Dangerous Ways to Cross a River

The trail along the Alameda Creek takes you under a couple of bridges.  One is a road bridge and the other is a rail bridge.  I walked under the rail bridge and, as I came out of the other side, a guy walked past me and up to the bridge deck.  He was carrying a couple of containers as if he had just done some shopping.  He then turned and walked on to the tracks.  I stepped over the rail and headed along the track on the ties (sleepers for those of you in the U.K.)

I was rather surprised by this.  The bridge was only a single track width and it did not appear to have any spare space at the edges.  He also didn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry.  I had to watch what was going to happen.  I had no idea how busy the line was but this did not look like a good plan.  He strolled across the river.  As he was getting towards the other side, I thought I could hear a train horn.  Sure enough, an Amtrak train appeared ahead.  The engineer obviously saw him and was sounding the horn.  The guy kept strolling but was clearly going to get across in time.  He eventually stepped over the rail and down the slope on the opposite bank as the train came closer.  I don’t know whether he knew the schedule but, if he had been in the middle rather than where he was, this could have ended very badly.

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