Pretty sure we've all done it at some point.
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by all large vehicles. And with trains running not only near where I lived, but also practically through the yard at my grandparent's house, I was particularly fond of trains. I'd pump my arm for the horn like you do with 18-wheelers, and would occasionally get a response. And of course, I squashed many-a-penny.
As kids, we'd often follow the tracks for miles on our bikes, using them as short cuts over to different parts of town. Or sometimes we'd just wander along the tracks for lack of anything better to do. No one ever said anything to us. Our parents never said anything, cops never said anything. We just did our thing.
So is it legal or what?
Turns out, no. At the very least, it's considered trespassing. Maine makes it pretty clear that if you're traveling on the tracks without physically being on a train, then you're breaking the law. It's spelled out pretty clearly at the state's website. They even have fines all broken down and everything.
On the other hand, I'm not sure who's out there enforcing such things. I certainly doubt there's anyone out there handing kids a bunch of tickets for being on the tracks. They might tell you to get outta there, but I imagine that's where it would end. But if we can't get near the tracks, how are we going to get our pennies squashed?!
I'm not saying anyone should break the law, but I feel like there are some laws out there, like this one, that are broken every day and no one seems to care. Obviously, I'm not wanting anyone to jeopardize their safety either. But, kids are gonna kid... And one of the places they like to be kids, is where the trains are.