13 episodes

When journalist Danelle Morton’s daughter skips town to hop trains, she follows her into the train yard, and across America. Join Danelle as she travels the country to understand what drew her daughter into the hidden world of the railroads. Her guides are the rail cops, train engineers, and hobos she meets along the way, each of them with their own extraordinary tales of the beauty and brutality of the rails.

A mother/daughter story unfolds across a landscape of vast open spaces and filthy backstreets, as Morton learns how railroads shaped the modern world - from creating our time zones and QR codes, to the first lobbyists and unions.

The story of the rails is the story of America, and through 10 episodes, Morton reckons with our history, and her family history, as she tries what she can to bring her daughter home.

City of the Rails iHeartPodcasts

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 983 Ratings

When journalist Danelle Morton’s daughter skips town to hop trains, she follows her into the train yard, and across America. Join Danelle as she travels the country to understand what drew her daughter into the hidden world of the railroads. Her guides are the rail cops, train engineers, and hobos she meets along the way, each of them with their own extraordinary tales of the beauty and brutality of the rails.

A mother/daughter story unfolds across a landscape of vast open spaces and filthy backstreets, as Morton learns how railroads shaped the modern world - from creating our time zones and QR codes, to the first lobbyists and unions.

The story of the rails is the story of America, and through 10 episodes, Morton reckons with our history, and her family history, as she tries what she can to bring her daughter home.

    Fans Calling: A Bonus Episode of City of the Rails

    Fans Calling: A Bonus Episode of City of the Rails

    City of the Rails passes a million downloads! Cause for a celebration, and a chance to thank all of you who sent so much love.  To mark this big achievement, we  made a bonus episode featuring just some of the hundreds of voicemails we got from people who adored the show (and also a few from some who didn't like it). Big question: Where's Season 2? We didn't get renewed for a second season, but we're  trying to find a podcast home for the next chapter in this story: The Railroad Murders. And we're still working on the railroad. Check out Danelle's investigative work with a team from ProPublica: https://www.propublica.org/series/train-country Want to stay in touch? Find us @flipturnpods and keep an eye on danellemorton.com. Have a question or comment? Leave us a voicemail at ‪(707) 653-0339‬. We’re keeping the lines open just for you.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 12 min
    Living By The Tracks — E10

    Living By The Tracks — E10

    Danelle visits with a kindred spirit, and reckons with the past. Ruby and Danelle finally talk about it. Kiwi weighs in and looks back on Profane Sass. Danelle pursues several new leads. Plus CC Rider, a Western bar, and a road dog named Nikita.

    Thank you for listening to Season One! We’ve got good things planned – stick around. And listen to The Yard: Songs Inspired by City of the Rails at aaronkaufmanmusic.com/theyard/

    Danelle's playlist of modern hobo music at tinyurl.com/hobomusic

    Want to stay in touch? Find us @flipturnpods and keep an eye on danellemorton.com. Have a question or comment? Leave us a voicemail. We’re keeping the lines open just for you.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Fire in New Orleans — E9

    Fire in New Orleans — E9

    When a fire takes the lives of Ruby’s friends, Danelle realizes no one else will tell their stories. A reporting trip to New Orleans with Ruby presents Danelle with an opportunity to get closer, and get new answers. Members of hobo band Profane Sass help piece together events, journalist Chris Rose weighs in on New Orleans, and Danelle meets a survivor.

    For biographies of the traveling kids and more on the squat fire, visit https://danellemorton.com/fire/

    Want to see the warehouse? Check out @flipturnpods. Have a tip? It’s your last episode to call in! Our number’s in the credits.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    All The Livelong Day — E8

    All The Livelong Day — E8

    When the boss wants you gone, it’s only a matter of time, and this rolls out extra nastily on the railroad. In this episode, the story of Nickie Jackson, and how she was hounded by the railroad. Danelle digs deeper and Ruby tells her about a miracle.

    Want to see Nickie? Check out @flipturnpods. Have a tip? Danelle’s gathering worker stories for a reporting series. Leave us a voicemail – our number’s in the credits.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 52 min
    Cops & Robbers — E7

    Cops & Robbers — E7

    Danelle heads to El Paso, Texas to get the lowdown on the rail cops – the private police with federal powers who report only to the railroads. In a border town, rail cops are the most powerful entities, but is that such a good thing? One dynamic duo shows Danelle how they tried to clean up the tracks, and how wild the rails still are, with Old West train raids, smugglers, and hobos all overlapping in this ultimate crossroads. Ruby calls with big news.

    Want to see Colton? Check out @flipturnpods. Have a question or comment? Leave us a voicemail – our number’s in the credits.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 53 min
    Whistle Stop

    Whistle Stop

    We'll be right back. Thanks for all the love!

    Danelle's playlist of modern hobo music here: https://tinyurl.com/hobomusic
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
983 Ratings

983 Ratings

Sonjawild ,

Cover photo

Hi Danelle, I’ve enjoyed the podcast. I’ve ridden trains and know many who have and the photo you have looks like a friend of mine who has since passed. Do you know who it is and where you found it? Thank you!

cjiejefj ,

We need more!!

I absolutely was hanging on to each and every word. Everything about this podcast has my mind spinning. It’s amazing how much goes on in and around the rail yard, how a simple life is not always simple. How parents deal and how those who live on the rails deal with the day to day of not knowing the next one. I have my fingers crossed that some way we will have more to listen to in the future.

Lady Reverb ,

Great podcast

This was a fascinating podcast. Very sad to hear we won’t be getting a second season.

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