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Beware trains

Warm weather has more or less arrived, though forecasters are still using the word snow.

As spring arrives softly there are always safety concerns with people going outside more, walking more and children playing more.

We want to remind our readers to stay safe around railroad tracks.

We’ve seen it many times: someone, for some reason, chooses to walk or play on or around the railroad tracks near downtown Marion or in other areas of Grant County.

Most of the time, nothing happens. Many people simply think they can hear a train and get out of the way in time. Others simply don’t think about the negative consequences of walking on railroad tracks. But there are many stories of people who trespassed on railroad property and ended up dead or gravely injured as a result.

Why take the chance? What is there to gain by taking a gamble on one’s life?

The average locomotive weighs more than 400,000 pounds, and some can weigh as much as 1.2 million pounds, according to Operation Lifesaver. That’s just the locomotive. That doesn’t include the cars attached to it. We won’t get into the physics of something that heavy moving at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, but we’ll tell you that you won’t come out of an accident unscathed.

Something that heavy can’t stop on a dime, either: it takes more than a mile for a train traveling 55 miles per hour to come to a complete stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid hitting a person on or around the tracks.

Just stay away. Cross railroad tracks only at designated spots and never trespass on railroad property. Whatever reason there may be for walking on railroad tracks just isn’t worth your life.