Saturday, September 16, 2006

Almost killed by a train

(update: 9/26: I had called the city and today I see that they fixed the sign. There is now a R/R crossing up)

I have a few phobias. I am scared of heights, earthquakes and trains!

There are railroad tracks about three blocks from my home. I pass them about 20 times a day as I come and go. Though I'm scared of being near tracks and approaching trains, I am not scared of riding in trains and I love the sound of the whistle. The train goes by in the mornings, at noon, around 5 p.m. and in the middle of the night. I always enjoy listening to the whistles.

But because of my phobia, I am always cautious when I cross any tracks.

Today, I came within inches - from having my car slammed, almost head on by a train. The road I took does not have a stop sign. It does not have R/R lights. There is a small, broken R/R sign. And there is a building just before the railroads. In that same area, the railroad curves and comes out from behind the building and can hit a car head on.

I was driving about 20 mph. I did not have my radio on. (usually I do and I am so glad I didn't.) I was not talking on my cell phone (I have a bluetooth but I was not on a call and I am so glad)
I did have the A/C on full blast because my car had been sitting for a few hours and it was a very hot day.

I never heard the train whistle.
I never heard anything.

But as I cleared the building, the train was right there. I slammed my brakes and stopped inches from the train as it went by. One more mph on my part and I would have been history.

I did not see my life flash before my eyes. In fact, I'm surprised that I stayed so calm. I quickly put the car in reverse and backed up a bit.

After the train passed, I drove to the other side of the tracks and pulled over and thanked God for sparing my life. I did not want to die in such a tragic way. My children would be traumatized. Thank God I was alone.

Only after the train passed by did I get scared. I am not exaggerating when I say that I came inches from the train. If I were sitting on the hood of my car, I could reach out and touch it. I was that close. One more inch and the train would be scratching my car.

I don't think God was ready for me. Or maybe I wasn't ready for heaven. Either way, I'm thankful to still be here.


  1. Don't feel bad :)

    I also nearly died twice by drowning at the sea. The first time, even though I had a life jacket, the waves pulled me all the way to the bottom. Luckily, the lifeguard pulled me out.

    The next time, lifeguards no longer patroled the beach. I touched the sand and from there knew where to go and swam to the surface, but it was close.

    Oddly, though, I still love the sea and go swimming every time I have a chance.

    Relax. Take a scenic trip on a train. Learn to love your enemy :) Life with fear is no life.

  2. Very scary! I'm glad you're okay.

  3. thanks Dama and Jeff.

    Dama: Your ocean experiences sound scary. But I know what you mean about loving the ocean anyway.

    I actually enjoy Amtrak train rides. I've been on many, and have even taken the train from California to Denver, Colorado once (took three days) and twice to Seattle, WA - both have beautiful scenery and I loved it! I've also traveled through Europe on trains.
    I'm not scared to be on them, I'm only scared at rail road crossings when I'm in a vehicle.

    Jeff: thanks. It was so scary. I actually had a nightmare two nights ago about it. But today, I heard the train whistling as it went by this morning and at noon, and I smiled. I love that sound. Odd. Go figure.

  4. Like you, I've always lived near RR tracks and I know we can become complacent about them.

    Your angel was on duty valley girl. :)