Why did 250000 teen hobos ride the rails?

Why did 250000 teen hobos ride the rails?

Some left to escape poverty or troubled families, others because it seemed a great adventure. At the height of the Great Depression, more than 250,000 teenagers were living on the road in America. Many criss-crossed the country by hopping freight trains, although it was both dangerous and illegal.

What was riding the rails in the Great Depression?

During the Great Depression, people went across the country in search of work. But without a job, they didn’t have money to pay for transportation. The only way to get across the country, and potentially get the job, was riding the rails. This is how the hobos of the Great Depression lived from day-to-day.

Why was riding the rails dangerous?

Riding the rails was dangerous. The bulls were hired to keep hoboes off trains, so you couldn’t just go to a railroad yard and climb on. Most hoboes would hide along the tracks outside the yard. They’d run along the train as it gained speed, grab hold and jump into open boxcars.

How long is riding the rails documentary?

1h 12m
Riding the Rails/Running time

Is riding the rails still a thing?

Very few people ride the rails full-time nowadays. In an ABC News story from 2000, the president of the National Hobo Association put the figure at 20-30, allowing that another 2,000 might ride part-time or for recreation. The very first American hobos were cast-offs from the American Civil War of the 1860s.

Who is ran out on a rail?

Riding the rail (also called being “run out of town on a rail”) was a punishment most prevalent in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries in which an offender was made to straddle a fence rail held on the shoulders of two or more bearers.

What problems resulted from riding the rails?

Many lost their jobs or saw their incomes reduced. Schools reduced the length of school years in many areas or closed altogether. By early 1933 over 12 million workers were unemployed amounting to almost 25 percent of the U.S. workforce and hundreds of thousands of children were out of school.

What is run out of town on a rail?

Where did the expression run out of town on a rail?

Answer: In colonial times, people who were thought too loyal to Britain, or too outspoken against independence, or crown tax collectors, were sometimes tarred, feathered, and tied to a wooden fence rail and carried out of town.

What was the story of riding the rails?

Riding the Rails presents the poignant and little-known story of teen hobos during the 1930s, a time of desperation and bitter hardship. These young itinerant Americans were all searching for a better life; what they found was a mixture of freedom, camaraderie, misery, and loneliness.

Who are the producers of riding the rails?

Riding the Rails interweaves the evocative stories of ten men and women who left home in their youth. Producers Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell placed notices in national publications in search of individuals who rode the rails as teenagers. Three thousand people, now in their 70s and 80s, responded.

Who are the actors in riding the rails?

Riding the Rails vividly combines the clear-eyed memories of witnesses with archival footage of teens riding atop speeding trains and newsreel interviews with lean-bodied kids full of bravado. The film features a rich soundtrack of American folk tunes of the time, including songs by Woody Guthrie, Elizabeth Cotten, Doc Watson, and Jimmie Rodgers.

How did the Great Depression affect riding the rails?

Riding the Rails offers a visionary perspective on the presumed romanticism of the road and cautionary legacy of the Great Depression. From ‘middle class gentility to scrabble-ass poor,’ the undiscriminating Great Depression forced 4,000,000 Americans away from their homes and onto the tracks in search of food and lodging.