Emma’s Note: In 2004, while waiting for Bill to take him up on his offer to work for him for free… Tom Dyson packed in his job in the City of London and hopped on a plane to Mexico City… with no money and no credit cards…
From there, he traveled by freight train and cargo ship to the U.S. He’s been recounting the story over the last several days here in this special essay series…
Today, he tells us about how he risked jail time on his journey across the Rockies in the dead of winter… aboard a Union Pacific container train…
Over the last few days, I’ve been telling you about the adventure that brought me to work for Bill Bonner… about how I left my job in London and flew to Mexico… and traveled across Mexico by freight train… arriving in Mazatlán on Mexico’s Pacific coast… and how I traveled as a stowaway… on board a large cargo-only ferry to Cabo San Lucas…
From there, it took me three or four days of hitchhiking to get to San Diego. I slept outside. I caught rides with a doctor, a club owner, the supervisor at a salt factory, and several truck drivers, one of whom brought me across the border.
My brother drove me from San Diego to Las Vegas. In Vegas, I caught a ride on an eastbound freight train…
It’s January 2004.
I’ve climbed onto a moving diesel near Fremont Street. I am in the cab, locked in the lavatory…
It’s a Union Pacific container train. It’s a mile long. It has come from Los Angeles. It is bound for Chicago on the 150-year-old trunkline across America called the “First Transcontinental Railroad.”
Containers are a top-priority cargo. This is an express train.
My diesel is a “helper” locomotive. It is one of four diesels pulling the train. There is no one in it.
The train leaves Las Vegas and gathers speed, heading toward Utah. I come out of the lavatory and sit in the captain’s chair, at the controls of the locomotive.
A locomotive is a valuable piece of equipment, worth millions of dollars. It is hauling imported goods worth tens of millions more.
To say Union Pacific doesn’t want a stowaway sitting at the controls of one of its locomotives while it hauls 300 shipping containers from Los Angeles to Chicago would be a gross understatement.
I’m committing a federal crime by being here. If I get caught, I am going to jail.
Nothing I can do about it now. So I adjust the chair, slide the window open, and get comfortable…
There is a small refrigerator in the cab. It’s loaded with water. I don’t have any food…
There is a bathroom, which I have already mentioned.
There is a two-way radio.
And there is a heater, which I put on “max.” We’re crossing the Rockies in the dead of winter, there’s snow on the ground, a layer of ice on the windshield, and I have the window wide open.
I pass the time by reading, listening to the chatter on the radio, and gazing out the window.
At night, I curl up on the floor in my sleeping bag. I sleep to the rocking of the train and the blasting of the horn…
We cross Utah and Wyoming in two days.
Then, somewhere in Nebraska, in the middle of the night, a man comes into the cab of my diesel carrying a flashlight.
He inspects the diesel’s controls for a few seconds. Then he swings the light around and notices me on the floor. I startled him.
“Hi,” he says.
“Hello,” I say back.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
“Okay,” he says and leaves.
Any moment, the train’s going to slow down. I’ll see blue and red lights outside. A couple of cops will storm the cab with their guns drawn…
But the train keeps going.
The brakeman comes back at dawn. “You want something to eat?”
“I’m fine, thank you,” I say.
“We’ll be arriving in North Platte soon. They’ll be inspecting the train there. You’d better hide.”
Tune in tomorrow evening for the exciting final installment of my adventure…
Editor, Postcards From the Fringe
P.S. I traveled across the world to meet Bill Bonner… After reading his daily newsletter, I knew it would change my life.
And I wasn’t wrong. Today, I’ve invested all my savings – about $1 million – in a simple strategy I learned from Bill. Already, I’m up about $200,000… and I’ve got a plan to multiply my wealth many times over…
Recently, Bill and I held a special online briefing about the strategy… If you haven’t watched the replay yet, don’t delay – click here to watch it today.
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