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When you are 18 years old and riding the rails you look at the old timers with a lot of respect. Sometimes I think Roberts could have been some kind of an angle because he protected us and gave us advice. He dressed like a trainman so it didn't make him stand out inside the yard. He was going to visit his ailing mother on the other side of the mountains in Palmdale, Calif. I told him the train was moving at high speed coming down the hill and he could not get off. Roberts said he would get out of the box car we were in and fall back to a string of flat cars behind us for an easier exit with a ladder.. The train slowed but it was pitch black outside in the mountains but Roberts let go and seconds later I could see him waving at us from the flat cars. I went to sleep and awoke while coming down the mountain at the crack of dawn. We were moving at high speed. I would guess 60 or more MPH. We had to hang on we were bouncing around so much and couldn't stand without support. I looked to our rear and Roberts was gone. I have no idea how he got off of that train at the speed we were moving. I sometimes wonder if Roberts was super human or an angel.
 

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Back to locos. The train going over the mountains to Bakersfield was pulled by 5 SD 9s, my favorite loco in life and in HO. Go ahead and give me a penalty. Riding the loop was fantastic. I thought someone might like to hear the story from a bygone era. I never see a hobo riding any longer.
 

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When I read your first post about Roberts, Roger Miller's "King Of The Road" played in my mind. But it begs the question, who is Roberts? No disrespect intended but your second post makes it almost seem like the hobo in the Polar Express.
 

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Roberts was the real deal, not made up or fictional. I can still picture him dancing in the doorway of that box car as the train left Taylor Yard. I met a few more hobos but Roberts was the most memorable. I didn't see the movie. A lot of them were moving around the country for the fruit and nut harvest at that time. Another thing I learned about hobos is, they will eat what ever is available. We met two young Okies one night and one of them climbed the fence to a bakery, got into a truck and came back with a huge supply of chocolate cake and other pastries. Making a meal off of cakes or the oranges Roberts came up with was not as good as it looked. On another occasion a bunch of Hobos were dumpster diving and making a stew in the Bakersfield Yard. You ate what came your way.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
LateStarter;
I received an ad from model train stuff showing a gorgeous BLI F-unit in Santa Fe warbonnet silver & red. You might want to check it out, if you haven't already done so.
Those are very nice...
The typical online price is over my budget, but an A/B set went up for $212 at the LHS (in Bloody Nose).
It got scooped up though, while I was thinking about it.
The Santa Fe's are beautiful.
 

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The year we rode the rails was 1960. We would ride on weekends and go to college during the week. I can't understand where all the hobos have gone. I miss seeing them. We only rode Southern Pacific.
 

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Maybe because trespassing on railway property is against the law now, enforced rather well by railway police......shouldn’t be riding or trespassing on railway property, the liability issues nowadays will dictate that.....
 

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I don't know how this went from favorite diesel to hobos but not everybody that jumped on trains without a ticket was a hobo. My great grandfather's brother did it for fifteen years. He would jump the passenger train in the morning, ride it to Manhattan, work all day then jump the evening freight train back to Silver Lake. It did not end well.
Silver Lake Mirror Shawnee county Kansas Thursday, June 20, 1912.
Killed By U. P. Train
D. W. Slusser of this city, was killed by the 7:47 east bound passenger train yesterday morning. C. E. Vanyleck, signal maintainer, found the body lying at the base of the signal shaft, about one-forth mile east of Silver Lake shortly after the accident occurred. It seems no one on the passenger train saw the man as the train did not stop. The crew of a west bound freight train saw the body lying by the track, and the train was stopped and the body was placed by the side of the signal post until the arrival of officers. Deputy Sheriff Reinhardt soon arrived and placed a guard over the body until the arrival of the Coroner. Deputy Coroner, Laycock, arrived on the 11 o-clock train, and after examining the body decided an inquest unnecessary. The back and left side of the unfortunate man were badly mangled, and the top of his head badly brused. From indications death was instantaneous. After the remains were viewed by the Deputy Coroner they were conveyed to his home on Madore street to await burial.
Funeral services will be held in the M. E. church, tomorrow at 1 o-clock. Rev. H. J. Moody will preach the sermon. Interment will be made in the Silver Lake cemetery
 

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Like Andy said, most of the people riding the freight trains were not real hobos, just men wanting to move around the country looking for a job or a better life. I believe the laws regarding trespass prior to 1965 were even more severe than they are today. The guys I talked to who were hopping trains back around 1960 all knew that getting caught on the train or on RR property meant five days in jail. Not sure it really happened that way but that's what they believed.
 
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