Anyone gonna be in France/UK in jan-march-ish 2012? know trains? know sweet spots? (1 Viewer)

lalalazoe

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over where?
this post might have some questions, oh yes, it might...

I'm heading to Paris, tomorrow. I'll be around there for awhile, probably till mid-Jan. Then I'm thinking of slowly heading north to check out the UK...

thinking of hitching, for sure, and possibly trying some trains over there. don't know anything about em on that side of the atlantic. i saw a comment suggesting that it might be easier, with less security, since there isn't much of a history of hopping, but I don't know much about whether they stop as often, or less often, or what kind of rides there are, or, really, any details. just wondering if anyone could offer any info.

also, wondering if anyone will be around the area looking to meet up? im looking to dig some into the radical scene over there - infoshops, squats, social centres, meetings/discussions, blah, blah. ive researched a lot and have a long list of places to check out already... really just wondering if anyone might be doing the same sorta thing at the same time. could def always use more references/suggestions though!
 
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Cardboard

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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Hey Zoe-
Im about 3 hours from Paris, and I have been traveling western Europe for 2.5 years. Drop me a line if you wanna come meet up in the next days for a beer or something, or, if you have any questions about getting around.
There really arent THAT many freights, and although it is possible, I have met very few folks who have done it (like 3?), and quite likely you will get caught (especially hopping out of Paris). If you head east I think it is totally possible, but in Western Europe, Electric engines mean no hopping on the fly. Higher standards mean no open containers. There are less rideable cars than in America. I dunno, in general it doesnt seem to be an option so much here. If you want though, send me a PM, and I ca send you the links I have for freight maps and schedules in France. I think I have a google maps image of the freight yard in Paris also.
Whatever. I am here, hit me up if you wanna meet.
 

landpirate

campervan untilising nomadic traveller
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Hi Zoe, I live in the UK and as Cardboard said we don't really have freight trains running that you can ride. However it is sometimes possible to travel on passenger trains without buying a ticket. Not all stations have security barriers that you have to put a ticket in to get on the platform and not all journeys will have inspectors check your ticket. You can sometimes get away with buying a ticket for a short journey and then ride a lot further on it, however if you get caught you can get fined. It'll probably be a good idea to talk to people you meet locally to find out what train journeys are viable to take for free.

Hitching is a viable option in the Uk and might be easier than trains. People are most likely to pick you up if you hold up a sign saying where you are trying to get to and always a good idea to have a road map with you so you can work out where good drop off/pick up points are (I guess this is the same in any country, so sorry if i sound patronising!)

squating if pretty prevalent in cities so you'll probably not have too much trouble finding like minded people. London, Bristol and Manchester are pretty good places to start. i especially like Bristol, people there are pretty proactive and there are a lot of good things going on there like co-ops, free shops and stuff like that.

The Government here are making strides to make squatting illegal (at the moment it is a civil offence and therefore the police can't arrest you) I've no idea how long it'll take them to bring this law in so for the moment squatting is all good! I don't know how far north you are planning on heading but in Scotland squatting is illegal however, wild camping is legal there.

You can do pretty well skip diving for food in any town or city. Spanging is illegal and you can get into trouble if the police catch you doing it but the police where bright yellow jackets here and are pretty obvious so don't ask for money when they are around and you'll be just fine.

I dunno if any of this is useful to your trip, but enjoy yourself and ask me any questions you have about the Uk and I'll try and answer them.

These might be some useful websites to check out:

http://www.schnews.org.uk/index.php

http://www.schnews.org.uk/diyguide/index.htm

http://www.squatter.org.uk/
 
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lalalazoe

lalalazoe

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over where?
thank so much for the helpful info! ill def be hitting up bristol, ive read a lot about events & active places in that area. and thanks for the advice. sucks to hear about the lack of possibility of trainhopping in the uk too... ill check out the links now too. thnks!
 

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