You’d hear a train like the one in this picture coming, but modern trains can be silent killers.
Around 7 p.m. last Friday, Mickayla Friend and her boyfriend were walking along train tracks while traveling to their high school’s Sadie Hawkins dance in Marysville, Calif., a town north of Sacramento. The couple was walking southbound, unaware what was coming up behind them. A train sounded its horn and applied emergency brakes, but it was too late. At the last moment, the boyfriend, whose name has yet to be released, pushed Friend off the tracks and was killed. The 16-year-old Friend is now in critical condition.
I was 10 years old before steam locomotives were retired and you could always hear those things coming. Heck, you could feel them coming. New diesel-electric trains and freight cars with low friction wheels rolling on modern track beds can allow several hundred tons of heavy metal to sneak up on you.