Down south our rail system is half in use and half ruins. I can imagine that further north, the rail system is an integral part of life. I can imagine that train hopping from place to place was much easier than it is now. Everything has security and a team of people to make sure there are no hitchhikers. Not to mention the dogs. This particular story is probably told in any town that has a train system. Being in an old mill state and where coal mining is still done in the mountains, we have train tracks that go far and wide.
34 years of life below the Mason Dixon line leads to a lot of stories of old and new.