Is Your Lantern Lit?

Many years ago, I heard story about a train wreck that took place back in the days when there were no automated systems….

Those were the days when everyone was dependent on the lone railway worker, with his lantern, to illuminate the intersection where train tracks met roadway. His ability to stay alert at all times meant the world to those who traversed the route at night.

On the night in question, he was weary and nodded off because – as we all know – there is no real cure for drowsiness but sleep. In the stillness of the night, a loud blast from a train jolted him back to consciousness and he awoke to find that a family car was also approaching the dark intersection. Like the faithful worker that he was, he grabbed his lantern and ran out waving it high with all the vim and vigour he could muster, but it was an exercise in futility…

There was a collision, and the family perished.

An investigation ensued and the railway worker was asked to give his recollection of the details of that fateful night. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth… from the time he clocked in, to his nodding time, to his faithful waving of the lantern…  Continue reading