Garbage Riders

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I sometimes feel like railfanning is like baseball. Watch a game and you'll see something new each time! Today I spent an interesting half hour or so at the Tacoma Amtrak station watching and mildly participating in a little drama featuring a BNSF garbage train (EVEROO), some unwanted passengers (ironic they got off at a passenger station) and the Tacoma PD.

On my way to the PSMRE layout, I heard the crew of the EVEROO ask the Tacoma yardmaster to aim the East End camera toward their train, to verify that the report of two riders near the end of the train was correct. Apparently the dispatcher had already called the Tacoma PD, who was supposed to meet the train at 21st St.

The yard master confirmed the riders were on the train (3rd car from the end) and noted that he just watched a third person run alongside the train and pull himself aboard.

Not one to pass up the chance to watch and photograph a police action involving trains, I quickly made my way to the station. The parking lot being full, I chose to use the vacant lot just to the east and arrived in time to see the train pull to a stop, with the end in plain view. Sure enough there were three people on the little platform between the cars.

The most recent addition to the passenger list, decided the short trip he took was long enough and headed off towards the Amtrak station, the platform for which was full of people waiting for the arrival of Cascades 506.

This isn't your ordinary train hopper. Take a close look. The shirt emblazoned with a UP shield. Look closer and you can see the UP shield tattooed on his left arm. Not visible in this shot is a CSX tattoo on his right arm. What, no BNSF?

The remaining two, a guy and girl, really seemed to find themselves at home. Cracking open a beer while they waited for the train to depart. A Rainier beer of course.

A few conversations over the radio indicated that Tacoma PD had been redirected from 21st St to the Amtrak Station. So I decided a little help on my end was in order and I wandered out to the street to await the arrival of the patrol car. A few minutes later one showed up and a flagged them over to my location, verified they were looking for the riders and pointed them in the right direction .

Sometimes you just can't get to comfortable in your accommodations and these two were about to find out why. Here's the more fit officer of the two that responded, hustling over to the train to prevent the third rider from escaping.

While the older officer begins the process of removing the two visible riders, the other one investigates the other side of the car. Not aware of course that the third rider is gone in the crowd of Amtrak patrons.

A short time later a BNSF employee arrives to provide railroad protection to this drama act. The young lady is climbing down while being careful not to damage her camera.

The whole scene played out rather casually to me, but still how many times do you see something like this:

or this:

As #506 departs a third officer arrives and they appear to be discussing what to do next.

507 has been waiting for 506 to depart and now enters the Amtrak lead, and the officers have decided the girl is going with them.

While still be detained, the guy gets a phone call, and of course takes it.

While watching all this unfold, I assumed both riders would be taken away and was concerned for the welfare of the dog. As it turns out I had nothing to worry about, the guy and the dog were allowed to leave, while the girl and her belongings were taken away in the patrol car. I can only assume she was underage. Neither seemed to be visibly upset how about how things ended.

It also struck me how much the age old pastime of riding freight trains has changed. While on one hand these two have it worse, being required to ride outside, instead of inside a box car, they are still able to avail themselves to all the modern amenities, cell phone, camera, beer, and even bring the dog along.
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Reality escapee
Steve, thanks for posting them here.

It's good that no one was hurt and things were handled without an overreaction.

A UP and CSX tattoo? Talk about hardcore...

While it might be a bit breezy with the dress at least she had on appropriate footwear.


I would have picked a different stack train to ride - those garbage trains don't smell too nice.

I'm not into tattoos, but I wonder how an SP Sunset logo would look on my arm...


Railfan Railroader
This reminds me of the railfan in Florida who wanted to take a locomotive for a ride and he did. I wonder if the railfan in Florida is a CSX Buff, it sure did land him in some hot water when the law caught up to him. Read the story by clicking on the following link below, personally speaking the engineer for an hour program is the way to go if one is interested in operating a locomotive.

East Of Easton

Wester Than Lester
NEXT!! ON "COPS"!!! "Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha' gonna' do, whatcha' gonna' do when they come for you........" :D
Actually, one of my favorite episodes of cops was a crazy high speed chase that started in Lakewood (I think around Ponders) up South Tacoma Way, across Pacific, under the Milwaukee Bridge and ended at the Tacoma Yard Office when the guy spun out trying to cut back on Puyallup Ave.,; during the day.


Cheshire to Cook
Look closer and you can see the UP shield tattooed on his left arm. Not visible in this shot is a CSX tattoo on his right arm. What, no BNSF?
Possible answers:

1. His vote for the Final Merger. NS & BNSF tatts are on the calves.

2. He respects the UP too much to hop a ride.

3. Grand Exalted Traction Motor of the FTRA.

4. He doesn't like Dairy Queen or Cherry Coke.
I don't know, I think i'd look pretty bad ass with one of those old EMD lightning bolts that say's" Radio Equipt"on my neck..............YEH right! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.