At the risk of sounding silly, I always thought 'Jumping the train' was not buying a ticket and avoiding the ticket man on the train like the plague! I did it many times when I was 15/16 yrs and classed as a minor, but as it's classed as fraud I certainly wouldn't want to get caught as an adult !!!
I guess the correct term is 'Freight hopping' - where just as a freight train is taking off from the railyard you jump on and ride along on a carriage, ideally with the wind in your hair and your mind carefree... its a dying artform... like hitch-hiking...
Yes, you can definitely freight hop. You can do it in Australia, Europe, the US, South America. Pretty much everywhere. I've met dozens and dozens of people who have hopped. Yes, it involves a bit of danger and some risk of getting caught. But I'd go for it. AFTER you research as much as you can.
I just got a book in the mail a few days ago: "Hopping Freight Trains in America" by Duffy Littlejohn. Extensive techniques and safety. Also check out this website: www.digihitch.com. It has numerous stories and information.
Have you ever hitchhiked before? I've never freight hopped (yet) but have hitchhiked several thousand miles. If you haven't, do it! It's the funnest and most liberating way to travel. I mean, you get to meet a brand new person or group of people every ride and get absolutely free transportation. The worst problem I ever had hitching was a cramped ride and a couple sexual offers. (which I politely turned down and got out of the car soon afterwards)
ya that happend with me to alot during hitchhiking here in europe, it is funny that people think by giving you a ride that they are allowed to ask for sex, with me it was older women(above 60years) who did this.
but i really like hitchhiking, the problem is here in belguim that the people get more individual and they don't take a lot of people along anymore and if you get a ride it will be for short distances like 30km...
i hope it will improve again..
the one of the last profesional hitchhikers of belguim