C’mon Ride the Train
Extreme train surfing is just that: Extreme
By Sean Sweeney
Alexander Richter tightens the belt around his waist. He fastens it to a vacuum lifting pad, a sort of suction-cup device that weighs no more than a young child. After jumping onto the front of a subway car, Richter is given just seconds to scuttle through multiple steps before the locomotive takes off with his life.
He dons his patented “trainrider” pullover sweatshirt, connects the lifting pad to the car, the belt to his waist, and Richter is at ease. Everything around him is a blaze of blur.
The ICE, Germany’s Inter City Express, is a subway system that can reach speeds of 205 miles per hour – and this strange, masked man has conquered it.
The Greasy Pole has previously described the fascination some people have with solo climbing cliffs. Legions of people have tried climbing up a vertical rock face sans rope, but Richter is on his own with this one. He’s a one-man maniac train rider who excels at taming the ICE beast and maneuvering past the German police force.
Richter said he started casually, riding slow-moving trains in the hopes of one day perfecting the craft enough to ride the most ugly bull of all, the ICE. He’s done it. The rush of feeling his legs dangle across the sub’s windshield has completely drowned out the danger.
With barely anything keeping him connected, Richter’s head snaps back and forth against the current of the wind on every ride. The sub is going so fast a stray branch would end his life on impact.
You can only be free…when you have nothing to lose. Richter has something to lose: a four-year old daughter. Except nothing gives him the rush the same way this does. He doesn’t plan to stop – probably until the subway flings him off towards a brain-smashing death.
Sean Sweeney is a regular contributor to The Greasy Pole.