Long before he ever reached for a moving train, Jeff Spiteri did homework. For two years, Spiteri, a teenager in suburban Detroit, researched freighthopping: Where to sneak on, what to pack, and how to evade police.
At the local railroad tracks, he spent afternoons ascending graffiti-plastered boxcars. Online, he watched videos on illicit boarding techniques and messaged veteran freighthoppers for advice on living as an itinerant “train kid.”
“I was a big nerd about it,” Spiteri said. “There are a lot of stupid kids who hop on trains and don’t know what they’re doing.” Read more >