Unfortunate truth about railroad switches

Have you ever watched a movie, or television show, where a train is coming down the tracks, and is about to hit one of the major characters. Its getting closer and closer, and at the very last moment, the hero manages to flip the switch, sending the train down the other set of tracks and away from the person trapped.

The first time you ever saw it, did you cheer, or feel excited over the last minute escape? If you did; you should feel ashamed of yourself, because you just cheered for the deaths of several hundred people, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of property damage.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, trains run on a calculated set of rails and paths in order to avoid collisions. When that train is sent down that other set of tracks, it is entirely likely that it will be going head on towards another train, that may be carrying passengers or volatile chemicals, making the collision many times more devastating than the singular life saved by switching the tracks.

Of course, in real life its not common for a railroad switch to be out in the open with nobody watching them and no way to prevent them from being tampered with. Its one of those suspension of disbelief things. Well, suspend your disbelief if you want; I’ll be over here dissecting the movies piece by piece… For Science!

best vpn nz