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Read Between the Lines

A no-bull guide to freight-hoppers on the Web

By Wes Modes

Information sources for hobos are few and far between. Hobo lore and legend is largely an oral tradition. There are a few sites on the Internet you can check out for information on train-hopping.

Train Hoppers Space
These pages are a collection of stuff that is of interest to freight train hoppers--information sources, how-to, stories, maps and links to other sites. The site has an extensive bibliography of freight-hopping publications.

Hobo Times' Home Page
The Hobo Times, America's journal of wanderlust, is published by the National Hobo Association. The NHA has thousands of members throughout America devoted to train-hopping and hobo lore.

HotWired: On the Road--"Catching Out"
Great story, pictures and music in a hot-wired article about a journalist's trek out on the iron road. A fantastic intro to freight-hopping.

HotWired: Club Wired--George Lin
An extensive interview covering many aspects of train-hopping with the author of HotWired's "Catching Out" article.

Real Change--The Art and Science of Illegal Train Travel
An in-depth interview with three modern vagabonds from The Best of Real Change, Seattle's Homeless Newspaper.

Freight-Hopping at the End of the Millennium
A brief story and some very beautiful pictures of train-hopping along the west coast up into Canada.

North American Railroad Frequencies
A list of all of the frequencies used by North American railroads. This is useful for those yuppie hobos who invested in a scanner.

Tiger Map Service Browser
This service is provided courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It shows you a map of any location in the United States. You can display railway lines and even zoom in for a close up view of freight yards.

Do You Really Want to Hop Trains?
This'll tell you in great detail how you will be crushed and squished beyond recognition if you ride freight trains. It's provided as counterpoint. A typically hysterical response from rail fans, who tend to hate scummy hobos.

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From the May 23-29, 1996 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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Copyright © 1996 Metro Publishing and Virtual Valley, Inc.