Video Shows Family With Five Children Barely Escaping Train During Photoshoot

We hear all the time about how dangerous train tracks are to photographers (or anyone) and why you should never trespass on them. This harrowing video highlights that, as it shows a family engaged in a photoshoot barely making it off the tracks before a train came speeding through the scene. 

The incident happened in Greencastle, PA, as a family of seven worked with a photographer on the tracks and was captured by a High Line Train Station camera and uploaded to YouTube by Virtual Railfan

Perhaps most frustrating is watching the children play probably 100 feet down the tracks while the photographer and parents are unaware of the approaching train at first. The adults are so far away, in fact, that they don't have time to reach the children before the train passes through, leaving them helplessly hoping the kids can get safely off the tracks in time. 

Besides being illegal to be on train tracks, it is simply a terrible idea. Trains can be surprisingly quiet in addition to moving very quickly, and they can take miles to stop. Seemingly old routes can still be in use as well, so you should always assume tracks are active. There's simply no reason to ever risk going on train tracks for any reason. 

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The only time I'll use train tracks is when they are physically severed.

Even then it's most likely trespassing, find a rail park or somewhere that was designed for photos

The places I've seen it, I'm not concerned with that.

The issue here: viewers of your photographs will not be aware that you are on "severed" tracks. Should that be your concern? I'm sure there will be differences of opinion as to whether you should keep that in mind.

However, many people are not that bright, and putting them on railroad tracks presents a serious issue. I lean towards never taking pictures of people on tracks given the potential consequences and the fact my viewers would not be in a position of knowing the tracks are "severed". Even if you had commentary stating the fact the tracks are severed to go along with the pictures how many would not take the time to read?

To put it bluntly, people do not think rationally far too often. It's fair to say the parents involved here could have lost a child or two. The boy that went back to get the small child would have been dead had he tripped carrying his brother while on the wrong track.

You are not responsible for what other people do so no.

Even children? If a normal, thinking adult gets killed, it's basically a who cares. An adult should be smarter. Children on the other hand? I think that would make one responsible. Just an opinion of course. I imagine we have some folk think a child should know what train tracks are about. Hopefully, you're correct and I'm wrong.

My comment is more in reference to posting photos on tracks online. While is understand the logic of well I see that so it must be okay, if you apply that to many other situations in life that same logic doesn't really work out. Now of course I don't fault the kids here their parents are responsible for them at such a young age however if you're 15 years old and you get hit by a train for playing on the tracks... while it would be horrible and sad of course there comes a point where the phrase "play stupid games win stupid prizes" is valid.

Tony Clark's picture

Because the train is so quiet and it can sneak up on you. I believe it’s called the survival of the fittest.

Culling the herd, but the children might grow up to be smart.

Dan Marchant's picture

Just lucky they weren't being photographed by some "creepy" photographer. That would have been really dangerous.

Sam Morgan's picture

They just got into their shooting to ignore the world outside. Not a good thing, tbh.

T Scarb's picture

I was expecting a lot closer call... relax internet police.

That was close enough that one person tripping (a very real possibility) would probably be an article talking about a fatality instead of a near miss. Don't take stupid risks. Double this when it comes to kids.

As much as I like "Thinning of the herd" stories, these are children. They have no sense of the danger, unlike the adults, who have no fn sense whatsoever.

"As much as I like "Thinning of the herd" stories"

As long as the more valuable humans, like yourself, are not being "thinned", eh, Barry?

Robert Nurse's picture

This can't be stressed enough! Track shoots are not worth the risk!

they weren't lucky but stupid!

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Some people keep saying that active railroad tracks photography are always risky but there will be some people who will always say to mind their own business...