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Interesting thing on Radio Four today about riding freight trains in the US. Iplayer

Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by demographic, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Programme about hobos and even the well at heeled hopping freight trains, just to go where it went.
    iPlayer thing HERE and a website about it HERE.
    Obviously its not all sitting in an open boxcar sipping Kentucky sour mash and watching the world go by but the radio programme was interesting all the same.

    Now I've never done it, its also illegal (achtung-verbotan) but even living on a pretty small island like Britain I do wonder were those freight trains are going when they go past. Its usually Workington:bluThinki which might take a little of the glamour off the thought.

    I imagine that if I lived in the US where they really could take you a long way it would be much more of a temptation.
     
  2. wicca

    wicca Native

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    Many moons ago I was at a big oil refinery at Baton Rogue on the River Mississippi, and the railway tracks ran right into the refinery. Most of the rolling stock was tank wagons obviously, but sometimes there would be a general cargo wagon and one day I saw a Refinery Emergency Team take two bodies out of a wagon. I heard later they were Hobos (or Bums as a local called them) apparently the cargo of big steel pipe valves and crates of pipe flanges had fallen over in the wagon and killed them both.
     
  3. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Funny you mention that because part of the programme mentions that riding on carriages with loads that can move about is to be avoided.
     
  4. wicca

    wicca Native

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    Unfortunately if I watch Iplayer I quickly run out of internet time as I only get so much a month on this scheme..

    That incident was long ago but I seem to remember a fair amount of booze had been drunk judging by the broken bottles in the wagon. Hopefully the poor 'ol kiddies didn't know too much about their ending.
     
  5. abominable_scouse_monster

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    I read the thing on the BBC news site today, Look's interesting I don't think it ever got done in the UK or could not be done now as nearly 90% of the rail network where they lay waggons to rest is fenced in and I also think we use container flat bed's more now than traditional wagons.
     
  6. tiger stacker

    tiger stacker Native

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    Anyone else think of A-No.-1 as portrayed by Lee Marvin.
     
  7. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I had to Google that one, never seen the film Emperor of the north but I generally like Lee Marvin Films so might try and get to see it somehow.
    Can't remember much about it but I seem to remember Point Blank being pretty good with him in.
     
  8. boatman

    boatman Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    A really good book on hopping freight or Riding the Rods is Hard Travellin' : The Story of the Migrant Worker by Kenneth Allsop. Includes info on the Wobblies, the Industrial Workers of the World and the tough reaction of Railway Bulls. Important as well in that it does give the populist side of America not often publicised.

    Cheap on Amazon
     

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