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‘He Knows the Trains’
Oakland to Portland on the Overton Railroad: Part 1
This is one of my last pieces of travel writing that I have written. In the future I’ll be working these experiences into fiction or history. I still have about 30 articles in this category to post over the next couple of months.

For the first time since March, when Shamdemicism swept the unhallowed land, I found myself on trains that were loaded with people. These were not packed like cattle cars of tourism at 80-100% capacity as they have been in 2018 and 2019. These two trains were a quarter full; that is the train from Salt Lake City to Emeryville called the California Zephyr and this last train, the Coastal Starlight. The Coastal Starlight ran from Los Angeles to Seattle every day. Now it runs thrice a week, which means that not many more folks are taking the train, but rather the runs have been reduced to compress travel. Cars that held 5 to 10 in 68-84 seats in April now hold 20 to 30 in October.
Interestingly, nearly everyone on this train was taking it for the first time and looked to me, as a seemingly well-heeled hobo, as the old hand and asked me questions. I am new to train travel, but train travel changed so much in March 2020 I am marked as the “old hand,…he knows all about it.”
The trip would be punctuated by a suicide, a man parking his car on the tracks near Albany, Oregon. Mostly, and in this case too, the trip seemed to be a journey of desperation taken by the human puss that had been injected into the bloodstream of America when God stepped on Southern California’s neck.
What follows is a rogue’s gallery of train meat headed to the for sale section of the uncaring Marketplace of opportunity in Murica.
Although I was told that Jack London Square in Oakland was part of the “seedy” or “sketchy” zone of the Bay Area, it seemed a nighted paradise to me.
The train station was empty, clean and well lit. They did have a security man and a pass code on the bathroom, which means that there are plenty of junkies about. But as I sat alone in the station with an effeminate Sikh and I noticed a gorgeous Asian woman [built like an Anglo-American stripper] walking around the station outside and others sitting about, I wondered why I would breathe this stale air when I could sit on a bench outside. This chick was unescorted with luggage, wandering around looking at her smart phone. In the Baltimore equivalent of Jack London Square, by night in the Inner Harbor, she would have been raped and robbed by a pack of Bantu raiders, then raped again and robbed again by teenage thugs, then probably raped by the responding BPD officers.
Hilariously, hipster faggots of the aspirational class in mid-thirties, paraded around the train station in skinny pants with their designer dogs on leashes, carrying poo bags and obeying their shrill and sterile bitch queens, all unprotected. The few Bantu men were older fellows collecting containers for recycle who gave me a wide berth. Since I looked homeless, this did not surprise me, as the main basketball court was taken away from the Oakland Bantus by a bunch of homeless paleface meth tweakers who use it as a campground while the displaced Bantus lift weights over on the grass and sell BLM merchandise for their white masters.
The Asian babe had acquired a tiny Mexican porter who was carrying her stuff around and helping her check valuables such as jewelry, on the dark platform in the perfect breeze of the listless night. Her hired man was all of five feet, wearing a green shirt and attended his princess like she was some triad mob boss’s daughter. Again, in Baltimore, she’s raped three times her first night on the street like this after this midget gets his head kicked in.
A rough, big paleface of about fifty befriends a black man carrying a guitar case and dressed in a top hat and a suit that Jack London might have once worn. They have never taken the train out of state and befriend me, the black fellow offering me a cigarette. The paleface is going on a fishing trip to a lady friend’s cabin above Sacremento. The Musician is relocating for work to Portland—the music scene he assures us is now dead in Los Angeles and rents sky-rocketing in the Bay Area.
I explain the boarding procedures, and the fact that conductors do it three different ways, depending on how full the train is and what kind of time they have, as passenger trains always get bumped by freight trains.
I then recalled, in my mind, as the train rolled in and we were boarded, that an old timer, a Country Western Musician travelling from Grand Junction to Reno the week before on the Zephyr, counted one freight train out to us as it passed on his side:
-Three engines pulling 250 cars
-Two more engines in the middle, pulling another 150 cars
-A pushing engine in the rear.
“The biggest I have ever seen in all of my days.”
He laughed low and giddy every time he spoke, whether from long habit or because he was going to his 18-year-old granddaughter’s funeral, killed in a car wreck.
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