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I've tried to rephrase the advice in this article in a third person voice, but I can't figure out a reasonable way to do that with the section on moving trains at the moment. --Alexwcovington 12:13, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Books and movies[edit]

I have a suggestion that the sections on books and movies for both the Freighthopping and Hobo articles should get their own article, say, "Hobos and freighthopping in media". The reason for this is I can think of dozens more books to list and several more movies but if any more were added it would overwhelm the main articles. What does everyone else think about this? Kaibabsquirrel 29 June 2005 04:40 (UTC)

I went ahead and put all the books and movies in their own article. List of books and films about hobos and freighthopping. Kaibabsquirrel 5 July 2005 09:39 (UTC)


This article has some big problems. It's more of a guide to crime than an objective account of this despicable act. It should be fixed.

It's not a dispicable act you bourgeois idiot. I think the article is just fine the way it is, and it's more informative as a pseudo-guide than as a straight article with few details.
Regardless of whether or not it's "dispicable" it doesn't read very professionally as it is. It needs to be changed. - furrykef (Talk at me) 01:06, 2 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The problem is that Wikipedia is an encylopaedia,not a How-to guide, unlike most of this article. Also, I beleive that it is completely illegal, at least in the UK. Thryduulf 15:37, 5 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

however old this discussion may be, i'm stunned as to how trainhopping can be considered "despicable"; i think that's a bit much. cma 09:30, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, I don't see how this could be seen as dispicable. I can sure as hell see the attraction in it, even if I think it's probably a little bit too dangerous for me to ever try.Mattm1138 07:01, 23 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Any article which advises on how to avoid getting caught by the police for an illegal act is morally dubious, regardless of any namecalling. If the article was written in a purely factual tone (e.g., “Many freighthoppers do this...”) then it might be OK, but as it stands it is an endorsement of crime and must therefore by against some Wikipedia rule. Scott197827 2/3/2006
If it is endorsing anything then it violates the NPOV policy - articles should neither promote nor do whatever the opposite of promote is (I can't think of the word) the subject. They should present factual information about the subject in a neutral manner. i.e. the article should not say "this is great" but equally it should not say "this is despicable" - even if it is illegal, although that fact that it is illegal should be mentioned, as should the fact that it is dangerous. Thryduulf 00:25, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many apologies for probably not going about this the proper way (never done this before); just wanted to shed light that in "Safety Concerns" it is mentioned "modern-day hobos" are unsavory folk according to Ted Conover. I take issue not in the accusation, rather the fact that Conover has not written about trains in many years (since 1984, arguably 1987) and his accounts by no means represent "modern-day hobos" or the folk who hop trains nowadays. A little revision might be a good idea. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:37, 21 March 2012 (UTC) I guess you probably think flying a sign (panhandling with a sign) is despicable too? I pray to god that you're never poor and have to go to a funeral or some obligatory function five states away. I guess you hate hitch hikers too? Oh there is a "How-to" guide but it's on a website that is a guide to crime and I like to protect the secret societies that let me join them, so I will not be sharing it here. Oh and by the way...Go fuck yourself.Reply[reply]

How bad of a crime is trainhopping?[edit]

How bad of a crime is trainhopping?

Every state has an applicable statute on it and it's usually a misdemeanor. However if locomotives or rolling stock are tampered with, railroad police can charge the trespasser with a felony and pursue federal terrorism charges, depending on the case. Equinox137 06:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most of the time when your caught you get a charge of criminal tresspassing this is from expirence

The decline of freighthopping[edit]

The article seems to suggest that the image of the old hobo "riding the rails" as a Great Depression stowaway is fading due to better economic times. I'd suspect this is only part of the story - the railroads themselves have been losing ground to trucks and freeways, as much cargo that used to move by train now rides the motorways on eighteen-wheel lorries. A loss of passengers from the old freightcar-stowaway status to hitchhiking the motorway instead would fit this trend, no? --carlb 20:08, 26 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


If you are going to make an artical on train hopping in the presnt time you need to include its popularity whith the punk sub cullter

OI! OI! OI! OI! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 15 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why? Equinox137 04:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because it is very real. Three groups ride trains today, 1) Migrant farmworkers, generally coming from Latin America, 2) transient folk who have no other way to get around, and 3) punk, activist, and rainbow kids. Unless Wikipedia members decide to pretend that trainhopping is something that happened no more recently than 50 years ago, a section on modern day trainhopping should probably be added.--Rico (talk) 23:48, 18 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article needs citations. SpigotMap 08:27, 20 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some potential printed sources could be found at, the publishers of such how-to guides as 'Hopping Freight Trains in America' and 'Ridin Free'. Internet sources abound. The interested could google freight hopping and have hours of fun. (talk) 02:43, 25 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are there any citations per "Many railroads take a strict view of people hopping freight trains..."? --Daniel ellis (talk) 19:40, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nearly all states?[edit]

If this article is going to say that trainhopping is banned by statute in nearly every state, why does it not mention the regions where it isn't banned? NeutronTaste (talk) 20:52, 23 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Errr.......there's a trespassing statute in every state. The sentence was fixed. Equinox137 (talk) 08:59, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not all IM is doublestack, not all is priority[edit]

This is confusing two separate, three. There are fast frieghts, which are often, but not always, landbridge intermodal. Some, but not all, doublestack is fast freight. Some fast freight is single stack, some is TOFC, and some is reefers &cet. Anmccaff (talk) 22:36, 26 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At best it's arcane fauxbo jargon, at worst it's OR[edit]

Grain hopper car, on the other hand, might be a real name. Anmccaff (talk) 22:42, 26 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A "grainer" is a car that a train hopper perceives to be for grain and similar. Looks like this or this , various similar models. --Echosmoke (talk) 02:35, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, arcane fauxbo (fauxbeau?) jargon, or OR? Pick one. Anmccaff (talk) 02:49, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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When's the last time you saw TOFC commonly?[edit]

I think the title speaks for itself. Outside of some specialized, fairly secure, fast runs, TOFC really isn't around like it used to be, and the runs it is on are much less vulnerable to hopping. Anmccaff (talk) 03:05, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IM / hotshots[edit]

That's how the term is used. An IM that is perceived as fast / high-priority. It might be unprofessional or even outright wrong and a train hopper may well think he is on a fast and high-priority train when he is in fact not but this article should list actual usage, shouldn't it? I've even met train hoppers that call every IM a "hotshot", it's not exactly an academic subculture... --Echosmoke (talk) 03:31, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Used by whom, when? And would your answer not be OR? How can you be that certain that personally heard usage is widespread or current?
Yeah, I take your point that some of the folk involved aren't going to be technical experts, but some, perhaps many of them, may not even be in the mainstream of trespassers train hoppers. Misuse of technical jargon, especially ostentatious misuse of it, is a common phase of newbiedom everywhere.
On a separate point: I assume you are German? Why would someone hopping a VTG car of the type you showed be likely to call it by any English name? Anmccaff (talk) 03:44, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have spent time in the US and hopped there and some US strays even make it to Europe, for rainbow gatherings and the like. I don't think I would hop on a german style grainer :) In fact, I wouldn't even know what to call that. --Echosmoke (talk) 04:27, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thing is, there were, until fairly recently (for those of us who remember when dirt was first made, and how we played in it, with the mammoths, and the dinosaurs) loads of boxcars that did double-duty as grain carriers during the peak shipping seasons, and those would often deadhead vasty distances to get to the prairies empty; they were, in some ways, probably a bum's paradise: empty and likely to continue that way to some fairly predictable point a good way off, often clean and papered-over. (The flip side was the railroads were particularly uninterested in clearing the car out after the GotR had been in it, and often took measures.) Some had special loading hatches, but most were just loaded with a 3/4 height tempoary door nailed in. That's what historical references to a "grain car" often refer to, not modern hoppers. Anmccaff (talk) 05:17, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are the videos legal?[edit]

If train hopping is illegal, how come that there are videos of it? Heroe Of Time (talk) 09:27, 5 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because it's not automatically illegal to film an illegal act in and of itself in all countries or nor does filming illegal act automatically put the perpetrators in legal jeopardy, especially in cases where the illegal act filmed is of low priority to law enforcement or the identify of the perpetrators is hard to determine if at all. I am not a Russian legal expert so I don't know what their laws say about these videos of illegal train hopping but I doubt any Russian is at risk of being prosecuted for them as the Russia government likely has bigger fish to fry. Now if you're wondering whether Wikipedia faces legal liability for hosting said videos, I am not aware of any U.S. law that would make them illegal to host on U.S. soil. U.S. law does not criminalize the taking, distributing, or possessing of videos of criminal acts in general in general (with limited exception) and such videos are generally protected under the 1st Amendment (with limited exceptions) even when they depict is an illegal act. One prominent exception to this rule is child porn. Other very limited exceptions exists also exists but they are far to complicated to discuss here right now, especially since I'm not a lawyer, and they don't apply to the videos in question anyways. Thus I wouldn't worry about Wikipedia risking any legal risk for Russian freight-hopping videos. Notcharliechaplin (talk) 14:34, 18 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]