Tourist Survives Outside Night Train Ride

A young American tourist survived a life-threatening test of endurance while clinging to the outside of a moving train through bitter cold and high speeds in Australia.

Chad Vance, 19, a native of North Pole, Alaska, and student at University of Alaska-Fairbanks, hung on to a small stairwell as the Ghan train trekked for 120 miles through the South Australian Outback.
Vance, who originally boarded the train at Adelaide, got off during a brief stop to stretch his legs and explore the city of Port Augusta.  But he lost track of time and got back just as the train was pulling away.
In a scene straight out of a movie, Vance took off after the train, knocking on the windows of a dining car to no avail. As the train began moving, he brazenly jumped into the stairwell of a car and hung on for dear life. Wearing only a t-shirt, jeans and boots, he suffered through freezing winds and 70-mph speeds. Vance, who recorded part of the ordeal on cell phone video, was out in the cold for 2 hours and 20 minutes before a member of the train’s crew (Mr Well) heard his cries and got the train stopped. He was described as having white skin and blue lips.

“He was shaking uncontrollably for several hours and complained of numbness to the left side of his body and arms and said his face was also stinging,” Mr Wells said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before and I sure hope I don’t ever see it happen again.”

Mr Vance was given a mug of soup and an upgrade to a sleeper cabin for a hot shower and a warm night’s sleep and left the train in Alice Springs to go sight-seeing.



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