FTLComm - Melfort - April 20, 1999
On Monday this train was parked closing off entrance to Melfort's golf course and I spotted two youths on the way for a round both with a set of clubs and one with a bicycle. They looked over the train for a moment then crawled under it. I was horrified, having grown up with trains in my front yard this is a fatal, never to be broken rule. My father made it abundantly clear that no one, not ever, should consider going close to a stopped train and going under it was unthinkable.
There are a lot of good reasons, the train crew can not see someone along the length of the train, because a train can be a mile or more long you have no way of knowing when it may move and it can do so suddenly. Under every car there are numerous things that can catch your clothing and a foot can get jammed in between a tie and a rail so easily. Never go down there. This crossing is on pavement and looks easy enough to slip under, but don't ever do it and if you are a parent make this point to your children and if you live near the tracks, take your kids over and have them practice going over a train so that if they ever feel the need to make the crossing, they will know what to do.
Crossing a stopped train is something a person should only do if it is necessary, but it is safe and can be done easily if you follow these steps. Use the steps and hand holds to pull yourself up over the knuckle and down the other side. Even a small child can do this and they are the most vulnerable when it comes to ducking under a stopped train. Once again, practice the procedure on some parked cars on a siding and you will discover that a couple of times over it becomes a simple skill and you can do it without thinking on the third or forth pass. But never ever, ever go under. And, one more thing, don't step into the hitch area under any circumstances, only up the ladder, around over the knuckle back to the ladder on the other side and down.