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Playing On The Tracks May Be Fatal

Updated on December 7, 2011
Steam Engine from the Reading Lines.
Steam Engine from the Reading Lines. | Source

Love Of Trains

All Mark's 2 1/2 years of life has been about trains. He played with trains, watched videos of various trains while getting excited hearing Johnny Cash singing Orange Blossom Special. For some reason trains were Mark's life. Without trains Mark seemed lost as though you took a veteran train engineer out of the big powerful engine without warning. No one could fully understand his attraction and fascination with trains but for Mark, that seemed to be his whole world.

Mark always dreamed of riding on one of the long trains with the big steam engine out in front leading the way, with the whistle screaming as it approached the next crossing. One day his dream came true and he had a ride on a train just as he dreamed about. Since that special day Mark looked forward to each day to watch train videos, and play with his own train as he dreamed of being there again as a passenger, or even the Engineer.

Seeing the train head on is exciting!
Seeing the train head on is exciting!

Having fun without fear on the rail road tracks.

One day Mark ventured on to the rail road tracks and fulfilled another dream. He wanted to walk on the rails and get the feel of what it was like to be someone that worked at the rail road, or maybe someone that jumped onto the train (Hobos) as it was moving like he saw many times in a video on the Internet. Mark never knew of or thought about the dangers of playing on the rail road tracks. He was lost in his fantasy world of being one with the trains as he continued on proudly wearing his engineer hat.

As he walked the tracks he wasn't concerned with anything going on around him, especially the big train that was on the same track that he was on. When he first made eye contact with the train his little heart pumped very hard. The excitement was almost overwhelming for him but he had no fear; no fear at all. Instead he continued on down the track toward the train to face it like a warrior.

This was not like the train he rode on before. This was not a steam engine like he loved to see in the videos. This was a much larger, odd shaped monster of an engine that seemed to tower the clouds as he looked up at it. This was not the Wabash Cannon Ball, or the Orange Blossom Special that he saw so many times in the Johnny Cash video. It didn't matter though because he still wanted to climb on it.

Mark's time has come. His adventurous mind has taken him far beyond what he was imagining. He only imagined having fun, playing on the tracks where he would hope to see his idol Johnny Cash. Nobody ever had the heart to tell Mark that Johnny Cash had passed away before he was born. They knew how much he loved listening to him and never wanted to crush him with news that he would have a hard time to understand anyway. Now he is face to face with this monster of a train, which would scare the soul out of most people, but he stood strong looking at it and smiling, He was thinking what it would be like to jump on; this was his chance to really live.

He never did get on that engine. That was one dream that has not come true for Mark. Instead, Mark left the track to move on to a new scene.

Mark's true experience

Before I continue to tell you the end of this story I need to pause here to discuss your thoughts and feelings so far.

Up to this point you have been reading a story about a little boy named Mark that has enjoyed trains all his life. He was wrapped up in his dreams while walking on the rail road tracks. As you read this story you can guess what has happened to Mark. You probably are feeling a bit sad, and angry, wondering where his parents were and why they would let this little boy venture on to the rail road tracks. What parents would neglect a little boy like that? It is truly a sad story, or is it?

Actually Mark, was not hurt or killed during his trip to the rail road. He was actually on a fun trip with his parents and grand parents. He went to a local train museum and had the time of his life. At all times during his adventures on the tracks, he was accompanied by 5 adults; his parents, 2 grand parents, and the museum tour guide. No, he did not get to go on that big engine, but he did go on the Caboose of another train, and had a smile the whole time.

This hub was written to show the reader that the way things are worded and in conjunction with certain images, your mind will make you believe something that is not true. The title of this story is "Playing On The Rail Road Tracks May Be Fatal", but it could also have the title, "Having A Fun Time At The Train Museum". These images are not sad images at all when you know what you know now. Mark was not in danger at any time. The trains are on temporary track that is not used. The engine is not operational and so Mark could freely move around the train in complete safety. Never once was it stated that Mark was alone, or that the train was moving, but if you are like most people you came to that conclusion. Don't believe everything you see or read. There are many images if unexplained that can change a fun true story into a sad untrue story, or make good people bad witnesses to an experience if certain facts are unknown.

Below is Mark enjoying his time on the Caboose at the train museum. I hope you enjoyed this story and also learned something. Thank you for reading it and your feedback is appreciated.

Having fun on the Caboose!
Having fun on the Caboose!


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    • Allen Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Allen Williams 

      3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      @Gracelyn; Thanks for taking the time to read this hub. I appreciated the feedback.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I could read a book about this without finding such real-world apoheacrps!

    • Allen Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Allen Williams 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      @TheHoleStory -- Thank you for reading this hub and for the kind words. I lived in and within an hour of Reading all my life. I know of the Reading Brewery quite well. For a while they were out of business but a few years ago the name was reused to start the brewery again,, however most of the beer is made in Scranton, Pa now not Reading. That is just not the same! Thanks for the vote up!

    • TheHoleStory profile image


      6 years ago from Parsons, West Virginia

      You did a wonderful job here of dual messages. Each of the two messages are very well told, and received. I stopped here at this hub because I'm crazy about trains. I know of the reading railroad not only from the monopoly game, but also because I lived in Reading, Pennsylvania for a short time in my life. The only thing missing from your hub is a photo of an old can of Reading beer. Voted up!

    • Allen Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Allen Williams 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you for your comments and for reading my hub. It is appreciated.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 

      6 years ago from Finland

      A picture paints a thousand words. Well written hub!

    • Allen Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Allen Williams 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you for reading this hub. I hope you enjoyed it, at least after realizing that it was not what it seemed to be. I appreciate the comments also. Thanks.

    • arusho profile image


      6 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      I live close to train tracks, and every now and then someone gets hit and killed from walking along the train tracks. I believe a couple people committed suicide and some were accidents. Most of them were teenagers, and were using the tracks as a mode of travel. It is sad and disturbing. Being a parent, it made me very uncomfortable to see the picture of little Mark in front of the train. The picture of Mark with the caption, "seeing the train head on is fun," made me assume the worst. From all I could see on the picture and gather from the writing, the train was moving slowly towards Mark, who was having fun, and the dumb parents weren't around! When writing, I think it depends on how you use the words, and the information you provide to guide the reader. But I understand where you are coming from.

    • Allen Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Allen Williams 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you for reading the story. I remember being a young boy also and playing on the tracks. Actually we only played beside the tracks and then threw stones at the trains. Now I know the dangers but I wasn't aware back then. Thanks for the comments.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      i was wondering. When I was a boy there were a lot more trains than now. We did walk on the rails and did more foolish things. In our day though we were very aware of the dangers of being hit by a train and I don't know of any friends being hurt that way.

    • Allen Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Allen Williams 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you for reading it. Sometimes photos and / or words that we write can be misunderstood or assumed to be something other than what it is. I got the idea for this hub after people looked at the photos of my grandson on the rail road tracks and said it looks like the train is coming at him. They were scared when they first saw the photos until they knew where he was. Thanks again for reading it and for the nice comments.

    • brandasaur profile image


      7 years ago from Planet X

      Oh! This crashed my heart for a bit because I was thinking for Mark's safety. Why did he go there if there's a train in the same track where he's standing? And I am very much happy because I knew that these photos were taken from a museum.

      Really great hub! you gave us a very good article, knowing the bad side and the good side about trains, what can happen and everything.


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