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Jumping from a Moving Train – Real Tips You Can Use

It occured to me this evening that there are no instructions given in schools on how to properly jump from a moving train. This is a major oversight. The folks who come up with curriculum should be disappointed with themselves.

Just to get things started, I present this hypothetical math question. Keep in mind, this uses the ‘new’ math.

Alan is travelling on a freight train which is moving at 43 mph, and his friend Jeremy is on the opposite railway travelling towards him at 27 mph. Assuming that Alan had a breakfast of eggs and orange juice, what is the proper roll technique he should use to avoid injury?

See, that’s so much more educational than your typical math question. This is real life stuff you can use.

if you’re thinking to yourself: I have never had to jump off of a moving train! You’re making a mistake. Nobody plans to jump off of a moving train. They just find themselves in a bad situation and jumping is the only choice.

Here are some common reasons why you might need to jump from a moving train:

  • You are being chased by James Bond and he practices jumping from moving trains frequently.
  • The bridge is out ahead, certainly due to beavers.
  • Your friend just jumped out and he has the keys.
  • You find yourself in a contest for the best jump and roll technique, and you’ve just bet your life savings.
  • You get on the train and realize too late that all of the other passengers are Elvis impersonators.
  • Your train has a nuclear bomb onboard.

As you can see, there are a number of cases where jumping from a moving train just might be your only option.

These situations are always a surprise.

That’s why it pays to learn proper jump and roll technique. Just in case. Plus, it makes great conversation fodder at your next social gathering.

  1. Jump from the train while it is moving uphill or slowing
  2. Watch ahead for debris that could cause injury
  3. Jump when near dirt or grassy areas if you can
  4. When you jump, plan your roll over one shoulder, then roll into a ball
  5. Stand up slowly and check for injury, you will likely need to catch your breath
  6. Always, always jump forward, otherwise you will end up on your butt moving backwards
  7. Be sure not to bite your tongue!

That’s it! BrainFuel tips for how to jump from a moving train. Always bringing you the best content.

Warning: jumping from a moving train is really dangerous. If you don’t believe me, read this.

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12 Comments

  1. I couldn’t do the maths because we use metric down under. :)

    I’ve known people that used to hold onto the back wind screen wipers of a train and ride it while it was moving from station to station, great way to get a free ride. Would be a bad way to die, that’s why these tips are indeed very important.

    They told me that there was a sort of vortex on the back of the train (similar to what cyclists draft on trucks) while in motion which created a sort of cone of silence, so much so that you could hold a conversation on your mobile phone.

    Now if your other mobile phone was to ring or you had to scratch whilst in the middle of a conversation on the first mobile you would have to let go of what you were hanging on to, which would cause your journey to end. Knowing how to land correctly would be vital to your survival.

    I have also been told stories about people putting their feet on the tracks and holding onto the back of the train, known as train surfing. This would surely kill you. Eventually.

  2. You mention that this might be dangerous, but I propose that after learning these instructions it is safer than jumping on the bed …at least for me.

    When I was 8 years old, I was jumping on my parents bed showing them how I could do the gymnastics moves they were watching on the 1988 olympics. I had not been taught how to safely jump on the bed in school (yet another terrible oversight), so I didn’t know that step 7 for jumping from a train also applies to jumping on the bed!

    As you may have guessed by now, I was laughing while jumping on the bed. as I came down to jump again, my knee found itself underneath my chin while my head was rapidly descending. My jaw obviously closed, and, well, my tounge was in the way.

    3 hours, one trip to the emergency room, 7 stitches in my tounge, and an average crying level of 96dB SPL (A weighted), I had my tounge back in one piece. But pay special attention to step 7 above, because if you’re jumping from a train you’re likely farther from an emergency room than I was at home :)

  3. - Mick

    I can verify that train surfing can and does take place. I would have seen it going on in Germany. But the dangers of train surfing became all too apparent to me one evening when I was waiting for my S-Bahn home. There I was waiting for my train, trains coming and going, no big excitement. Then I heard someone whooping and hollering. I looked around to see some dude hanging on to the back of the train. He was kinda hanging out the side at the back and seemed to be having a mighty fine time of it going his whooping and hollering, never mind the large grin on his face.

    Anyway as the train picked up speed, I duno maybe hadn’t thought it throught, but as it pulled out of the station, all the time picking up speed, and as the platform got shorter and shorted for him he had to make a decision. Hang on or jump off….he jumped…….wrong decision……he went head first into an all too stationary pole! Not a pretty sight. Good news is that he survived but the bad news is that he both shat and pissed himself, as a result of the impact or from fright I don’t know….

  4. suck butt! because ill jump out of a train the way i want to okay. okay! COWS COWS COWS COWS COWS.POOP POOP OPOOPOPOPO

  5. I am an avid cliff/bridge jumper. I have a dream to jump off of a moving train at a local swimming hole, where the railroad bridge crosses the river. Has anyone heard of anyone attempting anything like this? The train usually goes 40-50 Mph across the bridge, and the river is 50 feet wide at best. I need some more input on this before I even think about attempting. Help me if you can..

  6. Train Hopping 1974

    In 1974 I hopped a freight train for fun and adventure with a young man, Eric, who I had met that afternoon. He was my age…mature teenagers. We were bored hip-kids living in Ashland, Oregon.

    We found a ride into the next state, California, so we could ride the train back home. Once In the train yard we climbed up and held onto the ladder nearest a open boxcar door. After the train started moving faster… Eric determined that it was “going the wrong way.” It was heading south from Dunsmire, into California. He said, “Jump!!” and he jumped. He landed feet first and running with the direction of the train.

    I had a split second, as a girl, to either jump or ride alone. I had no pack, of course no cell phone, and was dressed for summer weather. The seconds that passed between his command and my decision resulted in a much faster train speed. It had also greatly increased the distance traveled from him.

    I chose to jump. I jumped as though into a swimming pool. I had no idea what else to do. I simply said, “God, please help me.” I hit the gravel and hard dusty berm below with an impact. I’m guessing the train was going about 18 mph. I rolled and tumbled like a cartwheel and finally landed on my butt…upright. I began to cry. But not wanting to appear like a baby, I pulled myself together, stood up and said, “It’s OK. I’m alright.”

    At that age, I didn’t realize the gravity of the danger of what I was doing . I could have died that day in numerous ways: a door sliding shut on us, my clothing getting caught on something, a broken back or neck, or fell under the wheels. Please read the advice, everyone, about these very real dangers. I don’t know why I was unharmed, God had a plan for my life I suppose.

    As Providence would have it, we both brushed ourselves off and reboarded a train with an open boxcar that was starting-up for Northbound towards home. The trip back was an experience of wonder and beauty. We didn’t speak much, we just wanted to get back home… safe. As we wound our way far from the highway and towns we found ourselves passing areas that only can been seen by rail. The sun setting casting an orange glow on Mt. Shasta’s snowy top was stunning. We passed a waterfall that flowed under the train trestle. The train climbed slowly over the Siskiyou Mt.s as the sunset turned into a cobalt blue star filled sky. Chilled, we just huddled in the boxcar door trying to stay warm. When we arrived in Ashland the train slowed at a crossing and we simply stepped off a block from Eric’s place and I walked home a short distance away.

    Later, a friend remarked, “Where did you get this Levi’s shirt?? It looks like it was mauled by a lion.” It was the shirt I was wearing that day. No blood but the back was shredded.

    I would like to mention that my Great Grandfather was a Colorado Railroad man during the Great Depression era. He was not a conductor but a professional rail supervisor. Perhaps his spirit rode me that day.

    I never saw Eric again…he was traveling through and we lost contact. I was in Oregon just for a summer. The memories remain in my mind like faded photographs.

    Today, by an act of Congress, train hopping is a federal offense in the USA….and don’t forget it! And, don’t forget my brush with death on that beautiful California summer day. I was very fortunate. Next time I want a rail journey I will simply buy a ticket and view the scenes from my window while reading the history of train-hopping.

    -Patti

  7. Q:
    Alan is travelling on a freight train which is moving at 43 mph, and his friend Jeremy is on the opposite railway travelling towards him at 27 mph. Assuming that Alan had a breakfast of eggs and orange juice, what is the proper roll technique he should use to avoid injury?

    A:
    Alan probably could have used just about any rolling technique without injury cause alan wasn’t jumping from a train. He’s still on the freight train. It didn’t say anything about Alan jumping from train. If he was a vegatarian. He might of puked from not eating flesh(eggs) for awhile and puked on jeremy at insane 70mph. Jeremy could of fell and hurt(injury) his back from the massive force of Alan’s vomit. Then the only thing hurt(injury) is Jeremy’s back and feelings cause he didn’t get chill with Alan.

  8. Having jumped off a freight train I can attest that this article is pretty spot on..

    The uphill part is key. My problem was the train never went under 40km / hr (outback australia).

    Key reason for getting off my friend had just jumped. Stay or go? .. time to go..

  9. yes I saw some trains jump tracks back in in late 1969 went I live there and after that I WENT TO (aoc )(EDGAR)ok there were some boys klcking to pay (phone ) it number was 705-722-9238 but now it is a store some were in barrie Ontario were at I don’t no at this time but I will get the name of the store after that went come back here I will tell you the name of it but one of the (boys ) name ) was (mr) Dave or David) last name was (judge ) not like in count room it was the way it was put down by that name only I will give you my name you can call me at any time today at is (705)(323) (9596)MR (Mike )( Callwell) one was color and one was white as well.) this was (at)(AOC)(EDGAR)in (BARRIE ONTARIO)(L4M-4W3) OK it not open no more at all it end after the staff (put)there hands) on us noy that there was some kicking going on out there in Lynnwood only .

    thankyou warren facey here my phone 705 323 9596 .