Date: 9/6/17 5:23 am From: Marv Breece <marvbreece...> Subject: Fwd: [Tweeters] Swallow-tailed Gull - railroad tracks
I was walking the train tracks at Carkeek Park a few years ago. I was listening for birds, and since I was aware of the number of people who had been killed by trains at that location, I was listening for trains, too. A whistle blew and I jumped off of the tracks just in time as a passenger train zoomed by. I was shocked ( this word is overused these days), I mean REALLY SHOCKED by how that train surprised me. Believe me, people, respect these trains !!!!!
Perhaps (yeah) I have done a few dumb things in my life. I regularly run along railroad tracks. Never had a problem. But, one time I was 10-15' from a freight traveling at track speed. That was just too close. Unless you have been up close to train moving at speed you have no idea of the mass and they can't stop on a dime. Now, I don't get that close.
Hal Michael Science Outreach Director, Sustainable Fisheries Foundation Olympia WA 360-459-4005 360-791-7702 (C) <ucd880...>
----- Original Message -----
On Sunday, I couldn't believe it when a small group of birders stopped to have a discussion right on the railway track. I nagged them horribly until they moved off, sarcastically calling me "Mom" but I'd also like to share a story from my youth.
30-odd years ago, I lived in England near a railway line with a very fast 125mph service. My friends and I would cross the tracks to get to the seawall. We all ran across the empty tracks one evening, but Julie was last and behind us, and she fell - she tripped and her head hit the rail!
She lay unconscious with her head on the wrong side of the rail - the inside - and didn't move. A passenger train suddenly appeared from the tunnel several hundred yards down track, and it was coming fast. She was so lucky her boyfriend was fast and didn't panic like the rest of us - he ran back, picked her up and off the rails just in time, kneeling holding her as the fast train tore by us. Julie slowly came to consciousness and she was fine. (She now has several children and lives in a nearby town.)
You don't think it can happen to you, but all it takes is for your foot to slip, to fall and be hurt and unable to get off the track fast enough. It's easier than you think. Plus the curve is not far from the crossing at the beach. Please do be extremely careful. If you must cross, look both ways on each rail track first, and walk with focus and deliberate footing.
Thank you, and sorry for the nag. I appreciate many of you as mentors and friends.
On Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 5:11 PM, Jane Hadley < <hadleyj1725...> > wrote:
Hello All - Please do be very careful if you are crossing BNSF railroad tracks to get to the beach and give strong consideration to not doing it.
It might look easy to do, but a surprising number of people are killed on railroad tracks. Years ago I was a reporter and reported on the death of a young woman on the railroad tracks in the Richmond Beach area. I remember being very surprised by the number of deaths there. I imagine it's even worse now because the train traffic has increased.
A 2017 Seattle Times article published in July said that there had already been 10 people (in 10 separate incidents) killed on BNSF tracks in Washington State in 2017.
My recollection is that the accidents often occur because people might hear a train, look in one direction for it and see it, but another train coming from the other direction kills them. So the lesson would be to always look in BOTH directions and make sure of your footing as you cross. Do not think that because you don't hear a train that there is no train. There are several reasons you might not hear a train, yet the train is there and can almost never stop in time to avoid the collision.