Modern hobos

By | March 13, 2021

The hobo tradition continues to present day but now its high tech. There are several hobo that have facebook and youtube channels. You get a front seat ride with them and get some great train action. Never before have you had this access. The once mystery shrouded lifestyle is now out in the open.

Story tellers

The hobos are great story tellers and have intimate knowledge of trains, yards and people in the industry.

Call signs

They have call signs that the mark cars, bridges and railroad control boxes. These sometimes get crowded out by the graffiti artists in large cities but in less populated areas it is purely their canvas.

Origin stories


Bassman tells his own origin story as follows. “My first ride was back in August about 2015. I believe it was out of Dallas. I was at a homeless shelter in Dallas. I was going through depression and I’m having suicidal tendencies. I just got out of a bad divorce. I was married to this woman about seven years. I lost everything in the divorce and now I’m homeless. Two backpackers came through Dallas and I’m like dudes I don’t care where you going or which way your going or how you get there just I don’t want to be here anymore. So this was years ago and we jumped on a train and ended up in Texarkana Arkansas and ever since then I was hooked. From Arkansas we just kept heading east and eventually it became a lifestyle. I didn’t know how to feed myself. I didn’t know how to talk to people because I had social anxiety and now look at me eight years later and this is my lifestyle. So what really got me started out here riding trains was depression and not wanting to be where I was. It was a change of scenery. It was something new in my life and I needed something new. I didn’t just wake up one day and thought it was fun. I didn’t just say hey let me just go jump on trains with shits and giggles. I just didn’t want to be where I was in the situation I was in and now it’s all fun again until the train stops.”

Pony (Cliff)

Cliff tells his own origin story as follows. “If I remember correctly I think it’s a spring 1989. Coming out of Georgia to the end of Georgia down to Waycross from around Dalton area. August 2012 that was my first coal ride. I didn’t think I would be doing it from then on but it come on pretty good after that. I just loved it and kept on doing it but then I screwed around and let that soak in too long and got married for a couple years but went back to it.”

Stobe the Hobo (James “Jim” William Stobie)

Stobe the Hobo, YouTube's Most Famous Train-Hopper, Dead After Apparent  Accident

Stobe was one of the most famous of modern hobos. His commentary on his videos is quite entertaining and he also is an accomplished piano player. The production value of the you tube videos are quite good and he often dubs in his own piano playing to make them really special.

He did have an untimely death on November 8, 2017 from a train accident. He will be missed by many. His you tube channel is still up and you can still enjoy what he has left the world. He is missed by his fans.

Rest in peace Stobe….

Hobo ShoeString

Boxcar comfort and ground air - YouTube

I came across Hobo Shoestring while watching railfanning videos. The railfan ….. shouted out is that hobo Shoe String where he reply yep and then talked and took a ride through the tunnel under the train yard to other sites. This video is what started me on discovering all the great train rides that can be seen by following them on their story.

Hobo Shoestring has been doing this for about 30 years and has lots of railway knowledge and stories to share quite enterataining.