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I have been pondering this question since Saturday morning, Why are drunks drawn to Rail road tracks?

I have come up with my own theory’s of magnetism because of the lower brain taking over from the alcohol and the Railroads spiritual nature. They will even sleep on the tracks. Also, the “bums” or in some sense “awakened ones” who have decided to drop out of society because of the generic societal pressures are drawn to concrete as in cities. Yes, there is more food available, money to be handed out and the stimulus of people around. Other “bums” to converse with too, but this is not the only reason. Any deep thoughts on this subject?
Short3gears…you are correct and I must interject that the beautiful people who are drawn to the social aspects of a deep loving community near the railroad are not all drunks. I do stand corrected and must apologize for generalization
This was just a thought to begin with the other day because of the sadness of some spirits who are down on their luck and end up near the tracks and maybe for comfort. Thank you for your answer and correction of the use of words..


  1. Read Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell if you’re interested in vagrants and their functionings. True, it was written a long time ago, but it’s still one of my favourite books.

  2. You’ve covered most of it… the only additional items I would suggest is most raillines and yards are rather secluded allowing freedom to camp out and not be bothered. They do hop the trains for transportation should they want to check out other locations… not many bums can afford a ticket…
    Mostly it is a location traditionally known to be a bum hangout so we go there to have safety in numbers, get information and community spirit, and food sharing. Not many places can you find this type if community… I don’t think it is as deep as you are thinking – the rail covers a lot of basic needs… social, food, shelter, safety, etc… I don’t think it has any deep pychological pull other than the romanatism of the rail and the history of bumhood… 😉
    ps. you seem to associate it with ‘drunks’ but it is not aboutthe alcohol… many of these bums do drink and/or are alcoholics – that is part of why many of them are there… plus it helps pass the time for those that have or want not much more to do….But MANY of these folks are not alcohilics or ‘drunks’… I think it is incorrect to assume alcohol is a driving factor in this communal gathering. Many ‘drunks’ are not at the railyard 🙂 The rails do indeed have a spiritual attraction; A lot of power in the trains that come by and the ‘feel’ of an endless road with limitless possibilities… and a big factor of ‘renegadeness’ and ‘outlawism’ or FREEDOM comes from the rail…

  3. Not really, there may not be any spiritual magentism between the drunkards and the railroads, it may be purely coincidental… God bless them, happy home back


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