back to article Legless woman falls onto Boston train tracks

A Boston woman who'd evidently had a very, very robust session on the sauce narrowly escaped becoming literally legless last Friday after falling onto the tracks at the city's North Station: CCTV view of woman falling onto train tracks Mercifully, rather alarmed fellow passengers were able to alert the driver of an oncoming …


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  1. Andrew Moore


    What are the red rectangles tracking in the CCTV footage???

  2. Alan 6

    @Andrew Moore

    I can't see the YouTube footage, just the two images here, but i would guess the rectangles are part of the Analytics engine in the CCTV software...

  3. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Sparked up?

    Looks like about :10 that her hand hit an electrified rail briefly and sparked. Is this track electrified?

    And, yes, what are the red rectangles?

    Paris, sparking up.

  4. c3

    Sometimes people should not fuck around with natural selection

    You save idiots from natural selection and you encourage them to breed and then you wonder how come there are so many idiots around and how come bigger and bigger idiots get elected and get more power.

    Darwin would be mad at you !!!

  5. Dive Fox

    Red rectangles (@Andrew & Alan)

    Motion detection alarms.

    At least the train driver wasn't texting.

  6. Joe K


    Looks like her foot brushed the third rail and zapped her, shes lucky she wasn't fried before the train even got there.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As Alan 6 said, they're put there by the CCTV software. If you look closely, they appear where things in the image are moving.

    VERY lucky escape this one! Kudos to the old guy, he's a star.

  8. The Original Ash


    Tracks are electrified; No combustibles in an enclosed space (underground system) and no overhead cabling, so they must be.

    Red rectangles seem to be movement-based, picking up colour changes in the scene. Probably to prevent excessive scenes of motionless video capture. Could be to identify why a particular frame was captured.

    Oddly, she looks like an ex colleague of mine... I should give them a call and see if they visited the US recently :D

  9. Aaron Gilliland
    Gates Horns

    Red rectangles

    Oh, those. Not worth worrying about.

    It's just the AI aligning its targeting sensors on the soft, fleshy humanoids.

  10. Andrew 6


    I cant see the spark your on about, unless your talking about the cigarette going flying that might look a bit like a spark

  11. Steven Raith
    Big Brother

    Red rectangles...

    It'll be motion activated video recording - the cameras are always watching, but only record when motion is detected. If you have worked with CCTV/computer based motion detecting [which you get with some webcams] you'll recognise it instantly.

    On topic, lucky lucky lucky.

    Shame about evolution missing out on another victim though.

    Steven R

  12. Anton Ivanov

    What are the red lines

    Hmm... I wonder what kind of software are they running on this... These lines look suspiciously like the debug output of gmotion...

  13. Bardlee


    It's sad that somehow this will be turned around for 'Lack of safety' against the facility.

    "It's your fault I was so intoxicated I fell over in front of a moving train!"

  14. Lewis Mettler 1

    third rail did give a jolt

    I believe the third rail is juciced up and gave the gal a bit of a jolt before the train arrived.

    Talk about kissing your lucky stars.

  15. Daniel B.

    Jumpin' Gigawatts!

    In part to save energy, and also to lower the fatality rate of would-be suicide jumpers (or legless drunken ladies) the electrified rail doesn't operate at max power 'till the train is near. She's pretty damn lucky that the spark occured while the train wasn't too near, but ouch!

    Don't drink & tube, seems to be the moral?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Can we have a moratorium...

    ...on the whole, "ha, ha, we're not weeding out the stupid" thing? It's incredibly old and is so off-base that it wasn't particularly funny to begin with.

  17. Chris Bradshaw


    I'm just glad she wasn't trying to drive...

    And am I really the first beer icon?

  18. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Big Brother

    How many cameras ?

    I thought it was the UK which is the undisputed surveillance society king.

  19. ratfox

    Poor woman

    She was that close of getting a Darwin Award...

    Though i guess that even being drunk and falling on the tracks does not even rate high enough in stupidity for a nomination.

    On the plus side, she managed to have her fall recorded from three angles. Worth it to keep the video and show it to her grandchildren if she survives long enough to have them!

    I vote to have PH be the standard Darwin Award icon...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    did she mean to do it?

    Watching the video footage, it looks like she actually meant to step out onto the tracks in a possible suicide attempt? The stumbling doesn't look altogether unintended.

    To lend credibility to this argument, she lies there prone until the train stops, then gets up almost exactly as the train comes to a stop? - Perhaps she thought the train would not touch her if she lay flat between the tracks?

    Very odd. Lucky day indeed - and he probably won't remember a thing about it.

  21. Sarah Davis

    WOW - this is the most exciting IT news ever !!


    come you wads, have you heard of IT News ? (and don't give me the lamo 'well it iss cctv', were you bored? is it a slow week? or are you just getting crapper?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drunk walking...

    Makes you wonder that if we are so drunk we cannot drive, should be be allowed to get so drunk we cannot walk? (This argument came up regarding Boris having some pints and riding his bike)...

    Personally I think people staggering about are disgusting, and it should be an offence.

  23. andrew mulcock

    red rectangles


    what are the red rectangles that are not around moving people, what is it seeing moving ?

  24. Jason Togneri

    @ Anton Ivanov / Red rectangles

    Why must everybody repeat each other? They're boundaries for motion detection software. Anything within those boundaries that moves will trigger one or all of the following: a) recording, b) alarms, c) action from security personnel.

    @ "Hmm... I wonder what kind of software are they running on this... These lines look suspiciously like the debug output of gmotion..."

    Erm, pretty much any software with motion detection capabilities looks the same. It could just as easily be WebcamXP on Windows. Stop being silly.

  25. Daniel Hill

    Don't touch!

    Regarding Daniel B's comment:

    Just to make it clear, anybody thinking of touching the live rail in southern england, Liverpool or on the Undeground:

    The third rail is live at full power, and will kill you, at all times, regardless of whether or not there is a train anywhere near!!

    (Not that I mind some Darwinian action, but it tends to delay my train home, and I feel sorry for the poor sods that have to clean it up).

  26. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    @Can we have a moratorium...

    Furthermore it assumes the person in question would get bred anyway.

    Paris, because that's more of a valid assumption.

  27. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    @Andrew 6

    Sorry, I forgot to specify that I was talking about the second angle. After she falls onto the track, it looks like her arm flops over and her hand briefly sparks. I guess that could have been her cigarette.

    Paris, just because.

  28. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Time for...

    ...some new underwear and another 6 pack!

  29. John Sturdy

    Attempted suicide?

    Was this an accident while drunk, or getting some Dutch Courage, taking a final desparate smoke, and jumping under a train? Those last couple of steps looked aimed, and she appeared to be looking for when the train was coming moments before (although the latter she might be doing anyway).

  30. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: WOW - this is the most exciting IT news ever !!

    I'll let the commentards handle this one.

  31. phoenix

    Alcohol now class A

    Hmmm on the point of which is the most dangerous drug. Alcohol has to be class A. One very lucky lady as she had a bang from the third rail and that subdued her from doing herself anymore damage like being stood up when the train arrived - bonus that there were people there to warn the driver. One hopes the CCTV operator was also able to signal the train.

  32. phoenix

    The Red Rectangles

    Just a guess but they appear in the space in and beyond the yellow (stand well back line). They will be warnings to show that there is an object (human brick etc) in proximity to the train and liable to be a threat. Clearly the system isn't great as the driver is unaware until the bystander convinces him to leave the cab and the train did not halt in the tube or apparoach at caution.

  33. The First Dave

    how close?

    So, she was lying _between_ the tracks, and the train stopped anyway, so it really wasn't all that close - she was probably in more danger on the platform itself.

  34. Jeff Trotman

    Re: WOW - this is the most exciting IT news ever !! #

    Hmmm, what section is this in again?? Oh yes bootnotes.

    Why oh why can people not read the section the article is posted in.

  35. David Stever

    NOT a suicide attempt

    I grew up outside Beantown, and the look she gave down the track is one I'm familiar with- looking to see whether there was a train approaching, so she could figure out if she'd get in a few more drags on her ciggy. She was so shitfaced that the look into the distance unbalanced her, and own she went. There used to be a light, 20-30 feet up the tunnel that I think would go on when a train was near. Much safer then doing the stare down.

    Let's see if Sophia Hartdegen's name ever pops up again, or if she melts back into humanity. She's deeply embarassed by what happened to her right now. She claims no drinking problem, and says we should move along now

  36. Dale Morgan

    damn the bystanders

    They've clearly cheated the women out of the darwin award she so rightly deserves!

    not only did she fall on the track infront of a oncoming train but she actualy crawls over to the third rail and gives it a kick!

    stupidity at its finest

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @Dale Morgan

    see phoenix 11/11 08:42. A bit harsh more like alcohol totally mullering her senses. The Darwin awards are reserved for pure genuis effort to remove yourself for the humna gene pool.

  38. Zorbec le Gras
    Thumb Up

    @AC - old guys...

    ...kudos to old guy, as you said. Actually the two guys trying to do something, those who reacted first, are both "old guys". The station is full, and not one "young guy" has moved. Disgraceful...

    -- middle-aged guy

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