Jesslin She'Nedra (jesslin) wrote,
Jesslin She'Nedra

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Don't know how many have caught the news tonight, but one of the trains on my line to Antioch plowed into a bunch of cars that were stuck on the tracks near Chicago. Main reason I bring it up is to let those who put two and two together know that I'm okay. Thing is, I usually get out of work at 3:30 on the day before a major holiday - a nice little work-perk - and I should have been on that train. It so happens that I worked through lunch without realizing it, left work an extra hour early, and caught a special train Metra had put on just for today. I was home already, and very surprised when Maggie and Alexander called to ask if I was alright as they'd heard about the accident on the radio.

So far there have been no fatalities. No one on the train was treated for injuries, although I can only imagine what must be going through their heads. Please give a thought, prayer, whatever to those in the cars who were injured simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And give a hug to a loved one or call 'em up this Thanksgiving just because it's a good thing to do.

Additional: I have my own opinion on what probably happened. I'm being a good girl and not spouting, although I will admit a definite prejudice in favor of Metra. Objectively, from the helicopter shots it looks like the train was already trying to slow down - it's just not far enough down the track, even if you consider how much momentum would have been bled off by hitting the cars. I'm willing to be wrong on that; I don't have the best spacial perspective. It's just very disconcerting to me. The Antioch line has exactly 10 trains - 5 into the city, 5 out, weekdays only. That's *it*, and it's long been a frustration to those of us on the line who would love to use the train other times (it's a freight line the rest of the time, and they're finishing off a second track to help us out). The other line, the Elgin, that uses that particular track section has a much more usual schedule, running through there nearly all day so far as I know. The only difference is that some of their trains make local stops through that area; mine only runs express through there to a stop just a bit further up the line.

There were 6 other trains within a half hour. 2 of them bracket the Antioch train pretty closely - 10 minutes or so. 4 of them were also express through that area. The odds just annoy the heck out of me that it hit so close to 'home' for me, and today of all days. Only thing that would have been worse was if it was Christmas Eve. It could have been any of those trains. It happened to be the one I should have been on, but wasn't.

Sorry, I know this is incoherent. My brain's not doing the best job of sorting through details right now. Mostly I'm just being pettily grateful that I wasn't involved, and hoping no one actually dies from this so the engineer doesn't have to feel any worse. No matter what the investigators find out I can honestly say that, based on my own experience, he appears to have done nothing wrong. Any action he took to avoid the situation, be it braking, blowing the horn, *anything*, is all to the good for him, and I hope he knows that.

Please remember that trains *always* win, no matter who has right of way. Watch the signals, and for heaven's sake *DON'T* cross tracks unless you're 100% sure you fit on the other side. I don't care if you're in a hurry. I don't care if there's not a train for miles. There's no reason to risk you're life and the lives of *everyone* around you for a couple seconds of time. Tonight was unnecessary. And that's what sucks the most.

Tomorrow I'm going to be thankful for all the people who take responsibility, who pay attention, who take care of themselves. They may grumble and hate it, but every time they wait that extra second or five before going through the intersection with a track or even another road they're doing themselves a huge favor, along with everyone behind them and all the people who might be on that train - or bus, semi, you name it - who make it home safely.

Right. Returning the soap box now. And seriously, US resident or not, give thanks tomorrow for whoever and whatever makes your life worth living. Even if it's just really good stir fry :D

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