It’s no secret there’s no love lost between the trucking industry and the railroad. Being a truck driver, it’s obvious which side I’m on in this grand debate over which mode of transportation is better, safer, more reliable, etc. The railroad types are continually telling me that trains are the safest, most reliable, far more efficient than trucks, better for the environment, and do not cause traffic problems like major backups or accidents.
Um, yeah, sure. I suppose that’s why I’m currently sitting here on a two-lane highway, at a dead stop! Actually, the reason I’m sitting here, as I have been for the last six hours, is because on the other side of the river, where the freeway is, and where I normally drive, there is a huge fire, which has produced at least one explosion, and has closed the freeway as well as caused an entire town to be evacuated.
What is on fire? Well, a lot of things, trees, wooden bridges, and maybe even a few buildings. Oh yeah, and an oil tanker. A train oil tanker. That’s literally adding fuel to the fire! Not only is the train burning but it has derailed as well, taking out a lot of track, bridges, and other structures.
So, here I am, along with what looks like about a million other people who made the mistake of wanting to go somewhere on this Friday afternoon, at a standstill due to the massive traffic jam—thanks to the train. It’s taken me six hours to get here, and “here” is exactly twenty miles from where I started this detour.
So, tell me again, dear railroad people, how trains are better, safer, and more reliable. And as for being environmentally friendly, I doubt the fish are convinced of that at this point—not after swimming in burning oil-laced water and then being doused with flame retardant.
I do have to give the railroad credit though. They are on the ball. It only took them a matter of a few hours to bring in all the necessary equipment and supplies to repair the tracks and bridges. They’re ready to fix things and get the trains rolling again—well, as soon as the fire gets put out. There are thousands of railroad ties, loads of rock, and rails, along with bulldozers, backhoes, and a various assortment of other heavy equipment. All the needed supplies and equipment is lined up down the nearby exits and on ramps and down both sides of the freeway. Yep, the freeway. On TRUCKS! They had it TRUCKED in. But then, how else were they going to get it on site? The railroad is sort of, well, gone. The trucks are still running though! ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.