||Jonathan Hambler, 29, says he sobered up
quickly as he realized the train he had hopped on was speeding
December 17th 2009
Printer friendly version
'Don't ever think of doing it'
A man whose intoxicated illegal railway ride on a frigid winter
night almost killed him has advice for anyone tempted to hitch a
short ride on a train.
"Don't ever think of doing it, even in the summer," said Jonathan
Hambler. "You don't know what's going to happen. I thought it was
just was going to be five blocks, and it ended up just about my
Hambler, 29, was charged with trespassing by CP Rail police after
It began last Friday at about 3:45 a.m. in Wetaskiwin, south of
Edmonton, after he walked with a friend who had had too much to
drink, seeing the friend home, Hambler said.
"I was going to back where we started originally, and I seen the
train slowly going by and I thought I could save myself five blocks
… but I added on quite a few klicks."
Hambler said he'd had a few drinks himself, but sobered up quickly
when the train began speeding up and left Wetaskiwin.
'I wanted to jump'
"I wanted to jump
and what everything, but we're doing about 30 [kilometres an hour] so it
wouldn't have been a very good idea."
At that point, Hambler says, he called his girlfriend to explain the
|'This is when I was
realizing, yeah it's pretty bad ... and to top it off, my phone
started beeping and dying.'
"I thought I was going to be OK, it was going to slow down at the
next stop and I could jump off and I'd have to find a ride back."
When that didn't happen, he called 911 and described his predicament to
a skeptical emergency operator who was convinced by the sound of the
train as it rumbled along, Hambler said.
She urged him to do everything he could to stay warm, and started an
RCMP search into which train Hambler had hopped.
"This is when I was realizing, yeah it's pretty bad," Hambler said. "And
to top it off, my phone started beeping and dying."
The cellphone lasted long enough for RCMP to identify the train, by
radioing the crews of the two they had narrowed the search to and having
them sound their horns.
Once the train was stopped at a crossing, searchers had to walk through
snowdrifts along the tracks before finding Hambler, barely conscious, on
the grating between two cars.
Hambler said he suffered hypothermia, but not frostbite. He said he will
pay the $287 fine for trespassing.