View Full Version : Hobos, Tramps and Homeless Bums

Pages : 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11

08-25-2007, 05:46 PM

08-25-2007, 05:49 PM

08-25-2007, 05:53 PM

08-25-2007, 05:59 PM

08-25-2007, 06:09 PM
Lady Bug is holding a stalk of rhubarb, which is a tradition in hobo weddings that goes pretty far back, The preacher usually presents the couple with rhubard and says something like "I give the two of you this rhubarb, which symbolizes how a married couple can weather differences. Rhubarb is the sourest of plants, but it also makes the sweetest and most delicious pies--it all depends on how you cook it. Whenever life hands you sour rhubarb, handle it carefully and turn those bitter experiences instead into something sweet and delightful."

08-25-2007, 07:14 PM

08-25-2007, 07:22 PM
This is a shot of Liberty Justice and one of the recent Queens of Hobos, Sunrise. She was one of the most active Hobo Queens ever. She attended scores of public events and talked about the history of hoboing and train hopping, and gave scores of newspaper and radio interviews. She plays the guitar and sings very very well and is now learning banjo. She is a librarian by profession.

Liberty is a long-time participant at Britt and in the hobo scene in general. He smoked for years and the smoking gave him a heart attack and COPD, so now he lives on oxygen and must carry oxygen cylinders everywhere he goes. Liberty is also a very talented musician and made his living for years playing and singing. He is now on Disability, and is a campaigner against smoking.

08-25-2007, 07:30 PM

White Lightning and O So ran the kitchen for two days straight.


O So cooking breakfast for the Jungle on the home-welded field stove.


08-26-2007, 01:15 AM
cool pics^

Nothin' beats the hobo life!
stabbin' folks with my hobo knife!

08-26-2007, 05:43 PM
Look up the stack at the picture of Baloney Kid giving his new bride a smooch. On the back of Baloney's arm is a scar. 7.62x39mm bullet. Vietnam. He nearly lost his arm.

08-26-2007, 06:07 PM
Nice photos.Also, very well put run-down on the previous page

08-27-2007, 08:07 AM
Kabar- im trying to get from Seattle to Bozeman, MT have any info?

08-27-2007, 05:30 PM
A photo diary about train hoppers.


08-28-2007, 12:17 AM

You need to be aware of the fact that you are trying to catch out into some of the most heavily patrolled bull territory in the U.S. Make arrangements for bail money, because if you get busted you very well might go to jail. Montana bulls will not write you a ticket if they catch you on a train. They will take you to the clink.

That said, Seattle has a variety of places to catch out from. Eastbound to Spokane, I'd say go to the Interbay Yard. It's about 500 ft west of Dravus St. NW and 17th Ave. W.

Years ago, we could catch out under the bridge, but it is extremely hot there now. Best go do some ground reconnaisance. I'd try north of the yard. There is an old "camera platform" there between two bridges, north of the north throat of the Yard. There's lots of cover there, and used to be a bunch of little jungles and places to sleep. The trains creep by at walking speed (3-4 mph) usually, but sometimes they might get up to around 8 mph. KEEP OUT OF SIGHT. Use a pair of small binoculars or something to avoid having to show yourself. It's hard to say how to identify the kind of train you want, but since you may have to hit it rolling ( I HATE HITTING ROLLING TRAINS. HATE IT.) you need to pack very light. Don't be toting any guitars or 5-gallon water jerry cans or any shit like that. I'm talking 20-25 pounds max and your water jug (that's 8 pounds right there) INSIDE your pack so both hands are completely free. Avoid boxcars unless the train is standing still. Hitting a moving boxcar is for very experienced, very athletic, strong young tramps. DON'T TRY IT. Hitting rolling trains is for idiots, and hitting rolling boxcars is for the suicidal.

The best rolling catch would be a TTX 48, because it has a steel floor and the ladders are pretty easy. Next best would be a Canadian grainer ACF Center-Flow hopper car. Best of all would be a Cadillac grainer, because it offers excellent cover and a large open, unemcumbered deck on the A-end. The B-end is full of air brake equipment. It would be an uncomfortable, shitty ride, probably, sitting on a bunch of air-brake crap.

You're trying to get to Pasco. The whole town is hot as a skillet, so be careful. Pasco is a town that has a zillion tramps through there, and a large homeless population. The cops will not be amused at you trying to catch out there. Look for Astley's Transmission shop on Avenue "A", then go about a mile north. Opposite the yard tower, the mainline is the first track east of Avenue "A." You want the BNSF tracks that go NW out of Pasco, then turn north and east to Connell, Ritzville and Cheney.

Spook-aloo is probably the worse town in America for railroad special agents. The Spokane cops and the bulls have been trying to crush the trainhoppers in Spokane for thirty years.
The eastbound BNSF catch is at Yardley Yard, near Trent St. and Broadway. They crew change at the yard office on the west end of the yard. You need to be about 1000 feet west of the office (so you'll be sort of in the middle of the stopped train.)
The bull has a K-9 patrol dog. There are rumors of cameras and railcops watching trains from above.
If you see aircraft parts cars (I can't recall ever seeing any) they reportedly take the Low Line, which is where you want to go. But common sense tells you that fucking AIRCRAFT PARTS are going to be watched very closely.

The tracks go two different ways at Sandpoint, Idaho. The Low Line goes through Thompson Falls, MT. The High Line goes through Libby, MT. If your train goes down the Low Line, you're headed (eventually) to Bozeman.

More later. Gotta eat dinner.

08-28-2007, 01:15 AM
A photo diary about train hoppers.


good find....thx

08-28-2007, 02:34 AM
Kabar- I am very familiar with the area around interbay, i actaully went and checked it out today alittle bit. If you have any more information you willing enlighten me with send a PM.


08-28-2007, 02:46 AM
Okay. If your train takes the northern route, the Hi-Line, through Libby, you'll have to get off in Shelby and catch south to Great Falls, and from Great Falls south to Helena, and from Helena east to Logan and then on to Bozeman. There is no way to tell how long this route might take. I haven't ridden that line since 1972, so I have no idea. Probably, all things considered, the only trains going down the shelby-Great Falls-Helena route are more-or-less locals, but I don't know. A lot of things change in thirty-four years.

I'm not trying to tell you not to do it. It might work out splendidly. I've known several experienced trainhoppers that have ridden the Hi-Line recently and successfully, but you should not underestimate the hazards. It is a hot line, I'm telling you straight up, and Montana seems hell-bent to drive trainhoppers and tramps off it's railroads.

Good luck. Be careful.

08-31-2007, 07:24 AM

what kind of knowledge can you drop to me about first time riding?
Im considering riding out west from Ohio for the winter, and I dont want to go into this thing unprepared
Actually I did, but then I thought about it and realized Id be a fuckin fool not to ask for your advice

08-31-2007, 08:20 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.


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



09-01-2007, 02:36 PM
That is a different dog man. Also, as for your first ride, I'd find someone you can trust that knows what they're doing to go with you. It's not the best idea to go on your first ride alone. As for riding west outta Ohio, you're probably going to have to get a train to Chicago and then ride out from there, either via the high line (BNSF) to Portland/Seattle, or the UP running either to Portland, Sacto or LA outta Cheyenne, WY. Long rides, have lots of water and food. Kabar may be able to shed a little more light on this as well. The above is just what I'd do.

09-03-2007, 02:17 AM
First of all, I think you ought to read this whole thread a couple of times, and then read Littlejohn's book. I'd like to know (in a very general sense, not specifics) what part of Ohio you will be catching out from and approximately the season. Riding freight trains in the winter up north is no fucking joke, it's serious business. You can freeze to death very easily. I absolutely would not catch out any later than early November unless you are a very experienced winter outdoorsman type who is WELL-EQUIPPED to survive outdoors in the cold winter weather. My winter riding experience is very limited. When the weather got too cold for an Army field jacket and liner and a pair of blue jeans under a pair of overalls, I headed South fast.

My buddy Stretch is an all-weather Northern rider. He wears Northern-weight Carhartt winter coveralls and a heavy winter parka. He carries three sleeping bags in the winter (one inside the other for sleeping), a full set of military Arctic underwear, regular boots as well as sno-pack winter boots with felt liners, lots of wool mountain-climbing socks, a water-proof tarp, a mountain tent (the tarp goes over the tent for extra-extra rain/sleet/snow-shedding ability) a couple of insulated sleeping mats, first-rate cold-weather gear like snowmobile gloves, parka, face mask, balaclava, etc., etc. Burlington has his own sleeping bag (it's a kid's sleeping bag, pretty short) and so forth. This is called "a Montana bindle." Everything but the kitchen sink and then some. When Stretch rides trains in the winter, his pack is around 85 pounds.

So. I highly recommend that you leave before the cold weather hits and go South, if you cannot wait for spring. Right now, here in Houston, it's in the high 80's. Bring a bathing suit and lots of mosquito dope. It's SUMMER, right? HOT.

One thing to remember about the West is that it has mountains, and the mountains are COLD AS A MOTHERFUCKER IN WINTERTIME. The higher the elevation, the colder it gets. September, maybe October, the temperature begins to fall. By November, it is seriously getting cold in the Rockies. By December it is too cold for any but the very experienced to be riding up there.

A couple of years ago, Stretch spent Christmas in a rail yard in MAINE. (I know, the sonofabitch is kind of crazy sometimes.) There was like three feet of snow on the ground and it was sleeting. (No thanks. I go south in the winter.)

If you want to go West to like San Francisco you want a Union Pacific train out of Proviso Yard (in Berkeley and Elmhurst--suburbs of Chicago on the west side). Where the I-294 overpass goes over the yard is the general catch-out. (Keep in mind that you would have to HIDE well, because there are bulls and railroad workers all through this area. Catch at night. Travel very light if possible, a lot of times the trains don't stop completely, they just creep by at a vehttp://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e280/KaBar2/IMG00016.jpgry slow speed. You are looking for double-stack IM trains. They will be watched, of course. These DS trains will often run as far west as Green River (Wyoming).

The split up is at Clinton, Iowa (where the UP Superhighway crosses the Mississippi--look for my AUG 05 photographs of me washing clothes in front of the swing bridge at this crossing).

Found it. http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e280/KaBar2/IMG00014.jpg


The trains either go west to El Paso (Texas) by turning south to Kansas City; or west to Oakland, CA or Seattle, WA through Cedar Rapids and Omaha. The next splits are at Varner, Nebraska or Julesberg, Colorado and Granger, WY (out in the middle of fucking NO WHERE) so as you can see a lot of this is flying by the seat of your pants.

Try to find someone who already knows what they are doing and ride with them. There are lots of kids in their 20's riding today who learned the hard way, just by trial and error, but if you can find a mentor, you'll be a lot better off and a WHOLE lot safer. If you're going to ride trains, for pete's sake be a professional about it. No getting drunk or high, no skylarking around risking your life for no good reason.

09-03-2007, 03:23 AM
The trains either go west to El Paso (Texas) by turning south to Kansas City; or west to Oakland, CA or Seattle, WA through Cedar Rapids and Omaha. The next splits are at Varner, Nebraska or Julesberg, Colorado and Granger, WY (out in the middle of fucking NO WHERE) so as you can see a lot of this is flying by the seat of your pants.

Phew, last time I was in Granger, I went into the hole for like and hour and 15 minutes at high noon, with a BLACK cloud of mosquitos above my car... Too hot to be in my bedroll, and I had no bug spray or anything else, it was hell. I was so tempted to get off, but as stated, I was in the middle of fuckin' NO!!where.

Say, to bring a little more to what Kabar said, make sure your water never freezes if you're winter riding. I've made sleeves for water jugs and put like 4 (at least) of them 'hot hands' packs in them or even put a hot hands into a freezer lock bag and put it in the jug before to keep water from freezing. If you have a camp stove it would be a definite plus as well (I'm sure Stretch rides with one, that man has everything). Rolling without water is hell. Plus, the bitter cold will dehydrate you just as much as the heat will (sweat).

Hey Kabar, I saw a couple of your tags on the boxcar at Britt this year. From a couple years back obviously.

(Love this thread, one of the best on here)

09-03-2007, 05:01 AM
thats kinda crazy, 85 pounds plus a dog.
pretty hardcore

kobe bryant
09-03-2007, 05:11 PM
kabar, say that your spotted on a train what usually happens?

09-04-2007, 07:39 AM
Thanks alot for the advice guys. I plan on pickin up that book and readin it before leaving, and Ive been steadily reading a few pages a night of the thread. This thread isnt like any other, you cant just skim through it, you have to read it post for post so 3 pages takes a long time.

Question though, how exactly can I find someone who's caught out before? I spend a good deal of time on the tracks and surrounding areas and I've yet to meet anyone, and I ask those I do meet if they ride and none of them do. I would much rather go with someone experienced the first time, Im confidant I can do it either way but it'd be nice to have someone who really knows what their doin show me the ropes ya know?

Im catching out of Central Ohio. Im most certainly trying to head west before November, I'd like to ride out before Oct. I've spent plenty of time out west in Colorado Springs right by the Rockies and I know how it gets.

So basically I'd have to head northwest to chicago, then out towards the coast, and find my way to phoenix from there?

Thanks again guys

09-04-2007, 09:48 AM
kabar, your thread has gained appropriate intrest and responses,
and im sure more ppl everyday are starting to read and become aware of how much there is to learn.
i see your responeses to the questions as a subltle sign that you are a Teacher as well as an Underdog.

i hope your not confused by my strange comment.
the gist of what i mean to say is.

kabar= much respect.

id feel foolish if i didnt ask you a question.
do you have any stories that you are amused by typing in detail?
how often could you stereotype train workers go before checking a train line every couple of states?

get back to my questions when its convienent.
i asked out of the faact it would be unwise not to try and learn something while i have your attention.

-much respect.

the deaf one.

09-04-2007, 10:48 PM
Deaf One---

Are you actually deaf, or is that just a nickname? I'm deaf in one ear, and it has turned out to be a hell of a lot more disabling than I ever thought it would be. I can still hear pretty good, but the thought that I might lose my hearing altogether is pretty troubling. I can't sign and I can't read lips, so it would be a serious problem. I've had some friends and acquaintances who were deaf, and after becoming half-deaf, my feelings of respect for them and their personal accomplishments have soared. Not being able to hear (or hear well, in my case) really makes communication difficult. It's very isolating.

From the phrasing of your questions, I'm wondering if I understand them correctly.

"how often could you stereotype train workers go before checking a train line every couple of states?"

I'm thinking this one is probably "How often would your stereotypical train workers wait before checking a train? Every couple of states?"

There are a lot of Federal regulations about trains requiring train crews to perform certain checks. Every time a train goes 1,000 miles, the train crews are required to check certain things (brake hoses, brake shoes, etc., etc.) but they don't exactly swarm all over every car.
Some checks are performed whenever the crew change occurs. This is TIME related, not MILEAGE related. Train crews can only work twelve hours, and then they are "dead on the law" and must be replaced, regardless of whether they have taken the train 500 miles or 500 feet. I have been on trains that went through several states as if state boundaries did not exist at all. I could not tell when I left Oklahoma and entered Arkansas and when I left Arkansas and entered Texas, and left Texas and entered Louisiana.
Trains change crews at division points, generally speaking, but if a train crew has been delayed out on the tracks for some reason, they occasionally change crews out in the sticks.

Back in the old days, before cell phones, pretty much nobody bothered to try to "rat off" trainhoppers. If you were unlucky enough to be seen by a local cop, they you might get taken off the train at the next stop, but "maybe not."
Today, with everybody on earth (including trainhoppers) carrying cell phones, allowing yourself to be seen by passers-by is extremely risky, especially "foamers" or rail fans. People will call you in to the local cops for a variety of reasons, including their concern for your safety and so forth. If you get spotted, the cops will call the railroad, the railroad will radio the train crew and they will rendezvous the train with the police at some rail crossing and have you arrested.
The cops will arrest you, but will probably leave all your gear on the side of the road for anybody who comes along to steal. You'll go to jail. You'll get arraigned before a magistrate, who must tell you what you are charged with and set bail. If you can make bail, they tell you when to return for Court. If you don't return, they will either issue a warrant for your arrest (Montana) or drop the charges (Iowa, Wyoming and Mississippi.)



If they never see you, then this is not a problem. In fact, I think it fair to say that if you skyline yourself and get arrested, it is YOUR OWN FAULT when you go to jail. The rules say "Stay completely out of sight." Skylarking in a boxcar door not only endangers yourself, but it also endangers any other tramps on your train. BE SNEAKY.

rolling nowhere
09-05-2007, 08:59 PM
kabar, say that your spotted on a train what usually happens?

youll probably get the boot. but who knows.
we just got kicked off by 2 sherrifs last week. it was lame. we had just got on the damn train like 30 miles back and a worker somehow saw us when we rolled by a crossing. he must have had fucking eagle eyes to see us becaus we werent really out in the open.
we didnt get tickets or anything. no one seemed to even care we were on there but they kicked us off. the cops seemed more curious than anything.
what it really comes down to is who sees you and do they really care...

09-06-2007, 01:45 AM
Stretch and I got caught in the UP yard in Boone, Iowa in 2005. The cops weren't too aggressive, but they still wrote us $150 tickets. The sheriff's deputy said "If you two had been thirty feet farther up in the weeds, you would have been off railroad property. Good thing you weren't on a train, because I'd have to take you in."
Despite the fact that we were trespassers, the city cop said "Walk down into town until you see the H.E.B. store. On the other side of those tracks is a city park, and some undeveloped city property next to the Union Pacific tracks that is all overgrown and trashed out. You guys can camp there, and we won't bother you, but stay off of railroad property."
It turned out to be a good little jungle. Right across the tracks to the south was the H.E.B., which has good water faucets (but they are sillcocks, so don't forget a sillcock key) and good dumpsters thereabouts. We caught out east for Clinton about 0300.

About a month later I got a notice in the mail that said they dropped the charges, which is good because I like Iowa, and I'd prefer not to have any warrants out.

kobe bryant
09-06-2007, 04:43 AM
do you still hop trains?

09-06-2007, 06:56 PM
Stretch and I got caught in the UP yard in Boone, Iowa in 2005. The cops weren't too aggressive, but they still wrote us $150 tickets. The sheriff's deputy said "If you two had been thirty feet farther up in the weeds, you would have been off railroad property. Good thing you weren't on a train, because I'd have to take you in."
Despite the fact that we were trespassers, the city cop said "Walk down into town until you see the H.E.B. store. On the other side of those tracks is a city park, and some undeveloped city property next to the Union Pacific tracks that is all overgrown and trashed out. You guys can camp there, and we won't bother you, but stay off of railroad property."
It turned out to be a good little jungle. Right across the tracks to the south was the H.E.B., which has good water faucets (but they are sillcocks, so don't forget a sillcock key) and good dumpsters thereabouts. We caught out east for Clinton about 0300.

About a month later I got a notice in the mail that said they dropped the charges, which is good because I like Iowa, and I'd prefer not to have any warrants out.
Boone is alright. I never had any problems there myself. Got off my train from Cheyenne around 11am and didn't see anyone in the yard, granted my main focus was to get out before anyone saw me. For being a small town and walking about with all my gear, I never talked to the police once. There was some sort of street sale on main street when I came and I was able to get some nice little knick-knacks and a few new tapes when I was there. Boone Hobby is pretty rad too, although the guy isn't very talkative. Ended up thumbing outta there to Des Moines and catching north from there.

09-06-2007, 11:03 PM

09-08-2007, 05:19 PM
Nice article and good photos. He's right, they were travelling in far too large a group. Very safe, though. Also very conspicuous.

One other thing--bulls are NOT "security guards". They are police officers, just like school district or university police officers. Their jurisdiction is just very spread out (wherever their railroad's property goes.) They have limited authority off railroad property, but they can pursue a lawbreaker if he leaves railroad property if they choose to do so.

University cops' jurisdiction is the university campus and university property (if away from the campus) plus the university's "environs." (the area around the university.) If a rapist is hiding just outside the campus boundary, waiting for unsuspecting college girls to walk down to Starbuck's, the university cops can arrest him and they can pursue him if he runs.

School district cops actually have authority to arrest students en route to and from school. Once a student gets out of school at 3:00, he or she is still under the authority of the school district until he or she reaches HOME. School districts are not just some collection of adults who like to torture students. They are A PART OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT. Children are not just "requested" to go to school. They must attend school, by State Law. School is not an option. It is required by Law. The school buildings, the buses, the books and all school property is government property.

Railroad Special Agents are police officers, licensed by the State government and their departments operate on a charter from the state government. Here in Texas, they must have what is called a TCLEOSE certificate (pronounced "Tee-Close"--Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education"), the same law enforcement certificate that every Texas police officer must have. Security guards are not required to be TCLEOSE certified (they are covered under a different law), but Railroad Special Agents are.

Below is a photograph of Union Pacific special agents and their vehicle in Tucumcari, NM. Not all bull wagons are as plainly marked as is this one. They often ride around in unmarked Ford Explorers or Chevy Suburbans (nearly always an American-made vehicle, VERY RARELY a Japanese product) and the vehicles nearly always are equipped with what is called an "alley light," a light mounted on the driver's side door frame with which the bull can spotlight trains, etc. (See photograph below). They also sometimes carry a very powerful handheld spotlight that plugs into the cigarette lighter of the truck. This truck below is also equipped with a K-9 package for a police dog. This is a screen between the driver and the back seat area, and usually a platform covered with carpet, or something similar to allow the police dog to easily mount/dismount from the vehicle through the rear doors. K-9 units require a back-up unit to transport prisoners (usually a local city police unit) because there is no rear seat for the prisoner to sit. Never run from a police dog. If you do, your first stop after being handcuffed will be the local hospital ER for stitches. Never harm a police dog in any way. If you do, you'll be charged with assault on a police officer, a very serious felony.

http://k53.pbase.com/g4/60/660360/2/59873910.UPSpecialAgentsatCarrizozo.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/intermodal/up844nm)

09-08-2007, 06:06 PM
In the United States, the appointment, commissioning and regulation of rail police is primarily a state mandate. Section 1704 of the Crime Control Act of 1990, effective March 14, 1994, provides that: "A railroad police officer who is certified or commissioned as a police officer under the laws of any state shall, in accordance with the regulations issued by the Secretary of Transportation, be authorized to enforce the laws of any jurisdiction in which the rail carrier owns property."

US railroads
All of the major Class I railroads (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Class_I_railroads) and most regional carriers employ their own police departments whose officers carry the title Special Agent. Railroad Special Agents are commissioned by the Governor of the state they are employed in, are also armed, and carry both state and federal arrest powers in all states in which their employing railroad owns property. Their primary concern is policing crimes against the railroad, although they do have the authority to police the general public, make arrests on public property, and enforce applicable local, state, and/or federal laws when necessary.
Railroad Police and the term "Special Agent," along with the Pinkerton Detective Agency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkerton_National_Detective_Agency), were models for the FBI when it was created in 1907 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1907).
See also: Railroad police (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_police)

The status of railroad police officers varies by state, in that they are commissioned by the Governor of the state in which they reside and/or work in and they may carry both state level arrest powers and some interstate arrest powers as allowed by 49 USC 28101. Although railroad police primarily enforce laws on or near the railroad right of way (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_way), their police officers can enforce other laws and make arrests off of railroad property depending on the state in which they are working.
Depending upon the state or jurisdiction, railroad police officers may be considered certified police officers, deputized peace officers, or company special agents.
Some of the crimes railroad police investigate include trespassing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trespassing) on the right-of-way (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-of-way_%28railroad%29) of a railroad, assaults (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault) against passengers, terrorism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism) threats targeting the railroad, arson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arson), tagging (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagging) of graffiti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti) on railroad rolling stock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_stock) or buildings, signal vandalism, pickpocketing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickpocket), ticket fraud (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud), robbery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbery) and theft of personal belongings, baggage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baggage) or freight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freight). Other incidents railroad police investigate include derailments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derailment), train/vehicle collisions, vehicle accidents on the right of way, and hazardous materials releases.

Jurisdiction and authority

Railroad police officers are certified law enforcement officers and sometimes carry full police and arrest powers, however in some states that power is limited to railroad property or while in fresh pursuit.
The appointment, commissioning and regulation of railroad police under Section 1704 of the U.S. Crime Control Act of 1990, provides that: "A railroad police officer who is certified or commissioned as a police officer under the laws of any one state shall, in accordance with the regulations issued by the U. S. Secretary of Transportation, be authorized to enforce the laws of any other state in which the rail carrier owns property."
It is important to note that Section 1704 also states that this police authority is to "the extent of the authority of a police officer certified or commissioned under the laws of that jurisdiction". The states and not the federal government have the authority to authorize and/or limit railroad police authority. There is no such thing as a "fedearal police officer" with full "police authority" in every state.
While a railroad police officer may have general peace officer authority in some states like California, they are still limited to the railroad's property in Washington State and many others. (See RCW 81.60.010: "Every police officer appointed and commissioned under the provisions of RCW 81.60.010... shall when on duty have the power and authority conferred by law on peace officers, but shall exercise such power only in the protection of the property belonging to or under the control of the corporation at whose instance the officer is appointed and in preventing, and making arrest for, violations of law upon or in connection with such property."

Below: Norfolk Southern railroad special agents, 1870's.


09-08-2007, 08:25 PM
Kobe Bryant---This was shot in August 2005. This train was hauling ass. Note the GLOVES.


09-08-2007, 08:48 PM

Gotta Love Onion!

09-08-2007, 10:10 PM
kabar, I just realised that you really should write a book or a zine to publish all of this outsanding info
great job

I can help you make a zine if you want

09-10-2007, 01:39 PM
that monkey stabbing shit is ridiculous!

09-18-2007, 12:25 AM
King Iwegian and Crash arrived in Cleveland, Ohio

"Had the HONOR of hosting overnight guests by the name of last years
King of the Hobos IWEGIAN RICK and future Queen of the Hobos CRASH at
the house Friday Night. Iwegian called from Toledo saying they
were there and trying to get out for Cleveland but needing info on the
yards in Toledo. Later he called back saying they were catching a
Greyhound to Cleveland and wanted to know of a place to camp-out in
downtown. I convinced him to let us host him and Crash in East
Cleveland. So me and Les picked them up at the Greyhound station about 2:30 Sunday morning. After a little Dumpster Diving back to the house and they spent the night.

On Sunday we took them out to the 185th St. Jungle to visit with
Stretch [who has been there for a little over a week], Stretch helped
them decide to catch a train to Buffalo where they could make better
$$$ for traveling out to Riverhead N.Y. And he said he would go with
them, then Les decided he wanted to ride a train to Buffalo too [1st
time for him in 4 or more years]. So after going back to the house and
waiting on Les to get ready [I swear Les would get to his own funeral
at the last minute] we set up waiting for an East Bound Train at the
eastbound Catch-out point. Waited until 12:30 pm and a train Buffalo
bound pulled out of the far side of the yard and stopped, so the Merry
Band of 'Bo's [I really don't know for sure if they WERE merry,
probably just glad that they were catching out instead of waiting
until morning] boarded the train for Buffalo and parts unknown. I then
drove Les's van to Buffalo to pick him up and pack him back to Ohio
[or as Sidedoor Pullman Kid calls it - O-H-10], and it was a good
thing I did drive there. It seems that the train they were on was a
trade off train that became a CP train in Buffalo and was going into

So everyone bailed near downtown Buffalo, then they called me and
after a few minutes of getting streets straight in Confusing Buffalo I
picked them up. Ended up dropping Iwegian, Crash, and Stretch off at
the East end of Frontier Yard where there's a shopping mall that they
can make some traveling $$$ at before they go further to Riverhead.
They're in kinda' early so Iwegian said he was gonna' take his time
getting him and Crash to Riverhead. But at least a bit of a hard
hurdle is over with! Now it's just Iwegian and Crash biding their time
until they NEED to get the rest of the way to the East Coast."

Modern hoboing: cell phones and a chase vehicle, LOL. Iwegian and Crash have been riding all over the place. I'm thinking our girl Crash is a shoo-in for Queen next year--a genuine rail-riding Queen of Hobos! All Hail the Queen! LOL.

09-20-2007, 08:31 PM
is the FTRA still a problem to 40 milers and other such thrill seekers?

09-21-2007, 01:29 AM
Value Horse---

The FTRA has pretty much disbanded as an official organization. I know several members of the Original FTRA, and while they are exactly the same guys they have always been (quite a bit older is all) they no longer wear FTRA colors and no longer operate as a group.

There was another group, called the "new" FTRA, who were much younger. Under pressure from the police in various states, they too have "taken off their colors." Of course, all these guys still know each other and pretty much live the same lifestyle they have always lived. With the increasing enforcement on the rails, the decimation of their numbers from arrests, deaths of older members and so on, the FTRA is less and less a concern. To a great degree, I think that FTRA was a victim of it's own reputation. It's tough-guy image was no fabrication, they are genuine tough guys, but the image attracted people who did not share FTRA's original intent and comraderie, and those individuals' illegal and violent behavior brought down unprecedented law enforcement attention.

Especially on FTRA's home turf in the Pacific Northwest, law enforcement pressure drove tramps off the rails. It made riding the Hi-Line nearly impossible. Montana, which had been a hobo haven for over a hundred years, made an effort to drive train hoppers off it's railroads completely. Many FTRA tramps just "went homeguard" and settled down somewhere to a life of stationary alcoholism and drug use. Others bought vehicles and continued their wandering life, but no longer on the tracks. Cultivating a threatening image was a disasterous mistake for FTRA.

Trainhopping is not really all that dangerous for people willing and able to defend themselves and who follow the rules. It's the inexperienced, naive, young, foolishly adventurous suburban type wannabes that wind up getting hurt. I have heard numerous stories of people being ripped off, raped, robbed and harmed because they trusted someone who was not trustworthy. A lot of the people out on the tracks today are people with some severe problems. I've met numerous alcoholics and drug addicts, for whom getting their drug every day is the number one priority in life. If they have to rip you off to do it, so be it. I've met people who clearly have psychiatric problems. I've met many kids who were runaways or throwaways and quite a few girls who had been molested or sexually abused by their families.

One guy told me "The world is like the African veld. Some people are lions, and must run to catch their food, or starve to death. Some people are like antelopes, and must run to avoid being somebody's elses' food. But one thing is absolutely certain----no matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up every morning, your ass better be running."

Does the average train rider advocate this? Of course not, even if it's true. The weaker ones don't want to acknowledge that they are vulnerable. The predators damned sure aren't going to tell you they are sizing you up. People who ride trains need to get STREET WISE and in a big ass hurry.

"Forty milers" is a somewhat derogatory term that refers to older tramps who have settled into a routine. They don't literally ride forty miles, but they do ride the same route over and over. A lot of times this is because they could collect benefits in different counties, so they might get Food Stamps (back when Food Stamps were like paper money), Welfare or Disability and emergency funds in three or four different counties. Nowadays this is nearly impossible, because of the computerization and internet connectability of the relief and welfare benefits programs. One of the reasons Robert "Sidetrack" Silveria was killing older tramps on Social Security was to get their identitities so he could collect their benefits, and this also led eventually to his capture.

Young train riders who ride a short circuit aren't really "forty milers." The term really implies older people, people on Social Security or Disability benefits, people who no longer get a thrill out of riding long distances, or putting up with uncomfortable conditions. It implies people who have established a routine, a regular route, who see the same people and go to the same towns over and over.

09-21-2007, 05:19 AM
^have you ever had to fight off anyone while hopping??

besides keeping a low profile, how do you avoid getting f'ed over?

09-21-2007, 01:34 PM








ghost of graffiti past
09-21-2007, 07:36 PM
I find this lifestyle (for lack of a better word) very interesting. Coming from the subway world, fr8's have shown me a bunch of things that I never knew still existed..

09-21-2007, 08:41 PM
I find it truly amazing how complex such a seemingly simple culture can be. Just from reading Kabar's posts, i'm amazed.

Kabar, you really should put out a website, or a zine or something rather than just being strictly on this website.

09-21-2007, 09:51 PM

That I should write a book or publish a 'zine has been suggested a few times already, but truthfully there are a lot of guys far more qualified than myself who should do that. The publisher of the Hobo Times spent a lot of money trying to get it to fly, but he never made a dime. (You can still get back issues of the Hobo Times at tramp gatherings and at Britt.)

One reason I never took many pictures of my travels is that I felt like I could either fully participate in the experience, or I could sort of reduce it to hippie tourism and take "vacation snapshots" of my travels. I chose to forego the camera, but now I'm sorry that I did. Interestingly enough, Christopher McCandless, AKA "Alexander Supertramp", the infamous young adventurer who died alone in the Alaskan wilderness, felt the same way. He did not record many of his adventures photograpically, but he did keep a jounal, especially during the last few weeks of his life when he realized he was going to starve to death. Fortunately for me, I was never brave enough, foolish enough or crazy enough to get myself into a fatal situation. Jon Krakauer's book about McCandless, "Into the Wild" is an excellent book. If you've never read it, you should. You can get a paperback copy online for less than $5. (McCandless did not believe in maps. He wanted a "wilderness" experience, and if you don't have a map, then it's "wilderness to you." While interesting (in a sort of stupid, tree-hugger way) hiking off into the Alaskan wilderness without a map is really, really idiotic. The guy starved to death four miles from a warm cabin full of food and seven miles from a wire cable strand that crossed the snow-melt swollen river that was preventing him from surviving.! Dumbass.) Anyone contemplating really going off the grid should read Krakauer's book first.

09-22-2007, 01:49 AM
I just read the first 6 pages.Man,seriously,this is better than any book ive ever read.It keeps me interested.So much knowledge is being dropped.I look forward to reading the rest.Keep up the good work Kabar.

09-22-2007, 03:23 PM
There are a number of well-known hobo writers and poets. The list of "famous people who have been hoboes" is pretty interesting. Here a short (and very incomplete) list:

--Louis L'Amour, the Western author
--James Michener, author, world traveler, historian
--Jack London, famous author and noted Socialist
--Winthrop Rockefeller, wealthy industrialist, when he was a young man
--Nels Anderson, author and songwriter
--William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice
--Clark Gable, actor
--Dr. George Milburn, college professor and author
--Melvin Belli, attorney
--Vachel Lindsay, poet
--George Orwell, author of "1984" and "Animal Farm"
--Steve McQueen, actor

considering how many on this list are writers, poets or authors, perhaps I should have called it a list of famous writers who have been hobos!

09-22-2007, 05:48 PM
I was rambling through old posts and i found this piece of video that ewas posted by Rolling Nowhere some time ago. I really enjoyed it and I wanted to bump it. I especially enjoyed the last song, "Rock Me Mama" by the Old Crow Medicine Show. Good stuff.

In general it's not a bad piece of video for instruction purposes, much better than that one that showed some crazy British kid swinging off railcar ladders at 60 mph, etc. I found a website somewhere where he had discovered my comments about his idiocy and he complained that I was a prick, etc., etc. That's all fine and good. He rode trains the stupid way and didn't get killed, so now he's an expert.

But if he had slipped and fallen, it would be a completely different story. It would be all about his horrible ordeal waiting for help, and how he begged God not to let him die, and how difficult rehabilitation was, all those agonizing surgeries, and how somehow or another IT WASN'T HIS FAULT. No, somehow or another, it must be somebody else's fault and they should pay for his pain and his suffering and compensate him for his disability. It would be all about him getting "justice" from the railroad, and how they owe him millions of dollars for his injuries (and of course, 33% for his lawyer). All because he is an ignorant, careless idiot who is reckless with his own life. Did he get hurt? No. By the grace of God, he managed to behave like an irresponsible kid riding trains and did not get hurt. Lucky for him.

I can remember Rufe telling me "Never ever walk between two cars that are uncoupled," and me going right over there and doing it, and telling him "If I pass between these two open couplers, I am exposed to danger for a split second. The chances of me getting crushed at that exact second are incredibly small!" And Rufe looked at me like I was some sort of mental defective and said "Yeah, that's true. But if you don't pass between two cars that are uncoupled the chances do not exist at all." At age 20, I could not understand his logic. Why would I be afraid of such a small chance?

But once I got older, and had some life experience, I realized that the consequences if you lose are SO FUCKING HORRIBLE than taking any chance whatsoever is totally unjustified.

The video is good, though.


09-24-2007, 01:43 PM
that video is great, got any more good links to videos?

09-25-2007, 03:30 AM
Here's a few stupid teenager videos---this is how people get hurt: being deliberately stupid.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyakdq7TYt8&mode=related&search= These geniuses think the train is stopping because they've been spotted. LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3O_BzWkEfQ&mode=related&search= Exceptionally excited uburban teenager reports to his Mom all about his great trainhopping adventure. LOL. "Dumpster dive?" (O my god, it's so exciting.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByWqeKN-Ze4 This is a 23 minute fiction film--not bad, but--a.) the tramp wears a stupid hat, b.) he has no BOOTS (what the fuck? Idiots.), c.) no GLOVES and d.) his coat is worthless for winter weather. Oh, and he must be suicidal, as he drinks from a gallon bottle of wine he FOUND in an abandoned house. Absolutely, never do anything this stupid.

On the other hand he gets extra points for having a MSR Whisperlite stove. Good stove.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQcxnKC5V4Y&NR=1 "Don't need no ticket." Sloppy, but they lucked out and avoided the bull.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSE6mY8cZhU Beautiful Canada and Jimi Hendrix. Cool.

Cracked Ass
09-25-2007, 07:42 AM
I can remember Rufe telling me "Never ever walk between two cars that are uncoupled," and me going right over there and doing it, and telling him "If I pass between these two open couplers, I am exposed to danger for a split second. The chances of me getting crushed at that exact second are incredibly small!" And Rufe looked at me like I was some sort of mental defective and said "Yeah, that's true. But if you don't pass between two cars that are uncoupled the chances do not exist at all." At age 20, I could not understand his logic. Why would I be afraid of such a small chance?

But once I got older, and had some life experience, I realized that the consequences if you lose are SO FUCKING HORRIBLE than taking any chance whatsoever is totally unjustified.

I'm always hounding my crewmates about both rail safety and paint-mission safety, whether it's the superslim chance of death, or an easy precaution to take that won't be necessary 999 out of 1000 times, but will keep you 30 seconds further ahead of pursuers that 1000th time. I always took those easy precautions because I planned to paint a thousand trains, and in fact I've done more than 1500 now, and some of those one-in-a-thousand situations have come up. So far I've beaten them all (no injuries or arrests), but some of my boys who are less cautious have experienced both of those consequences.

09-25-2007, 11:15 PM
a lot of those kids are idiots in those videos. kids like that are statistics for people to put more security on the rails...that last video with hendrix was beautifull though...

09-26-2007, 01:34 AM
Here's another video story. Two college kids decide not to ride Wal-Mart floaties down the Mississippi and choose the Hobo Life instead. Don't miss Crazy Eddie's story--it's great. I have met quite a few guys like Eddie while hopping trains. Crazy as shit, but relatively harmless. Just kind of boring.


Hey, Cracked, good to see you here. I wasn't sure you ever heard my stuff anymore!

Cracked Ass
09-27-2007, 06:51 AM
I pay attention. It's nice to have a thread where I have much more listening than talking to do.

09-27-2007, 06:53 PM
Their adventure kind of sounds like my tramp trip this summer. Granted I had enough sense not to hop a bottomless car but got stuck 35 miles to nowhere when the coal car pulled into a power plant. http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e239/baskone/IMG005.jpg

I let myself get suckered into the returning merchandise hustle. I say "let" because i was running this one back in '93 so I knew what was up but since I developed morals somewhere, I don't do the actual theiving any more but I needed some funds so I went for it. Now I can't return anything to Home Depot without a receipt.

I did meet some OK bums but when you tell them you don't panhandle, they acted like they were going to slap us around 1940's hysterical female style. http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e239/baskone/IMG007.jpg (i'm behind the cam)

Invest in some hiking boots.http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e239/baskone/IMG014.jpg

rolling nowhere
09-29-2007, 08:54 PM
panhandling is slow and lame.
running scams is the way to go if youre not gonna work for your do-re-mi.
id rather work personally.

Tha Unibomber
09-30-2007, 02:37 AM
I had some homeless fool trying to run up on me last night for hitting freights.... when did the homeless care about vandalism.. the don't own anything to vandalize

09-30-2007, 04:57 AM
Maybe he was worried you were going to heat up the yard.

Tha Unibomber
09-30-2007, 08:52 AM
yeah I guess I could see that

09-30-2007, 04:56 PM
This is a great little trainhopping video, but it is in Swiss German. The tramps are professionals about the way they hop. Notice that in some shots they are up against the bulkheads (walls) of the boxcar, and in others they are sort of hanging back just past the edge of the door. This is because if they stay "behind the angle" of the boxcar doorway, they can see upcoming passers-by, cars sitting at crossings, cops, foamers and so on BEFORE THESE ONLOOKERS SEE THE TRAMPS. Most casual on-looking observors are looking straight ahead at the passing train. The tramps are looking at an angle forward about fifty yards or so, so that when they see someone they can take cover up against the bulkhead and avoid being spotted.
One of the first few shots shows the "A" end of a Cadillac grainer. Note that the walls go all the way to the end of the car. They are not cut down at an angle, like a regular Canadian grainer. And there is a little "window" to look out of. In another couple of shots, showing a rolling train, they show a Cadillac grainer and a Canadian grainer coupled up. Good comparison.
One shot shows "thousand-miler paper" being used to insulate them from the freezing steel floor of a boxcar. (It is very thick cardboard, about three inches thick, like honeycomb.)

Also notice the number of times they tell the Swiss videographer to be quiet and to take cover and hide. Their behavior in general is good, although I don't think going up on the decks of the grainer was a good idea. I'd bet cash money that they just did that to show off for the camera, or because the film crew wanted a more dramatic shot and asked them to do it.

NOTE THAT THEY ARE WEARING GLOVES, BOOTS, HATS AND JACKETS. And they have rucks, sleeping bags, water, and a scanner.

In general, these guys get a great big "A" for excellence. RIDE SAFE!


09-30-2007, 05:34 PM
after watching all those other videos, and learning what NOT to do

I found the swiss video too and thought it followed your guidelines pretty well, kabar

Im glad you confirmed their behavior as appropriate, now I know, that I know, what proper hopping etiquette is

Cracked Ass
09-30-2007, 08:01 PM
I got run out of a yard by a homeless dude posing as a worker. I had my doubts that he was legit, and I suspected he was just annoyed that we were painting in the day and therefore risking his spot getting blown up. But he talked the talk and I wasn't 100% sure so we left. Two days later I saw him pushing a shopping cart along the highway, wearing the exact same clothes.

rolling nowhere
10-03-2007, 05:09 PM

summer time 05.

10-03-2007, 08:27 PM
^looks like a fun time!

rolling nowhere
10-04-2007, 09:22 PM
always is...

10-08-2007, 05:17 PM
ok im a little late into this whole discussion and scuss me if im missing some shit, but first
one of the first posts talks about how there isnt any hobos or tramps left, man if you really ride trains you would know that is not true. at least as far as i know and have been learned (ive been riding since 95) there has been a resurgence in freight riding since the late seventies early eighties. and are hundreds if not thousands of riders out there, which compared to the earlier half of the 20th aint that much, but it makes for enough of a community to find your freinds (and enemies) wherever you might go. especially the last 7 years it has been geetting very popular again im not calling you out but i see this post was started in 2001 or 02 thats 5 or six years of keeping up with this, pretty seriously. again im just curious because as you would know serious riders dont really get that chance so often...obviously you know some shit but youve been in houston presumably for six years continuously updateing this shit. and you talk about these old timers and gatherings and pictures, but i see no mention of any of the youger generations, who still some have been on the rails since the eighties and early nineties. So im just wondering whats the deal? are you an old timer who desnt know whats up with the new school (which is hard for me to belive since the true ogs keep an eye on shit) or are you rail fan turned hobo fan just pulling shit off the internet? Again im just curious and dont realy wanna go through 30
pages of dialoge. a little curious
~hobo soul

10-09-2007, 12:29 AM

I did most of my riding years ago. I just ride now for fun. Last year I was out for a month. The year before that, like three weeks. If that's not enough riding to qualify as a genuine rider in your eyes, then I guess I'm a poser.

Too bad you don't have the patience to read some of these posts. I think when looked at as a whole, it's pretty good.

The reason I say that there are no more "real" hobos is because most of the people riding trains now are either recreational riders like me, or they are tramps who don't work, they just basically ride trains, drink and get high. That's not hoboing.

Hobos travel in order to WORK. They were not part of some counterculture group that hated regular society. When you look at what those Depression-era kids did with their lives as they grew up, it's pretty inspiring. I worked a little, in my travels, but I was basically not out there looking for work, I was looking for adventure.

Most of the tramps I know have a deep and abiding respect for the old guys who they consider to be "real hobos." The old heads who rode in the 1940s and 1950's are dying---just a few days ago, "Slow Freight Ben" Benita Sankays passed away. She was in poor health and in her 90's. Steam Train died this year too. New York Greenie--a lot of the old timers are dying off.

Riding trains is dangerous, but not just because you could get hurt. The real danger is that you could spend the best part of your youth bumming around without getting any education, without getting a trade, without connecting with the rest of society. If that's what you want, fine, it's no problem for me. But don't ride for too long. If you wait too long, you lose out on regular life.

I didn't go to college until I was 36 years old. I figure, conservatively, that those 18 years of screwing around cost me a minimum of $180,000. Probably closer to a quarter million. Do whatever you want, but remember----



10-10-2007, 08:51 PM
Here's another pretty good video. These people are all anarchists and their analogies and excuses are pretty weak, but it's not a bad video. There is a couple of places where people do some pretty stupid shit, like jumping from a moving boxcar door standing up, or jumping off a train WEARING A PACK. Stupid.

These folks are pretty young, naive and inexperienced. LISTEN CLOSELY TO THE STORY OF THE GIRL, ALI, WHO CAUGHT ON THE FLY FOR THE FIRST TIME. She could have easily been killed or lost her leg.


Here's another one, with a pretty good look at the life of people who "ride too long." They get kind of stuck. McJobs is a good way to put it. "Smile, smile, smile, and dial, dial, dial!"
The one girl shows an excellent example of how NOT to mount a boxcar door. Putting your hands flat on the boxcar floor and then trying to swing your legs up is NOT THE CORRECT WAY. It's dangerous, because if you slip, you go UNDER THE CAR.

The correct way is to use the door latch, grasping it with both hands, and then lifting your legs and lower body up into the doorway and inside the car. (Throw your gear in first.) This is sometimes difficult for girls, who have less upper body strength. In that case, they should use a plastic 5-gallon bucket as a step stool, and then pull it up into the car behind them with a string.
This video shows a good example of "yaw", violent shaking of a car from side-to-side. The same thing, front-to-back is called "pitch."
These tramps are also pretty dirty, and do not take care to stay clean.

Nice frailing banjo. Lousy vocals--the guy can't sing worth shit.


10-10-2007, 10:09 PM




10-11-2007, 12:10 AM
More good ole redneck culture:




This one looks a lot like the Fort Bend county militia's airboat:




boom snap clap
10-14-2007, 06:58 AM
found a jungle in my spot today.
kinda knew some stuff about it thanks to Kabar

rolling nowhere
10-14-2007, 10:02 PM
train train in vain.

10-15-2007, 12:15 AM
Very true, but I still love redneck technology!

10-15-2007, 07:46 PM
sick flicks!

10-20-2007, 10:12 PM
I really like Old Crow Medicine Show. Just enough bluegrass to make it interesting.

I love this one "Tell It To Me" ("Drink corn liquor , let the cocaine be . . .")

"Wagon Wheel" cheezy video LOL.

A pretty amateur good cover of "Wagon Wheel" by Tyler Herrin

"Down Home Girl" a little weak

"Fall On My Knees"

"Soldier's Joy"--this tune dates from the Civil War. It's about morphine. They play it pretty fast for my taste, but it's still good.

"I Hear Them All" good tune, I like it.

Live at the Ryman--"Wagon Wheel"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1pECSIdPAQ&mode=related&search=O.C.M.S.%20Old%20Crow%20Medicine%20Show%20a lternative%20eclectic%20real%20americana%20folk%20 Bob%20Marley%20cover%20acoustic

Old Crow with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings "The Weight"--ooh, takes me back to the 70's.

"Gospel Plow"

"Tear It Down"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtOcBO80pnI&mode=related&search=Old%20Crow%20Medicine%20Show%20Woodsongs%20 Gospel%20Plow

rolling nowhere
10-28-2007, 09:12 PM
some amature dirtbags

nowhere fast.

11-02-2007, 01:48 AM
Crawford County Newspaper on the Web...Week of Oct. 29, 2007

Obiturary for Gas Can Paddy

Lawrence Meierhoff

Lawrence "Gas Can Paddy" Meierhoff, 90, Robinson, died about 9:10 a.m.
Sunday, October 28, 2007 at Crawford Memorial Hospital, Robinson.

Visitation is from 1 -2 pm Friday, November 2, at Goodwine Funeral
Home, Robinson. Memorial service is 2:00 p.m. Friday following
visitation at the funeral home with Rev. Jerry McDaniel officating.
Burial is in Robinson New Cemetery, Robinson


Gas Can Paddy caught the westbound. He was 90 years old.
Attached are some pictures of him and pictures of his famous "hobo bindle gas can." He used to hitchhilke with the gas can, and people thought he was a stranded motorist and would pick him up. When they realized the gas can was a prop, and was actually his suitcase, they were usually so amused they gave him a ride anyway. Paddy was of the opinion that "a real hobo doesn't need a Montana bindle, but can scrounge up whatever he needs in whatever town he lands in." He rarely carried a blanket roll (a "bindle") at all, because he usually travelled north in summer and south in winter. Paddy was an extremely personable guy, and prided himself on being able to make friends and get along well regardless of what sort of company he was in. He was friends with "swells" and tramps alike.

There won't be another one like Gas Can Paddy Meierhoff.


http://us.f824.mail.yahoo.com/ya/download?mid=1%5f18457%5fAM5Wv9EAAC6ARyYAtAXDpCkvC w0&pid=2&fid=Inbox&inline=1
http://us.f824.mail.yahoo.com/ya/download?mid=1%5f18457%5fAM5Wv9EAAC6ARyYAtAXDpCkvC w0&pid=4&fid=Inbox&inline=1

rolling nowhere
11-04-2007, 09:54 PM
last 2 pictures arent working...

11-06-2007, 01:44 AM
I know. They were up for about 48 hours and then they disappeared and were replaced by that "x" in a box thing. I'm no computer jock, so can anybody explain to me why that occurs? It happens to me a lot. I copy & paste a picture, and then a few days later it gets "x"ed out. Why?

11-06-2007, 01:51 AM
it means the link is dead (non existant)

11-07-2007, 02:27 AM
I know that, Mello. What I don't understand is WHY it happens, and how I can avoid it happening in the future. Do you mean to say that photo links just cut themselves off after a while, automatically? Why?

rolling nowhere
11-07-2007, 08:41 PM
maybe the site its linked from changed the name or location on their webstie or maybe their bandwidth was exceeded or you cant directly link to images from their site. could be like 100 different things.
probably riding to san antonio this weekend. should be fun.
this girl sitting next to me is cute. i wonder if she likes dirtbags.

Size TNS
11-08-2007, 01:45 AM
I dont post very often but felt inclined to on this thread as I just finished a solo cross country tirp from the east coast to the west coast- 3074 miles in 9 days. It was defineatly a learning experience.

I blasted through some of these posts and agree with the majority of KaBars posts. Most of this info can be found in Duffy Littlejohns book and if your serious about fr8 hopping you should memorize the book. Everything you need is there....

I was lucky catching mostly hotshots on the trip- and a rear unit engine! (its increadable to be going 80 mph on a 20 car piggyback that never goes in the hole!). A note about Atlanta- It an extremely hot yard (even for a hardcore writer!!!). My train got searched thouroghly 4 times while wainting for the bell.

Attached are some pics... hope you enjoy and happy highball....



11-08-2007, 06:34 PM
^ thats awesome. how did you not get caught when they were searching the train in atl?

Size TNS
11-08-2007, 11:55 PM
Hiding from police at night should come naturally to writers (or you wont be in it for long). Atlanta was the hottest yard I passed though. Not only was the Bull blasting his spotlight on all trains entering the yard- The workers were aggresively searching with flashlights- looking under the axels of each piggyback. Something I have never seen before. Piggyback, Modular Freight and Autoracks draw the most attention as these tend to be hotshots...

rolling nowhere
11-15-2007, 09:35 PM
looks like someone had some fun.

11-17-2007, 01:58 AM
kabar, with all of your informative writing you should really publish a zine I can help you if you like the idea

send me a pm if you'd like

Size TNS
11-18-2007, 11:21 PM
Upper Hudson River (Real nice well, kept jungles along the river!) and others...


11-19-2007, 09:23 PM
Looks like you had some fun there. I'm holed up untill march or april then it's back out. I still prefer the grainer hole myself.

11-20-2007, 07:17 AM
I didn't see the point in starting a new thread but Russell Maroney caught the westbound and the world is so much worse off for it. This is the man that taught me everything I need to know about how to survive on the streets and in the world. He is my namesake and my idol and those of you that drink, tip for him. Those that pray, include him in your prayers. May he ride the highball to the big rock candy mountain. May we all meet him on the otherside.

11-20-2007, 08:36 AM
maybe the site its linked from changed the name or location on their webstie or maybe their bandwidth was exceeded or you cant directly link to images from their site. could be like 100 different things.
probably riding to san antonio this weekend. should be fun.
this girl sitting next to me is cute. i wonder if she likes dirtbags.

probably bandwidth if its there one day and gone a day or two later
bleh, but im no techy so...

This is my name
11-21-2007, 07:02 PM

That I should write a book or publish a 'zine has been suggested a few times already, but truthfully there are a lot of guys far more qualified than myself who should do that. The publisher of the Hobo Times spent a lot of money trying to get it to fly, but he never made a dime. (You can still get back issues of the Hobo Times at tramp gatherings and at Britt.)

What about posting a blog on here @ 12oz... would they let you?

Great stories. Keep them coming.

This is my name
11-21-2007, 07:08 PM
I just read the first 6 pages.Man,seriously,this is better than any book ive ever read.It keeps me interested.So much knowledge is being dropped.I look forward to reading the rest.Keep up the good work Kabar.

Yes it really is a great book. Yes, the kid was an idiot, but I can see where he is coming from. We had to read that book Junior Year of High School. Only me and a few other kids actually liked it. Most other people just called him an ignorant idiot who did nothing for no reason... maybe they were the ignorant ones.

Father Guido Sarducci
11-24-2007, 03:56 AM
I know that, Mello. What I don't understand is WHY it happens, and how I can avoid it happening in the future. Do you mean to say that photo links just cut themselves off after a while, automatically? Why?

Chances are the owner of the site doesn't like people hotlinking images, sometimes due to bandwidth constraints. The best thing to do is right-click and save the photo, then upload it to a free image hosting site like Imageshack (http://www.imageshack.us) or Tinypic (http://www.tinypic.com). You can also sign up for a free account on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) or Photobucket (http://www.photobucket.com). Then just copy and paste the link that you are given onto this site. That should take care of the problem.

Father Guido Sarducci
11-24-2007, 08:39 PM
Stolen pic. Caught in MPLS, I believe.


11-26-2007, 03:07 AM
Well, I'll be damned. LOL.

11-26-2007, 05:50 AM

thats why i encouraged you to do MORE when we met in houston..

11-26-2007, 08:36 PM
Kabar....i dont know if you already have, but can you elaborate on your first few freight hops, and the shit that happened when you first started?

if i missed it, someone tell me the page number.

11-26-2007, 09:33 PM
also...if anyone wants it, i have compiled Kabar's posts from page one in a word document. I didn't put the questions asked because he generally restates them in his response. FOURTY FOUR PAGES SINGLE SPACED. If you would like it, email me at


11-27-2007, 12:54 AM
edit: 12 point font, times new roman, the file is over 200 pages long, single spaced.

also, that's with kabar's permission to distribute of course. and i swear not to turn it into the police...haha

11-27-2007, 03:35 AM
Yes, you do have my permission to distribute it, on two conditions: that it never be sold for a profit or used to make tramps, hoboes, homeless people or graffitti writers look bad.

I benefitted a lot from trainhopping information freely given by other tramps and the old time hoboes, back in my younger days. They never asked for a thing in return except that I ride trains with a sense of responsibility and respect for myself and other people. I haven't always done that, but nobody's perfect. I did try.

One of the best parts of hobo culture is the Frisco Circle, where everybody present pitches in what they can afford and they share out and share alike in the meal, or the bottle, or whatever the Frisco has been used to buy or make. You don't throw down in a Frisco so you can "get something for nothing." You throw down in a Frisco because today you may have a few bucks, but tomorrow you may be broke. You may be the crumb boss today, tomorrow it will be somebody else. That's okay. That's the way it works.

A teacher can't teach without a willing student or two. Someone, somewhere, taught the teacher what he or she knows, and they in turn, teach someone else, Teaching and learning are a two-way street. You give, and you get. You get, and you give. The things I know about trains have probably come down from one tramp to another for a hundred years or more. We add a few tidbits of new information, we forget the stuff that no longer is germane. There are no ice bunkers to ride in today. Nobody "rides the rods" any longer, because today's trains don't even have "rods," and haven't had any for about fifty years.

My knowledge of trains and trainhopping is pretty limited. I know a lot more about it today than I did when I was an active, 24-7 tramp. One reason I do this on 12 Oz. is so that some crazy young kid like I was back in the day will know a little bit more about it, and will be less likely to make a serious error.


11-27-2007, 05:14 AM
yeah man, i respect all that shit, as well as the idea of not-for-profit distribution. I would never do that, although the sheer irony of it is tempting. anyway, i plan on catching out around February, for as long as necessary, with a need to return in about 5 months. it will be my first time, and i am very excited. i have been writing for about 4-5 years and have always been curious about hopping freights. i think it is something i need to be a part of. i've read littlejohn's book as well as "rolling nowhere", on audio-cassette. both good reads. i dont know if you saw my post asking about your first few rides and especially the bad experiences which you encountered which perhaps i could avoid. i have no destination in mind for my trip.

ghost of graffiti past
11-27-2007, 05:16 PM
I thought this was an interesting read and somewhat applicable to this thread.
Adventures I wish I could have been part of I guess...

Life as the Keystone Kid never boring

In 1929, Blaine Manocchio was a 16-year-old Altoona youth with no money, no work and a desire to see the world.

With lots of trains running daily through his hometown, his option was to hop a freight train for a free ride.

It took him a little while to work up the nerve, but when he did, he rode as far as the Horseshoe Curve.

That trip whetted his appetite to go beyond the mountains.

“Riding freight from age 16, I saw all there was to be seen,” the 94-year-old Manocchio, a resident at Valley View Home, told his brother John during a recent visit. “I saw most of the World’s Fairs, Cleveland, New York, Chicago. I went to New Orleans four times to see the Mardi Gras. I saw the Tournament of Roses and the big parade.”

John Manocchio, 87, has listened many times to his brother talk about his days as a hobo, a once-common lifestyle that disappeared along with the dozens of trains that ran daily through Altoona.

With Blaine’s memory fading with age, John has started to write down his brother’s words, which offer a glimpse of the past.

“His stories, they ought to be preserved,” John said.

Blaine was the only one of seven Manocchio children who became a hobo and traveled the U.S., mostly during the Depression years.

Life in Altoona was tough at that time, with little money and little opportunity to work.

The family received postcards from Blaine, his way of letting them know where he was and evidence of where he had traveled.

“I stopped in Cheyenne [Wyoming] to see Pioneer Days Rodeo, and it was really something to see that rodeo,” Blaine told his brother recently. “Next stop was in Denver, the Mile High City, then next day, I was in Salt Lake City. It was beautiful. I left there and headed for Albuquerque, N.M. ... stayed the night in Santa Fe.”

In a 1980 interview with the Mirror, Blaine said he traveled about eight years after quitting school and leaving on a freight train.

He later returned to Altoona and got a job with the Pennsylvania Railroad and its successor, the Penn Central railroad.

But during the 40 years he worked, the common furloughs gave him opportunities to travel again.

“Hoboing is a tough life, day in and day out,’’ a 67-year-old Manocchio told the Mirror during that interview. ‘‘It takes a lot of guts to do what I did. Looking back, I can hardly believe it myself sometimes. I think I must have had some vagabond blood in my veins.’’

John Manocchio said his brother took the name Keystone Kid, reflecting his Pennsylvania origin. It was common for hobos to use and know one another by nicknames.

When Blaine Manocchio talks about his hobo days, he refers to Montana Slim, Texas Kid, Pennsy Kid, Wabash Wibby — with his big mouth — and his old buddy, Altoona Ty, with no known connection to Altoona, Pa., but maybe to one of the 10 other Altoonas that Manocchio said he found away from home.

“I think I rode about all the railroads in the United States and one or two in Canada and one in Mexico,” Blaine said.

Other hobos were riding, too.

“I [saw] box cars full, as much as a hundred men and women on trips,” he said. “When I [saw] too many, I made it my business to get off the train at the next chance I got. Then I would try my luck in whatever town it was.”

Manocchio typically offered to wash floors or windows in exchange for a haircut, or he pledged to wash dishes for a meal.

He usually didn’t have to do either, but got the haircut or meal because he showed that he was willing to work, John Manocchio said.

When interviewed in 1980, Blaine Manocchio said he worked as often as he could, including a stint as a stickman in a carnival and panning gold in Montana. When he had money, he had to hide it.

“I didn’t like to sleep in the flop houses more than one night. Too many would cut you up for a dollar. ... In those days, if you had a dollar, you had money,” Blaine said.

The hobos also were on the run from the police.

While the railroad police — Manocchio calls them bulls — sometimes tolerated the hobos who rode on the freight trains, the same officers would take justice into their own hands when finding hobos on passenger trains.

“They would kick us off and beat the hell out of us if we couldn’t get away from them,” Manocchio told his brother.

He also landed in jail more than once for his freeloading and panhandling.

“I can remember hitching a ride on a passenger train all the way from California to Pennsylvania with no trouble and then getting caught in Pittsburgh,” Manocchio said. “I had to spend 10 days in the Allegheny County jail that time.”

John Manocchio said his brother, when able, enjoys talking about his past.

‘‘You asked me why I hobo?’’ Blaine said one day to his brother.

“I can’t say why,’’ Blaine said. “Hobo days were good or bad, happy, sad. I never thought before, but one thing I can say, they were never a bore.’’

rolling nowhere
11-27-2007, 09:31 PM
about to head for the west coast.
its gonna be a bit chilly on the trains i think.

11-28-2007, 07:12 AM
where you heading out from? passing through the mid-south area?

11-29-2007, 02:19 AM
im in austin right now. either going up to ft worth or down to san antonio to head west.

rolling nowhere
11-30-2007, 01:24 AM
forgot i was on that dudes name.
little dickhertz cant go on this trip.
maybe next time...

blood fart
11-30-2007, 01:44 AM
I already miss you.

11-30-2007, 04:11 PM
anyone headin through TN has a guide or a bed if needed. well, not anyone, but

rolling nowhere
11-30-2007, 08:58 PM
hard to miss me im a big target.
i mean... look at my face! haha

Dirty Messican
12-01-2007, 04:22 PM
Did you come throught fort worth?

rolling nowhere
12-03-2007, 01:12 AM
havent left yet.
ive been there many times though. it sucks.
but sleeping under a bridge by the yard and eating free breakfast at the hotel a couple of blocks away was dope.

12-05-2007, 08:09 AM
I don't know the deatails of what he was doing on the tracks or what but here in Mid Illinois, a guy got charged with criminal trespassing to Railiroad Property and got $150 fine, court costs and a $25 crimestoppers fee. Personally, a little farther north, I got charged with tresspassing to railroad property, not doing anything but taking the shortest distance between 2 points and got a night in jail, a $300 fine plus costs which brought my total to $715 plus 6 months court supervision. That means nothing except that they want their money within 6 months or they will start the shit all over again i.e. jail time. What I am saying here is listen to Kabar and don't get seen. It is expensive.

12-05-2007, 05:25 PM
same thing happened to me, just crossing tracks. pled not guilty, got public defender, they dropped the charges and dismissed it.

rolling nowhere
12-06-2007, 06:47 PM
thats crappy.
ive been stopped plenty of times walking on tracks and all i ever get is something like... you know youre tresspassing right? yeah. have any id? yeah. ok dont walk on the tracks anymore. peace out.

12-06-2007, 09:20 PM
yeah same here

12-07-2007, 12:08 AM
i miss my uncle pete.
next time

12-07-2007, 12:16 AM
KaBar, what to say, im only 14, and yet ive probably learned more about life reading this wonderful thread, then any other time. I have the utmost respect for you. Keep writing man.


12-07-2007, 07:41 AM
I understand that it has been a long time since you were out there full time but did you ever stay at homeless shelters? Can I email you for questions?

12-08-2007, 06:47 AM
Fire away. I will try to answer all questions to the best of my ability.

I did stay in missions a few times, but I don't like staying there. The worst things about missions:

1.) Too many streamliners--they can't make it on their own, so they resort to trying to rip off somebody else.

2.) I only caught lice twice in my life, once on the U.S.S. Raliegh when some idiot brought lice back on board the ship from liberty and we all got infested; and once from the blankets I was issued in a mission.

3.) Missions have a shitload of rules. You can't do this, you can't do that. You can't smoke inside the building. You can't drink a beer. Who needs that? No thanks.

4.) When you need missions the most they are crammed full and have no more room, like if the temperature suddenly falls and there is an ice storm or a blizzard.

5.) I don't like sky pilots in general, regardless of what line they're selling. I do my communing with God out in the wide open spaces. I don't need some tight-ass with a Bible trying to tell be how I should live. My religious faith is my own. I can't see any reason to cram it down someone else's throat. If somebody asks me what I believe, and I feel like telling them, then we have a conversation about God, faith, moral conviction and so on. Otherwise, it's a waste of time and energy.

rolling nowhere
12-14-2007, 10:18 AM
hey... when its winter time dont forget your sleeping bag before you leave. its a pretty good thing to have with you when its fucking super cold.
soooooo cold!
san antonio-alpine was a dope ride though. even though i was a fucking icicle.
tuscon here i come!

12-16-2007, 12:49 AM
Rolling Nowhere, you are making me envious as shit. Which yard did you catch out from in San Antone? I was just up there this week checking out Kirby Yard.

rolling nowhere
12-16-2007, 07:51 PM
we caught out from kirby. it was a piece of cake. rode on the atlb with the tropicanas.

rolling nowhere
12-26-2007, 07:17 PM
let me telll you. the desert at night is fucking cold son!
my "20 degree" sleeping bag is a damn liar.
but it was better than no sleeping bag.
seems like the westbound trains dont like us very much...

hey kabar we should ride somewhere sometime soon... i might be back that way before too long.

12-28-2007, 06:56 AM
You must spread some reputation around befeore giving it to Kabar2 again.

I am sure he don't care but up some props. Who the fuck else deserves it?

12-28-2007, 07:24 AM
I started reading this thread a couple of years ago and took a lot of advice to heart. I read north bank fred's site and he seems to be downing Britt as a set up. Any insight on this? Is Amory still cool? I ask mostly because I want a CCG the honest way.

12-28-2007, 08:23 AM




This is some quality shit right here. Monster Motorbikes rule!!1one!!1

12-29-2007, 07:01 PM
Boxcarro, that is some bizarre shit right there, fella. Texas Mad Man has lived for years with Collinwood Kid , who is Jewish. Your beefs with people probably have more to do with your own personality and your own interactions with other people than with them being any sort of Yankee Nazis, etc. This is actually pretty funny, Tex is one of the most militant pro-liberals and anti-conservatives I've ever met. We are friends, sort of, but we do not agree on hardly anything when it comes to politics. I did drive 250 miles to go pick him up at the Highway 80 Rescue Mission up in Longview one time, and he and Stretch stayed at the Eureka Hilton about a month one winter.

I admire your ability to survive in the world of trainhopping, but I'm thinking that you need to let go of blaming other people for your problems and accept responsibility for yourself. If you can't get a Driver's License, that is nobody's fault but your own. Do whatever you have to do to rectify that problem, get another license and get on with life. Or not. It's up to you.

The truth is that 99% of the rest of the world finds it to be way too much work to hassle you and find ways to frustrate you. They just don't care that much one way or the other, they are busy dealing with their own lives. They are not responsible for you, and are not required to help you get what you want. Your life is all up to you. You aren't entitled to a thing. You know (or at least you ought to know, by now, at your age) that one either earns whatever one needs to live in this world, or learns to do without it.

"Leave no trace. Do no damage. Make no disturbance."

"Keep a Clean Camp."

"Take care of your own business, and let the rest of the world take care of its own."

These simple rules will allow you to to avoid 99.99% of conflict and problems in life. Frankly, I obey them because it is too much hassle to do otherwise.

12-31-2007, 04:27 AM
im not much for speaking up about things but i've learned more info in this thread then about anything in entire forum's.

01-02-2008, 03:12 AM
Here's a picture of me I found on St. Louis Frank's web site. It's from the 2003 National Hobo Convention up at Britt, Iowa. I must have been in a bad mood, LOL.


01-05-2008, 11:30 PM
Stretch told me that while he was down in Amory, Mississippi, he had heard that King Iwegan Rick had been ripped off by a streamliner in Chicago, supposedly somebody travelling with Froot Loops. Iwegan lost all his gear--pack, sleeping bag, everything. Because he was in Chicago, he borrowed some money from his family and headed south to New Orleans, where it's considerably warmer.

THIS IS AN UNCONFIRMED REPORT. If anybody sees Froot Loops, tell him to get with Iwegan immediately to get it straightened out. I'd hate to find out later that Froot Loops had nothing to do with it, but yet his name is associated with this streamliner who ripped off Iwegan.

Anybody who can ID rippee Iwegan's gear, keep your eyes open. It may turn up in a jungle somewhere in the possession of the rippor.

Woe be it unto streamliners who rip off the Boys. They are asking for it big time.

01-07-2008, 04:06 AM

I was reading an article about which trains are hoppable and on that list was an auto rack, also it said "if your bold enough" to ride the back of an engine. what is your opion on riding eithor cars?

01-07-2008, 11:40 PM
I think what that guy was referring to was loaded auto racks. Loaded auto racks are very hot, because the cargo (new cars) is so valuable and so easily damaged. People who hit a loaded auto rack pretty much already now that if they get popped, they are most def going to jail. If the cars are damaged in any way, the railroad may have you charged with "criminal mischief," "felony vandalism" or "interfereing with raiload operations."

EMPTY auto racks are not considered to be hot cargo by anybody. I've ridden them several times. If you look at the latch on the doors of an auto racks, you will see a square hole in a round knob. This hole is exactly the same size as a railroad spike (try it.) If you can find an anti-creep bracket (it attaches to the BOTTOM of the rail to keep the rails from moving forward on the ties when a train dumps the brakes.) The anti-creep bracket has a place on it that is exactly the same side as a railroad spike.

You can stick a spike in the hole on the auto-rack doors, and then use the anti-creep bracket as a wrench to turn it. If I remember right, "clockwise" opens the latch on the doors. We always shut the doors when we board, it makes it a lot less of a skyline ride. Be carefull walking around--the auto-rack cars have steel mesh on the sides and at a little bit of a distance somebody could see right through the side and you would be skylined---silhouetted against light from the other side of the car.

01-08-2008, 02:45 AM
keep on rolling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01-08-2008, 10:37 PM

new group for trainmaps

01-08-2008, 10:39 PM

Has trainmaps ,yard maps and the CC....Lets see how long this lasts:confused:

01-08-2008, 11:51 PM

Has trainmaps ,yard maps and the CC....Lets see how long this lasts:confused:

I got all that downloaded for future reference. thanks for the link.

01-12-2008, 04:19 AM
Can anybody explain to me how "Go Daddy.com" works? Apparently it hosts people's web pages, but I'll be damned if I can figure out how to get into the damned thing! I can't figure out how anybody USES it! It seems to be designed to keep people out!

01-14-2008, 12:18 AM
bump this thread, and bump kabar, for real, man knows his stuff


01-14-2008, 04:44 AM
have you known any riders to own pet's that hop with their owners?

01-15-2008, 03:38 AM
KABAR- i use godaddy too....im not sure what exactly you need help with, but their customer support really is fabulous...give em call!

01-15-2008, 05:04 AM
have you known any riders to own pet's that hop with their owners?

Look through some of his previous posts about Stretch and Burl, I believe

rolling nowhere
01-15-2008, 06:58 PM
have you known any riders to own pet's that hop with their owners?

of course. ive met a ton of people with dogs who ride trains. even a couple of cats and a rat...
one guy referred to his dog as "the money maker".

01-17-2008, 02:53 AM
somebody take me cross country!!! its hard to find good tramps and rail heads!

01-17-2008, 05:25 AM
Well, when I met Rollin' Nowhere, I don't think he had ever caught out before. He's out trainhopping towards California last time I heard. He taught himself how to catch out. He is a pretty smart guy, but if he can do it, so can you.

If you read this whole thread a couple of times, then read "Hopping Freight Trains in America" a couple of times and buy a railroad atlas or some railroad maps you ought to be able to do it. Start out by "living the lifestyle" for a while. Pack up the stuff you think you will need, but no more than 35 pounds, including water, sleeping bag, cook gear, etc.

Walk or take the bus to some relatively safe area near a railroad and go trampin' for a weekend or so. NO FAIR CHEATING. If you didn't pack it with you, you can't use it or buy it. (Don't forget toilet paper.) Learn to cook on an open fire. If it rains, you are gonna either adapt quickly or get wet. Learn to survive. Once you have the survival thing down, start doing ground reconnaisance. Where are the crew changes? Where are the division points? What kind of vehicles do the bulls drive? Where can you get water? Grocery stores? Good dumpsters? Is there a jungle? No? Build one in the RIGHT PLACE.

rez money
01-17-2008, 05:41 AM
prob the coolest thread on 12oz

rolling nowhere
01-17-2008, 09:42 PM
Well, when I met Rollin' Nowhere, I don't think he had ever caught out before. He's out trainhopping towards California last time I heard. He taught himself how to catch out. He is a pretty smart guy, but if he can do it, so can you.

If you read this whole thread a couple of times, then read "Hopping Freight Trains in America" a couple of times and buy a railroad atlas or some railroad maps you ought to be able to do it. Start out by "living the lifestyle" for a while. Pack up the stuff you think you will need, but no more than 35 pounds, including water, sleeping bag, cook gear, etc.

Walk or take the bus to some relatively safe area near a railroad and go trampin' for a weekend or so. NO FAIR CHEATING. If you didn't pack it with you, you can't use it or buy it. (Don't forget toilet paper.) Learn to cook on an open fire. If it rains, you are gonna either adapt quickly or get wet. Learn to survive. Once you have the survival thing down, start doing ground reconnaisance. Where are the crew changes? Where are the division points? What kind of vehicles do the bulls drive? Where can you get water? Grocery stores? Good dumpsters? Is there a jungle? No? Build one in the RIGHT PLACE.

yep yep that was almost 6 years ago. i had never hopped a train anywhere before but i had always wanted to. then one day me and 2 of my friends packed all our shit and got on a train and ended up not going where we wanted to go. but it didnt really matter to me it was pretty clear that riding trains was as awesome as i thought it would be.
starting out by living the lifestyle is a good idea because the biggest part of riding trains is not being on trains rolling around seeing awesome shit. its sitting under bridges or in weeds or in some trees waiting around maybe being cold and wet and miserable but then you get on a train and all that shit doesnt matter because youre on your way to where you wanna go. in style...for free!! before i hopped trains i had already spent a lot of time sleeping by the tracks and under some bridges at spots i painted and doing shit like dumpster diving so stuff like that wasnt any radical new idea to me. doing things like sleeping in a ditch probably doesnt sound too appealing to most people. but sometimes you gotta do it to get on that train son! basically youll figure it out(or you wont) pretty quick. its a lot of really common sense stuff. you know you get to some place youve never been and youre thirsty so you go find some place to fill up your water. could be anywhere behind a store or a warehouse (or if you have a quarter just go to one of those water machine things i guess) or you know hey wow im hungry but i have no dollars..oh look a pizza place... i bet they throw pizzas away. oooh a grocery store with dumpsters... i wonder if theres anything tasty in there? i have no money at all right now but i eat pretty good every day. i mean i cooked a fuckin delicious hamburger and had apple for breakfast...all free. shit like that. ive met people who are not really on top of things like that and they get all sad and mad when they dont have what they need. personally i do what i need to do to get the things i need. either from the trash or shoplifting/scams. i needed a sleeping bag in el paso so i handled that with some crafty scam action at walmart and got a total piece of shit sleeping bag but it kept me a little warmer than i was on the way to el paso. my shoes sucked so i decided to aquire some new comfy boots at a sporting goods store. i had actually already got another pair of boots but they didnt fit so great so i just went to another store and switched them out. some people arent down with those activities but i am. just from stores though never from people. i come up on stuff laying around all the time and i just leave it where it is. yesterday i found a small backpack and nice sleeping bag and no one was around.. both of which would have been useful to me. but im not about to steal some dudes shit. ive been squatting an abandoned house and every time i leave my shit im wondering if its gonna be there when i get back..ha. a lot of people arent so nice. nothing valuable in my pack anyway but some people are fucking jerks. im rambling...
youll figure out what you need to bring and what you wont. and then something will break and youll realize you should have brought something to repair it. ha. i have so many little weird things in my bag to fix stuff. blah blah...

as far as me heading to cali ...me and some comrades rode out to slab city for new years and then back to arizona. the desert is pretty rad to watch rolling by on a train... then again what isnt nice to watch from a train?
i hear a train passing right down the street... tuscon is swell...
see you soon enough texas...

01-18-2008, 06:37 AM
The last post made me want to fuck off from here and end up somewhere far away, watching the desert from a train.
If only...

I'm real envious.

01-19-2008, 11:58 AM

01-19-2008, 08:35 PM
train ridin' vandalss

rolling nowhere
01-19-2008, 10:01 PM
The last post made me want to fuck off from here and end up somewhere far away, watching the desert from a train.
If only...

I'm real envious.

yeah i think the best part was when we were getting close to alpine(tx) and there were mountains in the distance and all this fog surrounding the train and the sun was barely up... it was some surreal shit. very beautiful...took some flicks and hopefully they turn out ok.

ps. train ridin vandals 08 son!

when you gettin on that train with me yarr-yarr? ha!

01-21-2008, 06:47 PM
Here's a photo of Stretch, taken when he was making his campaign speech for King of Hobos up at Britt in 2007.


01-22-2008, 07:36 AM
when you gettin on that train with me yarr-yarr? ha!

summer 08 if yer up for it!

rolling nowhere
01-22-2008, 11:09 PM
summer 08 if yer up for it!

you know i am...
see you guys in a couple of days!

01-28-2008, 10:19 PM
excuse me if some of these questions have been asked before...

What do you think of using backpacking type stoves? Are they not worth the hassle of having to get fuel and them possibly fucking up? idealy I'd like to be able to use an open fire to cook I dont want to be up shits creek if everything is wet or run the risk of setting shit on fire if its bone dry.
One of the few things that really concerns me in tunnels... I know you reccomended a type of gas mask earlier but what is the main health risk in tunnels? is it smoke? carbon monoxide? Lack of oxygen?
In boy scouts they always told us to never wear cotton when we went backpacking/camping. I assume you can apply the same principle to riding freights? Any secets on how to stay dry/get dry?
Finally is there any use in carrying water purification tablets or a little filter? I'm really not sure how much access there is to natural springs or creeks near yards. I assume though that tap water isnt too hard to come by though?

01-29-2008, 04:10 AM
You're excused.

1.) I like them, especially the Whisperlite International multi-fuel stove.

2.) Yes, they are worth it.

3.) The main risk in tunnels is carbon monoxide, and even that isn't much of a risk.

4.) Cotton is okay. I am opposed to cotton socks.

5.) I carry a camouflage 4x8' tarp from Wal-Mart. Eight bucks.

6.) Both water purification tablets and a hand-pump filter are great ideas, but it has been many, many years since I needed either one. Clean water can be difficult to get at times, but rarely impossible. Still, both ideas are good. The tablets are a heck of a lot cheaper, but the filter is good any time. Expensive, though. CARRY A SILLCOCK KEY to make commercial buildings' sillcocks accessible to you.

01-29-2008, 04:13 AM
Stretch and Burl arrived in Houston today. I haven't seen them yet.

01-29-2008, 06:22 PM
This is the best thread on this website. KaBar, thank you so much for sharing so many fantastic stories and valuable information with so many people. If your stories were in a book, paired with some great photos of trains & their travelers, i'd buy 2.
I will continue to go through this thread, and i look forward to reading your future posts... thanks again!

02-05-2008, 05:32 AM
Well. Stretch and Burl arrived in Houston from Shreveport by thumbing down a ride down U.S. 59. Stretch said he made three attempts to catch out of Shreveport, but every time the train he caught wound up in a small UP yard, Hollywood Yard and he had to hike back, which pissed him off.

Anyway, he and Burlington are jungled up at Eureka. Stretch and I spent last weekend rebuilding the hooch. It was originally built in the winter of 2003, and it was getting pretty nasty and rotten. It never had a good roof on it, and years of low-life streamliners' abuse had just about wrecked it completely.

Let me digress here briefly. One of the absolutely worst things that I hate about trainhopping is the number of people out on the road that just lack any significant degree of moral character or self respect. They feel absolutely no obligation to leave the world a better place than they found it, or at least not to leave it worse than they found it. I despise the fact that so many people lack even the most basic of survival skills, and cannot even manage to feed themselves without victimizing other people. Their self esteem is SO LOW that they need to lie to themselves and pretend that they are some kind of bad ass predator, when in fact they are nothing more than a pathetic loser who cannot manage even the most basic level of existance.

The Eureka Hilton was never a palace, but at least it was a more-or-less dry place to get out of the rain. It had a clean gravel floor and a bed made of a piece of plywood up on a seven foot pallet sitting on eight 5-gallon buckets. The plywood was clean and dry, and covered with a couple of layers of nice plush carpet. I slept there many times, and Stretch wintered there several winters.

When I got down to Eureka, Stretch was billeted in a mountain tent. "The hooch is fucked up," he said. "Some idiot has been shooting up in it, throwing his goddamned needles on the floor and pissing in the corner. It stinks like piss, there is garbage and crap everywhere. The shitter bucket is full and it looks like it's been there six months. These fucking guys are pathetic streamliners, or maybe junkie homeguards. I can't stay in there the way it is now, the hooch is fucked up."

Thursday night, I hauled in a load of construction wood I had been collecting, including about ten 2x4 studs and a 16 foot long 1x4, plus two solid 16 foot 2x4's (and a 12-pack.) Stretch cleaned out all the garbage and accumulated trash and sorted wood on Friday, and also tore down the worst of the crap off the hooch. Friday night we scored three excellent gray-painted pallets out of a dumpster pile, two that were 7 foot long and one nine-footer. Saturday morning we used these to rebuild two of the walls and reframe the front of the hooch. We trenched under the walls and back-filled with ballast rock so the bottom of the walls would not rot in the mud. Stretch used his digital camera to record the rebuild.
Sunday morning we ate breakfast and then started framing up the roof. We now have a gable roof with rafters made of 2x4 studs. The centerline roof ridge board is the 1x4 I brought in. The roof has 20 inch eaves and extends out past the walls fifteen inches front and back. Sunday night we had about half of the roof decked. This weekend we will finish whatever decking is left and will cover it with a couple of layers of tarpaper.

In a single weekend, using only hand tools, the two of us created a hooch that should last another six or eight years, maybe longer if the fucking streamliner assholes don't ruin it. We hauled off about a pick-up truck load of garbage, empty bottles, plastic bags, insulation off of wire and other crap. 90% of the hooch is built of scavenged, dumpster-dived, construction site trash-pile materials. I bought about $25 worth of cheap 2x4's, nails & screws.

Tell me, guys, what is so God damned hard about burning your own trash? What is so difficult about having enough respect for yourself and your fellow tramps to walk out fifty feet from the jungle to take a piss? Why do these streamliners deliberately fuck up a place that they themselves are benefitting from using? I have been around tramps for many years, since 1970, and I still do not understand it. It makes me want to fuck some motherfuckers up.

Anyway, Eureka is looking decent again, pictures to follow.

02-06-2008, 06:22 AM
damn! i just finished this whole thing and I am in awe! Kabar you are awesome,got plenty of trains here in DFW and I am moving in to a new house across the street from the GM layup! thanks for all your info,always loved trains but now its different....alot more of a connection since i started paying attention to your posts and researching as much as possible....thanks again!

02-08-2008, 01:50 AM
My pleasure! Glad you liked it.

02-08-2008, 05:58 AM
You pretty much answered your own question. These morons don't give a fuck about themselves so how can they expect to respect anything else. This past summer down in Florida I ran across an old camp that I know was the shit back when whoever built it but now is strewn with hundreds of empty mouthwash bottles, garbage, feces, andany number of other horrors I didn't care to examine too close. I am just glad that there are those homegaurds diligent enough to carry on the effort of maintaining decent jungles. Keep it up. Some folks do appreciate the effort.

02-08-2008, 05:19 PM
looking forward to see your pics.

so i know you mentioned that stretch brings his dog burl with him (or used to)
didnt that make it difficult for him to hitchhike? also wouldnt the dog bark at night at the bulls
or train workers while you were waiting to catch out?

rolling nowhere
02-09-2008, 10:49 PM
when i was just in houston me and my 2 pals werent having any luck getting on a train to new orleans so we went to this little spot i cleared out to sleep about a year ago. now its fuckin homebum, central. trash everywhere. and i woke up about 2 feet from a huge mound of shit which i had stepped in in the dark as well.
i was pretty fucking mad... some people are fuckin worthless assholes.
all the up trains were being weird. so we bussed out to casey and rode bnsf. train broke up in lafayette but we stayed on our gondola and after about 15 hours of sitting in the yard we were on our way to new orleans...
fell asleep almost immediately after we started rolling and woke up when we stopped at avondale. we hadnt eaten all day but the dumpster gods were on our side. we found like 10 lbs of deli meats. cheese. an assortment of breads. cupcakes.... all kinds of shit. filled the water jugs. capmed in some woods. had a feast. got a ride into town the next morning from some guy who wasnt even going our way but gave us a ride anyway... new orleans has been good to us so far.
except for the spacebag vomit session i had the other night... bright pink puke is the best!

02-10-2008, 01:41 AM

Stretch still travels with Burlington. In fact, Burl is back guarding the camp as I type this. And yes, sometimes Burl does bark at inopportune times. Once when we were rolled out and sleeping in the UP yard in Boone, Iowa, some rail worker drove up on us in the dark (nearly drove over us) and Burl barked his ass off. This eventually resulted in us getting a couple of trespassing tickets and getting kicked out of the yard. However, the Boone district attorney's office dropped the charges later and it turned out okay.

Other times we have been on a rail car and had the conductor or a switchman walk by the car, causing Burl to want to growl and bark. Stretch just grabs him by the muzzle and "shushes" him. This usually works, but not always.

Most train riding dogs are raised on the rails from the time they are puppies. They get used to all the noise and vibration, etc. while being carried around in their master's jacket, safe and warm, despite all the racket. After a while, a noisy-ass rail car is "home." Burl loves to ride trains, and gets all excited when he realizes we are in a rail yard and looking for a ride. When he was younger, he would jump into boxcar doors from the ground. He's too old for that now, but he still jumps down from boxcars.

We busted ass today trying to get a weather-tight roof on the newly rebuilt hooch. We got the roof decking finished. We decked it with all these crazy shaped pieces of plywood and OSB, and then went and got a roll of tar paper from Lowe's. We laid the tar paper like shingles, so that it will shed water, and started nailing on some of our big 4x8 political candidate signs to protect the tarpaper. We'll finish it tomorrow. It's supposed to rain on Monday.

Collinwood Kid was in town. He was flying back from Costa Rica yesterday and missed his comnnecting flight in Houston, so he called us up. We drove up to Bush Interconinental and picked him up, and he crashed with us in the jungle last night and he helped us work on the hooch today. We had to take him back up to IAH this afternoon, and he flew out to Cleveland. He and his sister own a little shack-like beach house on an island right off the coast of Belize, but it is right in Hurricane Alley, so they are moving to a mountain valley in Costa Rica, where it is 75 degrees all day and 55 degrees at night. Sounds like paradise.

Anyway that's pretty much all we've been doing today. Eventually, we'll have pictures of he newly rebuilt hooch.

02-11-2008, 12:19 AM
We got up early and hit it again today. We finished getting the plastic signs nailed down, shingle style, over the layers of tar paper, over the scrap plywood and OSB. If that roof leaks, I will kiss your ass. For one thing, it's pretty steep--about a 7:12 pitch. Next, Stretch worked on framing up a bed made out of two identical pallets that are 3-1/2 feet long, which resulted in a bed 7 feet long. Covered it with a couple of layers of carpet, tossed a sleeping bag on it----perfect.
While he was doing that, I tarpapered and covered the side wall pallets with political signs. Then we used some trash pile fiberglas roofing panels to cover two other outside walls, after first covering the pallets with tar paper.

I'm telling you what, boys, tar paper is one handy piece of gear. For fifteen bucks we got a roll of tar paper sufficient to cover the entire roof and at least three walls of the hooch. That shit is a bargain and a half. If worse came to worst, we could build a hooch out of nothing but 2x4's and cardboard, cover it with tarpaper and it would be weather tight.

The hooch at Eureka is built extremely strongly, but the roof, while weather tight, has areas that are not strong enough to walk on, because we did not have 1/2" plywood or OSB that was in standard 4x8 sheets. The plywood and OSB with which we had to work was in wierd-ass shapes, none of which was square. If any of you guys ever come upon an unoccupied hooch in your travels, STAY OFF THE ROOF. You walking around on it may make it leak. For some reason kids love to go up on top of things like hooches and lean-to's. Don't do it. For one thing, you might fall through the roof and get hurt, but the main reason is that if the roof is weather tight, you might fuck it up by walking on it.

Stretch struck his tent this afternoon and moved his gear into the hooch. It's really looking good. The jungle is mostly cleaned up, except for this huge pile of crappy lumber that we ripped down off the old hooch. We picked up four bags of garbage and trash and hauled it to a dumpster, we threw away all the old crap like defunct microwaves that somebody hauled up in there to try and scrap for copper,

BY THE WAY---never take apart a microwave oven unless you are trained in electronics. The damned things have a huge capacitor in them that is charged up with thousands of volts of electricity, and EVEN WHEN THE FUCKING THING IS UNPLUGGED, THE CAPACITOR CAN KILL YOU IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY SHORT IT OUT. Early microwave ovens were called "Radar Ranges". That's because microwave energy is the same energy as is used in radar. Radar requires a big capacitor to generate enough voltage to discharge microwaves into the atmosphere (or in the case of a microwave oven, into your macaroni-and-cheese dinner.) If you are stupidly disassembling one, trying to scrap it for copper, and accidentally short out the capacitor, guess what? You won't be needing any recycling money.

02-11-2008, 12:51 AM
Rolling Nowhere---

I heard there is still a shitload of work in New Orleans, all kinds of renovation and construction work. The city's work force is way too small to meet the need. Are you guys looking for work or just passing through?

02-11-2008, 01:49 AM
I've been in New Orleans for almost a year now (sheesh, never thought!) and I've been working pretty much the whole time. Although, some jobs aren't as easy to come by as you would think. There is shit tons of work to be done, but when it comes to paying for said work, the money isn't always there.

Kabar, it sounds like you and Stretch have done a really nice job. I hope to check it out some time.


Other times we have been on a rail car and had the conductor or a switchman walk by the car, causing Burl to want to growl and bark. Stretch just grabs him by the muzzle and "shushes" him. This usually works, but not always.

My dog has the same problem. He is one loud son of a bitch.

02-13-2008, 12:51 AM

alittle outdated, but it still has some useful information.

02-15-2008, 06:41 AM

Waiting to catch out with Graincar George and Burlington. Stretch shot the pic. Look at the size of Stretch's pack! That's a MONTANA BINDLE right there.


02-15-2008, 05:15 PM
good photo!

rolling nowhere
02-17-2008, 11:45 PM
Rolling Nowhere---

I heard there is still a shitload of work in New Orleans, all kinds of renovation and construction work. The city's work force is way too small to meet the need. Are you guys looking for work or just passing through?

just passing through. been here for about 3 weeks or so. its almost time to head back west. ill probably come by eureka at some point when im in htown. maybe ill see you around.

rolling nowhere
02-17-2008, 11:46 PM
and i thought my pack was big with my guitar on it. shit...

02-18-2008, 11:09 PM

02-19-2008, 07:50 AM
So is it true that doc isn't going to do the CCG anymore?

02-22-2008, 04:19 AM
That's the rumor. I suspect that it will go back to being a very small group that actually ever sees one, and only people that can actually be trusted will get it. It's a fucking shame that some people just have NO HONOR whatsoever.

Rapid-T is sure making a lot of enemies. What a fucking IDIOT.

The Texas Madman
02-23-2008, 07:43 PM
So Let's pick this one apart;

I am a TEXAN. Grew up at 2224 RIDGECREST CIRCLE, WACO, TEXAS. about a MILE from HEART O' TEXAS FAIR GROUNDS. I was PICKED on as a kid...LEARNED TO NEVER BACK DOWN, (Unless in the WRONG!)

Good 'Ol Waco, a town just across the Brazos River from Bellmeade, and the Bellmeade KATY yard where I used to Catch to San Antonio. I never stayed in the Salvation Army there, always had an American of African Descent family that I would stay with while in town. The father was an engineer for the KATY Railroad [Now UP].


To be exact why not give all your HAM Radio info, NO!, how about letting me do it for you;

John C Bernay Jr.
241 6th Street #501a
San Fransico, CA 94103
38e17be0802182246y3f53807bi18024bb45c447f52@mail.g mail.com

Callsign: KD5MPM Class: Technician Codes: HAI USA
Name: John C Bernay, Jr
Addr1: 3260 Production Ave
Addr2: Oceanside, CA 92054
Country: USA
Effective: 01 Feb 2005 Expires: 19 Dec 2010
FRN: 0004745949 What's this?
FCC: ULS Listing
Lookups: 1290

Coordinates: 34.471685 -93.103345
State: California
County: San Diego
Grid: EM34kl
Area Code: 760
GMT Offset: -8
Time Zone: Pacific
Has DST?: Y
Birthday: 12 Dec 1492

Johnny Bernays KD5MPM
e-mail:: boxcarhobo_a1@yahoo.ca
Homepage:: boxcarhobo_a1@yahoo.ca

Callsign KD5MPM Class: Technician Codes: HAI USA
Name John C Bernay, Jr
Addr1 241 6th, street #501a
Addr2 SAN FRNCISCO, CA 94103
Country USA
Effective 04 Jul 2007 Expires: 19 Dec 2010
FRN 0004745949 What's this?
FCC ULS Listing
Lookups 1690

Coordinates 34.471685 -93.103345
State California
County San Francisco
Grid EM34kl
Area Code 415
GMT Offset -8
Time Zone Pacific
Has DST? Y
QRZ Updated 2007-07-05 08:00:00
e-mail: d5mpm@netscape.net

Frank is the BIG SHOT up in BRITT.

That's the only TRUE thing you have said in this thread!

DOF-MAN TONY knows me

Actually his Road Name is DOG MAN TONY, I rode with him many times on the High-Line in the 1980's-1990's, and I Know what town he's from in New York State!


Frank has only rode a freight train 1 time in his life riding from Klamath Falls Oregon to Dunsmuir California in 1992.


I rod continously since 1972 with a short break for the birth of both of my sons. I don't ride now for work, ust pleasure, and remenicing of old days! Although I will soon be steady on the road to do My Style of a Hobo Documentary.


You write like you're on CRACK!

02-24-2008, 12:01 AM
Lets start from scratch here. No I dont ride the rails. I have a a full time job. I Work for a living. I have ridden in the past, never did enjoy as much as I thought. I do like the history of hobos. I have been going to britt now for over 15 years. Why do people think Im in charge. Im not. Im just another person at the jungle. There are very FEW fakes that show up at Britt. There have been old timers and young riders that have come to britt. I've never claimed to be a hobo, nor do I want to be. If you can't handle that, too bad. I've never seen you contribute anything to the convention, so you have no right or experience to complain about it. Many of the locals and "hobos at heart" put their all into the events and exhibits, while I tend to see all the "real hobos" sit around and get drunk and piss all over the place. So, I've seen both sides of the street. Come to Britt and prove me wrong, Please!

02-24-2008, 08:10 PM
I spent the night down at the jungle with Stretch, Burlington and a couple of railriders named Rick and Carla. The jungle is looking good, the trash is all picked up pretty much. We burned up a large portion of the junk firewood pile last night, maybe about half. The idea is to get rid of as many things that would attract negative attention as is possible. Trash is a major negative attention-getter. It's like throwing down your cans at a lay-up---just dumb behavior.
Both Stretch and Rick are working. Stretch has a temp job at a refrigerated warehouse that ships juice boxes and non-carbonated beverages. Rick is working at a concrete plant filling up ready-mix trucks with concrete and unloading hopper cars full of dry cement.

They made a major food score at a church-sponsored food bank. Each person got a couple of bags full of groceries, so now the jungle has plenty of chow. By the end of the week both guys will get a payday, so things should be prosperous for them pretty soon.

Because they are working, but living in the jungle, they'll be able to raise road money quickly. Stretch is talking about going to Amory in early April, so when he pulls stakes it's probable that Rick and Carla will move into the hooch.

I think it's kind of cool having people living in the jungle who share my ideas about keeping a clean camp. The place actually looks orderly and kind of "well kept."

02-24-2008, 08:27 PM

The Texas Madman
02-24-2008, 08:52 PM
Yeah, I'm here, but have to return the DSL to the upstairs in a minute

The Texas Madman
02-24-2008, 08:54 PM
K-Bar - [ask Frank if you think I'm blowing things out of proportion] ANYTHING you can do to keep elijah666prophet, who is also boxcarro_a1, Off this board will hlp to kep it for REAL HOBO-TRAMPS!

02-27-2008, 04:51 AM
K-Bar disassembling the Old Hilton.

Eureka Hilton, lumber pile 2/08


Here's a shot of the Eureka Hilton before we started work.


02-27-2008, 05:03 AM
Starting the rebuild. The only part that was left standing was the back wall.


New gable roof. 2x4 rafters with 1x4 crossbraces.


"The bar is open!"


North side. The hooch's walls are built of pallets.

02-27-2008, 05:13 AM
Before deconstruction.


Roof decking on and the front gable closed in with scrap OSB.



02-27-2008, 05:26 AM
It's beer-thirty. Time to chill.


Next morning, back to work.


The Collinwood Kid, King of the Dumpster Divers, hard at work.



02-27-2008, 05:31 AM
DAMN!!!! fit for kings Kbar!!! looks good!

02-27-2008, 05:41 AM

Looks real good! Excellent post...i love it!
Burl looks good!

02-28-2008, 05:32 AM
Western elevation, Eureka Hilton




02-28-2008, 05:39 AM
Stretch's gear. The puppy dog sleeping bag is Burl's winter bag.


22 oz. Estwing framing hammers---Best in the West!


02-28-2008, 05:57 PM
You are the man!

& god damn, is that ever a cute dog!!

02-28-2008, 09:43 PM
I have so much to ask you about, to say to you... but i have one quick question for now: I've read about half of this thread, and about half-way through, in 2005, you wrote that Burl has cancer, and maybe only six months to live... I was sad to hear this... SO! What happened? The Burl in the pictures above must be the same dog, right? Was it a mis-diagnosis? Not as serious as previously feared?
Thanks man!

02-29-2008, 12:20 AM
looks great!!! can i move in?

02-29-2008, 04:43 AM
High on Stress---

Yes, this is the same Burlington Dog. It seems that the veterinarian overestimated the symptoms of cancer, and it turned out to be a sort of pre-cancerous condition similar to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in humans. They had to neuter Burl, though, so unfortunately there won't be any cute little Burlington puppies.

Value Horse---
Actually we are kind of looking for a semi-permenant jungle resident to keep the streamliners at arm's length. Stretch usually winters here, but in the summer, it is too darn hot to be out in the weather.

02-29-2008, 07:01 AM
^^^kick ass

02-29-2008, 01:59 PM
sorry if this is an ignorant or stupid question... i've been enjoying this thread, i read the last few pages and found it pretty intriguing and have started reading from the start... anyway... i was just wondering how you guys keep your gear and the like safe while out working or in town or whatnot? i imagine you can't take everything with you to work (or whatever) and im doubtful you have someone to guard/watch your stuff whenever at your convienence, so what do you do to keep your possessions safe?

thanks kabar, best wishes on your travels...

02-29-2008, 02:45 PM
2008 Hobo Events

April 16 -20 Amory, MS Railroad Days and Hobo Gathering
Contact host: Loco Larry and Ms. Charlotte
(662) 256-9113 (please restrict calls to normal daylight business hours.)

Water Valley, MS Hobo Gathering Cancelled for 2008
The Water Valley Gathering will NOT happen because
Amory RR Festival has been scheduled for that weekend
and Jackson, TN scheduled for the following weekend.
Hobos can come to Water Valley after Amory for some different scenery and to camp before
No activities are scheduled, though. (From sponsor Jack Gurner)

April 25 -26 Casey Jones Village in Jackson, TN
Contact host Lawrence Taylor at Casey Jones Village.
lawrencetaylor@ bellsouth. net

June 6 - 8 Rochelle, IL Railroad Days and Hobo Gathering
Contact Rick Barnes (815) 561-1231

July 18 - 20 Deep Lock Quarry Hobo Gathering
Contact Hummingbird (Pat Rydquist)
patrydquist@ yahoo.com

July 26 Venego, PA
(History of "A-No. 1") Hobo Gathering
The famous hobo, "A-No. 1" worked and and lived in Venago, PA at various times and these folks are working hard to establish an authenic hobo gathering in Venago.
Contact host Kerrick Caldwell kcdco809@yahoo. com

August 5 - 6 "Early Bird" activities to the National Hobo Convention, Britt, Iowa
Contact Mary Jo Hughes for info (641) 843-3840

Aug. 5 - Queen's Garden Party "A Tribute to Slo-Freight Ben."
Due to limited space, invitations will be sent (25,000 tourists show up at Britt.)

Aug 6 - Community Meal in the Jungle from 5:00 Pm to 6:30 PM

Aug 6 - A Gospel Concert at 7:00 pm, St Patrick's Catholic Church

August 7 - 10, 108th National Hobo Convention at Britt, Iowa

For a complete, up-to-date schedule of activities go to website:

http://www.brittiowa.com/hobo/ events.htm (http://www.brittiowa.com/hobo/ events.htm)

September 6 Bucyrus, OH Hobo Day
Contact: Old Crow croneis@embarqmail. com

September 21 - 23 Port Huron, MI, "Down-by-the-Depot" Hobo Festival
Contact Thomas Edison Museum (810)

September Pleasant Hill, MO Railroad Days and Hobo Gathering
Date to be announced: Host Liberty Justice. (Liberty is trying to establish a permenant jungle in Raytown, which I think is part of Spring Hill now. He has obtained a piece of land and wants to create a sort of combination permenant hobo jungle and acoustic music venue in Raytown. The land has a small building on it, but it needs a lot of brush clearing and cleaning up. Anybody interested, give Liberty a call at (816)356-8049. This is a good opportunity for some people to get in on the ground floor of what could eventually be a great gathering. Liberty has a well-established reputation as a hobo musician and singer and has attended the various gatherings for many years.

Cancellation: Riverhead, Long Island, New York
Dandy Don: Thanks for two memorable great hobo gatherings.

02-29-2008, 04:18 PM

This is a very good question, and instructive to "aspiring" tramps.

As a general rule, one never leaves one's gear anywhere. Wherever YOU go, your GEAR goes. But, as you pointed out, this can be difficult if one is working a job.

If one has a "road dog," a proven, trusted travelling companion, then generally the two of you take turns. One guards camp, the other goes out to work or fly a sign or whatever. If the jungle is an actual functioning jungle, a semi-permenant camp, then the duty of guarding camp is very much less burdensome. The crumb boss assigns someone to guard camp as a rotating duty. This is not necessarily a duty that is evenly shared, because you may have an injured tramp, a sick tramp or an elderly tramp who can no longer work who stays in camp and guards it while most of the rest of the crew is off working or whatever. It goes without saying that in this situation, everybody "shares out" in the Frisco. If a meal is cooked or a jug is purchased, everybody gets an equal share. The rule is "Share Out and Share Alike." If rations are short, then obviously the crumb boss has to exert some authority. Sick persons, children and pregnant women get whatever extra can be spared.

Nobody is permitted to hog the gunboat. The crumb boss dishes up chow. Individuals don't take however much they want, they recieve their fair share from the crumb boss. Anyone who disagrees is free to leave camp and go live by themselves somewhere else.

But I have seen men give half their share to their girlfriend, or to a woman traveling with a child.

Under normal circumstances, though, tramps miss very few meals in the modern world. The jungle at Eureka is well supplied with chow at present. As the hobo saying goes "We're eatin' good--even the dogs are fat." (In most jungles, dogs get the scraps, but of course Burl is getting fed regular dog food and plenty of it. He gets cared for better than most children.)

In the case of Eureka JCT, Rick works the day shift, Stretch works a night shift. Carla, as Rick's spouse, is supported by him, so she and Burl stay in camp and guard things. If someone were to come into camp in a threatening manner and the men were gone, Carla would grab a piece of 2x4 and run to the hooch, where Burl is on a leash, guarding Stretch's gear. If the intruder doesn't leave camp immediately, Carla can threaten to release Burl (believe me, no sane person would stick around once he recognizes that Burl is there and barking and snarling, ready to eat his ass alive). The intruder can't hurt the dog, because Carla is protecting Burl, and he can't hurt Carla, because Burl is protecting her.

Obviously, if the intruder was a real nut case and was willing to use a gun to steal whatever a few hoboes might have, or to attack a lone individual (whether male or female) that is a different scenario, but for the average jungle intruder---some streamliner looking to steal a sleeping bag or a radio---just having someone in the jungle at all is enough of a deterrent.

BUT, under normal circumstances, your gear goes wherever YOU go. YOU CANNOT REASONABLY TRUST PEOPLE YOU JUST HAPPEN TO MEET ON THE ROAD. Be polite, but don't leave your gear with people you do not know and trust. If you have not known and trusted them for some time, and you give them the opportunity to rip you off, then it's your own fault.

This is the sort of thing people learn by bitter experience. Once you've been ripped off a couple of times, you just do what you need to do without a lot of fuss. If someone says, "Hey, just leave your gear here, it will be okay," your response is "Thanks, but wherever I go, my gear goes too. It's just The Rule."

02-29-2008, 04:48 PM
KaBar! Thanks for the response! I'm glad to hear that Burl is in good health and eating well!

Thanks for posting the 2008 schedule... do you think you'll make it to Britt this year? If so, I think I'd make a real effort to get up there. I printed the first half of this thread, and spent the last few weeks reading it. I've found it incredibly informative and interesting, and very hard to put down!
If you'll be in Britt in August, I'd like to shake your hand.

One other quick question: What is TU63?? Thanks!

02-29-2008, 05:32 PM
TU 63 is the hobo organization that originally started the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. It stands for "Tourist Union # 63." (There were 63 charter members.) It was created back in the late 1890's when labor unions were first getting establisdhed in a big way. Sometimes somebody who owned a saloon or a hotel would start a labor union and just call it something like "The Plaster Workers and Lath Craftsmen Union # 1." They would seek to find plaster jobs and put their members to work on it, similar to a labor pool type agency. There was really no regulation of labor unions back then.

The police would often raid a jungle, and anybody without some proof that he was working or at least seeking work would get arrested for "vagrancy." Vagrancy was essentially the crime of being unemployed.

The hoboes in Chicago formed Tourist Union #63 partially as a joke, and partially as a way to create "union cards" that they could present to the cops when they were stopped and carded. (Remember, this was before Driver's Licenses, before State I.D. cards, before individuals having to "positively identify" themselves to any cop that wanted to know who they were.)
In the late 1890's, the Chicago police broke up a large hobo convention, and in the process there was a huge fight, sort of a riot. It made headlines all over the world.

A group of investors and developers in Britt, Iowa decided to try and cash in on all the publicity. Britt was a newly developed farming community, and farming communities must have agricultural workers to plant and harvest crops. Back then, these jobs were done mostly by hoboes. These business men in Britt contacted the leaders of TU 63, and offered to bring them by train down to Britt to see if they would like to move their convention there. The TU 63 men agreed, if the Britt developers would buy them First Class tickets. They did, and the first National Hobo Convention in Britt was scheduled for August of 1900. This also made headlines all over the world, which was the developer's intention, to publicize Britt, Iowa. (It must have been a slow news day, LOL.)

The Convention has not been held every single year since 1900, I don't think. there were years when it wasn't held. But in more modern times, it has been very regular, certainly since the 1970's. Britt uses it as the basis for their annual festival, the Britt Hobo Days. They have a huge sign on the turn-off to Britt, featuring a gigantic hobo. For the town, it is a huge economic consideration. They make money off of the Hobo Days gathering, because thousands of tourists come to town to attend the carnival, the flea market booths, the food booths and so on. The Hobo Convention is actually secondary to the parade, the election of the King and Queen of Hobos, the mulligan stew feed and all the rest of the week's events that are designed to entertain tourists.

The TU 63 actually still exists and it is being run by well-known hobos. Texas Mad Man is the collector of dues and all that sort of thing. Last time I heard, Preacher Steve was the Grand Head Pipe or whatever they call the leader. I don't think I'm currently paid up, but I was a member for several years. Most people pay their annual dues up in Britt at the NHC. You get a membership card, a bumper sticker that says "Tourist Union #63" and a newsletter that comes out ever so often, maybe monthly.

If you want to join, send an IM to Texas Mad Man. I don't think there is any particular requirement to be in the TU 63, you just pay your dues and conduct yourself like a stand-up tramp. That's it. Actual rail riders get to vote in the Convention. Non-rail-riders get a voice, but no vote. Civilians don't get to attend or observe, because it's too disruptive, and besides they don't need to hear whatever the Convention's business is anyway. (Most of the time there's not a whole lot to discuss, but they don't need to know that, either, LOL.)

Tourist Union 63
1665 Bryn Mawr
East Cleveland, Ohio 44112
Annual dues are $24, by MONEY ORDER. Or in person only, in cash. Don't forget to include a return address.

A Brief History of Tourist Union #63 and it's Mission In the mid 1800's several hobos found themselves in a jungle next tothe mainline of the B & O RR They all had something in common, theyhad been repeatedly kicked out of towns and off train yards becausethey had no visible means of employment nor funds on hand at many times of the year. And because of strict enforcement of vagrancy laws by allpolice agencies nationwide an organization was needed to aid themigrant working hobo. However if one was the member of a Union thenthe unemployed person was granted free passage on any RR, and wouldnot be persecuted for vagrancy while in any city attempting to gaineven a few hours of employment. And so these few hobos drew uparticles of confederation for a Tourist Union for any hobo nationwideto join and avoid persecution for vagrancy. Finding that the hobospresent numbered to 63 this Union was labeled Tourist Union #63. Thefounding members, both men and women, registered their union inCinncinati Ohio holding a small office at 1143 W. Market St. Nearthe Queensgate neighborhood, and the yards of the B & O, and NickelPlate RR's. In August of each year Tourist Union #63 held a National HoboConvention to renew friendships, collect annual dues, sign up newmembers, and honor the most deserving of their union to the temporarypositions of King, Queen, Crown Prince, Crown Princess, and GrandHead Pipe. Thereby attempting to elevate the stature of all hobos inthe general publicís eyes. Through the mid to later 1800's the Conventionof Tourist Union #63 was held in a different city of the USA toappease to every region of the nation that it's members originated,and to enlist new members thereby gaining more political support forthe legitimacy of the union. During the 1887 convention, held on the banks of St. Louis on whatwould someday become the Gateway Arch National Park, the conveningmembers voted on Chicago as their next convention location. AndChicago remained the location of their convention for the next 12years. [for by that time up to 8 organizations were hold a NationalHobo Convention because of the publicity it generated] It was at oneof these Chicago held conventions that the article called the code ofthe road was drawn up, voted on, and adopted by the Union as anabsolute of laws that the entire Hobo Nation could enforce at anytime or any place. In the year 1899 the heads of the town of Britt,Iowa approached theheads of Tourist Union #63 to hold their annual convention in Britt.The President of the Union rode the Milwaukee Road to Britt toinspect the Accommodations for the large gathering of members thatwould converge on Britt in August. And so beginning in the year 1900the National Hobo Convention of Tourist Union #63 was movedpermanently to Britt Iowa. The town needed to be able to accommodate alarge convening body and this was very evident during the 1949Convention when a total of 1800 hobos converged upon the town. Some of the members of Tourist Union #63 went on to form theAmerican Civil Liberties Union which was instrumental in repealingvagrancy laws nationwide. Tourist Union #63 continued to work withthe ACLU to aid it's members and other migratory workers through the1990's. In 1998 Tourist Union #63 relocated it's national office toBritt Iowa locating in the National Hobo Museum and dues fell to theHobo Foundation to collect. The foundation is an organization createdby members of Tourist Union #63 for the preservation of the nationalhobo culture that shaped the lives of many notable American PublicFigures. In the year 2001 Preacher Steve, Halftrack, and The Texas Madmandiscussed relocating the national offices of Tourist Union #63fromBritt Iowa to another location because dues collection, memberships,and records were being poorly maintained and so it was voted that thenational offices would be moved to Annandale Mn. Preacher Steve wouldmaintain records of the Union, serve as president, and appointmembers to union duties. Preacher Steve, however, is about tograduate from nursing school and soon will be working a full timejob, so seeing that his personal time would be demanded of him for acareer he appointed The Texas Madman as the official collector ofdues, issuer of memberships, and seller of union items, and [comingsoon] the publisher of the Union Newsletter which would come outmonthly. And even though the new national offices of Tourist Union#63 is now in East Cleveland Ohio it is still recognized that thepresident is still Preacher Steve until he wants to step down andhave a new president elected. The address for the offices of Tourist Union #63 is;Tourist Union #63, 1665 Bryn Mawr Rd., East Cleveland Ohio 44112 All dues can be sent to this address in the form of Cash or a MoneyOrder seeing I may not be able to attend every hobo gathering throughthe year. Soon we will be issuing a newsletter which I've decided toname THE HOBOTRAMP VOICE being mailed out on a monthly basis. Thisnewsletter is free for dues paying Union members, but can besubscribed to by non-union members as well. The cost for this is$2.00 per month, or a total of $24.00 per year, this is to aid the cost[yes we don't always dumpster dive as much paper or printing ink andwe'd like to] of materials, printing, and mailing. Everyone isencouraged to send their past and present stories of the road to thisaddress, as well as poetry, road news, letters will be deleted forfoul language and non-foul language will be inserted to insure thatthe original tone of the letter remains. Funds collected will be usedby the Union thru a majority vote by all dues paying members. Tourist Union #63 is a Hobo Nation oriented organization, we DO NOTexpound a political attitude, but one that is directed towards aNationwide Family. Our Mission is to preserve the Hobo Culture intothe future, to police our own when needed, and to give a more conciseimage of our nation thru the control of our personal print media, andour many corners of the internet.

02-29-2008, 05:56 PM
I just got an email from Old Crow, and he informed me that there are TWO hobo gatherings every year in Bucyrus, Ohio:

"Hello KaBar: The Bucyrus Hobo Days are always the Saturday before Memorial
Day and the Saturday Before Labor Day. This year those dates are May 24th
and August 31st. Hope to see you there. I'll copy this to Mama Jo. Again,
thanks for asking. Jim Croneis: "Old Crow."

2008 Bucyrus Hobo Days: MAY 24th and AUGUST 31st, Bucyrus, OH.
The September date in the post above^^^ is INCORRECT. My apologies.

02-29-2008, 10:49 PM
its too bad all these things happen south of the border, i'd really enjoy meeting up with some of y'all and learning and just listening to what ya'll have to say... haha, assuming you'd all be okay with a young rookie like myself being around... are you aware of much of this happening up in Canada? my part of the country is fairly rail-deprived (not THAT much train traffic, and even less of the interesting stuff like writers and riders)...

just on the topic of personal belongings... in a sitation in which you absolutely need somehwere to store your goods for a day (or 6 hours, or whatever) and it can't be guarded, would wrapping it in a bag and burying it work alrite, or hiding it in a tree? (assuming weather permits of course)

02-29-2008, 11:16 PM
"your gear goes wherever YOU go."
safest route to take.
there is definatly train riding in canada.

03-01-2008, 12:40 AM
there is definatly train riding in canada.

no doubt! but in atlantic canada i haven't witnessed or heard of it, other than the occasional young person catching a train for short distances (ie. myself)... same deal goes for the writers, a few small groups that i know in the other province, and just me and my boys here.....

03-01-2008, 12:56 AM
I think you're just not looking in the right places. One of the most well-known female trainhoppers in North America is Stray Cat Julie, who comes from Quebec, I think. She actually rode a freight train INTO BRITT during the Convention! There were cops and Iowa, Chicago and Eastern railroad bulls as thick as fleas on a dog, and Julie rides in on a grainer she caught in Mason City, then she slips into the chow line in the jungle quietly and unobserved. Everybody in the line is chattering away "Did you hear? Some chick rode in on that grain train!" And Julie is like "Really? Pass me a slice of bread, would you? I'm really hungry!"

The Texas Madman
03-01-2008, 03:59 PM
Over dinner once at the home of actor Hal Holbrook in Los Angeles, he handed over a photograph of a bearded fellow who turned out to be his father, who was a hobo. We talked a long time about the fact that his dad had no other interest other than knocking along in life as a hobo.

The Texas Madman
03-01-2008, 04:11 PM
Once again giving traveling info at a jungle fire is as commonplace as offering a cup of coffee to a new ‘bo, or enforcing the “Frisco Circle”, so here again I add the chatter that’s been listed on the Train Hoppers List!

"surf catz" <surfcatz@hotmail.com>

Yesterday the Union Pacific Railroad informed Amtrak that the Frazier slide will likely keep the line blocked until at least late March. Meanwhile, Union Pacific Conductor Greg Boam - UNOFFICIALLY - sent out an email stating the line may not reopen until April 26th. Regardless of what actually takes place, we now know the cleanup efforts will go on much longer than expected.
================================================== ============================
"Widerstand" <widerstand@riseup.net>

I would like to point out that this is a great chance to ride SBD UP train to CA on there detour route which is East to The Dalles, OR then 13 more miles east to the BNSF Oregon Trunk Sub where they turn SBD towards Bend, OR, and then re-enter there own sub at Chemult, OR!

Kickass ride if anyone cares!

it is a beautiful ride down the deschutes river canyon, towering sandy bluffs. it is never to be forgotten. Mr. "Resistance" (Widerstand = resistance in Deutsch) is right.

Warum dein Nahme ist Widerstand? Sprechst du Deutsch?
================================================== ============================"chucho seco" <chuchitoseco@yahoo.com>

which means your UP from portland to roseville will go east on river out of portland and then head down oregon trunk subdivision to KFalls (BNSF tracks via Bend)


03-02-2008, 12:56 AM
I was checking links in my posts above, and realized that the link for the National Hobo Convention is a dead end. I'm not sure what's wrong with it, but if you need information about Britt, try :

www.hobo.com (http://www.hobo.com)

This site has tons of information about the National Hobo Convention, the Hobo Foundation and Britt, Iowa in general. It's a neat little town, kind of sedate after dark, of course.

The Texas Madman
03-02-2008, 06:53 PM
July - 18 - 19, 20 2008 Deep lock Quarry Metro Park in Peninsula, Ohio
Pat Rydquist prydquist@summitmetroparks.org

The Texas Madman
03-02-2008, 06:54 PM

This is a better link for Hobo-Tramp Gatherings K-Bar [the Knife?]

The Texas Madman
03-02-2008, 06:55 PM
National Hobo Convention.2007 "Hobo" Convention Schedule

Sunday, August 5th

4:30 PM Time Capsule Dedication and Burying of Time Capsule
Located in the Lot North of Hobo House on the New Museum Lot
Following Dedication: will be a fundraiser Picnic and Campfire

Thursday, August 9th

5:30 AM - 4:00 PM Silent Auction
8:00 AM to dark Hobo Memorial Wall (hobo shelter) a tribute to Steamtrain
in the hobo jungle (Queen's Drive fundraiser for new museum)
9:00 AM Hobo Museum & Gift Shop open daily through out convention
7:00 PM Official lighting of the Jungle Fire at Hobo Jungle

Friday, August 10th

Daylight to Dusk Hobo Memorial Wall (hobo shelter) a tribute to Steamtrain
in the jungle (Queen's Drive fundraiser for new museum)
9:00 AM Hobo Museum & Gift Shop Open
9:00 AM Hobo Memorial Service at Evergreen Cemetery
11:00 AM Hobo Art Gallery by Leanne Castillo - Municipal Building
2:00 PM Ladies Tea by Hobo Ladies at St. Patrick's Catholic Church Parish Hall
4:00 PM Poetry Reading at Hobo Jungle
7:00 PM Hobo Jungle Entertainment - Hobo Jungle
8:00 PM Terry Smith show @ West Hancock High School (Fundraiser for new
Hobo Museum)

Saturday, August 11th

Daylight to dark Hobo Memorial Wall (hobo shelter) a tribute to Steamtrain
in the hobo jungle (Queen's Drive fundraiser for new museum)
9:00 AM Hobo Museum & Gift Shop Open
10:00 AM Giant Parade
11:00 Am Hobo Art Gallery by Leanne Castillo - Municipal Building
12:00 PM Free Mulligan Stew in City Park
1:00 PM Hobo King and Queen coronation in City park followed by the Hobo
Auction in the Gazebo
7:00 PM Hobo Entertainment at Hobo Jungle

Sunday, August 12th

9:00 AM Hobo church at the jungle around the campfire
10:00 AM until finished Secure the Jungle (Clean it for litter and put items in
Shelter storage)

The Texas Madman
03-02-2008, 07:02 PM
Deep Lake Quarry Directions

Starting in Chicago take CSX either out of BARR Yd. or Clearing Yard thru C.C. at Garrett In., Willard Oh., into Cleveland Oh. - Collinwood Yd. Call 249-8140 for a ride to Peninsula Ohio where the gathering will take place, you could try to get close on NS to Cleveland, but not every train will stop at the Motor Yard behind the FORD Plant.

In Buffalo take CSX to Cleveland and call the same number, If in Pittsburgh take NS to Cleveland this will give you a chance to get off at the Motor Yard behind FORD in Northfield Park. That put you only 7 miles from the Peninsula Hobo Camp site for the event.

Deep lock Quarry

Join Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in celebrating the life of a hobo. On July 22, 2006 ride the train from Nothside Depot located at 27 Ridge St. Akron, OH 44308, to Deep Lock Quarry. There you will learn about the tradition and lifestyle of this noble culture. Hobos will be escorted off the
train by the railroad police and walk up the hill to the hobo jungle for refreshments and friendship. You will visit with some of the train hoppers and hear their stories and music. Come dressed as a hobo and bring a can of soup or vegetables. The train will then pick up the riders at 2:20 for a return trip to the Northside Depot. cost for the train is $15.00. Tickets may be purchased at CVSR in Peninsula or call: 800-468-4070 or email: www.cvsr.com to make

Deep Lock Quarry, 5779 Riverview Rd., Peninsula (3/4 mile South of State Route 303, in Peninsula), has a rich cultural history which includes hobo jungles. Hobo jungles were a campsite, a place where the men and women of this often misunderstood people could get a cup of coffee, share food, feel safe in the friendship of other hobos,
and find out where they could hop the next freight. Visit our hobo jungle and enjoy the stories and music around the campfire. Deep Lock Quarry, (3/4 mile South of State Route 303, in Peninsula), has a rich cultural history from Indian trails, quarrying for sandstone during the Ohio & Erie Canal era, railroad loading on canal boats, to park preservation. Part of its rich history also included hobo jungles. Hobo jungles were a campsite, a place where the men and women of this often misunderstood people could get a cup of coffee and share food, feel safe in the friendship of other hobos, and find out where they could hop the next freight. Visit our jungle on July 22 & 23 and learn about the history and code of ethics of hobos. Enjoy stories and music around the campfire. Those dressed like a hobo will be eligible to be elected King and Queen of the DLQ jungle. In the hobo tradition, please bring a can of soup, meat, or vegetables for the pot.

03-02-2008, 09:01 PM
mmm homestyle cooking

03-03-2008, 05:29 AM
i would really like to meet some girl hoppers and find out what they do about "girl stuff" every month. do you know anything about that?
-random question.sorry.

The Texas Madman
03-03-2008, 03:07 PM

03-03-2008, 03:23 PM
Just bring the things with you and use them as usual, i guess?

The Texas Madman
03-03-2008, 03:45 PM
Colt 45 Duche

03-03-2008, 10:29 PM
bhah thankss guys.

03-03-2008, 11:07 PM
Stretch's gear. The puppy dog sleeping bag is Burl's winter bag.


22 oz. Estwing framing hammers---Best in the West!


...hehe...gReat chOice in haMMer... ESTWiNG brotha!!!

03-04-2008, 01:35 AM

03-04-2008, 02:59 AM
Princess Potato---

It's not like there are no stores whatsoever where tramps ride. My late ex-wife, Diana, and I travelled together hitch-hiking and trainhopping for months. We always managed a bath or a shower somewhere, either we met people who would let us get a shower at their place, or we rented a cheap motel or hotel room once in a while, stopped at a state or national park or we just found some private spot and bathed out of a 5-gallon bucket or in a stream. In the West, especially, we had often access to streams and rivers that were pretty much clear, cold water. Along the West Coast we often just went swimming in the surf.

Most female trainhoppers carry a supply of feminine hygiene products like pads or tampons. Disposing of them wasn't too difficult, just like other waste products: out the boxcar door and onto the ballast. When the monthly event arrived we would usually camp out for a few days in one spot, somewhere close to some amenities like a water spigot or someplace with a bathroom maybe. She always liked staying clean and spiffy, even when we were catching out. I might go a week or more without scrubbing up, but she usually managed a spit bath every day or so. Despite the austere conditions, Diana very rarely complained.

It's more or less like backpacking or camping out. There aren't any toilets out in the middle of a National Park, you know. Just find a nice secluded spot and dig yourself a cat-hole. A lot of today's trainhoppers carry something like Baby Wipes to keep clean. When I was grocery shopping the other day, I noticed a container of handi-wipe disposable disinfectant towels in the Kroger produce department, so I took a few and walked along having a "spit bath" as I shopped. It got rid of the worst of the grime I collected working on the hooch. It's really not all that difficult to stay pretty clean.

The Texas Madman
03-04-2008, 03:17 AM
ALMOST every town has a Y.M.C.A./Y.W.C.A. that you can buy a shower for between $3 to $8!

The Texas Madman
03-04-2008, 03:18 AM
But if it's summertime and you're in the woods or countryside most streams are clean and Fairly warm/refreshing!

03-04-2008, 03:49 AM
wow thanks so much for all the info! i met some squatters a week ago downtown and just fell in love. such a crazy life it seems. i'd really love to try it one day. with the right people.

The Texas Madman
03-04-2008, 07:03 AM
BTW - An easy and quick way to wash-up after getting off a train and needing to go up-town with less grime on your face and hands is to carry a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls with you. The alcohol and cotton balls will act like a washcloth and water and soap, and you'll air-dry, removes road-grime, and B.O. too! Just be careful about where you use them, some areas of your skin is TOO TENDER to use Rubbing Alcohol on!

Just don't try to drink the Rubbing Alcohol, more Hobos have gone blind drinking RUB-A-DUB!

03-04-2008, 02:52 PM
...hehe...gReat chOice in haMMer... ESTWiNG brotha!!!

I agree! I swing a 200z, but what can i say, I'm a skinny guy!

03-04-2008, 03:05 PM

03-04-2008, 07:51 PM
my question goes out to anyone who has a good idea about what's going on at the hobo get togethers in mississippi.
I'm from mississippi and have been reading up on all you can about trainhopping/squatting/free living/etc.etc.
1.I've read on some places that the two festivals will take place back to back, and on others that one or the other is cancelled. i would like to know which one or both will be taking place.
2. I'm also wondering which will be the best or if either will be a good place for a couple of younger kids to come and learn and hopefully meet some experienced traveler. i've noticed in most pictures that it is an older crowd and i'm not sure how friendly or excited they would be for some un-experienced kids to come and listen and sit around with them. perhaps i'm just missing the pictures that show the other masses of people but from what i understand these are public events that at night turn into more of a strictly hobo get-togethers.
Please let me know if i'm wrong and what the real deal on these gatherings is.
p.s. i would like to catch out from one of these and end up at the casey jones festival in tennessee. i'm not sure how open these vets my be to the idea of taking and teaching some others about the rails. but then again i know they don't want a bunch of un-knowing kids trying to hop the rails the wrong way either.

03-04-2008, 08:40 PM
i second that beetle

The Texas Madman
03-04-2008, 09:16 PM
April 16 - 20, 2008
Amory Mississippi. 330th Annual Railroad Festival. Hosted by Loco Larry & Hobo Queen, Ms Charlotte. Supper will be served for the Hoboes at Loco Larry and Queen Ms Charlotte's on Thursday.

This one originally started up 29 years ago when Steamtrain Maury Graham [R.I.P.] thought of moving himself and his wife Wanda to a warmer climate. It is still visited by several long time riders, as well as retired riders, and would be a great break from the Ice and Snow, and from there you can get trains to Jackson Tennessee. Amory is a Crew Change on the BNSF.

The Texas Madman
03-04-2008, 09:17 PM
The other one in Jackson Tennessee will take place 2 weeks AFTER the one in Amory Mississippi!

The Texas Madman
03-05-2008, 01:33 AM
Jackson Tennessee is served by Tennessee Western Railroad which can be caught every other day in Fulton Kentucky next to the CN/IC yard. And also every other day in Corinth Mississippi on the North side of town where the KCS intersects with it!

03-05-2008, 02:23 AM
I just got an email from Stray Cat Julie, she finished her teaching contract in Korea and is back home in Canada. By the way, she's not from Quebec, she's from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Julie is something of a paradox---she's quite attractive and intelligent, and well educated, but she still chooses the hobo life. He boyfriend doesn't ride trains, in fact he's kind of a homebody, but Stray Cat rides all over the place! They stayed at the Eureka Hilton a few days on their way back to Canada from Mexico. They had a huge, day-glo colored, touristy-looking Mexican straw sombrero that they brought with them hitchhiking all the way up from the border. They stayed in the old Hilton, which was pretty well thrashed, even back then.

03-05-2008, 03:08 AM

buckshot freddy
03-05-2008, 03:59 AM
write a book

03-05-2008, 06:41 AM
thanks a ton texas madman for the info. but many of my questions still remain unanswered.
1.I'm still wondering what the stance on the crowds will be concerning young aspiring hoppers coming to these festivals and wanting to meet many of them and obtain some knowledge; possibly even wanting to catch out with them.
2. if the water valley meeting is going to take place at all.
3. if young hoppers will be in attendance at these festivals; nothing against the older crowd at all but i have quite a feeling they won't be at great ease with younger crowds asking them questions and wanting to catch out with them.

Thanks a ton for all the info and your replies.
......... catching out or not I'm just wondering if these festivals will be worth the time or if your not an experienced rider you're just going to be stared at oddly when trying to listen in.
i hope greatly that many hoppers or not that the crowds will be open to share stories with non- hoppers and even valuable information on hopping. I know nobody really interested just wants tons of kids trying this stuff but for the ones really wanting to learn the right way it's quite hard to find the details when living in a small town where it's extremely rare to come across hoboes or other hoppers without it being some crackhead.

The Texas Madman
03-05-2008, 07:01 AM
It sounds like you're kinda' paranoid, just take a chance and come down, I'm sure you'll find out your fears are UNFOUNDED!

03-05-2008, 07:53 AM
guess i'll have to do just that. hope to see you and many more there.

03-06-2008, 12:24 AM
Beetlejuice, it's pretty laid back. Most of the older riders are pretty open to talking all about trainhopping. There are always a few younger people there, but it's not usually a huge crowd. There's a big difference between the guys that are out there riding 24-7 and the people that usually show up at a Hobo Gathering where there are going to be a bunch of civilian tourists. Even the hard core riders moderate their usual behavior when they are up at Britt or when they go to some railroad festival.

99% of the people in the world could not care less about hoboes and trainhoppers. When tramps show up at a gathering where people appreciate the hobo life, the tramps usually try to be as friendly and accomodating as they can be. I've had tourists come up to me at Britt and ask "Can we take your picture? Would you mind posing with my grandkids in front of the Hobo Museum?" Guys like Iowa Blackie sometimes say they will agree if the photographer buys one of his books of poetry. (Blackie writes poetry and makes calenders that he sells to people.) Some people just say "Naw, I don't do no pictures," or "I can't, my probation officer will find out I'm up here and get all pissed off." But most tramps just go along with it and are nice to the tourists. After all, if there were no tourists, there would be no Britt Hobo Days.

A lot of tramps have got some little gig that they do to make a few bucks selling to the crowds, like selling walking sticks or Hobo Gear hats or copies of the Hobo Times or train whistles carved out of wood or something else like that. They have to either figure out a way to make a buck, or fly a sign, or go to work. So a lot of them are into some kind of craft items. Texas Mad Man is a great embroiderer. He has sewn up a whole patchwork quilt made out of pieces of old blue jeans and embroidered every square. It hangs in the Hobo Museum in Britt. He also embroiders the "King of Hobos" patch and "Queen of Hobos" patch that is given to the newly selected King and Queen each year.

Like I said, in general, it's pretty laid back. Be friendly, be polite and everything will be cool.

03-06-2008, 12:47 AM
I was flipping through SNG today and I ran across some great deals on rucks. Go check out www.gunnyssurplus.com (http://www.gunnyssurplus.com)

They've got woodland camouflage medium ALICE packs, with packstraps, for $20. You can get 10 or more of these without packstraps for $4 a piece. M-65 Extreme Cold Weather parka, $22. Cold weather pant liners, $3. Extreme cold weather "Brown Bear" jacket, small or medium, $2 each.

OD green medium ALICE ruck, no frame or packstraps, $20. OD green large ALICE ruck, no frame or packstraps, VG condition, $12. USGI duffle bag with shoulder straps, $6.

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-13847541009239_1990_4159989 (http://www.gunnyssurplus.com/alice-pack-medium-woodland.html) Medium camouflage ALICE pack $12

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-13847541009239_1990_8892091 (http://www.gunnyssurplus.com/alice-packmedium.html) Medium OD green ALICE pack $10

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-13847541009239_1990_8903757 (http://www.gunnyssurplus.com/alice-pack-frame.html) ALICE pack frame $20 (with packstraps as pictured)

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-13847541009239_1990_8910502 (http://www.gunnyssurplus.com/pack-straps.html) ALICE pack packstraps $10

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-13847541009239_1990_8920644 (http://www.gunnyssurplus.com/large-alice-pack.html) Large OD green ALICE pack $12

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-13847541009239_1990_3742154 Swedish Army ruck with frame $8

03-06-2008, 12:58 AM
thanks much for the info kabar and madman. can't wait to come and meet the vets. hopefully including you two. I'll try to have some cash on me so i can purchase some of the crafts for sale. also-are non-hoppers going to be welcomed down at the camps to hang out through the night. i definately hope to hear as many stories as possible. see you guys and gals there. thanks again

03-06-2008, 01:02 AM
Beetlejuice, whenever you get three or four tramps together, the bullshit flows like a waterfall. The problem is getting them to shut up, LOL.

03-06-2008, 01:23 AM
i can't wait either mister beetlejuice.
i want to be old and have a million stories to tell, real or made up...

03-06-2008, 01:51 AM

The Texas Madman
03-06-2008, 01:55 AM
I'm still wondering what the stance on the crowds will be concerning young aspiring hoppers coming to these festivals and wanting to meet many of them and obtain some knowledge; possibly even wanting to catch out with them.

By "Crowds" I guess you are referring to the Older Hobos, and Present Riders, and at this gathering [Amory Mississippi] it's often referred to as A FAMILY REUNION [without all the bitching, and back biting]. Just realize 2 things - 1.-This IS The South, so you'll be seeing Confederate Flags almost everywhere, and 2.-Amory Mississippi is in a Dry County. There'll be folks going to the nearest town [Newport Mississippi] to get beer seeing it's in a WET County, so you won't go completely Dry. But the Park set-up we have to ourselves is directly in the line-of-sight of Amory City Hall, the Amory Police, and the City Jail.

If the water valley meeting is going to take place at all.

As far as I have heard Water Valley is still between Amory and Jackson Tennessee, but am unsure what the dates are!

If young hoppers will be in attendance at these festivals; nothing against the older crowd at all but i have quite a feeling they won't be at great ease with younger crowds asking them questions and wanting to catch out with them.

There will be somebody there to catch a train ride with, Stretch always goes to Amory.

Catching out or not I'm just wondering if these festivals will be worth the time or if your not an experienced rider you're just going to be stared at oddly when trying to listen in.

More often at Amory you're gonna' be stared at if you walk around in a suit and tie.

i hope greatly that many hoppers or not that the crowds will be open to share stories with non- hoppers and even valuable information on hopping. I know nobody really interested just wants tons of kids trying this stuff but for the ones really wanting to learn the right way it's quite hard to find the details when living in a small town where it's extremely rare to come across Hoboes or other hoppers without it being some crackhead.

I'll bet after Amory and finding out the info you're looking for you'll end up saying to yourself.............."God, I didn't know there were all these people to keep in contact with for train riding"......................

03-06-2008, 03:35 AM
thanks for answering those questions madman. you've been alot of help. are you going to be attending this?

The Texas Madman
03-06-2008, 04:32 AM
I Plan to, although this spring I will be periodically going round the country to interview any riders I knew/know for my PERSONAL VERSION of a Hobo Documentary. This will probably take 3 years to complete!

The Texas Madman
03-06-2008, 04:35 AM
BTW - Who the H&LL is this - Boxcarro_a1 - dude?, he's been e-mailing me at one of my personal e-mail addresses alot of indecipherable Hate and Radical Prejudice CRAP!

03-06-2008, 01:40 PM
there are alot of crazies in the world. you never know.