Blog Archive

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mystery of the Choo Choo

How the hell does anyone get hit by a train?

Okay, okay - I have heard of some incidents where a college student or some other individual had way too much to drink and stumbled on the nearby train tracks and stayed there until the train moved him/her. But many of the train death incidents I read or hear about on the radio do not often provide a reason as to why the person was on the train track to begin with.

Trains are loud either or not the engine whistle is sounding. You feel the approaching train when you are standing on a train track. You have the option of stepping off the track unless you have entered the track and it functions as a bridge over some canyon. Then stepping off the track isn't an option.

I still don't get how people get hit by the train. It's one of those mysteries I probably will never solve to my satisfaction.


John P said...

I saw a television program on this subject and you'd be surprised. It happens because people miscalculate how much time they have to get across the tracks, they try to race through before the train arrives, they race to get across before the barriers come down. Some people are standing too close to the tracks, have no idea how fast the train is moving, and get whacked with their back to the trains, it's simply unbelievable. I guess the most important point is that people should really respect moving trains, stand well back from the track, never try to cross the tracks thinking you have plenty of time - because there's a probability that you might miscalculate how much time you really have, and it's simply not worth losing your life to save a few minutes. It's crazy isn't it, but train accidents are much more common than people realize.

Bruce said...

Besides booze or drugs, it can be IPods/MP3, depression... it's like people drowning on lakes.. why don't they swim?!

Will McKinley said...

paging Robert Stack!

Annie Ruth said...

Nancy, this blog is *great*!

so, topic? I drive across a train track every day to and from work. Sometimes the traffic light at the top of the street causes cars to back up, in which some of us are actually sitting on the tracks (in our cars, of course).

When that happens to me, I always imagine what I would do if I heard/saw/felt a train approaching.
It always involves an elaborate scenario in which I not only jump clear of my own car, but also pull other people/babies/old people out of *their* cars, right before the train goes screeching past.....and then I am late for work because the media is interviewing me, but of course, no one at work is upset that I am late because they are all watching me and my heroic feats on the news.....sometimes, (in my mind's eye, of course) when I am rapidly pulling people out of the train's path, I make that mechanical clicking sound that the bionic woman used to make.....remember that?

Anyhoooo, the other thing is, even when I have a chance to leave space between the car in front of me and the train track, I always wonder HOW MUCH space is enough? I don't really know how wide a train is, and also, are different trains different widths?

Which leads me back to imagining what I'll do if a train starts to approach before I can drive over the tracks and through the intersection......

Also, I read somewhere that you should run in the direction in which the train is coming from, but I can't remember why that is....

: )

Kay said...

I agree with the gentelman who blamed iPods, and other portable entertainment devices. I've seen many a person walking along talking on a cellphone who nearly got hit by a car because they were so wrapped-up in their conversation. I guess a train wouldn't get their attention either!

Mostly I think there's just something "romantic" about walking your dog, riding your bike, or just walking along a train track. You can walk along imagining where it goes and what you'd do if you were able to escape your humdrum life and just walk all the way to the end of the line and start over. Unfortunately, such musings can get you killed very easily!

My advice to all fellow romantics out there: Do your dreaming walking along a country road not populated by cars, and leave the train tracks to the trains.