Boarding a freight train


Girl near train tracks

When I was first alerted to this article a few days ago, it seemed almost like a glimpse at what a future could be. Although most people call this an act of ‘stupidity’ and/or cannot seem to fathom the reasoning behind her actions, my take is a little different even though the difference is that I’ve always had just enough self-preservation to stop myself from doing the same.

Freight trains pass through my station frequently, as evidenced by the loud groans and squeaks issuing from the poorly maintained tracks every day and every hour or so of every night. In fact they’re even building a third track in order to service these trains.

Many a time as I sat on the station, watching the freight go by and counting the containers being transported, the thought has frequently crossed my mind about jumping on to one of those empty or ‘open carriage’s. Occasionally it’s due to disgruntledness at constant delays caused by a freight train breakdown — how much quicker jumping on would be since a freight train didn’t stop at each station like a commuter train. In other circumstances, it was simply the wanting to go far away to wherever the freight train took me or simply curiosity as to if I could.

Although a freight train looks like it’s travelling quite slowly from a distance, particularly when you look down the tracks at the oncoming train, the speed is a lot greater than it seems which was the case for this girl at Springwood who tried to jump on. The train has momentum but she does not, which caused her to slip over the edge and fall underneath the train. Perhaps if she was running next to it first before jumping on she would have had a better chance.

Open carriages on freight trains often also have holes in the floor which mean a greater chance of falling through, which would not be an experience I would relish.

Luckily for me though, my body has a greater sense of self-preservation than my curious mind as it refuses to move from my sitting position as I contemplate again the irrational desire to try and board a freight train.

Illust by ジッツ on Pixiv, all rights to respective owners.