From Pine View Farm

If It Is a House, You Also Lose 0

In the previous post, I went off on drivers who challenge trains.

I must admit, it was colored by my railroad experience.

Whenever we got a report that a train was delayed by hitting (and sometimes by being hit in the side by) a vehicle, we used to look at each other an marvel at the stupidity (or the suicidal tendencies) of the driver.

Plus it was sad. One of our trains once wiped out the entire high school basketball team from one small lower Midwestern community. And I guarantee that the train did not make a hard left and pursue their van down the street.

Plus plus, I was in the complaint department. We knew that, within two weeks, we’d have lots of mail demanding refunds because of some idiot driver.

And that, within a month, some lawyer would be suing the railroad over the crash, hoping the railroad would settle rather than pay a different lawyer to fight back. (Ultimately, the company adopted the strategy of counter-suing for damages to the locomotive–a broken knuckle and a couple of bent grab-irons, maybe some sheet-metal damage. The suits went away, at least for a while.)

Plus plus plus, now there’s this engineer who must live with having severely injured or, more likely, killed someone through no fault of his or her own. Every once in a while–rarely, but it happened–an engineer involved in one of these things was never able to climb into the cab again. Here is a person severed from the career he or she loved (and, while railroaders may hate their employer from time to time, they all love the railroad; the railroad is fun) because someone was too lazy, too selfish, or too intent on dying (yes, a significant percentage of these things turn out to be suicides) to wait for the train to go by.

Anyhoo, where was I headed? Oh, yeah, it’s not a good idea to race a building to the crossing either.

(Aside: I wish I’d started keeping track of these about a year ago. There seems to be at least one a month, just in my little corner of Delaware. But four in one night . . . .)


Comments are closed.