Last Friday we were tagging along with the Orlando Conductor’s Crawl when we got off the train in Winter Park. The train left the station and there at the far end of the northbound platform was a mom and her three small children sitting on the platform.
Let’s be clear: Their bottoms were on the platform pavement and their legs were dangling over the side, as though they were sitting on a lakeside dock.
Gently as we could (to avoid scaring the children or angering the mother) we said, “Oh, be careful sitting there we wouldn’t want you to get hurt if a train came in.”
The mother’s cheerily responded: “Oh, we’re getting up. We were just putting some coins on the tracks to get flattened by the train.” (We guess they never heard the SunRail recorded message that warns that items placed on tracks can become deadly missiles.)
How to respond to that mom? We don’t work for SunRail, or have any badge of authority, to tell anyone anything. But it makes us shudder to think what would have happened if a train came in while they were sitting there. Or, if the children come back next week without their mom and assume it’s safe to sit on the edge of a train platform.
Of late people have been doing lots of stupid stuff near SunRail tracks. On the very same evening at Church Street we watched as two young women ducked under a railroad crossing gate and scampered across the tracks right in front of a SunRail train! (And they seemed to be giggling.)
About two weeks ago, we saw a guy sitting on a closed railroad crossing gate. If any of these people get hurt, or get killed, SunRail gets the bad publicity and a call from Morgan & Morgan. How many times do people need to be told that railroad tracks are dangerous?