Train Surfing

train surfing

Train surfing is riding or climbing on the outside of a moving train. This activity is illegal in many countries, but is a common and usual way to ride trains in India, Indonesia, and South Africa. Individuals may train surf to avoid the cost of a ticket or as a recreational activity. With the creation of the internet, the practice of filming the act and posting online videos of it is on the increase worldwide.

The London Underground is now running an advertising campaign against ‘tube surfing.’ The advertisements now at most underground stations show a female figure with one arm and the caption ‘she was lucky’ next to it. In Germany, the practice was made popular on TV in the 1990s. There it was called ‘S-Bahn Surfing.’ Slowly, the former train surfing culture changed and integrated into the German graffiti culture. The phenomenon was forgotten until the millennium, but in 2005 it was rediscovered by a group from Frankfurt. The leader of the crew who calls himself ‘the trainrider’ famously surfed the InterCityExpress, the fastest train in Germany.

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