Train nearly runs over idiots (video)

Video of a train engineer's nightmarish scare. Video contains colorful language. (via Arbroath)


  1. A couple years ago, I was riding pretty much in the front car of a train when suddenly there was a HORRIBLE shrieking noise and the train rolled to a halt. I’d never heard anything like it before and me and the others in the car were all “??!!??” Conductor came along and explained some idiot was standing on the tracks, and he’d pulled the emergency brake.

    Heard him talking to some other train staff about calling the police too.

  2. Astonishing stupidity on display there. I was surprised at how quickly (relatively speaking) the train came to a stop–it must have been fairly lightly loaded.

  3. Happens all the time. South of Seattle a few months ago a guy was talking on a cell phone walking in the direction of the train and got hit by a train. Darwin.

  4. Seems like these two jackasses were intentionally trying to fuck with the train’s operator by standing right around that blind curve and jumping out in front of it. I’m willing to bet they were totally shitfaced.

  5. I remember reading an article in the Boston Globe years ago how seriously this kind of thing affects train conductors.
    Some people use trains as a method of committing suicide, or just don’t realize how quickly a train comes at you and it really messes up the conductors who don’t have enough time to stop.

  6. @Takuan:

    I used to walk the Saybrook line in Connecticut everyday as a kid – we could tell that a train was coming by the groundshake even before we every heard it (with plenty of time to get off the track).

    People today are devolving rapidly…

  7. and are you a kid now? Creaky ears. Fast train. Wind blowing the wrong way. Distracted. It happens too often and not always because they are drunk.

  8. #8 (Chuxmix) — my father and brother are freight conductors, and you’re absolutely right about the effects. In the geographic area where they work (rural Eastern Oregon), nearly all conductors will have been in a train that killed someone by the time they retire.

    I suspect many people do not think about the fact that many conductors in this situation will then exit the locomotive and perform first-responder duties. So these are men and women who not only see the train they “drive” plow into cars/people, but they are also handling the aftermath of wreckage, amputations, dead bodies, etc.

    Senseless. It’s not rocket science. Get off the tracks, folks.

    And don’t get me started on the multiple hoops this particular railroad’s insurance company forces employees to jump through in order to get mental health services.

  9. Whenever I see the phrase “colorful language,” I expect something like “Magenta! Ochre! Aquamarine!”
    Sadly, life continues to disappoint me in a million little ways…

  10. If you can walk into a stationary object, you can get hit by a train. Too many people assume they are totally aware of their surroundings and in control of their actions.

  11. @7

    they sure can sneak up on you. Especially near a high-traffic area like under an overpass where cars are rumbling to-and-fro. I grew up about a half-mile from a set of tracks and we would while away our sticky summer days placing coins (and other smushable objects) on the rails. My friends and I had to develop a sixth-sense for incoming trains after a few close calls.

    That’s July in the country for you.

  12. I disagree with my monkey brethren, I also lived near train tracks growing up and could always hear/feel it coming a mile away; maybe we just have bigger trains in Toronto?

  13. this guy i knew would dress up ninja-style (black, just eyes showing) with friends, then go to the inter-city track at night and LIE DOWN BETWEEN THE RAILS. the clearance was enough that the train would go right over them at 120 mph.
    the buzz, as far as he was concerned, was that as soon as you heard the train on the rails, you knew you’d be dead if you moved a muscle.

    you’ll be pleased to know he’s now an F1 mechanic.

  14. I’ve had mixed experiences “feeling” trains coming. When commuting via CalTrain when I lived in San Francisco we did pretty well at anticipating approaching trains by the vibrations. But even then when the express would move by our stop without slowing it came upon us pretty quick. Watching how it depressed the tracks as it went by was humbling.

    In Japan I didn’t have any notice of an oncoming bullet train (Shinkansen) other than a kind man that had me walk back from the rails. I was already behind the yellow safety line, but the extra 20 feet he provided me was well appreciated. Because when that train rolled by at high speed you could feel it all the way through you. Was a cool and scary feeling.

    I can only imagine what it’d be like to be a conductor that hit someone. Since being a passenger on a few occasions was bad enough.

  15. Can anyone doubt this is Darwin at work?

    It reminds me that last year here in Oregon we had a potential Tsunami alert. In several towns on the coast, including Newport, the police were stunned that, upon hearing the alarm, scores of people went down to the beach! And, these were not all idiot kids. They included families, with children.

    I really feel for the train driver.

    Rick York

  16. @19

    or you were just paying more attention than we were. I remember once we found a stack of old girlie magazines at the farmhouse across the road and we had the bright idea of climbing on to the roof of the barn so we could flip pages undisturbed. We didn’t know Bob had come back home until he was standing next to his pickup yelling at us to get the hell off his roof. What can I say? Our lookout was distracted.

    Maybe the guys in the video had just found some porn?

  17. I have no problem with kids toying with death. They’re stupid, it’s what they do. But why do they always have to do it in such a way that it’d be someone else’s fault?

    /sick of having to drive through crowd of highschoolers who just assume he’s not going to hit him no matter what they do.

  18. “…He heard a shout – another – saw the face change from its vindictive passion to a faint sickness and terror – felt the earth tremble – knew in a moment that the rush was come – uttered a shriek – looked round – saw the red eyes, bleared and dim, in the daylight, close upon him – was beaten down, caught up, and whirled away upon a jagged mill, that spun him round and round, and struck him limb from limb, and licked his stream of life up with its fiery heat, and cast his mutilated fragments in the air.”

    Charles Dickens – Dombey & Son.

    they just don’t teach that stuff in schools anymore.

  19. Maybe they were playing “le Jeu du Prochain Train” or something? Unlikely, given that there was only two of them, but maybe they were practicing for next month’s round. The one guy is clearly disqualified, however, due to not every crossing the tracks.

  20. This video could easily be fake. We don’t actually see the train. We only hear some sound effects.

    And why was the conductor/whoever filming a routine train trip… at the very moment two idiots cross the tracks?

  21. I have to cross an ungated crossing by foot twice a day, with my dogs, and whilst 99 times out of a hundred I’m fine, every once in a while the wind will be in the wrong direction, or there’ll be traffic in the distance, or the river will be flowing at the same frequency…and the train’s just *there*. Very scary. And once in a hundred is about 7 times a year.

  22. This video could easily be fake. We don’t actually see the train. We only hear some sound effects.

    And why was the conductor/whoever filming a routine train trip… at the very moment two idiots cross the tracks?

    As we have established in the thread, people being run over, or nearly being run over by a train is pretty common. Therefore, it is likely that at some point, some train operator somewhere will be filming his journey, for whatever reason, and nearly runs over some idiots. Unlikely things happen! That’s statistics.

  23. I happened to have the beginning credits of Men In Black playing on another monitor while I started this video. Right after the slipping guy went out of view from the train, the movie got to the part where:

    (dragonfly + windshield =)*splat* “God-damned bugs…”

    Serendipity FTW!

  24. Clearly its photoshopped. I can tell by the pixels, and having seen quite a few shops in my time.


  25. Nobody seems to consider that a permanent security camera was most likely attached inside the cabin for this very reason.

    Fucking duh.

  26. This was posted to a local railfan forum recently by a friend of the driver. To answer a few of the questions here, it was a light engine movement here in Melbourne, Australia. Being a single locomotive with no wagons it pulled up quickly. The driver was taping his run to show some other railfans a drivers eye view of his day. There are used to be a lot of Australian cab view videos on youtube until a couple of railway companies began hassling youtube into taking them down for “security” reasons.
    As for what the kids were doing there, there was wet paint on the bridge and empty spray cans lying around, what do you think they were doing?

  27. #29

    I think it’s probably more likely that they just didn’t hear the squeak of the wheel soon enough…

  28. that train driver sounds like an Aussie… and if memory serves me correctly, the colorful language isn’t because of the near-miss, it’s the way they talk to passengers all the time.

  29. #39. I was hoping somebody else would get that, I just finished reading that book again earlier today, and the parallels were too close.

    “Today in Melbourne, two truants ‘heard the squeak’ down by the tracks. Clearly this was not the Entertainment they were looking for.”

    All jesting aside, though, why attempt to run across the tracks instead of just staying to the right? I know panic does strange things to people, but still, I feel like panic would normally drive you /away/ from the path of the incoming train. Just saying. Glad the train didn’t eliminate anybody’s map – at least for the conductor’s conscious’ sake, at least, but I’m also glad he got it on video to share with the rest of the world just how dumb people can be.

  30. @#38 As for what the kids were doing there, there was wet paint on the bridge and empty spray cans lying around, what do you think they were doing?

    Well, as a Melbournian, all I can say is “Making those railyards a bit prettier with their art”.

  31. #8 (Chuxmix): There’s a MetaFilter thread on it here.

    A few factoids:

    Stephen King tells the story that, when he was very young, he and a friend went out for a walk, and only King came back. His friend had been hit by a train and killed. King says that he has no memory of the event, but correlate that with his novella “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me.

    I went to a state university that had a rep as a party school, and one of the school paper columnists was this guy that was basically your standard issue frat-bro type. In addition to the huge house parties that were thrown every weekend, our local campustown had several bars next to grade-level railroad tracks. I think that you know where I’m going with this. The paper reported that this guy had played chicken with the train; a friend told me that the cops had had to use several of those sheets that they cover up bodies with, in several locations. That weekend, the school paper published a “tribute” to this clown, complete with a big sketch of his party-hearty mug on the front. I thought that they should have given it the headline, “Asshole of the Year.”

    Finally, BB fave Jim Woodring has a story that he did (illustrated by Pat Moriarty) called “Too Dumb To Die” that’s in one of Moriarty’s collections that’s worth reading. Woodring’s a recovering alcoholic, and the story is about him going on a bender with a friend, culminating in their horrified realization, on waking up the next morning, that they’d passed out on, you guessed it, railroad tracks.

  32. By the way, the train driver is not an engineer.

    As Dilbert said to Tina: if you don’t understand that there’s a difference you’re not qualified to be one.

  33. i reckon they were puttin coins on the the track and didnt hear the train that excakt same thing happened to me today i was looking for the coins that were flattened with a friend and i saw the train and bolted AWAY from the train not towards….. idiots

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