DOES ANYONE OUT THERE know anyone; or better still are any of you numbered among the tribe of (mainly American, as far as I know as it's so easy to hop long distances) professional freight-train hoppers. Dedicated to a life on the rails, they jump aboard one of those mile-long trains as they crawl past and ride from state to state free of charge, dodging the rail authroities and hobnobbing with other hoes from the bo community at passes and junctions when they rest. Seriously, I am fascinated by that life. I've lived near a spot where goods trains used to trundle at a crawl, and have often been tempted to ... take a wee ride and see where I end up ..!
I have a nasty suspicion I'd have found myself cowering in Willesden Junction goods yard, pretending to be a shadow as engines decoupled and angry shunter-driver telephoned the transport police between drags on a fag and nibbles on his wife's home-made cheese sandwich.
Or, knowing my luck, the driver would put his foot down, taking a sharp right at Willesden Junction (is there actually a junction at Willesden? I'm prattling from the top of my head here ...) whizzing me 95 mph Northbound to the auto-tipping sludge reprocessing facilities at Sellafield nuclear dumping site 300 miles NE in Cucumbria.
British railways, I might add, are highly terrorist-resistent with nightly body-heat-seeking helecopter patrols. Trespassing on the line is taken so seriously that in Victorian times it was punishable by a free cruise to Australia. (But then again, so was stealing a bread roll ...) Anyway: if I did hitch a ride I'd be risking big trouble from the tranny police. Who, apart from regulating our railways, spend the other half of their time busting gentlemen with saggy false eyelashes and Judy Garland fright wigs :: Wah-wah-waaaaah!!
So roll up, roll up! All your train-hopping tales here, please!!
(Or failing that, just tell me of the time you got caught riding without a ticket. (If you like. (Well, whatever.)))
Click for Freight Train Riders of America
Note the five other links provide fascinating info also. Which I only discovered, incidentally, after composing this post ....
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