"Hobos" Good or Bad or Dont Care

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by who_dat73, Sep 21, 2005.


Are the Hobos a part of the RR life history or should they be run out of every city o

  1. I think hobos are ok and just part of RR life

  2. I think hobos are bums thieves and good for nothings

  3. I think hobos are part of RR life but are a danger to the RR community

  4. I think hobos are good for the RR to help spot trouble in the yards and trains

    0 vote(s)
  1. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Hi all.

    Here in Wyoming Hobo's take a big chance on getting themselves killed.
    Working in the coal mines for eighteen years on my shift we thankfully
    caught five. We were notified by the police there might be someone
    on board so we searched the train. The last one we caught was on a car
    that was next to be loaded. That would of been death to say the least.
    As far as the police all they do is lock them up for the night and turn
    them loose. I will say all the ones we caught were dressed real nice
    sporting two hundred dollar cowboy boots.

    Ron :wave:
  2. Switchman73

    Switchman73 New Member

    id have to agree with New guy. I know the guys we find wondering around our yard are drunk or stoned and its a real dangerous place to be if you dont know whats moving where. Walking between two tracks bleeding them off in the middle of the night and you got some guy pop his head out of a box car to bum a smoke, it'll scare the crap out of you. And while cant you say angle ****? Its just part of the train. I guess i cant say it either.
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I drove across canada 12 years ago for a fun loving trip (in more ways then i'd like to admit today)

    On the way back just before the mountains the car broke down. I called my uncle in BC "what do i do ?" i asked. He told me how he got to BC when he was 18, Jump in a freight car and remember which way is east at all times.

    I did and it proved to be the best experiance i ever had.
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    There's good and bad in all walks of society. Why should hobos be any different?
  5. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I think that they are trouble. In todays would with things the way the are I don't like the idea of living in a tourist area. The guy renting the fishing cabin on Battle Lake could be a child molester, serial killer, the Uni Bomber or just a good guy here for the fishing. Seems to me that the folks "riding the rails" have already shown themselves to be thieves by steeling that ride in the first place.

    As fas as the code of conduct goes....this is a group of people trying to preserve their way of life and smart enough to know that they have to present a good front. They want to be seen as good people living a free life, not as thieves or worse. Heck, by admitting that they are bo's they are saying "I'm a thief". They stole that ride on the train.

    Would they report suspisious activity? When doing so would get them arrested for tresspass or more? Turning in someone who like the bo is "just doing thier own thing" which is pretty much the bo way of life.

    By the way, wasn't the "Railroad Killer" a bo??????

  6. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    One of the often make comments on this thread that I just shake my head at is that bo's are "stealing" a ride. As far as I know, and please correct me if I am mistaken, they ride for the most part in empty box cars. They are not displacing a space that the railroads would otherwise be using to carry a paying load. Their weight does not impact the amount of fuel used during their ride, so as long as they abide by the code of conduct and do not damage railroad property, I see no problem with the price of their fare.

    Granted, it is the "underbelly of society" that does tend to gravitate towards that sort of lifestyle, and yes, the "Railroad Killer" rode the rails. I do not believe, however that he would be considered a "bo." The Unabomber rode buses to his target destinations, but no one cries out that bus riders in general are out to kill people. As Cannonball says, there's good and bad in all walks of society. It is unfair to lump a group of people together just because some of their members are less than desirable members of society.

    One last point pn the theft of service issue, due to the sad state of passenger service today, how many of them could get to their destinations even if they bought a ticket? :rolleyes:
  7. iis612

    iis612 Member

    When I got started in law enforcement, almost 15 years ago, I worked as a railroad cop. I got attacked by a few "hobo's" from behind. One of them hit me with a bicycle chain that had fishing hooks soldered to it. It was an unprovoked attack, as I had not even known they were there until I was hit.
    They were all caught and convicted. They said they attacked me because they didn't want to get run off the southbound train to Ohio.
  8. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    where did they get the soldering iron from?
  9. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Saying that they aren't stealing because they are riding in empty trains is like saying they are borrowing your car because you are not using it at the moment, stealing is stealing.

    But I agree with the first option- they are just apart of life. How terrible not having food in your stomach- getting drunk not only means that you don't have to face a situation but also numbs the cold out on them wintery nights.
  10. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    You might not belive this but the three times that I have been to Britt to the National Convention I have seen only a handfull of people drinking in the jungel and of those handfull I only saw one that was totaly wasted I dont know about out on the rails but as far as Britt is concerned if you wanna drink and get stupid move on because they dont want you giving the rest of us a bad rep!!!


    this is a good group for learning about hobos, we also talk about the RR world and discuss the history of the RR community check it out you might learn somthing intresting or be able to anwser some questions about RRing:thumb:
  11. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    This really isn't a valid comparison. If they were redirecting the box car to a different destination and making it unavailable to the railroad as well as causing wear and tear and extra fuel usage, that would be different. Now if you were shipping your car across country anyway and they hitched a ride...
  12. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Ok, lets try it this way. Let say you own a pickup truck and that you are driving from Chicago to NYC. When you arrive in NYC you discover that someone hictch a ride under a trap in the back of your truck.....according to some on here nothing wrong....they didn't steal anything or hurt anyone...what would you think. I know that I would be very angry!

    Using something without the consent of the owner is considered theft, even if you bring it back in good condition.

    And you are not going to tell me that if the train stops in some small like those near me in Mn where the "bo" isn't going to be given handouts or find work for food that they are going to stay on a stopped rail car and go hungery.....go they will take what they need to survive....but when they take that ear of corn or tamato from someones garden that too is stealing.

    Just my thoughts, which you can as you please pcik to pieces.....not gonna change my mind on this one.....stealing is stealing......doesn't matter if its a pen from a government office, money from a bank or a "free ride".

  13. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

    I would be okay with it. They were in the back hiding and didn't hurt anything. They didn't steal anything.

    In this day and time it would be pretty hard to not be able to work for a bit of food. As busy as everyone is, someone will have some minor job that needs done that would be a fair trade for a belly of food. You are right though, if you take it without permission it is stealing.

    Today's hobos are a far cry from original hobos. The depression forced a lot of people into that style of living. Now, jobs are plentiful enough to avoid that. It is a lifestyle by choice now for the most part.
  14. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Dan what a great way to put it, "lifestyle by choice"! Up where I'm at we have a lot of very small towns that don't like outsider very much.

    My father retired from the Army in 71 and we moved up here. Our Family has been here on this farm since 72. People still refer to it as the "old Kapp place", some are just starting to call it by our name. My wife has no problems as her family have been here for generations. People here are just starting to accept me as a local. Sure they will take your money, but the common joke here is "its tourist season....whats the bag limit???"

    A "bo" here or a homeless person is about as welcome as a ........ in church. Last homless people found in Battle Lake Mn near us (about 800 people) someone called the cops to get rid of them. A bo here would have to steal to eat. And if a local saw that bo they would call the cops to have them arrested and hauled off.

  15. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Maybe the real question here should be "would you have hobos modeled on your layout?"

    To that I would say I may. When I get to that point I would think about because right or wrong they are a part of rail roading.

  16. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    If this happened to me I probably would tell them that if they had asked they could have ridden up front with me where it was warm and comfy, but that's just me. :D :D
    A friend of mine who was a brakeman for the UP told of how when he found a Bo, he would take them up to the cab and share his lunch with them. Quite a change from the railroad Bulls who enjoyed throwing them under the wheels of a moving train, huh?

    I'm afraid that if I lived in a town like that I'd be looking for a friendlier place to live. If someone offered them a meal in exchange for some chores they wouldn't have to steal.
    Also, how loud would the local businesses howl if all of the tourists and their money stopped coming?
    I'm not sure what an .......... is, but if a church didn't welcome them it doesnt sound like a very "Christian" place. Didn't Christ tell his disciples that if a man stole their coat that they should also give him their cloak? OK, I'll get off of my pulpit. :D :D
  17. Wabash Banks

    Wabash Banks Member

    Amen on that Clark! A bo wouldn't even bother getting off of a train there unless he was going to get caught by a bull if he didn't. There would have been markers all over the yard warning that it was not a hospitable place.
    I think I have found a place to put on my "Never Visit" list...
  18. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    Please dont think that all of Minnesota is like that I live here to and can say we are not all small minded like that.. And I sincerly hope this is not sacraligous?? but I consider the Jesus that I pray to as a God fearing Christian to be a hobo somwhat also, "he traveled to do his work, never stayed in one place for very long, people hated him for who he was, he never really got payed for the traveling work he did, most times it was people that would just invite him to "come and eat with my family" that he got food from because they apreciated the work he did!! Hmm this is starting to sound familer HUH ?
    Agin I hope this is not sacrilig if I ofend somone with this view I whole heartedly apoligize!!

    And how much you wanna bet there are buildings in your town that were built by Hobo labor? I know for a fact that the Patriarc of the Hobos and Five time Hobo King
    Steam Train Maury Graham was a mason by trade and founded the cement mason school?? so yes many a hobo can find work evin in this day and age as we all have skills to get a job!!!
  19. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    And yes I do model Hobos on my layout I am in the process of modeling the National Hobo cemetary that is in Britt if you like I will post photos of both just ask
  20. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    One more thing for us to think about !!!

    What is a Hobo and Why is He?

    A hobo is a man who builds palaces and lives in shacks.
    He builds Pullmans and rides the rods.
    He serves T-bone steaks and get the soup bone.
    He builds electric-light plants and burns oil.
    He builds opera house and goes to the movies.
    He makes silk suspenders and locks his pants with a rope.
    He weaves silk shirts and wears bull wool.
    He makes broadcloth and wears overalls.
    He digs gold and has his teeth filled with cement.
    He digs coal and shivers in the snow.
    He builds the factories and is denied a job in them.
    He builds roads and is arrested on them for vagrancy.
    He creates laborer and is denied the right to laborer.
    He fights for freedom abroad and is put on the chain gang at home.
    He has made American and is denied a vote.

    Unknown Poet

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