Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Rail Crossings

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It is hard to resist jumping onto my soapbox to raise issues that really irritate me.. after all there are soo many of them:) Just as well this is a blog about our family adventures and not a political commentary.

I think it is still interesting to contrast elements of our life in France with the old one back in New Zealand.   One of these differences that fascinates me is the extent to which the French still rely on rail, specifically as commuters. It is by far the quickest and cheapest way for a single person to get around France. 

LEVEL CROSSINGS:  We have a railway line that runs past our tiny village on the route between Le Buisson and Fumel. This line is well off the main commuter routes and we only hear around four trains per day.  Rural roads intersect this railway line about every other kilometre and yet every intersection has barrier arms along with bells and lights.  One of these crossings is a single residential driveway!  I have yet to see a train crossing in France which is not controlled by barrier arms. These pictures (above) are of some of the crossings that we pass every day on the way to take the kids to school.

This post was inspired by the story of Cricketer Chris Cairns, who has just completed a 1001km rail safety awareness walk in memory of his sister who was killed in a rail crossing accident 15 years ago.