLACE (like, at home, for instance.) Same thing with your maps, photocopy them. That way, if you get arrested, you won't lose all your maps and railroad atlases and whatnot.

BE CAREFUL. LEAVE NO TRACE, DO NO DAMAGE, MAKE NO DISTURBANCE.

on the road again
08-13-2006, 01:26 PM
thanx kabar yea i think ill try n get a railroad scanner and map and scope out my local yard n then ride to another town not to far. so thanx for the advice

"inkie"
08-13-2006, 05:09 PM
kabar, Have you ever heard of paul petzoldt before. And also, if the train has no caboose, it's not leaving the state.

Mister Incognito
08-14-2006, 01:44 AM
. ONLY HIT STANDING TRAINS. NEVER CATCH ON THE FLY.

Word-a-saurus!!!

But seriously, thank you! Reading through this thread, although tiresome, has provided tons of knowledge.....you should write a book!!

KaBar2
08-14-2006, 06:28 AM
Inkie---I'm sorry I've never had the pleasure of meeting Paul Petzoldt. Perhaps I know him by a different name. How old is he? I assume he is a tramp. Where does he ride?

That remark about cabooses is in error. I have ridden trains hundreds of miles across several state lines without a caboose. Modern trains have a FRED attached to the last car. "FRED" stands for "Flashing Rear End Device." It's also called an EOT Device--"End of Train." I haven't seen many cabooses in the last twenty years or so.

Pfffffffffft
08-14-2006, 07:35 AM
look at this idiot i saw the other day...

http://static.flickr.com/93/214847817_6711613010.jpg

waseface
08-15-2006, 01:11 AM
every coal train ive ever seen here has a caboos on the end. and their always nice clean new looking bnsf engines on both ends too

Pfffffffffft
08-15-2006, 02:14 AM
the engines on both ends is obviously for power (pushing and pulling)..and for breaking on both ends..

but never heard of a caboose.. the caboose was behind the engine or in front?

weird.



im assuming that since a line is carrying a heavy load of coal...maybe 100 cars long at TONS of weight on each car..that a lot can go wrong..

especially since coal is mined from mountians..

but if you had an engine at both ends...why would you need the caboose?

KaBar2
08-15-2006, 09:15 PM
I just got a call from Stretch. He and Burl and Stray Cat Julie were laid up in a Iowa rail yard waiting for a train. Britt went well this year, although Stretch forgot to tell me who won King & Queen of Hobos. Stretch was crumb boss and did an excellent job, according to Flatcar Frank.
They're headed up to Tramp Fest, in Portage, Wisconsin. Sure wish I could go, but I gotta work.

KaBar2
08-15-2006, 09:17 PM
That picture of the guy standing on the couplers should be filed under "Darwin Awards."

WHAT A FUCKING IDIOT.

estaked
08-16-2006, 12:54 AM
hey kabar i know this has been said a many time but i wanna thank you for all the info and wisdom you have dropped in this thread. I have learned so much about yards, layups and trains... so a big thanks!

KaBar2
08-18-2006, 06:06 PM
I know that a graffitti forum is kind of an odd place for a big thread on trainhopping, but it seems like it has been a pretty good fit. I worried a little at first that I might spark off a bunch of trainhopping runaways, but that doesn't seem to have happened. I try to tell it just like it is in terms that everybody can understand. It's not a horrible life, but it is a pretty hard one.

Anybody that has ever read "Rolling Nowhere" probably understands that trainhopping as a lifestyle is pretty pointless. It's fun, and I love riding freights, but every time I catch out I am sick to death of it after about three weeks. I can't wait to get back home, and I tell myself "That's it--that's my last catch-out. I'm done riding trains." But after a couple of months I start missing it again, and I get disgruntled at my job, and I start wanting to go ride some trains and "live out."

It kind of gets under youtr skin. That's the most dangerous thing about riding freight trains. It's hard to quit.

tango 24
08-20-2006, 12:33 PM
graffiti and a life of vagrancy are too often played up in the media. i'm a pretty down to earth guy, sure, i break the law from time to time,but like you said about trainhopping, graffiti is also a lifestyle which is pretty pointless.
this might be why so many people on this forum find this fascinating and your words insightful, i know that i have taken to heart some of the things you've said. i just want to say that you've also given me a bit of hope for my future, that i can turn things around.
graffiti has caused a problems in my life, evictions, fines, bashings, but it's a compulsion for me like trainhopping is for you...
and thanks for all the yard tips too...

rolling nowhere
08-25-2006, 01:36 AM
pointless?
says who?
whats the point of doing anything at all?
is it pointless because you might become some dirty bum and not some dude sitting around with a bunch of fancy shit in a fancy house or what? i need an explanation sir.
how is it pointless?

ps.. why is graffiti pointless also? thats fucking ridiculous.

KaBar2
08-25-2006, 05:56 AM
I suppose it depends on what value you want to put on various human endeavors. Utimately, our task on earth, our reason to exist, is to reproduce ourselves, or at least to generate offspring, so that the human race survives another generation. One could look at that statement and say, "Okay, fine. Once you're fathered a kid, or birthed a kid, your job is done and you might as well kill yourself." In order for the human race to survive, each couple must produce 2.1 children (the 0.1 kid is to make up for the ones that get killed by childhood diseases, skateboard accidents, leukemia, and shit like that) that live to adulthood.
Any endeavor which does not lead to the propagation of the race is basically extraneous and could be dispensed with. The Sistine Chapel, Rollerderby, ping-pong, drag racing---all a waste of effort and resources. Pointless.

At least with something like hanging out in bars one could make the rationale that one is frequenting the water hole, looking for a potential mate. By wearing nice-smelling aftershave, showering daily, buying a new outfit once in a while, choosing a new shade of lipstick, getting a haircut that the opposite sex finds attractive, polishing one's shoes, etc. etc., one is engaging in the courtship ritual, which eventually might lead to actual courtship, which eventually leads to divorce court, but that's another story.

Riding freight trains doesn't enhance one's status in society much that I can see. (Trust me on this one.) I didn't ride freights just for transportation. It was a full-immersion subculture dip, for me, sort of like backbacking across the Serengeti just to see what's out there. I like the fact that I know I can survive anywhere, pretty much. But it didn't make me any money. And it didn't improve my lifestyle any. It certainly didn't win me any applause from the ladies. It didn't contribute to the betterment of mankind one bit. It was an unpleasant, dirty, extremely hot and extremely cold and extremely wet and uncomfortable, hungry, gritty, exhausting experience.

The thing I can't figure out is why I can't just close the book on it and go live a nice comfortable, middle-class life, complete with no sleeping in the rain, no missed meals, no ear shattering train noises, no rude railroad employees telling me to beat it and no arrests for trespassing. It's pointless, but it's still fun. I guess it's fun because I have a choice. If I was dead broke and starving and HAD to dumpster-dive for chow, and HAD to catch out to get to another town, another place, another life, it would not be fun. It would suck.

Is that an adequate explanation?

tango 24
08-25-2006, 10:21 AM
pointless?
says who?
whats the point of doing anything at all?
is it pointless because you might become some dirty bum and not some dude sitting around with a bunch of fancy shit in a fancy house or what? i need an explanation sir.
how is it pointless?

ps.. why is graffiti pointless also? thats fucking ridiculous.

i was saying that there is no point to graffiti, but i still enjoy it.
it's pointless because it doesnt make us better people, sometimes worse...
graffiti won't put a meal on the table or clothes on your back, unless you get comissioned work but even then that money wont last long.
i think that the statement graffiti is pointless is true.
why do we do it? the fame? the only we fame we can actually get is within our own limited social network, and a little attention form the boys in blue...

rolling nowhere
08-25-2006, 11:09 PM
maybe it hasnt made YOU a better person..or people you know. but speak for yourself.
its not pointless and if you cant understand why its not..well maybe youve been wasting a lot of time doing it in the first place.
i guess everything that doesnt put a meal on the table is pointless...
i do the things i do because i love it..whatever it might be. graffiti is just one thing..wouldnt that be a good point? i do this because i love it.... you said you enjoy it..but its pointless..how does that work? wouldnt the fun be the point of doing it?
blah blah blah.
words words words.
you do what you do ill do what i do.

rolling nowhere
08-25-2006, 11:14 PM
ps. kabar some ladies like stinky gentlemen who ride trains.
hahaha

rolling nowhere
08-25-2006, 11:18 PM
but you know that already.. ps im in houston if you wanna work on that roof sometime soon im down

tango 24
08-26-2006, 02:25 AM
i see your point of fun being the reason for doint it
but is fun really worth a ten thousand dollar fine, eviction and being forced to crash in abandoned buildings or on mates floors.
graffiti will do it to some people...people grow out of it for the majority
those who stick with it become the eventual kings
i'll stick with it no matter what, im just as much in love with graffiti as anyone here, its just that things happen which make you question why you do it.
that kinda stuff been happening to me recently, i didn't mean to offend anyone
much love

rolling nowhere
08-26-2006, 08:36 PM
owwwwwwww!
jail will make you question it all. to me thats like the point of no return..if you go down and come out and keep painting then youre not going to stop until its time to stop..if its ever time to stop.

KaBar2
08-26-2006, 08:42 PM
Stretch was crumb boss up at Britt this year. He got interviewed by the Britt newspaper. There was a good photo too, but after screwing around for fifteen minutes trying to post it on 12 Oz. I just gave up.

Subject: Hobo Days story
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 10:03:01 -0500
From: "Britt Editor" <Britt.Editor@globegazette.com>
To: <stretch122hotrail@yahoo.com>

Hi there, Stretch!

By ANGIE JOHANNSEN BRITT - For most hobos, actually riding the rails is just a unfulfilled dream.But for one seasoned traveler who just dropped his bindle in Britt, it's been a lifelong commitment to freedom.Stretch, who doesn't easily own up to any other name, is just one of more than 50 hobos who have arrived in Britt this week for the National Hobo Convention.He has a mission this year: become the next hobo king. While he waits for the cornonation ceremony Saturday afternoon, he'll campaign quietly. He also has some work to do down in the Hobo Jungle.They call his position the "crumb boss" and it's a title he accepts with pride. It means he's the kitchen manager at the campsite. He'll organize the dishwashing, the cooking, the clean up."I've spent a lot of years on the road; helping out at gatherings is my thing," Stretch says in his easygoing manner.His willingness to help the hobos and his experience on the road may give him an edge in the king competition."I'd really like to be the king," he said. "This is my family, I'm good at organizing and the best part would be getting to see so many people."The travel to promote Britt across the country - one of a king's royal duties - will be nothing new to Stretch. He's been on the road since the age of 17 when he took his first ride in a boxcar from his home in Salem, Mass. to Albany, NY. At 39, he has now traveled the rails in 48 states.He admits the ride does get lonely sometimes, but he keeps his dog, Burlington, close by his side. The two even share the tale of being arrested for riding freight trains in New York. The charges were dismissed against Stretch, but Burlington spent two weeks in a kennel.These are the tales that make the hobo convention the event that it has become.For 106 years, the hobos have been making their way to this small rural town. By train if lucky, but mostly by car, they come to set up camp in the hobo jungle. Their close bond with the Britt residents has made the gathering one huge family reunion.More than that, it has brought Britt its own share of fame. Each year, tourists come from all over the country - and usually from somewhere overseas - to film the event.But North Iowans can take a quick car drive to Britt for the week's festivities. The event is truly one-of-a-kind and has plenty to offer for just about everyone, says reigning National Hobo Queen Half Track.She wants people to come see the convention for themselves and fall in love with Britt the way she and her family have over the years."Being in Britt is like being home," she said. "This is like the hometown I always wanted to grow up in." <>

Angie Johannsen
Editor
Britt News-Tribune
42 Center St. W. Britt, IA 50423

KaBar2
08-27-2006, 10:15 PM
ANGIE JOHANNSEN & SCOTT HOLLAND, Of the News-Tribune; Posted online Aug. 15
http://www.forestcitysummit.com/content/articles/2006/08/17/britt/news02.jpgIowegian Rick and Miss Charlotte were named 2006 Hobo King and Queen at Saturday's coronation ceremony. (News-Tribune photo by Angie Johannsen) [oas:forestcitysummit.com/britt:Middle:1]
Being a hobo isn’t all fun and games, although a lot of laughter makes the ride a little smoother.

Such is always the case when the hobos come to town each August to celebrate the National Hobo Convention. Sure it’s a chance to catch up with old friends, raise some money for the new hobo museum and pay tribute to those who have “caught the westbound.”

The event is also much more than that, as evidenced the number of townspeople who found their way to the Hobo Jungle, night after night.

“It’s been a great week,” said Britt Mayor Jim Nelson, as he made his way around the jungle Sunday, saying goodbyes.
“It was a really good convention; next year I’m going to have to take vacation so I can see more of it.”

The hobos agree with the mayor who welcomes them home each year.

“It was a wonderful time,” said Frog. “I can’t miss Britt, I have to come here every year. It’s the place I call my second home.”

One of the highlight’s of this year’s convention came Saturday afternoon in City Park. After everyone had their fill of mulligan stew, several worthy hobo king and queen candidates made their pitches to reign as the 2006 royalty.

After threatening to keep running for queen until she won, Miss Charlotte, of Amory, Mississippi, finally captured the title of Hobo Queen.

She edged out good friends Crash and Lady Sonshine for the title.

“I was going to keep coming and keep running until I won,’’ Miss Charlotte joked in her speech. “My husband (Loco Larry) and I have been hosting a hobo get-together in Amory, so it would nice to have the title of Hobo Queen to show off.’’

Capturing the title of Hobo King was Iowegian Rick, who may have to change his hobo moniker to the comeback kid.

Iowegian was hospitalized Friday night after sustaining chest pains and breathing complications at the jungle due to dehydration.

“I feel a lot better today,’’ Iowegian said before the ceremony began. “Just a little nervous.’’

Iowegian won in a run-off after tying in the first round of voting with Stretch, the 2006 Crumb Boss.

“I’m just going to be who I am and keep dong what I’ve been doing,’’ Iowegian said.

Both Iowegian and Miss Charlotte pledged to use their crown to help build the new Hobo Museum in Britt.

“It’s a wonderful place and that’s why we keep coming back every year,’’ Miss Charlotte said. “Well, that, and I wanted to be queen.’’

The crowd of hobos and tramps who made their way to Britt this year was a mixture of new faces and longtime friends and travelers.

Adolph Vandertie, also known as Hobo Whittler, “Grand Duke of Hobos,” made his way to Britt after a 16-year absence. The 95 year-old has one of the most extensive hobo and tramp art collections, which can be traced back to his grandfather, who had learned the arts as a prisoner of war during the Civil War.

Hobo Whittler made his way to Britt accompanied by a film crew making a documentary on his life. The crew was surprised to see that Whittler isn’t the oldest hobo still on the trail to Britt. Slo Freight Ben, Whittler’s elder by a mere few months, also made a return trip.

As a three-time hobo queen and crowd favorite, she was bestowed the title of “Queen Mum” of the hobos in a ceremony Friday.

“I’m so honored to be here in Britt with my friends and family,” Slo Freight said.

To the crowd’s delight at the jungle, it seemed a romance might have flourished between the Duke and Queen Mum.

But Slo Freight was keeping quiet.

“I have a new friend in Adolph; we’re going to keep in touch,” she said with a laugh and wink.

At the other side of the jungle, the tramps made their camp. Playing music and learning the hobo way, they carved their own niche in the jungle.

“You look at all the road kids this year who are new,’’ 2005 Hobo Queen Half Track said. “They have such a great attitude and have embraced the hobo spirit and lifestyle.’’
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Oi Vei
09-07-2006, 01:35 AM
kabar, i was wondering if you could drop some knowledge on hopping freights across the canadian border. are trains stopped at the border for inspection? is there some sort of mandatory screening process that bulls, border patrol, or railway authorities must conduct? if this question is too hot a topic, please ignore it. thanks very much, it's greatly appreciated.

rolling nowhere
09-08-2006, 01:57 AM
hitch a ride across and get back on a train once your in canada.

Milk Grenades
09-08-2006, 05:40 PM
cool, this thread is still here

rolling nowhere
09-14-2006, 07:35 PM
trains and stuff...

you knw..
like..ride em and stuff.

choochoooooooooo.

rolling nowhere
09-14-2006, 07:37 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1owT28h-umM

this is how its done...

south west
09-14-2006, 08:01 PM
god thats stupid...
please dont start your own thread again

rolling nowhere
09-14-2006, 10:24 PM
i know its stupid.
sarcasm son. sarcasm.

KaBar2
09-14-2006, 10:50 PM
Rolling Nowhere---Have you been down to the jungle lately? Last time I was there, I found the addition to the hooch that Stretch and I added on had been knocked down and was in a big pile of 4x4's, 2x4's and roofing stuff. It was in the dark (I was delivering plywood scraps) and I couldn't tell if it had been destroyed by some idiot or whether it was storm damage. The interior of the nooch was not fucked up (so far as I could tell) so I'm thinking "storm damage."

Gotta work this weekend, but gimme a shout one of these days, and we'll meet and sort it out.

rolling nowhere
09-14-2006, 11:00 PM
i was gonna try to head over there tonight as a matter of fact...
too bad you have to work this weekend. im taking off again tuesday. 2 weeks in houston is 2 weeks too long..

rolling nowhere
09-16-2006, 06:07 AM
pretty good pile of plywood you got there.

Anthony from Brooklyn
09-17-2006, 04:54 AM
Wow. I'm new to this board and never expected anything like this here. Just read the first two pages, and I have to say, when you have nothing to do it's enjoyable because it's something I will never experience for myself.

I can never live like you Kabar, I'm just a domestic animal, I love my home too much to leave. I've never liked being far from the home, and usually, all my friends chill in my house, and I like it that way. Even when I go on vacation to places far safer (and nicer looking) than Brooklyn, I always have this anxious and nervous feeling in the back of my mind, like an animal out of its skin. Someone told me it's because I'm a cancer on the zodiac.

T_R_O_N
09-18-2006, 11:38 PM
Wow. I'm new to this board and never expected anything like this here. Just read the first two pages, and I have to say, when you have nothing to do it's enjoyable because it's something I will never experience for myself.

I can never live like you Kabar, I'm just a domestic animal, I love my home too much to leave. I've never liked being far from the home, and usually, all my friends chill in my house, and I like it that way. Even when I go on vacation to places far safer (and nicer looking) than Brooklyn, I always have this anxious and nervous feeling in the back of my mind, like an animal out of its skin. Someone told me it's because I'm a cancer on the zodiac.
or you could be a gaping pussy, but you may be right.

Anthony from Brooklyn
09-19-2006, 12:39 AM
or you could be a gaping pussy, but you may be right.

Are you trying to accomplish something by throwing around insults? I guess I'm supposed to get angry, post a picture of myself with a gun, and say "you can get it too niggggggguh!!"?

Let's make believe I did all that and call it a night.

T_R_O_N
09-19-2006, 01:38 AM
Are you trying to accomplish something by throwing around insults? I guess I'm supposed to get angry, post a picture of myself with a gun, and say "you can get it too niggggggguh!!"?

Let's make believe I did all that and call it a night. no i wont be expecting that but :D if you do, just saying what i think, maybe i should rephrase, maybe your a wee bit scared, but you may be right :rolleyes: .

Anthony from Brooklyn
09-19-2006, 01:43 AM
no i wont be expecting that but :D if you do, just saying what i think, maybe i should rephrase, maybe your a wee bit scared, but you may be right :rolleyes: .

All I was saying is that I don't like to travel, so to me people who would just hop on trains and travel through the country are fascinating.

KaBar2
09-19-2006, 11:08 PM
To bring up a tired old phrase, "Different strokes for different folks." I've been to New York City a couple of times, and frankly I was uncomfortable the whole time I was there. I'd probably be scared shitless in Brooklyn, so I guess we're even. Give me those wide open spaces, please.

People adapt to their environment. If you had been raised in Montana, or Texas, or Idaho, you would probably prefer big outdoors places too.

If you ever decide to catch out, I'm thinking he best way would be to take a bus over to Jersey, to Port Newark. Take the #40 bus out of Penn Station in Newark to the intersevction of Kellogg Street and Terminal Rd/ Corbin Street. Walk south maybe a half mile on Corbin.Look to your right, you'll see the crew shack and the Stella Maris Chapel. (The chapel has bathrooms and telephones and provides shelter of some kind, but I'm not sure if it's a mission or what.)
Look for an open gate to Dockside Yard. It's to the right of an auto storage yard. If there's a security guard, just tell him you are passing through to the railroad yard are aren't stopping in the auto storage yard, he'll probably just wave you on through. Behind the storage yard there are weeds & junk to hide in. The crew trailer is just to the north of where you will be waiting. Norfolk Southern "23M" IM double stack to Chicago/UP makes up around 7pm (M-F) (Sept 2001). CSX doublestack "Q159" runs about 9:30pm (M-Sat, earlier on Sun) via Syracruse then to Chicago. Trains depart GEO NBD. Arrive early, and exercise every effort to remain hidden and undetected in the yard and on the train. This yard and these IM trains are hot, not only because of IM cargo, but also 9/11. Two strings of cars will be sitting on the departure track in front of you, behind the auto storage lot. They will be made up, and be pulled out of the yard across Corbin Street. Hit a TTX48 (NOT A 53--a TTX 53 HAS NO FLOOR), get in the well and STAY DOWN until you are well away from the New York area. Metro cops and NS bulls watch these rains very carefully. They often "escort" the train in cars. Don't get cocky and BE CAREFUL.

There are other good catch-outs in Jersey, including North Bergen Yards, South Kearny Yards(ELECTRIFIED FENCE Sept 2001), Little Ferry Yards in Ridgefield Park, Croxton Yards (between Jersey City and Secaucus), Elizabeth (E-Rail Intermodal Yard and Elizabethport Yard) and Oak Island Yard in Newark.

I GUESS I DON'T NEED TO TELL YOU TO WATCH YOUR ASS IN THESE YARDS, THEY ARE HOT AS A MOTHERFUCKER AND IN SOME SERIOUSLY SKETCHY NEIGHBORHOODS. BE CAREFUL.

skirmfirm
10-04-2006, 08:47 PM
jesus christ you know your shit.

rolling nowhere
10-06-2006, 06:06 AM
i hate houston

step oner
10-06-2006, 05:09 PM
damn where i live the sketchiest people are either the russians who jump americans....as for as hobos, tramps, bums and transients...I once payed on 5 bucks to be a look out and give me some tips on good spots and how to access em...but then where i live i dont have to worry about a cat turning on me...they are all quite docile...(from seattle all through the portland metro area) and if you help them a little they will tell help you...and some may tell a fucked up joke or two(my favorite part)....hobos are an endless supply of info regarding the streets...use em to your advantage...

Enmity
10-23-2006, 04:13 PM
ive been lurking this thread for awhile ... kabar much knowledge given .ill keep reading and learning .

b e z

rolling nowhere
10-26-2006, 09:34 PM
if i ever have to sit at tatsie for 9 hours again i may just jump in front of a train on the mian line...
ha-ha.
it got mighty cold when the sun went down on the way north. blanket,sleeping bag, tshirt, thermal top, hoodie..did almost nothing to keep me warm.
brrrrrrr.....
and ft worth is kind of lame..lots of train watching to be done though.

TURBO DOG
10-28-2006, 07:35 PM
KABAR, WHATS UP??? OUTIN NEW MEXICO RIGHT NOW....WILL BE HEADED BACK TO N.O.LA. SOON! ME AND MY OLD LADY BROKE UP AND SHE MOVED OUT HERE...NOW I AM CHASING HER VISITING...TRYNA SEW UP THE LOOSE ENDS....HOLLA BACK MAN!!!

rolling nowhere
10-28-2006, 08:01 PM
sounds like some kind of wild goose chase...

KaBar2
11-19-2006, 01:29 AM
I just got home last night after almost a month of trainhopping. I started off about OCT 20, took Greyhound and met Stretch and Burlington in Memphis, TN. Stretch rode five days from New England to meet me in Memphis. We caught out that night headed to Fulton, KY. Unfortunately, we were both rolled out and fell asleep, and rolled right through Fulton. We woke up in Effingham, Illinois in some rainy, cold-ass weather. We got off, went up underneath a bridge and stashed our gear and left Burl guarding it, and walked a couple of miles to the beer store. We were stuck in Effingham most of the day in the rain, but I spotted an open boxcar in a train sitting in the hole, and we got on it and got off in Fulton that night. We rolled out under a bridge in Fulton in kind of a low area. Woke up in a ditch full of freezing cold water--it rained and the water flowed down from somewhere else.
We stuck around Fulton a couple of days, checked out Country's hooch (it's pretty elaborate for a tramp hooch--it has a barrel stove and built-in bunks and cabinets) then we caught a ride down to Jackson, Tennessee.
Jackson is the location of both the WTNN RR main office (got to watch your step there) and also the Casey Jone's Village museum and railroad display. They've got a steam locomotive on display, a nice museum about Casey Jones, the home he lived in at the time of his death, and a lot of railroad memorablia. A first-class restaurant, too.
The first night we slept in some abandoned tractor-trailers downtown, but the next day a friend of Stretch's gave us a ride across own to Casey Jones Village. We attended church there at the Grace Bible Christian Church (this is a church in the CJV complex that was started and is supported by the Shaw family, that owns Casey Jones Village) and everybody was very nice, despite the fact that we hadn't had a bath or washed clothes in more than a week, LOL. Mr. Shaw gave us an "all-you-can-eat" pass at the restaurant. The food is outstanding--real country style chow served buffet style.
We spent the afternoon listening to some great acoustic bluegrass musicians. We slept in the CJV Amphitheatre. It's a great place. The beer store is at the gas station right next to CJV. (Had to hide the empties, though.)

Anticipating cold weather farther north, we went down to Wal-Mart and I bought some Wall's winter insulated coveralls. I wanted Carhartt's, but that Wal-Mart didn't have any.
Next day, Stretch ran into somebody he knew in the CJV parking lot and he gave us a ride back over to the downtown area. The next morning, out at the WTNN Yard, it started raining like hell before the Corinth train made up, so we hiked through the rain to a good, dry bridge on the Illinois Central line and made camp there. We scrounged up a steel bucket and a couple of 5-gallon buckets and spent a couple of days drinking beer, watching it rain and burning up every piece of scrap wood we could find.
We arrived in Corinth, Mississippi and again slept under a bridge. Corinth is a great little town. It has the only solid-concrete hobo hooch I've ever seen--in an abandoned basement/foundation near the south jungle. Stretch and I made another jungle on the north end of town. It's quite a hike to the beer store downtown. The tracks in Corinth had just had a brand-new tamp job and the ballast was all torn up with big gaps between the ties and the rock. It was hell to walk on.
Finally we got down to Amory, Mississippi, where we spent several days visiting with Loco Larry and the current reigning Queen of Hobos, Miss Charlotte. Larry has a hobo museum in his home. Amory is a great town, and has a big Railroad Festival every spring in April. To avoid having to catch out of Ampory, Charlotte gave us a ride to Tupelo. We caught a good boxcar out of Tupelo about 0200 in the a.m., went back through Corinth, and stayed in the northern jungle, then caught out again on the WTNN, to Fulton.
We jungled up under the northern end bridge in the Canadian Pacific yards, and caught a train that went all the way to Markham Yard in Chicago. Again, it was shit weather, cold and looking like rain. The cops told us to move along at the Metra station, they got pissed because we ere sleeping on the lawn, waiting for Milwaukee Mike to come pick us up.
While we were waiting, Stretch amused himself by drinking beer and trying to start conversations with Chicago girls on their way to downtown on Metra. At first, I thought it was a lost cause, but he came pretty close a couple of times (mind you, we were pretty broke, wet, cold, filthy dirty from riding trains---not exactly looking our best.)

Mike and his rail-riding partner, Leo, came and got us and dropped us off at the east end of Bensonville Yards. We slept under a trailer, parked under the bridge at the catch-out for stack trains. It was RAINING and lightning and tremendous claps of thunder, but we were safe and dry under there. The next day we went for beer and found the MOST BEAUTIFUL CONVENIENCE-STORE CLERK IN AMERICA. I have no idea what the fuck she is doing clerking in a convenience store in north Chicago, but she was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. I was like stunned. Mike picked us up later, took us out to dinner (eeww, stinky trainhoppers!) and then dropped us off at the west end of Bensonville, across the tracks from the jungle/catchout. We missed the 1930 GM train, but about 0300, down where the yard feed hits the Main, a Canadian Pacific AC-4400 Big Boy rolled up pulling auto-racks and IM stacks and stopped for the signal. Stretch goes "Holy shit! That's the ___! Nobody every catches the ___!" So he goes over with Burl and shines his flashlight up at the engineer's window and says "Hey, it's awful cold out here! Can we ride that back unit to Portage?" The hogger says "Hey, I didn't see you. Get on." We blasted the 130 miles from Bensonville Yards to Portage, Wisconsin in four hours flat. They were hauling ASS. When we got to Portage, we had to bail off on the Amtrak station side of the unit, because the engineer's side was blocked by a train, so basically we got off in front of the entire Canadian Pacific workforce, including the relief crew, who were like "Who the fuck are those guys?" We just saddled up and humped down to the jungle at the elevators. We spent the next day or some drinking beer and lounging around in the cold. We dumposter-divede the pizza joint's dumpster and scored some great pizza, still warm. It started raining so we had to roll up and cross over the tracks to he Amtrak station side to find some shelter.
There's a great biker bar in Portage. We spent some time in there, warming up and drinking Budweiser. When we caught out, the boxcar rolled up like 50 feet from where we were sitting. We went through a bunch of small towns, including Tunnel City and La Crosse, WI. There was snow on the ground and it was about 30 degrees. We bailed off when she crew-changed outside of Buffalo, Minesota, rolled out in the frost and slept till daylight. In the a.m., we humped about four miles to the town of Buffalo and called our riends in Annandale. Crash came and got us in her $100 car that her family bought from a tramp who used to live up at Boxcar Boys' Ranch in Staples. I was so goiddamned glad to GET A SHOWER, LOL.

We stayed several days with Preacher Steve and last year's Queen of Hobos, Half-Track, and their two lovely daughters, Crash and Tricia. Then Stretch lit out to go see his girlfriend in Pennsylvania and I caught a plane off of cheapoflights.com ($165) from Minnie to Houston.

Boy, am I glad to be home. I'm too old for this shit. Every muscle in my body is screaming.

M_I
11-19-2006, 04:20 AM
do any cars from the US ever enter Canada?

Dick Quickwood
11-19-2006, 04:25 AM
damn, i bet that pizza was good though

waseface
11-19-2006, 06:30 PM
how was catchin out in memphis ey? pretty much all our yards are hot

on the road again
11-19-2006, 07:51 PM
www.catchingout.com i got this movie its decent check it out.

KaBar2
11-19-2006, 08:33 PM
Catching out in Memphis was a piece of cake. We caught out on the Canadian National on the east end of the Johnstone Yard departure tracks (just outside the yard) just south of where Third Street crosses over I-55, a little to the east of the overpass bridge. As long as you exercise some common sense, keep a low profile and catch out at night, there's nothing to it. We did, however, stringently avoid getting seen by any CN yard crews, track maintenance crews and bulls. Travel light, don't build any fires or make any light. We didn't even light cigarettes or anything like that. Boarding the train was easy, but we slept through our get-off at Fulton, KY.

waseface
11-19-2006, 08:47 PM
yeah theres alot of activity in that area. alot of layups and such. theres a nice little spot near there off Industrial Avenue a bit north east of the yard. you ever catch out anywhere else in here? just curious ha

im not witty
11-20-2006, 01:18 AM
i was wondering if this thread was still going.

saw emperor of the north recently.. got any feelings one way or another for that flick? kabar?

Super Z
11-20-2006, 03:29 AM
crazy shit

KaBar2
11-20-2006, 06:56 PM
Emperor of tyhe North is a great movie, just about every trainhopper I ever met loves it. The character played by Lee Marvin, "A-No. 1" is a real person, who rode the rails during the 1890's and early 1900's, but of course, his life was not nearly as melodramatic as portrayed in the movie. He supported himself by writing small paperback books about his life (similar to the pulp "Westerns" that were popular at the same time that depicted the lives of famous gunslingers, lawmen, etc.)

There were several other movies about trainhopping produced about that same time in the 1970s--"Boxcar Bertha" starring Barbara Hershey was another one. It was not too great, but everybody went to see it because it had a hot sex scene with Hershey in it. It was more or less a rip-off of a book produced by a famous I.W.W., Dr. Ben Reitman. Reitman was gay, or is suspected to have been gay, and today many scholars think that his book on Boxcar Bertha is really a fictionalized account of his own experiences riding the rails. The other main character in Boxcar Bertha is loosely based on the I.W.W. organizer and union leader "Big Bill" Haywood. Haywood was a larger than life figure who survived many strikes and gun battles with the hired guns of industrialists. (Labor struggles back then were a lot like warfare.) In one famous early 1900's incident in the Wild West mining camp at Goldfield, Colorado, Haywood was involved in a "High Noon" type shoot-out with the secretary of the AFL union. The AFL man was killed, and Haywood sustained nerve damage that left his arm paralyzed for the rest of his life. (It was the custom back then to go armed, and nearly everyone did so, often wearing revolvers in open holsters.)

By the standards of those days, modern trainhopping is very safe, LOL.

on the road again
11-23-2006, 07:06 AM
kabar im gonna call u friday

ruen_48
11-23-2006, 11:13 PM
Wow, this thread is very informative. I have been reading thru the whole thing for about a week now, and I must say, kabar is a wealth of knowledge. Thanks for the great stories and the laughs. :)

thisoneis
11-25-2006, 06:49 AM
hey kabar u ever catch out to louisiana??? im about 2 hours away from houston and your stories amaze me...

thisoneis
11-26-2006, 12:14 AM
what is the best way to introduce yourself and start conversation with a hobo??

there is a guy that stays near my yard under the overpass that goes over the yard, and i'd like to get to know him and maybe learn something about my yard from him..i know he is there more than me so maybe he can let me in on something,

but what is the best way about doing this?? i dont want to offend him...

KaBar2
11-27-2006, 10:33 PM
Thisoneis--

Yes, we catch out through Louisiana all the time, headed from Houston/Beaumont to Shreveport. Shreveport's Deramus Yard is a major crew change for the Kansas City Southern. and the UP yard sends most of it's trains to Houston.

Introducing oneself to a tramp is just like introducing yourself to anybody else, except many homeless people (I'm talking about homeguards here) have a pretty exaggerated "personal space" safety area, and get uncomfortable if you come too close until they feel safe around you. Keep in mind that tramps have a lot of unmet needs. Just like your family considers paying the rent or paying the light bill a priority that must be met, a lot of tramps and hobos feel that way about buying alcohol or drugs or tobacco. Drinking has a higher priority than shelter, a higher priority than keeping clean, pretty much a higher priority than food, at least in the short run, and they do not consider living outdoors to be too high a price to pay to be able to drink like that.

On the other hand, they will be more than happy to accept donations from you, usually, and if you aren't careful, will quickly become dependent and entitled. You have money? They need it. You have food? They need it. You have a place to live? They need it. You have warm winter clothing or sleeping bags or blankets or whatever? They need it. And why didn't you bring more, since you have so much, and they have so little? Oh, and by the way, here's a list of things you need to bring next time.

It's not so much that they are ungrateful or grasping, but that once you open the door to your generosity, they have endless, bottomless unmet needs, and usually have poor boundaries. Someone told me once he took a video camera into a jungle and was shooting interviews and trains rolling by and after a couple of hours the tramps were discussing how much they could get for "our" video camera, since they needed a beer or two.

The best way to approach this guy would probably be with some rolling tobacco (if he smokes) or a beer or two. Keep in mind, if things go South, you may need to haul ass in a big hurry.

thisoneis
12-03-2006, 03:59 PM
yea i completely understand...growin up with boys from the hood taught me to be sparing yet still generous, maybe he'll take a bag of tobacco and a beer every week....i dont want him to be dependent on me lol. Im still a pretty shy person, and it sucks....haha i guess i'll just have to see how things go..

waseface
12-08-2006, 12:38 AM
wow look at this idiot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7nPgvGL34Y

KaBar2
12-08-2006, 08:12 PM
Actually, for a rolling catch, that was pretty well done. I hate to commend him, though, for fear it will encourage other people to catch on the fly. Catching on the fly adds a completely iunnecessary element of danger. And this guy was skylarking, too, running from car to car on the tops.

I stand by my advice. CATCHING ON THE FLY IS DANGEROUS AND UNNECESSARY.

BOARD FREIGHT TRAINS WHILE THEY ARE STANDING.

isor357
12-10-2006, 08:14 AM
couple questions...
are there any good catch outs from Detroit?
are there any websites that can give you a good idea of what freight going where and when?
can you cross borders on a train? or do the trains go across borders even? ie mexico/canada

isor357
12-10-2006, 10:46 PM
actually... i know where theres train yards in detroit...
anywhere better than the sw yard or the Hamtramck yard in south east Mi
that you aware of.

$HOOD RICH$
12-11-2006, 10:25 AM
do you guys even paint on these cars or just ride em?

svenska_writer_sike
12-12-2006, 10:29 PM
:confused: :confused: Okay what the fuck! first off I just skimmed thruogh this and fucking KaBar writes like fucking 2 page novel answers? Who gives a Fuck about bums and hobos? Fuck guys really :o

dowt
12-13-2006, 01:15 AM
very interesting thread

i dunno if this has been discussed since i havnt finnished reading the first page yet..

are there any movies about this kind of stuff? with a plot, or just documentaries?

kabar, what do you write?

dowt
12-13-2006, 01:19 AM
one more question, kabar?

you said you have a home and family now. but a page back you said you just got back from a month of trainhopping.

do you just pack up and leave your family at home every once in a while to do this kind of shit?

rolling nowhere
12-14-2006, 12:00 AM
cold

Mellow
12-14-2006, 01:58 AM
sorry for being the addition to the overwhelming amount of questions you get but...

do you know of any hotspots in MA? especially in the metrowest area

thanks!

SLEEPWALK
12-14-2006, 02:01 AM
this guy must be real stupid....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb43RAzYGas

KaBar2
12-14-2006, 11:44 PM
Svenska Writer Sike---

Dette er på norsk, fordi jeg ikke finner en oversetterEngelsk-til-Svenske. Jeg er trist den lesning min poster er vanskelig for De. Jeg tror det forbauser at De leser om grafitti i en fremmedspråk. Mest av disse forfattere kan ikke en gang leser Engelsk brønn, lar alene Svensk. Jeg skriver omtrent «hobos» og drifters fordi jeg brukt leve den liv. Europa har dets wanderers også, men i Europa fraktlinjene er ikke meget tilgjengelig og avstandene er kort. Her, jeg rir for 500 eller 600 kilometers i en «hopp.» Min lest kopler ut, jeg blitt ut 30 dager. I Minnesota og Wisconsin, vi sovet på grunnen i 26 grad F vær i sovingssekker. Dette er sannsynlig ikke sjelden i Sverige, men jeg er fra sydlig Texas, hvor det meget sjeldent fryser i vinteren. Snø er sjelden i sydlig Texas. Det er semi-tropisk. Kanskje De kommer visitt den AMERIKANSK jeg er glad vise seg De om den hobo liv. Som vet, De liker det og bestemmer seg bli here.

regards, KABAR

muddball
12-20-2006, 04:00 PM
Bacato phiks Jents aah
*JANKY BUMS *
###########

fools-in-kontrol....
12-21-2006, 09:05 PM
..........................blah.................... .................................

Super Z
12-22-2006, 06:31 AM
:confused: :confused: Okay what the fuck! first off I just skimmed thruogh this and fucking KaBar writes like fucking 2 page novel answers? Who gives a Fuck about bums and hobos? Fuck guys really :o

your a fucking retard.

yarr
12-22-2006, 07:48 AM
kabar, earlier in the thread when you mention the railway guide...

"Okay. You need to READ THE WHOLE THREAD, but I'll make it easier for you. You can get a railroad atlas from Desk Map Systems, Inc., 3636 Executive Center Drive, Suite 150, Austin, TX 78731, or try 512-346-9330 or FAX 512-346-9332 or www.deskmap.com.
It's called the "Professional Railroad Atlas of North America, 2nd Edition." And it costs like $74.95 + shipping and handling."

just wondering, have you been to this place before or only oredered guides? just wondering if just anyone can walk in and purchase a guide?

also, catching out of central texas.. recommendations, tips. fyi ive read littlejohns book

KaBar2
12-22-2006, 08:32 PM
Yarr---

I've never actually been to the physical location of the DeskMap company. They do a lot of mail-order business, it's probably a pretty big outfit, but I have no first hand knowledge of them. Why not just do it online or by snail mail? If necessary, call 'em, get the total price with shipping & handling and send them a money order. I did it online with a debit card. The book is not very big. What you're paying for is all their research and shit. If you don't intend to ride "all over" you could probably get by with a couple of railroad maps from eBay. I got four or five pretty recent maps (like less than ten years old) off of eBay. Most of them cost five bucks or less. Stretch doesn't use the railroad atlas. He uses a regular Rand-McNally road atlas (which is a shitload cheaper) and carries a copy of the Crew Change Guide.

To give you any tips I'd need to know more about where you are, etc. Email me.

My friend Stray Cat Julie and her banjo-playing boyfriend were in town. They hitched up from Mexico with a big touristy sombrero (in day-glo colors) in tow. I picked them up and dropped them off at the jungle Friday night. They stayed until Sunday and then caught out. I think Julie is heading for Florida and her boyfriend was headed back up to Canada spend Christmas with his folks. He'd best haul ass or he ain't gonna make it. In fact, he might not make it anyway. Canada is a long ass ways north from Houston.

I'm changing jobs. I start a new gig on the 26th. More money, better hours, Monday through Friday---I feel like I've died and gone to heaven! YThe best part---no more psych nursing. I am burned out from twelve years of putting up with mentally ill adolescent bullshit. You can't do the job right if you're burned out, so it was most def time for a change of direction.

I hope all you guys have an excellent Christmas and a kick-ass New Year. Stay out of trouble!

Wouldpkr
12-23-2006, 05:20 PM
Righton Kbar!
took me 5 days to read the whole thread.
Quite a literary ride!
I live in DeKalb, Il. across the street from the UP superhighway and reading the last 3 or 4 years of your posts has really enlightend me on all sorts of railroad subculture I probobly wouldnt have gotten anywhere else in the condensed and colorfull form that you have here.
So, Thanks Kbar, Congrats on the new job, ive known a few nurses in my life, and i know (second hand) how crazy a gig it is and what kind of pressures it puts on you. Not to mention thoes around you...
I hope to read more and lear more from ya in the future!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year,
Rock!
Wouldpkr

Wouldpkr
12-24-2006, 04:16 PM
found a link...
GENERAL CODE OF
OPERATING RULES
Third Edition
Effective -April 10, 1994
These rules herein govern the operation of the railroads listed and must be complied with by all employees regardless of gender whose duties are in any way affected thereby.

They supersede all previous rules and instructions inconsistent therewith.

http://www.sdrm.org/faqs/rulebook/title.html

Another link to a simmilar site with more history http://www.du.edu/~jcalvert/railway/nkplate.htm

Another wealth of info might be the
US Navy - Railway Operating Handbook NAVFAC P-301.pdf
Check your favorite torrent site, or piratebay.

rolling nowhere
01-06-2007, 12:49 AM
almost time for the west coast tour to begin...

EzyMeat412
01-24-2007, 11:03 PM
I haven't read much of this thread, but if it hasnt been mentioned "Good Company" is a decent book to read about tramp/hobo life.

boxcarrapist
01-26-2007, 02:39 AM
http://www.http://squattheplanet.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
Dont know if this has ever been posted up here yet but its a website called Squat the planet which is a "community" for trainhoppers,squatters,hitchers,revolutionarys,pun ks,anarchist,and transients in genral,figured a few of you might be interested.

"inkie"
01-26-2007, 06:44 AM
Has KaBar ever read Ironweed by William Kennedy? and does he carry a KaBar?

KaBar2
01-27-2007, 01:41 AM
Boxcarro---
I can't say thay I disagree with anything you wrote. Busking is an honorable tradition, but still frowned upon by the Powers That Be. I don't believe Spellcheck is available unless you download ieSpell. Click on the "ABC (check)" icon directly above all the Smilies.

I talked to Stretch tonight. He's up in Chicago with Milwaukee Mike and Baloney Kid and Bloney's lady headed South to Houston, he says. Burl is getting kind of old and stove up, so Stretch left him up in Pennsylvania with his girl friend. Says he got "itchy feet" and needed to go ride some trains.

Inkie--
Nope, I never read Ironweed by William Kennedy. Didn't they make a movie out of that book, starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep? It had Tom Waits in it, too. Late '80s, if memory serves. Nicholson played a schizophrenic road dog. I saw it in Pasco, Washington about 1989 or so.

I definately do not carry a Ka-Bar knife on the road, they are illegal weapons in every state that I know of, because of the blade's length and the fact that it qualifies as a dagger, i.e. the blade is sharp on both sides. In Texas it is a Class B misdemeanor, I think. One may not carry a knife in Texas that has a blade longer than 5-1/2". Ka-Bar knives have a 7-1/2" blade, plus they are specifically "a Bowie knife" which is a class of prohibited weapon in Texas.

I do often carry a tramp knife I made out of a carbon steel butcher knife that has a 5-3/8" blade. Up in Iowa, I carry one that has a 4-3/8" blade because of the knife laws up there. If the cops want to jack with you, they can always haul you in and measure the knife downtown.

I pretty much agree with Boxcarro. Stay out of sight. Avoid trouble like the plague.---"Leave no trace. Do no damage. Make no disturbance."

BoneCrusher
01-28-2007, 12:35 AM
Ok, so i thought of this idea so you dont have to pay for a dildo. i made my own this way: you poop into a plastic baggy, only one long turd though. and you freeze it. so when its frozen, you just use it as a dildo. it worked for me. it works for the ladies too. tell me how it works!

KaBar2
01-30-2007, 03:07 AM
I'm afraid I never had the pleasure of meeting Brew Dog or any of that crew, sorry.

Here's the words to "Oh, I'm a Good Old Rebel"

http://www.contemplator.com/tunebook/america/rebel.htm the one I'm familar with

http://46thtn.homestead.com/SongPoems.html#anchor_13441 different version

"O, I'm A Good Old Rebel" (traditional Southern ballad, 1866)

O, I'm a good old Rebel }
Now that's just what I am }
For this fair land of freedom }
I do not care a damn. }
I'm glad I fought against it } Chorus
I only wish we'd won. }
And I don't want no pardon }
For anything I've done. }

I hate the Constitution
This great Republic too
I hates the Freedmen's Bureau
In uniforms of blue.
I hate the nasty eagle
With all his brag and fuss
But the lyin', thievin' Yankees
I hates' em worse and worse.

(Chorus)

Three hundred thousand Yankees
Lie still in Southern dust
We got three hundred thousand
Before they conquered us
They died of Southern fever
And Southern steel and shot
I wish they was three million
Instead of what we got.

(Chorus)

I can't take up my musket
And fight' em now no more
But I ain't a-goin'to love' em
Now that is certain sure
And I don't want no pardon
For what I was and am
And I won't be Reconstructed
And I do not give a damn.

(Chorus)

(Rebel yell)

I heard this song sung at a family reunion picnic in north Texas when I was about nine (1959), accompanied by guitar and banjo. Everybody applauded. You know what Faulkner said about the South "The past is not only not forgotten down South, the past is not even the past."

Here's some more Southern songs, typical of the period.
http://46thtn.homestead.com/SongPoems.html

KaBar2
02-06-2007, 11:07 PM
Heard from Stretch. He was in Arcadia, Mississippi, headed towards Shreveport. I guess he'll hit Houston sometime this week. He said Burl is getting pretty old, so he left him up in Pennsylvania with a lady friend.

Heree's a shotr of a tramp back during the Great Depression. 1933, or thereabouts.

http://z.about.com/d/history1900s/1/0/H/1/gd44.gif

Pfffffffffft
02-10-2007, 09:44 AM
I'm changing jobs. I start a new gig on the 26th. More money, better hours, Monday through Friday---I feel like I've died and gone to heaven! YThe best part---no more psych nursing. I am burned out from twelve years of putting up with mentally ill adolescent bullshit. You can't do the job right if you're burned out, so it was most def time for a change of direction.



kabar..

long time no talk to..


what job are you doin now?
and hows that been goin?

WorldBench
02-12-2007, 04:58 PM
my favorite thread :)

KaBar2
02-13-2007, 06:02 AM
Pfffffffffft---

I'm working a nursing job. It's kind of different from what I was doing before, but it's still basic RN stuff, passing medications, doing assessments, trying to figure out whether my patients are bullshitting me or whether they have really been coughing up blood.

Same old shit, LOL. Stretch should be down here in a few days. Last I heard he was in Shreveport, visiting with Ricky.

Wouldpkr
02-13-2007, 06:15 AM
Great Photo KaBar!
Reminds me of a great song by Tom Waits. "Waltzing Matilda"

jAHEONer
02-19-2007, 08:48 AM
lollerskates

jAHEONer
02-19-2007, 08:49 AM
rofflecopter

KaBar2
02-19-2007, 03:43 PM
Stretch hit town Saturday morning from Shreveport. We went down to the jungle and cleaned it up a little. One of our structures (what we call "the Carport") fell down, was blown down or got knocked down by some idiot. We're not too clear on exactly what happened. Anyway, it's down. So we disassembled it and stacked all the 2x4's, 4x4's and shit off to the side.
After we walked down the tracks to the Beer Store and got a half-rack of Busch tall boys and shot the shit with all the Mexican hangers-out, we went back to the jungle and produced a bunch of empty beer cans. Stretch came over to the house and got a shower and we sat around drinking Carlo Rossi red and watching "Flight 93." That's a very disturbing movie.

Sunday we ate breakfast and then kicked it until about 1800, then I drove him down to Galveston and dropped him off at the Yards. He wanted to go hang out at the beach for a while before he heads outs to Amory, Mississippi in April. He's camped out down in Galveston.

And I gotta go back to work.

Crystal.method
02-19-2007, 07:47 PM
If any of you come through 412 near Siloam Springs ARKansas, Main road to get from up north down to south... PM me if you need a room to crash or something of the nature. I live on campus and I have people in and out of my doorms all the time.

Pfffffffffft
03-10-2007, 08:25 PM
interesting kabar..

love the stories..

did you ever get that part of the jungle repaired?

Shrink
03-11-2007, 11:16 PM
my boy NO is a squatter


I chill at the squat and pretty much do the same shit (dumpstering, racking) but I still live at my house and shit.

steelill
03-12-2007, 10:58 PM
I have the north american professional railroad atlas third edition. It's Ok. there is some things I dont like about it. I've owned the SPV southern states and Texas(that's two different books) atlas's for a couple of years the are excellent. Now they do include dead lines marked in dotted lines. Some larger customer owned areas are included ,Big plus. I've been in to trains for years and didn't know about some of the spurs in my area till I got these atlas. I recomend them. http://www.karensbooks.com/ this site has lots of train books at good prices. That's not saying much Train books aren't cheap. Duffy littlejohns book is what got me started in hopping. Is he still living?

Hey KaBar I enjoy your tutorials even when there in chapters.

KaBar2
03-14-2007, 02:20 AM
Thanks for the compliment--I really write this stuff more for my own enjoyment than anything else.

Yes, Duffy Littlejohn is still among the living so far as I know. I met him up at Britt a couple of years ago. He was up there selling autographed copies of his books and just hanging out, but I don't think he spent much time in the jungle.

Britt has this large sort of open-air Flea Market on the main drag around the Library and near the Hobo House Restaurant during the Convention. You can rent a "table space" and sell whatever you want to. There are a lot of craftsmen and "antiques & junque" type sales there. Also a Farmer's Market where people sell produce, eggs and so on.

Anyway, that's where I met Littlejohn. He was a nice enough guy, but I got the feeling his book wasn't moving too well. I think most of the visitors to Britt would rather buy some little"hobo decoration" for their kitchen than a book about actually hopping trains, LOL. We tried to sell genuine gunboats used at the convention for a dollar "donation" apiece to raise money for the Hobo Museum. I think we sold one.

One of the big sellers at the Hobo Museum is a cookbook of hobo recipes (sounds ridiculous, but people love it---that book has raised thousands of dollars). Stretch and I have been talking about writing a companion book for it that is all recipes involving cooking in a gunboat over an open fire.

A professional railroad atlas is not necessary to hop trains, of course, but it sure adds a degree of understanding about the rail lines that would otherwise be lacking. I have several mid-20's railriding acquaintences that just learned the old way---by getting on trains and riding them to their destination, and then asking around and observing until they found out how to get back again. This is a very time-consuming way to do it, but it does work. Kind of hard to do unless you are footloose and fancy-free: no school schedule, no job to report to on Monday, no girlfriend who is going to get pissed at you for disappearing for a couple of weeks, no landlord that is going to evict you for not paying rent on time.

If you are unemployed and on the bum, that's the perfect time to go hop trains.

on the road again
03-19-2007, 03:56 AM
i was planning to head outon my first trip with a buddy of mine nothin far just a few miles get the feel. neither one of us has ever ridin... does anyone have any advice??

Schnitzel
03-19-2007, 04:16 AM
^^^ there are only 22 pages of possible info on this thread read them you may learn something and probably enjoy the writings of Kabar.

Subatomic.
03-19-2007, 02:25 PM
This thread is amazing, Kabar's posts make for an awesome read.

KaBar2
03-22-2007, 11:52 PM
Heard from Stretch again last night. He's working a construction job in Beaumont and has a jungle in some woods next to a place that makes or sells cement. He said he was making $8.00 an hour--not too bad for a job shark job. He's making contacts in Beaumont with prospective employers, so he can snag a regular job when he comes down next winter.

The Amory Railroad Days gathering is coming right up in April. Anybody who lives in Mississippi should definately make it. It's going to be a fun week. Everybody goes to Amory because it's the "spring opener"-- it "opens" the riding season (still pretty chilly up North, though). And then a lot of people go up to Britt every August because it's the National Hobo Convention.

The last few years a lot of the party-hearty guys have started avoiding Britt, and go to Tramp Fest, instead. Tramp Fest is held in a different location every year (mainly because if they go back to the same town the next year the local cops will be loaded for bear and will try to lock up any tramp they can catch.)

Whereas Britt definately frowns on open containers of beer (if you walk around with an open can, you are asking for trouble) because it "looks bad to the tourists" they sort of look the other way if you bring a big insulated mug with a lid. If you get caught with drugs, you are definately getting arrested and charged. That's not to say that nobody gets high at Britt, they do, but they are very discreet about it.

Tramp Fest is usually held in some fairly remote location, close to a rail line. Since the tramps are all out in the middle of nowhere (one year at Portage, Wisconsin they were camped out on an island in the river, which was great except they had to walk a couple of miles to buy beer) mostly nobody cares what you do, as long as you don't rub the local cops' nose in it. If you hassle the local gendarmes, you can expect to go to jail. For something, anyway.

Be polite. Mind your business. "Leave no trace. Do no damage. Make no disturbance." If you demonstrate a little self discipline and a proper attitude, the cops will usually leave you in peace.

lepthebeard
03-23-2007, 12:12 AM
...yo KaBar2, check the 'crew change thread...got any answers for me? PM or otherwise

rolling nowhere
04-11-2007, 01:47 AM
dumpster pizza and library computers.

steelill
04-16-2007, 03:00 AM
The Amory Days are The 15th thru the 21st?

stay cruel
04-16-2007, 04:31 AM
I've always wanted to hop a train. Ever since I can remember I've been looking for random stuff around my town to explore.. Woods, trails, etc.. My friends and I have always been into that stuff. Maybe ill try freight hopping this summer.. I'm always up for adventure, however it may be hard to do with a part-time job working about 20 hours a week.

rolling nowhere
04-16-2007, 09:01 PM
I've always wanted to hop a train. Ever since I can remember I've been looking for random stuff around my town to explore.. Woods, trails, etc.. My friends and I have always been into that stuff. Maybe ill try freight hopping this summer.. I'm always up for adventure, however it may be hard to do with a part-time job working about 20 hours a week.

why would it be hard? quit the job and get a new one when you come home. unless youre like a part time brain surgeon or something its probably not a big deal you know?

KaBar2
04-17-2007, 01:34 AM
Stay cruel---

If you have not read Duffy Littlejohn's book "Hopping Freight Trains in America," you definately need to read it before you attempt to catch out. I hope I'm not being overly pretentious if I say READ THIS ENTIRE THREAD. There's a lot of good stuff on here, the best of which is a certain attitude about trainhopping and living a free life outdoors.

There is another good book called "Rolling Nowhere" by Ted Conover (he has written several books, all pretty good) and you should read it too, as well as Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild", the true story of the life and untimely death of Christopher McCandless, AKA "Alexander Supertramp."

People are going to do whatever they want to do, and I fully understand that, but here are a lot of aspects of train hopping that can be somewhat hazardous. You need to learn a few things before you catch out.

stay cruel
04-17-2007, 03:44 AM
Yeah I've been reading most of the stuff you've said since the beginning of the thread. A lot of interesting useful stuff. I might go down to my local library and see if those books are in, thanks for recommending them.

rolling nowhere
04-17-2007, 08:48 PM
Stay cruel---

If you have not read Duffy Littlejohn's book "Hopping Freight Trains in America," you definately need to read it before you attempt to catch out. I hope I'm not being overly pretentious if I say READ THIS ENTIRE THREAD. There's a lot of good stuff on here, the best of which is a certain attitude about trainhopping and living a free life outdoors.

There is another good book called "Rolling Nowhere" by Ted Conover (he has written several books, all pretty good) and you should read it too, as well as Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild", the true story of the life and untimely death of Christopher McCandless, AKA "Alexander Supertramp."

People are going to do whatever they want to do, and I fully understand that, but here are a lot of aspects of train hopping that can be somewhat hazardous. You need to learn a few things before you catch out.



what he said...

gonorea
04-18-2007, 04:21 PM
What a waste of time fuck this tread.

rolling nowhere
04-18-2007, 11:57 PM
go swallow some razor blades.

KaBar2
04-19-2007, 03:14 AM
You are absolutely right, "gonorea", this thread is absolutely a waste of your time. I wouldn't spend another millisecond here if I were you. Upwards and onwards to bigger and better things, my gram-negative friend. I just be Pen VK, you know? Bacteriocidal, and all like that. I can jus' be chillin', with my homie penicillin.

twoohsickness
04-19-2007, 06:08 AM
This is probably the best thread on 12oz. so intresting, reading the content doesn't even get boring. I was wondering, sometimes when im in the yard i see little messages on trains that lok kinda like tags. One i saw said "jenny from ohio i think your drop dead beautiful." I was wondering if thats a tramp thing? i normally see a few on every line. You guys are killin' it!

KaBar2
04-22-2007, 05:30 PM
Stretch called me from Cleveland, Ohio a couple of days ago. He is back at his old paid-under-the-table job, and camping out somewhere not too far from the job site, but I'm not too sure exactly where. He wants to get enough money together for a laptop computer that he can carry with him. After he makes a couple of paychecks, he's going to go visit his girlfriend in Pennsylvania and see Burlington, who lives there now, with her dog.

The hobo gathering at Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee is coming right up.

HOBO GATHERING
Casey Jones Village
Jackson, TN
Friday, April 27
Saturday, April 28

If you live anywhere close to Jackson, Tennessee, you should go, It's always a lot of fun.

serum
04-24-2007, 01:34 AM
Kabar, what do you think about jobs with the union pacific?
is it a good company to work for? or is it taboo for hobos?
just curious because i was offered a job in train service

rolling nowhere
04-27-2007, 07:24 PM
id jump on that job.
i wanted a railroad job but graffiti pretty much ruined that for me.

sloth loves chunk
05-01-2007, 07:53 PM
sometimes i'll run into people while i'm walking the tracks and i always wonder if they're a train hopper. is there any good way to ask? i've always wanted to see what people think of my area.

twoohsickness
05-02-2007, 06:44 AM
i talked to a dude the other day, he was definatly not hyped on my asking, but he talked to me for a minute. Nice guy.

KaBar2
05-03-2007, 12:04 AM
Railroad jobs with a major railroad that is union pay very well. Some of the smaller branch lines are non-union. I would avoid those. Working for the railroad means that you will be working long hours, often away from your home and family, under all kinds of shitty weather conditions. It also means you will eventually earn a railroad pension, you'll have great benefits, and the pay is pretty damned great for an industrial job.

It is a physically demanding job, and can be kind of dangerous, but today's railroads are very focused on working "accident-free," unlike the old days, when it was commonplace to see a railie missing a finger or two.

It's a little bit like serving in the armed forces, lots of rules and regulations, you go to work at all hours of the night, you're on call a lot, and you work whenever they need you. Still, it's not bad. I have a cousin who is an engineer in Alliance, Nebraska. He loves it.

Schnitzel
05-03-2007, 12:35 AM
Kabar why don't you tell us aboput some of the cops/ Bulls you have met through out your travels?
I assume as a train hopper you've bumped in to a few.
Have you had any funny encounters with them?

Sorry if this seems like I'm asking to be entertained but you tell a great story and i really enjoy reading them.

and it's been said before but this is one of the best threads on here.

Was reading abook by a guy called Bill Bryson the other day and he mentions in a chapter walking by some railroad tracks one night and seeing three figures huddled near the door of a boxcar going past.
as soon as I read it I thought "hmmm not a good practice being visible"

But he then goes on about how wonderful it is that even in America at the time (this was from the 80's) there are people still free out there and how exciting it would be to run alongside and fling himself in with them.

It's called "the lost continent" but that is literally the only mention of train hopping or anything like that in it.

KaBar2
05-05-2007, 03:42 PM
One of the benefits of not skylining yourself around rail yards is that you don't meet very many railroad special agents. I don't like riding into cities to begin with, and although I do scout rail yards in Houston occasionally, I am quite carefull to avoid attracting attention to myself.

Most of my bull encounters back in the day (1970's) were either unpleasant or just uneventful. The bulls out in the toolies were very laid back. I suspect a lot of them were retired city cops who had already had their fill of chasing crooks. They could tell that we weren't any threat just by looking at us. We were young, kind of hippy-ish, sort of altruistic. We weren't riding hot cargo, usually just empty revenue boxcars or gondolas. We weren't drinking heavily or using any sort of drugs, so the rural bulls would usually just say something like "I don't want to see you boys in this yard when they are kicking cars. When they start making up trains, you get out of their way. If I catch you on a unit, you're going to jail, understand? Be careful and stay well away from moving cars."
Other than that, we camped right in the middle of the yard. The evening that I met Rufe he was cooking camp coffee on a fire about ten feet from the mainline.

The bulls in town, though---that was a different story. They were generally younger and much more motivated. We ran from bulls in larger cities, and I got roughed up by the bulls in Pocatello, Idaho once, about 1972. The bulls in the larger cities seemed like frustrated wannabe police officers. It's like they wanted to be Cincinnatti cops or whatever, but they hadn't made the cut and wound up taking a special agent job for the railroad and feeling like it was a second-class police position where they weren't getting the respect they felt they deserved from other police officers. Consequently, every encounter was like their opportunity to make a felony arrest, and, they were rather cavalier with their use of force. They handcuffed people and marched them back to the bull shack or the yard office very ostentatiously. the whole atmosphere was like "I am the King of the Hill here, and you had damned well better acknowledge it. Just give me a reason to beat your ass senseless."

The way to deal with these sorts of people can best be summed up with Duffy Littlejohn's remarks about "The attitude test." Either you have the brains to act respectful and dumb, or you are stupid enough to talk shit to a police officer. I have managed to avoid several tickets for tresspassing by simply being civil. DO NOT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION. The bull says "Why are you in this railyard?" you say "I'm sorry, officer, I didn't know I was on railroad property here. I was looking for a place to camp." He says, "What's your name?" You say, "John Doe." (You do not say "I'm John Doe, I'm seventeen years old, I ran away from home last Tuesday and I've been riding freight trains all week.")
Lying to the cops is a bad idea, especially if they have a way of checking your story. And giving a false I.D. to a cop is a crime, too. Most of the time the cops will be reasonable unless they walk up on you while you are applying a crowbar to the IM freight box lock while smoking a joint and getting a blowjob from your underage girlfriend. If you use your brains, you can avoid even seeing the bull. If you act like an idiot, you re going to attract the attention of the bulls and probably the cops too.

KEEP A LOW PROFILE IN AND AROUND RAIL YARDS.

DO NOT SKYLINE YOURSELF.

"LEAVE NO TRACE.
DO NO DAMAGE.
MAKE NO DISTURBANCE."

serum
05-05-2007, 07:22 PM
Railroad jobs with a major railroad that is union pay very well. Some of the smaller branch lines are non-union. I would avoid those. Working for the railroad means that you will be working long hours, often away from your home and family, under all kinds of shitty weather conditions. It also means you will eventually earn a railroad pension, you'll have great benefits, and the pay is pretty damned great for an industrial job.

It is a physically demanding job, and can be kind of dangerous, but today's railroads are very focused on working "accident-free," unlike the old days, when it was commonplace to see a railie missing a finger or two.

It's a little bit like serving in the armed forces, lots of rules and regulations, you go to work at all hours of the night, you're on call a lot, and you work whenever they need you. Still, it's not bad. I have a cousin who is an engineer in Alliance, Nebraska. He loves it.

hey thanks kabar for the information. i just wanted to check that my idea of it and reality were on point.

theghostisclear
05-09-2007, 10:02 PM
The Haunter lives....

Wouldpkr
05-10-2007, 01:50 AM
Nice Haunter there, i caught a few on my last trip to the local-ish yard...
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/181/465721488_b557c8bed5.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wouldpkr/

thecarwreck
05-10-2007, 12:42 PM
I catch tons of those Haunters all the time...

but there's a moniker thread already. Back to the tramping.

Wouldpkr
05-10-2007, 11:23 PM
True true...
To keep it topical; Today i found one of the DeKalb,Il. jungles.
This one is near the coaling tower, been going over there for years now and i never stumbled upon it till today.
Its pretty big, pretty messy and seems kids have probobly hung out there more than anyone.
I think im gonna go all Kbar on its ass and clean it up just for the fun of it over the next few weeks... Maybe throw myself a little birthday party there if i can get it cleaned up in time...

KaBar2
05-12-2007, 03:14 AM
Once in a while I go down and check my jungles to see how things are doing. Sometimes some fucking idiot has trashed the place, but also sometimes people have brought in wood or refilled water jugs. One guy did a splendid job of cleaning up and reroofing the Eureka Hilton with black railroad plastic.

I don't do it because I expect it to stay squared away. I know that a lot of tramps and hobos have a fucked-up, low-self-esteem attitude, and will either wreck or steal anything good that is placed in the jungle. We even had some fucking streamliner burn the jungle table for firewood. What an asshole!

I do it because I enjoy it. When it's not fun anymore, I guess I'll quit doing it.

Flatswitch
05-13-2007, 10:00 PM
Great thread, I've been riding for around 4 years now myself. I've only gone through about 4 pages thus far, but I've enjoyed it. I have settled down a little bit as of late, accidentally getting my shit together here in New Orleans. I've become a part time rider now, which stresses me out a lot to be honest. Living outdoors with no bills, minimal stress and the company of my dog. Now I have bills, a house, truck, carpentry/custom millwork job... It's quite a change from coming into New Orleans in October with my pack, dog, and two empty water jugs. I've become a little worn out as of late, getting lymes disease while riding through Wisconsin a few years ago from a deer tick (who would have known that such a small bug would pack such a wallop!) But anywhoo, I thought I'd put a little addition to this topic. Say, KaBar, next time you speak to Stretch, tell him that Maxx (washtub fella) with Guthrie dog says hello. We met in Iowa at a truck stop when I was rubber-tramping with a friend last year right before Britt and also at Britt (where I had a great time, regardless of what a lot of the younger kids say about it).

When I have more time I'm going to run through the rest of this thread.
-cheers

anotherwhitekidwithabeard
05-14-2007, 09:30 PM
this thread is wicked interesting. ive always kept the idea of hopping a freight and living outdoors for a short while in the back of my head.

it sounds like quite the experience

KaBar2
05-17-2007, 11:42 PM
Flatswitch---
I talked to Stretch just a couple of days ago. He's back up in Cleveland, Ohio, working a warehouse/ fibreglas packing job. He operates a forklift, and serves as just an all-around jack-of-all-trades.

I'll tell him you said hello next time I talk to him.

I've always enjoyed Britt too. I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with something Ted Conover said in "Rolling Nowhere" about Britt.

"It's not real, but it is a lot of fun." There are a lot of people who have never been on a freight train in their lives who go to Britt and "dress up like hobos." When you think about it, this is sort of like people who have never been on a horse who love country-and-western dancing, wearing cowboy hats and attending the rodeo. They aren't real cowboys, but they are real rodeo fans! I guess a similar analogy might be football fans that love tailgating and who buy season's tickets to their favorite team's games, but who have never played football personally.

Eventually the law enforcement community is going to successfully make trainhopping nearly impossible. Too bad, but that seems to be the way things are headed.

Mellow
05-17-2007, 11:49 PM
Flatswitch---
I talked to Stretch just a couple of days ago. He's back up in Cleveland, Ohio, working a warehouse/ fibreglas packing job. He operates a forklift, and serves as just an all-around jack-of-all-trades.

I'll tell him you said hello next time I talk to him.

I've always enjoyed Britt too. I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with something Ted Conover said in "Rolling Nowhere" about Britt.

"It's not real, but it is a lot of fun." There are a lot of people who have never been on a freight train in their lives who go to Britt and "dress up like hobos." When you think about it, this is sort of like people who have never been on a horse who love country-and-western dancing, wearing cowboy hats and attending the rodeo. They aren't real cowboys, but they are real rodeo fans! I guess a similar analogy might be football fans that love tailgating and who buy season's tickets to their favorite team's games, but who have never played football personally.

Eventually the law enforcement community is going to successfully make trainhopping nearly impossible. Too bad, but that seems to be the way things are headed.

yeah it seems that my intrest in train hopping might be at the worst time because security is so tight these days with the threat of terrorist attacks and everything

sloth loves chunk
05-20-2007, 03:08 PM
i live in a normally large city where lines roll through roughly every 20-30 minutes or so on a good day. yesterday i was taking my girlfriend home and before i left i heard the usual whistle, but when we got down to her house i swear on my life we went right by two train hoppers. they looked younger, and i spend a lot of time up on the tracks. is there any good way to talk to these guys? i'm dead serious when i say i could probably talk to them for hours.

KaBar2
05-20-2007, 07:03 PM
Well, finding those exact same trainhoppers would be pretty difficult, but I'm sure you could find a few with whom to converse.

I scout out jungles by doing map reconnaisance and figuring out where a jungle is most likely to be. I correctly identified the jungle I use the most at present by looking at a map of Houston, following the rail lines and realizing that there just about had to be a jungle there. I searched around in some woods and eventually found the site of an old jungle. I dug up chunks of concrete arranged in a circle and a fire grate, buried under leaves and a couple of inches of loam. Judging by the number of streaks left on the hooch, I'd say our jungle is fairly popular. Somebody keeps burning up all our firewood, so I figure we get visitors from time to time.

If all you want is to talk to some tramps, try a few missions near a railyard. When I was a kid, we used to sneak around the old jungle west of the T & NO Junction (behind the present-day Fiesta store on Mykawa Road at I-10 in Houston) and spy on the tramps. We were kind of scared of them, but my friend Dusty would actually go up and talk to them and bring them cans of food filched from his mother's pantry. We were about ten or eleven. Dusty was a chronic runaway, and he would sometimes camp out near the jungle, to get away from his alcoholic mother.

One of the best ways to get to talk to tramps is to attend the National Hobo Convention held in Britt, Iowa every August. Like everything else, the National Hobo Convention has a website. www.hobo.com (http://www.hobo.com)

black crow
05-20-2007, 07:25 PM
hey kabar... I'm looking for a railroad map... if not north america then the east coast... im looking at going from Virginia to new york or alabama... I can't find any maps that are good and cheap... also I was wondering if you had been to either the manassas or springfield yard...

KaBar2
05-20-2007, 08:11 PM
The least expensive railroad maps I own, and quite possibly the most useful, are railroad maps I bought on eBay. They are not available all the time, but I have purchased maps published by five or six different railroads over the years. I usually wind up paying five or six dollars for one. Some I've gotten as cheaply as $3.00, and some for as much as $10. Genuine railroad maps are not readily available, so when I find one, I buy it. I have maps from Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, CSX and others.

For local traffic (in and around Houston) I make my own railroad maps from NEW street maps, by high-lighting all the rail lines, and then taping the creases with clear vinyl packing tape so the maps will not easily tear.

The other option is buying a (rather expensive) copy of the "Professional Railroad Atlas of North America" from DeskMap Systems, Inc., 3701 Executive Center Drive, Suite 101, Austin, Texas 78731. Phone: 512-346-9330. For pete's sake don't tell them you are interested in hopping trains. Tell them you are a rail fan and photographer.
www.deskmap.com (http://www.deskmap.com)

I think the Atlas is now in its Third Edition, and fairly expensive (I paid about $75 for the last one I bought, but they dropped the price to $25 after the Second Edition was published.). They are 8-1/2 x 11" paperbound books. The first edition had 80 pages. I would recommend PHOTOCOPYING the pages you think you will need and leaving the original at home. That way, if you get arrested, the cops cannot confiscate your maps and atlas.

More valuable than maps even is the Crew Change Guide. I covered this book in earlier posts, just search for Crew Change Guide. DO NOT CARRY YOUR ORIGINAL CCG WITH YOU, ONLY PHOTOCOPIES.

I've never been to the Mannassas Yard, but here's what the 2003 Crew Change Guide said about it:

"Mannassas (Norfolk Southern*) You can get a VRE commuter train here from Washington D.C. weekdays. Go S (south) from DT on Stonewall to INT of Stonewall & Wellington. The low brick buoilding at NE corner of that INT is YD office. This c-c for trains headed NBD to Hagerstown or SBD to Lynchburg, some GM work here too. Trains to/from Alexandria run through. If you see freight cars sitting on the siding just to the E side off the mainline, you can ask at the YD office where any of them may be going (Note: I doubt this is a good idea now, post 9/11) they are almost certainly waiting to be piucked up (duh--isn't EVERY sitting train car waiting to be picked up? The question is WHEN.) The c-c location here may change (it did), sometime in late 2002 or 2003, from right DT to suburban Bristow. "Exact c-c will be at Wellington RD, or "the Airport" or "Brickyard" depending on length." (Statements like this in quotes are direct quotes from a friendly yard worker or train crewman.)

Which Springfield are you referring to? What is it close to?

KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE VERY CLOSE TO BOTH WASHINGTON, D.C. AND QUANTICO, VA., WHERE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE C.I.A. IS LOCATED. IF YOU GET CAUGHT ON A TRAIN, EXPECT SERIOUS LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.

KaBar2
05-20-2007, 10:35 PM
Found another old photo from 2005. This is the first dry day we had at the Convention that year. It had rained for several days previously and everybody had wet boots. I had trench foot (immersion foot) from walking around in wet boots for a week. My feet hurt like hell, and I finally had to buy some flip-flop shower shoes. This was a shot taken while we were in the Boxcar at Britt. The Boxcar at Britt is an early model plug-door boxcar. NOTE THE DOOR IS ON AN EXTERIOR DOOR TRACK.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e280/KaBar2/Aug%20train%20trip%202005/KarbarinBoxcar2005.jpg

xen
05-21-2007, 06:05 PM
I have read the majority of this thread and it is what got from being interested in hopping to actually doing it. so far i lit out from nashville in a coal car and wound up having to jump off 35 miles from chatanooga and walking up the line to a small town somewhere. got hassled by the local cops that knew we had just fallen off a train. we were pretty drunk but had left the bottle under the bridge so we just got told that if we were seen again that night, we would go to jail. they circled us all night and as soon as the sun came up we walked about 8 miles up the track to where a train was stopped at a switch and we climbed up into a car hauling lava rocks. that took us through atlanta on down to jacksonville, fla. we lucked out because that was our destination. we thought we were about 5 miles out of town but in fact we were 18 miles out. we hitched on in and stayed for 5 weeks. we couldn't figure out where to catch a westbound out of there despite all our scouting, research, etc. we got drunk and i wound up on an empty coal car headed north and i have no idea where my buddy went. obviously i was very under prepared for this hop so i wound up climbing out of the car at manchester, ga to get some food, water, etc. they had a rail map on the wall overlooking a small yard ther and despite my best figuring, i wound up not in atlanta but montgomery, alabama. i think i have it figured out how to get to mobile from here but i have thought that before. my question is, how do you know where a line is going and if it will switch. i haven't worked up the nerve to ask the yard workers. i got yelled at when i jumped off the train here in montgomery. it was vital that i got off for need of provisions. in the preparadness, i know where i went wrong but i thought i had done all the figuring right as far as destination. by the way, if anyone asks, montgomery sucks. there is little work here and i also refuse to steal or panhandle so pass the word.

black crow
05-23-2007, 03:44 AM
The least expensive railroad maps I own, and quite possibly the most useful, are railroad maps I bought on eBay. They are not available all the time, but I have purchased maps published by five or six different railroads over the years. I usually wind up paying five or six dollars for one. Some I've gotten as cheaply as $3.00, and some for as much as $10. Genuine railroad maps are not readily available, so when I find one, I buy it. I have maps from Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, CSX and others.

For local traffic (in and around Houston) I make my own railroad maps from NEW street maps, by high-lighting all the rail lines, and then taping the creases with clear vinyl packing tape so the maps will not easily tear.

The other option is buying a (rather expensive) copy of the "Professional Railroad Atlas of North America" from DeskMap Systems, Inc., 3701 Executive Center Drive, Suite 101, Austin, Texas 78731. Phone: 512-346-9330. For pete's sake don't tell them you are interested in hopping trains. Tell them you are a rail fan and photographer.
www.deskmap.com (http://www.deskmap.com)

I think the Atlas is now in its Third Edition, and fairly expensive (I paid about $75 for the last one I bought, but they dropped the price to $25 after the Second Edition was published.). They are 8-1/2 x 11" paperbound books. The first edition had 80 pages. I would recommend PHOTOCOPYING the pages you think you will need and leaving the original at home. That way, if you get arrested, the cops cannot confiscate your maps and atlas.

More valuable than maps even is the Crew Change Guide. I covered this book in earlier posts, just search for Crew Change Guide. DO NOT CARRY YOUR ORIGINAL CCG WITH YOU, ONLY PHOTOCOPIES.

I've never been to the Mannassas Yard, but here's what the 2003 Crew Change Guide said about it:

"Mannassas (Norfolk Southern*) You can get a VRE commuter train here from Washington D.C. weekdays. Go S (south) from DT on Stonewall to INT of Stonewall & Wellington. The low brick buoilding at NE corner of that INT is YD office. This c-c for trains headed NBD to Hagerstown or SBD to Lynchburg, some GM work here too. Trains to/from Alexandria run through. If you see freight cars sitting on the siding just to the E side off the mainline, you can ask at the YD office where any of them may be going (Note: I doubt this is a good idea now, post 9/11) they are almost certainly waiting to be piucked up (duh--isn't EVERY sitting train car waiting to be picked up? The question is WHEN.) The c-c location here may change (it did), sometime in late 2002 or 2003, from right DT to suburban Bristow. "Exact c-c will be at Wellington RD, or "the Airport" or "Brickyard" depending on length." (Statements like this in quotes are direct quotes from a friendly yard worker or train crewman.)

Which Springfield are you referring to? What is it close to?

KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE VERY CLOSE TO BOTH WASHINGTON, D.C. AND QUANTICO, VA., WHERE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE C.I.A. IS LOCATED. IF YOU GET CAUGHT ON A TRAIN, EXPECT SERIOUS LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.



http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111528634918172995629.00000112129eb7f895c09&ll=38.796641,-77.121277&spn=0.096194,0.160847&z=13&om=1

thats the springfield yard... I've never been but id be interested in going... I think im going to catch out of lorton next to I-95 to go south to richmond maybe...

here's where:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111528634918172995629.00000112129eb7f895c09&om=1&ll=38.729983,-77.196293&spn=0.096284,0.160847&z=13

my ultimate goal is troy alabama though...

KaBar2
05-24-2007, 03:36 AM
Xen---

Sounds like you've had quite the adventure. I would highly recommend that:

a.) You do not drink alcohol while hopping, period. Most trainhoppers that get hurt or killed have been drinking or drugging. Save the booze for the post-hopping "afterglow".

b.) Get some gear. You need a bindle---a sleeping bag or a couple of blankets, maybe a 5x8 camouflage tarp, maybe a Wal-Mart sleeping mat. Cardboard works pretty good if you have nothing else between you and the ground. ALWAYS TAKE A COAT, A HAT, GLOVES AND WORK BOOTS.

c.) Do NOT get on a train without FOOD AND WATER. Shit, are you fucking suicidal or what? For god's sake at least take a couple of gallons of water.

d.) You learn where the trains go by experience, or because you have a map, or a Crew Change Guide or all three. Best of all, get an experienced hopper to show you the ropes. Getting on a train of which you do not know the destination is pretty dangerous. Once in a while it turns out to be a disaster, not simply inconvenient or unpleasant.

KaBar2
05-24-2007, 03:55 AM
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178310&Sequence=0 (http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178310&Sequence=0&res=high)

KaBar2
05-24-2007, 03:57 AM
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178428&Sequence=0 (http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178428&Sequence=0&res=high)

KaBar2
05-24-2007, 03:58 AM
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178429&Sequence=0 (http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178429&Sequence=0&res=high)

KaBar2
05-24-2007, 04:00 AM
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178316&Sequence=1 (http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/View?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178316&Sequence=1&res=high)

black crow
05-24-2007, 11:21 PM
it don't work... :[

serum
05-25-2007, 05:51 AM
well i was offered the position in train service with union pacific and very reluctantly i had to
turn it down. basically after training they put you wherever they want and you can and will be
transferred multiple times to places in the middle of nowhere all according to seniority and
thoughs that want to live where you are living. i was basically told that most train service people
live out of trailors and must go from place to place as duty calls. the money is great
but i just didnt want to sign over my soul to satan.

serum
05-25-2007, 05:54 AM
oh yeah and the man i met with said that his daughter is 36 and he is lucky if he saw her 10 years of her life.
i have a definite respect for people in the railroad but thats ridiculous that
you have to give up your family and set place to live for the rest of your life.

YourSistersAssCookie
05-26-2007, 03:34 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b81/robb307/IMG_0010.jpg

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:25 PM
http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/f3f1.jpg?grAHiWGBoHzKmmNH

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:28 PM
Texas Madman; unidentified; King of Hobos, Frog; and King of Hobos, Road Hog

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/9eb2.jpg?grAHiWGBYWjn3CuJ

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:30 PM
Honoring the grave of the famous hobo, Mountain Dew. M.A.D. Mary on far left in background, Adman and Texas Madman observing.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/6cd5.jpg?groWiWGBxYEb6UtB

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:32 PM
The Great Patriarch of Hobos, Steam Train Maury Graham, in his prime.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/6575.jpg?groWiWGBBB0FmUCY

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:35 PM
Iowa Blackie, preparing to catch out

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/37df.jpg?groWiWGBgeTciKhj

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:41 PM
Two very experienced young railriders, Dritz and Jen. Jen rode into Britt by herself one year on the Hi-Line from Portland to Minneapolis, down to Mason City and then to Britt.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/3557.jpg?groWiWGBEpQKzmmr

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:45 PM
New York Slim has been hoboing since the end of the Vietnam War

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/e23e.jpg?grQmiWGBSAn1MWqF

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 08:55 PM
New York Maggie, Slim Tim and Connecticut Shorty, all children of the late and famous hobo, Connecticut Slim. Tim manages a gas station. Maggie and Shorty travel all over the U.S. in a small, van-based motor home, working wherever they stop, usually at motor home parks and places like that. The two sisters are retired from the careers they had as working adults.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/3586.jpg?grQmiWGBViMF3jXa

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:03 PM
Yours truly, trying to recover from immersion foot in the boxcar at Britt

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/ff13.jpg?gr41iWGB_IqUgcPo

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:07 PM
Queen of Hobos, Lady Nightingale; of the National Hobo Gospel Singers.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/58e3.jpg?gr41iWGB598jhKKo

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:12 PM
Pickin' and grinnin' at the jungle in Britt. Graincar George on far left (with drums), Banjo Rik Palieri, unidentified, unidentified. On the wall in the background is a picture of Stretch leading Burlington Dog on a leash.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/51a8.jpg?gr41iWGBg.u8wjXm

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:21 PM
The irrespressible Dante Fuchwa, of the Boxcar Boys Ranch. He rode the rails since he was demobilized at the end of the Vietnam War. He is a VERY funny guy, but also a very tough guy, and nobody to fuck around with. He was a LRRP in Vietnam.


http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/9d7f.jpg?grgFjWGBqxwL0avX

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:33 PM
Taz leading the charge on the "Opening of the Boxcar" before the official Convention starts. This requires five or six strong men, as it has been sealed since the previous August. Preacher Steve of the Boxcar Boys Ranch stands to Taz' left.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/43af.jpg?grgFjWGBI2KSCl4j

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:43 PM
The Collinwood Kid, King of the Dumpster Divers. This guy dumpster dives computers, stereo equipment, TV's, tons of food and shares out with anyone who needs it.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/58cd.jpg?grIVjWGBRMAXNUIE

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:48 PM
Liberty Justice (R) and an unidentified saw player. This guy is a great guitar player and singer, but he destroyed his lungs smoking cigarettes and now he has to take an oxygen bottle everywhere he goes. He says "Hey, kids, DON'T SMOKE CIGARETTES." Or anything else for that matter.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/86d6/__sr_/6770.jpg?grIVjWGBsdtfRTHd

KaBar2
05-27-2007, 09:57 PM
Entertainment in the jungle at Britt. Danville Dan (seated), The Baloney Kid from Sandwich, Illinois (guitar) and his bass player whose name escapes me right now. Dan was living in his car up at Britt. He had removed the passenger seat and was sleeping on a couple of wooden pallets covered with cardboard. He was selling walking sticks for $3 to raise money for gas and singing for a share of the "passed hat" in the jungle.

http://f9g.yahoofs.com/groups/g_19677348/b022/__sr_/532c.jpg?grwkjWGB7_HrX3h_

black crow
05-28-2007, 10:32 PM
it's a shame none of the pictures work...

KaBar2
05-29-2007, 02:33 AM
Black Crow---

I don't understand it, they show up fine for me. Can anybody else see them?

serum
05-29-2007, 04:54 AM
they show up on my pc but not on my mac.

black crow
05-29-2007, 12:25 PM
hmmmm... im on a mac... i tried firefox, internet explorer, and safari... none of them worked... odd...

gonorea
05-29-2007, 05:09 PM
You motherfuckers are so gay following the footsteps of a Hobo bum crusted son a bitch that does nothing for this country.
You kids a corny,stupid,ignorant,queers,idiots for bieng part of this tread....
p.s Kebeber mis bolas to the 3rd, shut the fuck up annoying asshole...

Mellow
05-29-2007, 10:07 PM
fuck off gonorea if you are being serious

YourSistersAssCookie
05-29-2007, 10:10 PM
Homelessness is in
showering is out.

Mellow
05-31-2007, 12:45 AM
yo kabar if you have any quick info on catching out in MA then hit me up
thanks

KaBar2
06-03-2007, 01:57 AM
Mello--What part of Massachusetts are you in? The main route east-west is the CSX line that runs from Boston to Worcester to Springfield to Albany, NY; to Syracuse to Rochester to Buffalo and down the Lake to Cleveland, Ohio. I wouldn't go south from Boston, personally, but that's just me. "Go west," that's my advice.

Anybody that finds my posts, opinions or beliefs annoying is certainly free to go elsewhere. Last time I looked, this thread was clearly marked. If ya don't like it, don't come here and then it won't bother you. Some people just love to make themselves unhappy. What a waste of time and effort. (Let's see, where is that "Ignore" button again?)

KaBar2
06-03-2007, 05:50 PM
While looking into the effects of diesel exhaust on human beings, in terms of being stuck on a train within a tunnel, I came across the following surprising information:

"Another quote from the technical literature summarizes much of what can be found there. The following is from an American essay by Dennis S. Lachtman, Director for Health Engineering for the EIMCO Mining Machinery company in a section subtitled: "NO significant human hazard seen in over 20 studies."
"A number of studies evaluating human response to exposure of Diesel have included experience among Diesel bus workers, Diesel railroad workers, and metal and non-metal miners working with Diesel production equipment and underground. There are more than 20 human health studies involving working populations exposed to Diesel exhaust emissions. As can be seen from a careful review of these studies, NO SIGNIFICANT health hazards have been associated with exposures to Diesel exhaust emissions.
More recently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has reported on epidemiological studies it has performed in underground mines. One of these studies included an MSHA and NIOSH joint study of the relationship between the underground environments in 22 metal and non-metal mines looking at the health of more than 5000 miners. This comprehensive study focuses on the health effects of both silica dust and other substances including those found in Diesel exhaust. … The researchers reported that the data showed an ABSENCE of harmful effects from Diesel exhaust."

A major engineering textbook from 1998, which should contain just about everything one needs to know about Diesel emissions. is entitled: Handbook of Air Pollution from Internal Combustion Engines with the subtitle Pollutant Formation and Control. The book is co-authored by a dozen of the world's leading experts on automotive emissions. It should be an excellent source of information on precisely how one might kill people with Diesel exhaust. But in the entire 550 page book, which is rather typical of all other books one can find on this subject, there was only one sentence relevant to our subject.

"Although carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are regulated, they will not be considered here, as the Diesel engine combustion process by definition inhibits the production of CO."
In other words, the toxic effects from carbon monoxide in Diesel exhaust, including long-term effects, were just not worth bothering with as a pollutant of any kind.

The contaminants in diesel exhaust which smells so bad are called aldehydes, to which human beings are very sensitive and which can be detected by the human nose in very low concentrations. This odor is distressing, but not very harmful. Even at the greatest concentrations of diesel exhaust caused by engines operating under maximum load, it would require several hours of exposure to diesel exhaust to inhale enough carbon monoxide to hurt you. Diesel exhaust contains a great deal of oxygen that is not burned in the combustion process, and rather low concentrations of carbon monoxide. So whle being exposed to a heavy concentration of diesel exhaust is quite unpleasant, it is not very likely at all to actually kill someone, and certainly not within a time period of several hours.
This is NOT TRUE of gasoline engines, whose exhaust contains a high percentage of carbon monoxide and very little unburned oxygen, and which will kill one pretty quickly. It is also not true of coal smoke, which also contains a high percentage of carbon monoxide.

The bottom line is that wet bandanas and breathing through the sleeve of your jacket is a fairly effective way of eliminating the suspended SMOKE PARTICLES out of the air you would breathe while on board a freight train in a tunnel. A Mine Safety Administration (MSA) smoke/dust mask would probably work even better.

Scarred Bars
06-07-2007, 05:00 AM
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b81/robb307/IMG_0010.jpg

he looks like seen :lol:

kobe bryant
06-07-2007, 07:10 AM
kabar, how old are you? if you dont mind me asking.

Ref
06-07-2007, 04:28 PM
this is some deep shit
and yeah Kabar should write a book

KaBar2
06-09-2007, 01:58 AM
Kobe Bryant---

I'm 57. Another ten years and I can retire from working a regular job. I was a little younger in some of these photographs, like 55 or so.

When I was a teenager I always thought that "old people" never had any fun, they never had adventures, never enjoyed anything. I chalk that up to the self-centeredness of youth, I guess. I still have a good time, although I have slowed down some. It's hard to believe that thirty years have gone by since I enlisted in the Marines. I guess that was the first "responsible adult" thing I ever did. I was 26 when I enlisted. Another nine months and I would have been too old to get in at all without a waiver from Headquarters Marine Corps.

I have never ridden as many trains recently as I did when I was younger, but last October I was on the rails for a month with my friend Stretch and his dog Burlington. That was the most stress-free month I've spent since I was in my twenties. One of the best parts of that trip was several days we spent under an overpass that crossed over the Norfolk Southern tracks. It was raining and cold and muddy, and we just sat around a spike bucket and kept a fire going with all the scrap wood we could scrounge up. We cooked coffee in a gunboat sitting on top of a railroad tie plate sitting on the open top of the spike bucket. The gunboat we scored out of a restaurant dumpster. The water we got about a block away at the famous Artesian Well in the middle of Jackson. We made pizza soup a few times. It's great. If you get some stale, dry pizza or pizza crusts, you just boil them up with whatever you got, in a gunboat. The pizza dough disintegrates and makes a great stew binder. We would usually cook up pizza soup along with macaroni and some sort of sausage.

Trainhopping in winter, or even in the fall, requires one to be pretty damn well-prepared. I don't think I took off my insulated coveralls completely more than three or four times during the entire month of October. Went I was younger I would have never caught out north in October. The Fall and Winter I always spent in a warm climate like Texas, Arizona or California. When I was catching out in the summer, I always went up to the Pacific Northwest where it's nice and cool. (Well, cooler than Texas anyway.)

getursaladtossd
06-09-2007, 03:36 AM
have you ever came threw detroit?

KaBar2
06-10-2007, 12:03 AM
I've never actually ridden a train through Detroit. The line I was on went through Battle Creek, Lansing, Flint and Port Huron, where I got off the train and went into Canada. The closest I got to the Motor City was about fifty miles or so. I have been through it hitchhiking though, about 1971 or '72. It was just beginning to fall on real hard times back then. After the Detroit riots of 1967 the whole city started going downhill. I just passed through as quickly as I could, Detroit had a reputation back then for being a real violent city and I didn't know anybody I could crash with or anything like that.

manic_dm
06-10-2007, 12:08 AM
damn...i do not feel like reading all that...

KaBar2
06-10-2007, 12:16 AM
Here's a few photos of hobos and tramps taken at the Water Valley Hobo Gathering. Some of them are retired tramps who don't really ride anymore, some of them are "hobos at heart" who have never been tramps, some of them are children or family members of well-known hobos and a few are full-time riders still.

http://www.watervalley.net/www.watervalley.net/users/caseyjones/hobo/hobo06.htm

http://www.watervalley.net/users/caseyjones/hobo.htm


http://www.watervalley.net/users/caseyjones/hobo/9590.jpg

National Hobo King Iwegan and National Hobo Queen, Miss Charlotte

Iwegin is a full-time, 24-7 tramp.

manic_dm
06-10-2007, 12:21 AM
who needs pictures when you could just go around town....

kobe bryant
06-10-2007, 05:44 AM
yea, detroit hasnt changed.

dylanresistance
06-10-2007, 05:45 AM
who needs pictures when you could just go around town....

because im tired of walking arould, searching for HOBOS.

YourSistersAssCookie
06-12-2007, 12:09 PM
he looks like seen :lol:
THIS MADE ME LAUGH

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b81/robb307/IMG_0010.jpg

rolling nowhere
06-12-2007, 04:48 PM
some junky scumbag left his/her syringes laying around at eureka.
fuckin jerks.

Mellow
06-12-2007, 06:44 PM
Mello--What part of Massachusetts are you in? The main route east-west is the CSX line that runs from Boston to Worcester to Springfield to Albany, NY; to Syracuse to Rochester to Buffalo and down the Lake to Cleveland, Ohio. I wouldn't go south from Boston, personally, but that's just me. "Go west," that's my advice.

Anybody that finds my posts, opinions or beliefs annoying is certainly free to go elsewhere. Last time I looked, this thread was clearly marked. If ya don't like it, don't come here and then it won't bother you. Some people just love to make themselves unhappy. What a waste of time and effort. (Let's see, where is that "Ignore" button again?)

im from metrowest area, about 20min from boston
hit me up on pm's if you can...

Mellow
06-12-2007, 06:47 PM
oh, and thanks for the info!

DONTTRIP
06-13-2007, 06:19 AM
KaBar, much respect for your info and patience with us youngsters and the occasional jackass. I've got a couple thousand miles under my belt and am looking to add to that this summer. I've ridden from Oakland to Roseville twice on gm trains, and from Roseville to Portland twice also on gm. Feather River Canyon is a real life changer. I've also hopped blindly from Portland to Hinkle on a vision quest where I lucked out on the ride back to the city of bridges on an autorack with an open door carrying Dodge Durangos. I surey got what i was searching for... What a sweetride; keys in the ignition, air conditioner on blast!

I'm planning on taking the High Line to MPLS from SEA. I've got a CCG and I know a good spot to hop out from Seattle. I'll be riding a DS or piggyback. From what I gather, you don't favor either mode, but I've got good information on how to do both. My question is this: How hot is the High Line right now? I know that Spokane and Havre are my big risks, but I was hoping that you could fill me in on any new developments since 2005.

Also: What is your opinion on riding piggy back? I've heard that the axles of the trailers provide a substantial hiding place. Piggy backs are also the fastest cargo, no?

Again, much respect for sharing. I read your posts everyday. And yes, you need to write a book. But you still got a few more years of travel, you aint dead yet!

Keep it up.

KaBar2
06-14-2007, 11:20 PM
DONTTRIP--

It sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on things already. The problem with the Hi-Line is that if you get arrested the judges are pretty harsh up there. I heard they were giving regular sentences of six months, then that dropped to ninety days. The last I heard it was thirty days. Still, thirty days is a pretty harsh sentence for riding on a freight train. If you are a full-time 24-7 tramp, well it's inconvenient, but hardly a genuine deterrent. But if you are a part-timer with an apartment and a girlfriend and a job, thirty days could really mess up your life.

I still think if you follow the rules you could ride the Hi-Line without getting busted. I tend to think most people who get arrested are either careless or skylarking. Or both.

LEAVE NO TRACE. DO NO DAMAGE. MAKE NO DISTURBANCE.

A good hobo is like a ghost. You never quite get a good look at him.

KaBar2
06-18-2007, 10:54 PM
So Boxcarro, let me get this straight-- you are a Yankee-hating, train-riding, Southern Jewish hobo? Who has an ongoing feud with Flatcar Frank? Gee, I always thought Frank was a pretty laid back, easygoing kind of guy. Maybe you could explain this feud in greater detail.

Wouldpkr
06-19-2007, 05:04 AM
Story i googled upon and it instantly reminded me of reading Kbars storys...
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,1424960,nodelay=1
Exerpt:
I ride freight trains in the belief that I can trust myself, that I deserve to be trusted even to be a reckless fool if circumstances so turn out--and, after all, if I am dead as a result of my own folly, I am no worse off than if I died safely and soberly. The most cogent thing that can be said against train-hopping is that it is the unauthorized borrowing of others' property--that of corporations, not fellow citizens who would be inconvenienced. I am a microbe hitching a ride on an elephant's trunk! Besides, so many of my proudest deeds have been unauthorized by somebody that I now subscribe to an aphorism by Georg Lukács: Breaking a law is approximately as weighty a matter as missing a train. And when the train throbs and hisses on the track, I'm not going to miss it, not unless some other law begs me for violation! All the same, I am proud to say that I have always followed the advice of an old black hobo I once met in Roseville: Never steal anything but a ride.

William T. Vollmann
If ya have about a half hour or so its worth the read.

xteriormotive
06-19-2007, 05:39 AM
he looks like seen :lol:

thats what i thought when i saw it

[mania]
06-25-2007, 03:03 AM
kabar,


what's your take on graffiti on freights and whatnot?

thought it would be interesting to hear since your probably exposed to it alot, and since this is technically a graff website.

thanks.

xen
06-26-2007, 06:49 PM
http://s40.photobucket.com/albums/e239/baskone/?action=view&current=schedule.jpg


http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e239/baskone/untitled1.jpg
I was hoping someone could explain what the cutoff part means. thanks

KaBar2
06-27-2007, 12:34 AM
As I've said before, I'm more an admirer of grafitti than a writer. I decided some time ago that being a worthwhile grafitti writer requires a degree of artistic talent that I do not possess. Rather that go around fucking up perfectly good clean cars, I just admire it. Sometimes I streak cars with "KABAR" or "K-BAR."
Stretch writes "Stretch and Burlington Dog K-9" followed by XX's for the number of years Burl had been alive and riding trains underlined by some railroad tracks.

It is true that 12 Oz. is a grafitti website, but this forum is officially for anything to do with trains. I pretty much stay off of the grafitti forums, and restrict myself to the one spot where I feel that discussing my interests is appropriate. So far, it has not been a problem for anybody, I guess.

[mania]
06-27-2007, 12:52 AM
ah.

well thank you for replying.

KaBar2
07-01-2007, 12:30 AM
If anybody has tried to IM me and found my IM turned "off", I apologize. I'm not exactly computer savvy, so sometimes this sort of shit slides by me. I thought I had turned it on a long time ago, but maybe I didn't. Wierd shit, like "That's funny--I don't remember doing that. . ." (cue creepy Stephen King music.)

Nothing much happening, the weather in Houston has been rainy and shitty. Typical. The entire city is like some equatorial mudhole, HOT, STEAMY and BUG-INFESTED.

Summertime is a good time to go ride the Hi-Line. Unfortunately, I have to work! Sucks.

KaBar2
07-01-2007, 12:54 AM
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/Thumbnail?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178310&Width=100&Height=100&Sequence=0 (http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=4073296&a=31096354&p=67178310)

Mellow
07-01-2007, 01:17 AM
thanks for all the info kabar

M_I
08-13-2007, 07:39 AM
KABAR!!

have you ever been through Rochester, upstate NY???

pm if necessary!

rolling nowhere
08-15-2007, 12:10 AM
the slowest train on earth. MAYBE 40 miles in 24 hours. the junkiest of the junk.

M_I
08-15-2007, 04:23 AM
^was that in response to my post?
(just wondering)

soupfingers2
08-16-2007, 03:00 AM
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d105/TravisM420/P1030379.jpg

Mellow
08-16-2007, 03:44 AM
this isnt a thread where you should post that picture

M_I
08-18-2007, 08:11 AM
KABAR!!

have you ever been through Rochester, upstate NY???

pm if necessary!

bump....and anyone can answer lol....

TURBO DOG
08-18-2007, 05:33 PM
some junky scumbag left his/her syringes laying around at eureka.
fuckin jerks.



YO D-MAN...... THAT WAS ME...... THERES A TRAIL FROM EUREKA TO MEMORIAL

DOWN TO WILLOW BEND!!! ALL USED SYRINGES....THEY TRAIL STRETCHES OUT TO SUGARLAND

THEN ONTO ROSENBERG....THEN TO EAGLE LAKE......OFFF THROUGH COLOMBUS AND WEIMAR AND

SCHULENBERRG,,,, ONTO FLATONIA....GOES INTO SHINER....THEN ON TO THE NEXT TOWN.....ALL

THE WAY INTO SAN ANTONIO....


HAVE FUN PICKIN THEM UP...


YO SFR IS MAD JUNKIES YO!!!!

KaBar2
08-19-2007, 04:09 PM
Nope, I can't recall ever riding through Rochester, N.Y. I rode mostly in the West.

KaBar2
08-20-2007, 11:09 PM
New 2007 King of Hobos--King Tuck, of Minneapolis, MN.
Tuck is a long-time rail rider, close friend with Preacher Steve, Dog Man Tony, the late Shot Down Wills and Eight-Ball and the rest of the Boys. In the last few years, genuine rail riding tramps have been elected King.

http://hobo.com/tuck.jpg


King Tuck and his Queen, Lady Sonshine, of Maine, at their election in Britt.

http://hobo.com/k&q2.jpg

KaBar2
08-20-2007, 11:37 PM
Sorry, double post.

rolling nowhere
08-20-2007, 11:40 PM
YO D-MAN...... THAT WAS ME...... THERES A TRAIL FROM EUREKA TO MEMORIAL

DOWN TO WILLOW BEND!!! ALL USED SYRINGES....THEY TRAIL STRETCHES OUT TO SUGARLAND

THEN ONTO ROSENBERG....THEN TO EAGLE LAKE......OFFF THROUGH COLOMBUS AND WEIMAR AND

SCHULENBERRG,,,, ONTO FLATONIA....GOES INTO SHINER....THEN ON TO THE NEXT TOWN.....ALL

THE WAY INTO SAN ANTONIO....


HAVE FUN PICKIN THEM UP...


YO SFR IS MAD JUNKIES YO!!!!

i had no idea you guys were into that shit... i mean i know you guys paint some junky graffiti like its 1978 or something..but i would have never guessed you were actual junkies. very interesting.

we were riding back to austin 3 weeks ago and had to jump off our train in weimar after we got spotted in columbus by a train in the siding. it was fuckin lame. we had been sitting on the train in some middle of nowhere siding for like 12 hours then we rolled like 10 or 15 miles into that stupid little eagle lake yard and sat there for like 12 more hours. this was like the slowest train on earth. just when we were about to get off the train and say fuck it i heard them say they were ready to go and we finally start rolling at a decent pace and we get seen and some fool called it in. lucky i had the scanner on... we were creeping by a train in the siding in weimar im pretty sure they were looking for us but we jumped off and went to chill at a gas station. some weimar cop asked us like 10 times how we got there. i think he knew what was up. i guess he didnt really care oh well...

i need to get g-ma's number so next time she can have some chicken fried steaks waiting. ha!

Flatswitch
08-21-2007, 08:48 PM
Glad I went this year, I had fun. Also, I made up Tuck's shirt in that last photo. One of the boys! I just wish Minneapolis Jewel would have won for queen.

(edit) Also, was able to meet Buzz Blurr, which was fuckin' awesome.

M_I
08-22-2007, 02:16 AM
Nope, I can't recall ever riding through Rochester, N.Y. I rode mostly in the West.

thanks...just wondering...

no offense, but being a trainhopper seems kinda cool until stuff like THIS->[/URL] happens...im not blamming anyone or anything, its just a rather scary local event that i wouldnt want to be part of....

[url]http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/8064627.html (http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/8064627.html)

rolling nowhere
08-22-2007, 10:00 PM
thanks...just wondering...

no offense, but being a trainhopper seems kinda cool until stuff like THIS->[/URL] happens...im not blamming anyone or anything, its just a rather scary local event that i wouldnt want to be part of....

[url]http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/8064627.html (http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/8064627.html)

dont hang around scumfuck jerks and you dont have to worry about that shit too much...

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:02 PM
It's hard to say what could have possibly happened up on that rooftop in Philadelphia. When you've got a lot of people who are drinking heavily and using drugs, it could have been just about anything--an argument over a girl, a drug deal gone bad, a drug debt unpaid, a betrayal of some sort---who knows? Only the people involved.

This sort of unfortunate incident seems to occasionally occur in a variety of settings, and is certainly not characteristic of trainhoppers in general, but there are some bad apples in every barrel. I've never seen this sort of aggression among any of the people I rode with but twice. Once it was an argument over a girl and which group with whom she was going to leave (her "ol' man" insisted she was going with him and his group, and she preferred to depart with another guy and his group, leading to an ugly brawl) and another time a streamliner tried to steal someone's bindle in camp and the guys present gave him a sort of ineffectual thumping (everybody involved was drunk.) The thumpee wasn't hurt very much.

Most disputes are settled with some loud talk and one or both of the belligerants leaving camp.

If you mind your own business and acknowledge the basic rules of hobo ettiquette, you aren't likely to get in much trouble.

1.) Ask permission to enter someone else's jungle. The jungle is their home, so treat it with respect.

2.) Offer to contribute something to the frisco if you want to share in the food or beverages. Food is best, but other things are usually accepted too. If you have absolutely nothing (hey, it happens) they will probably let you share anyway, but you should help out by shagging firewood, volunteering to go get water, etc. Tobacco is okay for a contribution, and so is alcohol or money. If you give money, don't get any ideas of entitlement. Money usually goes for beer or wine, and when the booze is gone, it's time to pony up again if you want to be part of the frisco. I once saw a guy contribute a roll of toilet paper to the frisco, and it was welcomed.

3.) Don't relieve yourself near camp. Twenty-five yards away is about right to take a piss if you are drinking, and maybe fifty to take a dump. Dig a cat-hole and bury it. If the camp can smell it, you are way too close. Dump dishwater away from camp.

4.) Do not assume that any 5-gallon plastic bucket you see is okay to use as a seat. Sometimes this is true, especially if there are a lot of buckets around, but sometimes buckets belong to individual people. Also, some buckets are used for drinking water only and are never used for anything else. They are usually marked. Pay attention.

5.) If you use a pot, pan or gunboat, YOU are responsible for washing it. Leaving dirty, filthy unwashed pots and pans around the jungle is sure to piss everybody off. Clean gunboats are usually left upside down on a stick driven into the ground near the fire ring. Just because a gunboat is a little rusty doesn't mean that it is ruined. I've cooked in freshly washed rusty gunboats many times. (Always wash a pot before you cook in it.)

6.) BURN ALL TRASH. Good, clean newspapers should be stashed for future use somewhere they will stay dry. If you throw shit on the ground in the jungle, your reputation will suffer and people will get an attitude. Show some respect. "Keep a Clean Camp."

7.) Treat all women with respect. Be polite, but keep your distance from other tramps' girlfriends or wives. The worst fights I've ever seen were caused by someone disrespecting a woman or girl. If you make a pass at another guy's woman, you could wind up getting seriously hurt or even killed. STAY AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE'S WOMEN. Sometimes a girl actually gets a kick out of having two men fight over her, and may give you the idea she welcomes your advances. USE YOUR BRAIN.

8.) Do not touch someone else's bindle, pack, boots or anything else without permission. Water jugs are not considered "common property", although most tramps share water with their buddies if it is scarce. You should carry a cup of some kind. If you ask for water, pour it into a cup. Drinking straight from someone else's jug is rude, not to mention unsanitary.

9.) Do not ask someone how much money they have, whether they have a scanner or a radio or anything that might be construed as trying to find out about other people's finances. Tramps usually don't have much, but they are very protective of what they do have. They might give you half of their money or food or whatever, but they will fight like a tiger if you try to take something from them by force.
If you have money, DO NOT FLASH IT AROUND. Do not keep all your money in one place. Be as generous as you can be, but remember that most tramps have enormous unmet needs. Whatever you've got--food, money, alcohol, tobacco, whatever---they need it. If you start supporting other people with what you've got, pretty soon they are going to become "entitled" and think that you "owe" them something. After all, you're rich, right? So why can't you just give them what they need?

10.) Do not assume that you can pet every dog you see. Some tramps use their dog as protection and as a gear guard. They will resent anyone trying to make friends with their dogs. ASK PERMISSION before touching anybody's dog, and do not offer dogs food. If the tramp says "No," or "I'd rather you didn't," respect that. It's his dog. He probably has good reasons for not wanting you to touch his dog.

Some idiots think it's fun to tease or roughhouse with someone else's dog. NEVER DO THIS, you're just asking for trouble if you do. You might get bit, or you might piss off the tramp and wind up having to fight.

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:24 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/StewCooks.jpg

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:30 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/StewCooking.jpg

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:33 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/Crash1.jpg

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:38 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/Frog.jpg

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:40 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/RodAdman_small.jpg (http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/RodAdman.jpg)

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 03:44 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/VidBlackie.jpg

Drunkfux
08-25-2007, 05:23 PM
great thread, some real interesting stuff, i just spent an hour readin thru, gonna finish the rest later

KaBar2
08-25-2007, 05:45 PM
http://www.ratpackstlouis.com/Britt2007/ParadeBlackie.jpg