how illegal is train surfing in the usa


Train surfing, also known as train hopping or skylarking, is a dangerous and illegal activity that involves riding on the exterior of a train. Despite the obvious risks, some thrill-seekers continue to engage in this reckless behavior. In this article, I will explore the consequences of train surfing in the United States.

What is Train Surfing?

Train surfing involves individuals climbing onto the outside of a moving train and hanging on or performing stunts. This reckless behavior is extremely perilous and poses a serious threat to the safety of both the individual and others on board the train as well as nearby pedestrians or motorists.

The Dangers of Train Surfing

Train surfing is incredibly dangerous and can result in severe injury or death. Individuals who engage in this activity risk falling from the train, colliding with obstacles along the tracks, or being electrocuted by overhead wires. Additionally, train surfers put themselves at risk of collision with bridges, poles, or any other structures along the railway.

Consequences of Train Surfing

Train surfing is not just dangerous; it is also illegal. Trespassing on railroad tracks or onto the trains themselves is a federal offense that can result in hefty fines and even jail time. Moreover, train operators have the authority to refuse service to anyone caught engaging in this risky behavior.

Illegal Train Surfing in the United States

In the United States, train surfing is not only illegal but also a violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act. The Federal Railroad Administration has implemented strict regulations to deter individuals from partaking in this dangerous activity.

ALSO READ:  Am I Allergic To My Dog Quiz?

Enforcement of Laws

Law enforcement agencies and railroad authorities across the country are working diligently to crack down on train surfing. Special task forces have been established to patrol railway infrastructure and to apprehend individuals who attempt to engage in this perilous behavior.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Public awareness campaigns have been launched to educate the public about the dangers and legal consequences of train surfing. These initiatives aim to discourage individuals from risking their lives for a cheap thrill and to promote the importance of railway safety.


In conclusion, train surfing is a dangerous and illegal activity that poses a serious threat to the safety of individuals and others. The risks and consequences of engaging in this reckless behavior far outweigh any potential excitement it may offer. It is crucial for individuals to recognize the dangers of train surfing and to refrain from participating in such hazardous activities.


Q: Is train surfing legal in any part of the United States?

A: No, train surfing is illegal in all states and is a violation of federal law.

Q: What are the potential consequences of train surfing?

A: Engaging in train surfing can result in severe injury, death, hefty fines, and even imprisonment.

Q: Why do individuals partake in train surfing despite the obvious risks?

A: Some individuals seek the adrenaline rush or a sense of rebellion, while others may view it as a thrill-seeking challenge.

Q: How can we deter individuals from train surfing?

A: Public awareness campaigns, strict enforcement of laws, and educational initiatives are essential to discouraging train surfing.

Q: What should I do if I witness someone engaging in train surfing?

A: If you witness someone attempting to train surf, it is imperative to report the incident to law enforcement or the railroad authorities immediately.