Interestingly this same question came to my mind the other day, as I listened to all the freight/goods-trains go past and lamented how hard it is to get a passenger train here.
My brother has ‘hopped’ trains all through North and Central America. He has also done it through Australia, but said the conditions here are much tougher, as you have to ride outside the containers in blazing sun and freezing wind. He’s also broken both his ankles and his wrist doing it. I’m not saying this is a good thing to do, but it explains why when I hear the sound of freight-trains this question comes to mind.
To me train-hopping is for freight-trains, and fare-evasion is for trains with fares.
Fare evasion is stealing something which has an agreed vaule. However, is it enough for a ‘king to imprison, banish or flog’ someone?
Was flogging the same as a modern day fine?
As we were taught, parajika 2 is for stealing something of significant value. The value we were given as a guideline was $500. The idea was about what would be reasonable to imprison or take serious legal action, rather than the value of a pada coin.
The Buddha said to him,
Atha kho bhagavā taṁ bhikkhuṁ etadavoca—
“For stealing how much does King Bimbisāra beat, imprison, or banish a thief?”
“kittakena kho, bhikkhu, rājā māgadho seniyo bimbisāro coraṁ gahetvā hanati vā bandhati vāpabbājeti vā”ti?
“For stealing a pāda coin, Sir, or the value of a pāda.”
“Pādena vā, bhagavā, pādārahena vā”ti.
At that time in Rājagaha a pāda coin was worth five māsaka coins.
Tena kho pana samayena rājagahe pañcamāsako pādo hoti.
At the end of the rule, we have Venerable Sāgalā stealing a turban. The turban is less than 5 māsaka coins. Even in modern times turbans are more expensive than a commuter train fare ($6ish) and about the price of an interstate fair. So I would argue that it is not a parajika to steal a train fair but it is something not to be done (dukkata).
However, if we take into account the fine for fare evasion, which here is NSW is $200 (maximum $500) though you may be issued with a caution. This is getting closer to an amount which would be classed as a parajika under my understanding.
So maybe! However, this is the value of the punishment not the item which is stolen. There is no mention of imprisonment for breaching any Travel Offences. Plus, if someone was able to pay the fine within the time period then you are back to around $6.
I am taking all of the above as a one-off offence where someone had a lapse of judgement, rather than an inclination never to pay their train fare.
Onto goods/freight trains.
Freighthopping - Wikipedia
Goods trains have no fare for human passengers.
Do we calculate the value of the fair which is stolen by cubic weight? Sending a parcel which is 80kg and 2msq would be quite expensive.
$1628 is the cheapest quote
I could come up with.
This is a bit of a silly answer, but a bit of fun. Mainly because I can’t come up with an argument either way which I’m completely satisfied with.
The information I can find on fines is that ‘they are greater in Australia than the US’, where I believe they would be around the same as our passenger transport fine above and therefor the same scenarios would apply.
The argument for hopping a train in Australia is that the cars are all enclosed so you are not taking up space where goods could be stored or influencing significantly the cost of train getting from point A to point B. From this perspective I can see where you are coming from with your copyright argument.
One thing I did read, during my brief skim on train hopping, is that it is possible you can be put on a terrorist watch list for doing it. THIS would surely get you closer to being imprisoned, banished or flogged in modern terms.
We are working on it (we being the new management committe- wanna join and help fight AI related crime? )