jump the track(s)

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jump the track(s)

1. Literally, of a train, to derail from the track and lose control. Due to a technical issue, the train wasn't able to slow down ahead of the turn and ended up jumping the track because of its speed.
2. To veer off in very unexpected directions; to lose or change focus in surprising or bizarre ways. The long-running drama has by this point jumped the track so completely that it would be foolish to try and summarize it for the uninitiated. The manager's speech really jumped the tracks about halfway through, shifting into a weird commentary on the nature of corporate America.
See also: jump

jump the track

 
1. Lit. [for something] to fall or jump off the rails or guides. (Usually said about a train.) The train jumped the track, causing many injuries to the passengers. The engine jumped the track, but the other cars stayed on.
2. . Fig. to change suddenly from one thing, thought, plan, or activity to another. The entire project jumped the track, and we finally had to give up. John's mind jumped the track while he was in the play, and he forgot his lines.
See also: jump, track

jump the track

Suddenly switch from one thought or activity to another. For example, Joe was describing his trip to Australia and, jumping the track, began complaining about the airline , or They couldn't decide on the next step and now the whole reorganization plan has jumped the track . This expression alludes to a train going off the rails. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
See also: jump, track
References in periodicals archive ?
The racket completely jumped the tracks when seven people confessed that the crashes in which they were involved were staged, and that statements made to their insurers were false.
The train was travelling from southern Trang province to the capital, Bangkok, when it jumped the tracks.
More than 50 people were injured when the train jumped the tracks before dawn on Monday.
The train jumped the tracks as it approached a station before dawn near the popular resort on the Gulf of Thailand during a journey from the southern city of Trang to the capital, Bangkok, said Police Lt.
AT least 100 people were killed and 180 injured when an Indian express train from Calcutta to New Delhi jumped the tracks and plunged into a river.
Three rear carriages of the Amritsar bound Frontier Mail from New Delhi jumped the tracks between the towns of Khanna and Payal.
New York : The last car of a southbound train on the A express subway line jumped the tracks while passing through the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Saturday morning, transit officials said.
DEVASTATION: The train jumped the tracks, crashing into flats.
The train, with 400 people on board, jumped the tracks next to the suspect points box at a junction while travelling at just 15mph.
Investigators also found scrape marks on the rail extending for 5 meters behind the point where the car jumped the tracks, they said.
Using cranes, jackhammers and cutting torches, hundreds of workers continued to search through the shattered carriages and beneath the collapsed bridge for bodies crushed and buried when Germany's fastest train jumped the tracks.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was a runaway when it hit a tight turn north of Devore, jumped the tracks and burst into flames.
Seven people were killed when a train jumped the tracks at Potter's Bar.
Virgin Trains' London-Scotland express, with 400 people on board, jumped the tracks at 15mph next to the suspect points box at Mossend South Junction, seven miles south of Glasgow.
A massive roar, apparently an electrical explosion, followed the collision as the two Amtrak locomotives and several other cars jumped the tracks.