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Visiting ‘Tramp Park’ while train-hopping from Laurel to Seattle

By the time I realized the train was headed the wrong way, there was nothing to do except scream and curse. It headed relentlessly eastward for two hours, to the mammoth yard in Laurel, Mont., that I so wanted to […]

Visiting ‘Tramp Park’ while train-hopping from Laurel to Seattle

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By the time I realized the train was headed the wrong way, there was nothing to do except scream and curse. It headed relentlessly eastward for two hours, to the mammoth yard in Laurel, Mont., that I so wanted to […]

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Living the hobo creed from San Jose to Oakland

Stampede Pass, the intended capstone to my Stanford train-hopping days, is still a few weeks away. I became impatient and headed down to San Jose. The CIBAT (City of

I expected to ‘fall and die’ after hopping the train from San Jose to Glendale (1991)

On Friday night at 11:43 p.m.,  I caught my 12th train out of San Jose for Los Angeles. It should be my last ride of 1991 (10 trains this year,

Freight-hopping risks from Klamath Falls to Oroville (1992)

Anybody know any hobbies that don't include large industrial machinery? After 15 trains and 2,800 miles in two summers of stolen weekends, I am ready to move on. I have

Running from the bulls from Belen to Barstow (1996)

Barstow, Calif., midway between Vegas and L.A., is the hottest yard of the hottest Western railroad, the Santa Fe. I dreaded this test. I'd been softened up by nine days

Riding the Feather River Route (1991)

I completed a 12-hour, 354-mile run up the Feather River canyon in the Sierra Nevada and through the Black Rock Desert. This is mostly roadless country off Amtrak's routes,

Busted again freight-hopping from Hagerstown to Roanoke

The Norfolk Southern includes the old Southern Railway and Norfolk & Western. The former N & W territory, alas, is rumored to be seriously unfriendly to hoboes. That's a shame,

Pleasant Saturday freight ride from Hagerstown to Manassas

Having ridden CSX three times, I wanted to knock off its Eastern rival, the Norfolk Southern. It has a militaristic anti-hobo reputation, much like the Santa Fe out West. The

Bad luck freight-hopping from Hyattsville to Cumberland

At 3 p.m., I was watching a film at the National Gallery. By 5:20 p.m. I was riding a grain car to Cumberland, 140 miles away in western Maryland. Several

Dangerous train ride from Cumberland to Gaithersburg

Up in western Maryland, nestled in the Alleghenies, is the crew-change town of Cumberland. You can go west on CSX to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago, but I had to

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