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And We Ran

Derailing the Train

Some of my friends derailed a train once.

The statute of limitations are up by now by none-the-less I change all the names in my stories.

I never went to the tracks with them. I had no problem with running from cops but I had no desire to mess with the 1,000 ton machine of death that barreled through our town. This went on for months. They really worked their way up. You'd actually be surprised at how much stuff piles up around railroad tracks. Computers, rocks, old bicycles, tires, giant spools of electrical wiring…

A little background first. Our town had an Amtrack station. Huge cars with people in them would come through regularly, mostly they weren't passenger trains. I really don't know what most of them were shipping, probably something horrible that you wouldn't want to know about. Although, our town was once a big steel center when America actually had a manufacturing business. So tracks weren't uncommon to drive over or under. Most of our plants had shut down but it's not like you can just build new tracks overnight.

The story goes as such. A group of my friends were hanging out at the tracks. They found a giant spool of that electrical wiring I mentioned earlier. This isn't for a house. This is for running infrastructure. The cable is thick, maybe an inch thick. These are the kinds of wires that could entangle Godzilla. The spools that wind these are made out of plywood and when you stand them up are about as tall as a standard teenager.

So they wheeled it up on to the tracks and laid it down.

It took hours for a train to come. No one wanted to leave because this was the big event. They'd never put anything that large on the tracks before. Finally they spot it. Here comes the Amtrack. Hundreds of passengers were sitting in their seats traveling from who-knows-where to who-cares through the middle of rural no-where. Unbeknownst to them that in a few minutes their trip was going to be cut short.

The whistle started blowing first. The screach of the wheels made it clear to everyone present that the train had spotted the obstruction and was doing what it could to slow down. It was inevitable, there was no way it was going to stop in time. As the train rolled by my friends the conductor was hanging out the window, eyes wide pointing and screaming at my friends. Then it hit.

With a crash and a squeel the train barrled forward. The spool exploded wrapping the front of the train in wiring, parts flew to the side grabbing and dragging all the debris alongside the train. Eventually the momentum of the train forced it's wheels to jump off the track. There was no explosion, no fire, but that train was stopped. It's my understanding that it took a crane to get it back on track.

My friends didn't stick around that long. Moments after the train collided with the wiring they were gone. Running for their lives they cut through every back alley, secret passageway and hidden side road they knew.

On the other side of town, far away from my friends and unbeknownst to them, one of their parents overhears the police scanner they kept in the living room.

Quick note about one of our friends, let's call her Carol. Carol had a bright yellow bike. It was not just your standard yellow bike, it wasn't even big bird yellow. It was neon yellow. At night, you could see it from block's away.

Somehow my friend's made it across the river and back to downtown. Like idiots they were running down one of the busiest streets that stretched across the entire town. When they made it to our town diner the aforementioned parent was waiting in the parking lot.

“Throw the bike in the trunk and get in.”

No one said a word. The bike was put in the trunk and the cadre of young felons piled inside. Driving back to home the parent asks,

“So. Everyone. Do you mind explaining to me why I heard on the police scanner to look out for a group of kids matching your descriptions - one riding a bright yellow bike?”


“Don't go back to the tracks for a while.”

Everyone was dropped off at their homes and no one went back to the tracks for a long time. No one was injured but the costs of fixing train were apparently quite substantial.


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