The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy story on January 23 examining modern day train robberies. The story quotes BLET National President Eddie Hall, who has 28 years of seniority as a locomotive engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad out of El Paso, Texas, and mostly Tucson, Ariz. President Hall told the Times that he regularly passed stopped trains and saw people climbing up ladders or loading cargo into their trucks pulled up alongside the tracks. “Between L.A. and Tucson is where I know a lot of theft happens,” Hall said.
President Hall said sometimes he would see people breaking into moving trains too. He would notify the train dispatcher and keep going. Those container doors, meanwhile, stayed open, he said, spilling boxes as the train rolled on.
According to the Times: “Hall saw all kinds of merchandise spread out across the tracks, including tires and televisions. Engineers don’t stop for this flotsam of global capitalism; they run over it. Once, near the Dragoon Mountains, in southeast Arizona, Hall drove a train through a desolate quarter-mile of track littered with hundreds of pairs of Nike sneakers.”
The full story (behind a paywall) is on the New York Times website.