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indyaj t1_jbkjmq6 wrote

I think it's illegal to walk on train tracks everywhere.


Jakelshark t1_jbkq0eb wrote

yeah it's federal law. It's considered trespassing to be on the tracks unless at a public crossing (and I believe the applies to the entire railroad right-of-way)


Smitch250 t1_jbm6cd4 wrote

I came here to just say this like uhhhh what? Like the train companies want people walking on their tracks so they can happily run us over


Dude_Following_4432 t1_jbkq8qh wrote

There is an exemption if you have a red handkerchief fashioned into a sack dangling from a stick.


sphc88 t1_jbksrw7 wrote

It’s called a bindle, and if you have one the bulls will know you’re a hobo and give you a good whooping


timothypjr t1_jbkxoul wrote

That's why you need to watch for Hobo signs that will warn you where the bulls are.


Shilo788 t1_jbm0og9 wrote

My grandma had a cat carved on their back fence gate post because after she fed her family and workers she fed the rest to people during the depression. She also tried to help with sick animals and took in my Uncle Bill from the streets of Philly during the Depression. My dad brought him home to feed him and Gram just took him in. I never knew he wasn't blood kin until he died. I am so proud she was like that. Gives you something to aspire to.


schilling207 t1_jbkl8s4 wrote

Per Maine law: A person may not, without right, stand or walk on a railroad track or railroad bridge or pass over a railroad bridge except by railroad conveyance


ThumperZero t1_jbkvsat wrote

I didn't realize I was such a rebel as a child


fatalrugburn t1_jbl8k2e wrote

I lived near tracks and this was, without exaggeration, 30% of my childhood and teen years growing up in Maine. What else was I going to do??


Starbuksman t1_jbl16zg wrote

I know right!! I loved finding the old railroad spikes!


kintokae t1_jbldig0 wrote

How else were we supposed to get to the rope swing under the bridge if we didn’t cross said bridge?


liabit t1_jbn4ep2 wrote

I never knew this was a law. What about decommissioned tracks? Trains stopped going on our tracks when I was like 6 or so.


amccune t1_jbllab3 wrote

That Stephen King was full of shit, man!


JustAGreenDreamer OP t1_jbklcf4 wrote

Boo. Thanks though!


timothypjr t1_jbkydi0 wrote

Not sure about the downvotes—I understand the allure. However, the reason for it is about liability and danger. It's surprisingly easy for a train to sneak up on you when you're on the tracks (not kidding—I've been air horn blasted off the tracks by a train that I didn't hear coming). The railroads hate cleaning the mess, dealing with the therapy for the engineer, and fighting lawsuits in court as the result of person vs. train. The train usually wins in a spectacular way.


JustAGreenDreamer OP t1_jbkzxrh wrote

I get it. I just happen to live by a rarely-used spur, and it is the absolute shortest way from my house to the school. I would love it if the kids could walk to school that way. Shorter and safer that the road routes.


Shilo788 t1_jblztll wrote

Oops. I birdwatch a bog off of the tracks. I had no clue and grew up with trains running thru my town. We always hung out by the old train stations.


Katnipz t1_jc76q49 wrote

If they're decommissioned you're fine


Nastydon t1_jbmz6bp wrote

Well damn, I used to walk home from school as I didn't have a ride. There was a set of train tracks that cut a little over 2 miles off of my trip each day, so I was always walking the tracks to save time.


KotzubueSailingClub t1_jbnw90w wrote

A lot of people say this is trespassing on railroad land, but these state and federal laws are in place for safety and to ensure the movement of interstate commerce.


Lerch737 t1_jbko799 wrote

Only illegal if you get caught

*Taps on head gif*


Majestic-Feedback541 t1_jbkikdm wrote

Is it posted for no trespassing?

I'm quite certain it is illegal on all tracks on current use. I know the ones near my mom's, they have said since the 90s they'd be putting a fence up... Well there's no fence still but plenty of no trespassing signs.


another_one_1886 t1_jbksjth wrote

It depends. Can you outrun the local constable?


Existing_Bat1939 t1_jblkqmx wrote

Or, for that matter, the railroad police? The old Pan Am Boston & Maine police dept., all two people of it, has likely been replaced by a much more capable CSX team.


cepheus42 t1_jbl053b wrote

It is illegal, but it's one of those laws rarely enforced. We walked the tracks all the time as kids, sometimes for miles. No one cared as long as we paid attention and were careful.


MomTRex t1_jblrinq wrote

Yes, as I was busted by a track maintenance fellow while searching for my lost cat. He told me he could fine me, even though he didn't. The track was in a heavily touristed area (right next to Red's) and though there is a constructed opening in the chain link fence, people are not allowed to walk on the tracks.

Took 6 weeks but we found the cat and she was living there, by the tracks.

I grew up in CA and we always walked on the tracks, crossed over the tracks etc. No one ever said anything. But I guess it was technically illegal and 20 years later a pedestrian bridge was constructed and cost several million dollars (and had to be ADA compliant though how a wheelchair could get to that bridge was beyond me). Maybe they paid for it out of the fines?


SameProfession254 t1_jblbugg wrote

I live by the train tracks and we call it the hobo highway. All the crack heads hang out walking the train tracks for whatever reason. Just seems like you would be asking for trouble walking on them


costabius t1_jblrs1p wrote

technically, yes, it is trespassing on railroad property. It is selectively enforced in my experience.


dutchywins t1_jbls4u5 wrote

Are we talking active tracks only?

Isn’t there a group that makes gas powered rail cars and explores abandoned tracks? I always thought that’d be fun but wouldn’t want to get arrested doing it.


EasternMaine t1_jblxqwf wrote

I would avoid doing it in town but if you are in the woods somewhere it's doubtful anyone is going to give you shit.


Sulla5485 t1_jblyj4d wrote

Technically yes , but practically unenforceable. Worst that happens is you claim ignorance if you get caught and get a warning. I got busted on the tracks near Thompson's point trying to shortcut and the Portland PD just told me to not do it again.


ppitm t1_jbmaosd wrote

Unenforced? Yes. Big difference from unenforceable.


AbrasiveDad t1_jblldyu wrote

Mountain division trail is a trail along train tracks that's public that you can walk. It starts in Standish and runs into Fryeburg I believe. Off of river road in Windham is a parking area next to the trail where a very short walk takes you over a railroad bridge. I'm 95% certain the tracks are decommissioned but it's state land and intended as a walking trail.


ppitm t1_jbmaq86 wrote

Yes, but you should do it anyways.


philm162 t1_jbnx5ej wrote

Who knew? I spent half my childhood walking on train tracks. Different times.


mykabelle t1_jbupp6m wrote

I think it’s illegal federally


Notmystationbro t1_jbklpws wrote

Walk on tracks illegal. Walk along side no. Just keep a safe distance


King_O_Walpole t1_jbkpv88 wrote

#FALSE Tracks and the property directly adjacent too is owned by the railway, they don’t want you on or near the tracks.


Shilo788 t1_jbm15fp wrote

Lived 20 years near a RR and never knew that. A kid did lose his leg trying to hop a train. He was always a kid doing stupid stuff like that but even after that no one ever mentioned walking the tracks was illegal I used the side from riding my horse thru town.