Becky Says...

October 2003

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October 26

I've mentioned several times that there's a railroad crossing quite near my apartment complex. Friday evening on my way home from work, the crossing arms were about halfway down, and lights and bells were flashing and ringing.

But there was no train to be found. Lots of automobiles with puzzled drivers were cautiously going under the crossing arms, so after a stop-and-look, I did likewise. I got home moments later, and the first thing I did was call the county emergency dispatch (911). The dispatcher told me the situation had already been reported, and thanked me. And that's all I know.

I suspect what happened is that something heavy enough tripped the switch along the track that makes the signal system start signaling. Either that, or there was a short in it somewhere. Whichever, I'd rather have a trainless warning than a warninglesss train.

There were two instances of the latter a few years ago. In both cases, I saw the train. In both cases I reported it. And in both cases, I wound up talking with someone in the North Carolina Department of Transportation about it. One of the little-known perks of working for a law firm is the use of a book that lists all the departments in the state, with appropriate names and phone numbers---and sometimes using this lower-tech book is the way to go.

So far, the rest of the weekend hasn't had any oddness. Not that I'm complaining!

Text © copyright 2000-2003 Becky