My very first catch out across British Columbia (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
20
Current Location
Canada
Hey all,

I just wanted to share my story of my very first catch out, from Field B.C. to Surrey B.C.

Long time lurker here, occasionally lurk around reddit.com/r/vagabond as well. I have always been fascinated with train riding ever since meeting a kid on the streets of Calgary in like, 2014 I wanna say? He was looking for water and was dirty as shit. I was staying in the Salvation Army at the time so I ran in and filled his jug. Said he hopped a train all the way from Winnipeg - Just looked at him like he was crazy. Proceeded to pull out his camera and show me a bunch of photos, beautiful shots from across the prairies. Homeboy said he was was from Ontario and hitching and riding trains across the country. Also mentioned he had engine room keys, which I later learned was keys to get into the locomotives halfway down the cars.

Anyways, fast forward 5 years. I've been up and down the western hemisphere, hitchhiked across America, hitched Europe three times, hitched Ireland twice, went black riding around the Netherlands, Belgium and France a bit, and Scotland a couple of times. I was definitely looking for a new experience. Something made me think about that kid that day and that train ride. I started reading a lot on /r/vagabond, downloaded the railroad atlas, read literally every single post I could find about freight hopping. Figured fuck it, why not? I was staying again in the exact same Salvation Army in Calgary, just for a while to crash after another 3,200 mile trip across the Red, White and Blue.

I decided to catch out of Field, as I heard that it was a decent spot for CP trains to stop. Found the little bridge with a bunch of graffiti (and Casper the hitchhiking ghost!) and decided to wait. Not long after 9pm, an IM train rolls in to a stop but I'm only about 10 cars back - I read that you should be more towards the rear of the train. I decide to let it pass and wait for a grainer. Grainers would be better for me as they have those little cubby holes to hide out in. I walk back about 1/2 mile, lay out my sleeping bag and head to sleep.

About 2pm the next day, my prayers are answered - a train full of grainers stops and I hop on. That feeling, at that very moment was one of terror, excitement, fear and "WTF!". I crawl in and chill out, occasionally hopping out to take in the scenery of those beautiful rocky mountains. Let me tell you, seeing those gorgeous mountains, with the sky and a river running next me felt so immensely awesome I can't even put it into words.

train stops in Golden and I hop out for some McDonald's and a water refill. As I'm walking back towards the train line, I hear the hiss of brakes - this one's leaving! I spot an RCMP cop car and a rail worker truck a long ways off and almost stop myself. I say fuck it, sprint across the road and catch just as he starts pulling away. This one wasn't a grainer, but had a nice porch to lay in and a smaller cubby hole to hide in if needed. Took it all the way to Revelstoke B.C. One thing I forgot about though was the tunnels! Especially Rogers Pass, I nearly died from the fumes. Luckily I had my bandana on and just kept wetting it with water.

I stay on that one until Kamloops and this is where life almost took a turn for the worse: Train stops outside of town, not the kamloops yard. Workers are disasembling cars and rebuilding it. A hear and voice and panic! A worker *literally* walked by my car and as he did so I jumped into the cubby hole. Squeezing myself in and breathing hevily, he walks right by me and doesn't see me, thank god. I walk into town, another McDonald's break and wait east of the main yard for more trains.

Caught another set of grainers going west at about 2am. This one was uneventful, crawled in, threw my earplugs in and went to sleep. As it was approaching the main intermodal yard I was looking for a spot to hop off, but it was impossible. he was going too fast and there were yard trucks EVERYWHERE. I literally had to wait for him to come to a complete stop. Once he did I ran across the tracks and run right in front of a fucking yard workers truck barreling down the service road. fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck. He stops, reverses and I bolt for the bushes, struggling through about 50 foot of thorns, cutting myself up pretty bad in the process. I make it to the highway and walk towards the Port Mann bridge. Just as I'm about to run across the highway, I see the truck driving towards me. I sprint across four lanes of highway and give him a quick look back once I'm safely on the other side. Walk to a Skytrain and make my way home.


Anyways there it is, I had a blast and I'm still trying to process all of it. It was an exhilarating experience, one that I won't soon forget. I sure got fucking dirty though, holy fuck!
 

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Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
316
Current Location
Boulder Creek Ca
A great story, and welcome to StP. Hope you have lots more rides, and what a place to do it.
 

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