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Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)

American travel photographer, Mike Brodie, hopped trains for 5 years from ages 17-22. While parts of this lifestyle seem really thrilling and interesting, these photos really hammer home why I would never, ever do it. He captured a lot of his journey in these photos below.

1. Riders will go to a rail yard and find a spot to hide while they wait for the train they want to ride.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
KP8ch

2. It is by no means an easy life.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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3. Riders have to know which tracks go where.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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4. Here is a couple getting a little bit of rest in old sleeping bags.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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5. Most riders have to jump on the train while it is moving. This is known as “catching on the fly.”

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
KP8ch

6. They share resources.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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7. Riders occasionally will wait at “side outs”. These are places where there are two parallel tracks and the trains pull aside for others to pass.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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8. Bathing isn’t something they are able to do often.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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9. Here are some riders looking for places to go.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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10. This girl is making her way through a car filled with liquid.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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11. This is a bold move. Many have lost their lives doing this type of thing.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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12. Being able to wash their clothes is a luxury many do not have.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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13. Riders do get to see beautiful parts of America.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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14. This rider is scoping out trains.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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15. Increasing security has also presented a problem for train hoppers, though the establishment of legal protection for vagrants has led to a decline in the beating and maltreatment for which ‘bulls’ (railway security men) and brakemen became infamous.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
KP8ch

16. One rider giving a fellow rider a boost.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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17. This girl is leaving her mark.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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18. Trying to stay warm.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
KP8ch

19. Part of the reason riding is considered dangerous is due to the large percent of ex-cons that are riders. Violence is common among the transient riders.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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20. There are websites dedicated to helping people learn how to becomes riders with tips and tricks of the trade.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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21. Climbing to the top.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
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22. Running to make the train.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
KP8ch

23. Riders exploring the places they go.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)
KP8ch

24. There are even some books that have been published about train hopping. They are pretty interesting.

Teenage Photographer Captures His Journey Of Traveling 50,000 Miles By Hopping Trains (24 Pics)

More info: Mike Brodie

In America, it was common for migrant workers to use this form of transportation. They later came to be known as hobos. The practice is far less common than it once was. These days there remains a small tight-knit community of homeless freight train riders.