HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!
Soft snow was falling and the night was getting dark. Streets were full of rushing people. There was not much time left until the holidays. People had still to buy some gifts for their loved ones and treat themselves as well. Lights waiting for people to get home were lit in windows.
A group of young people was talking and laughing while approaching the railway. A pedestrian crossing was a bit farther away but the path in the snow led directly across the rails to the mall. Their friends were waiting. They had always taken this shortcut...
The lights of an approaching train were coming closer. Faster! Let´s get quickly across the tracks! A cell phone rings in a pocket. Could it wait?...but the annoying phone is already found and a finger is about to push a button for answering the call. Other guys are a couple of meters ahead and crossing the last pair of rails. The noise made by train was coming closer and the lights spotted the last rushing person. Suddenly his foot was caught by something. The falling person tries to find some support and waives his hands in the air. The phone flies across the air
at the same moment when a hand grabs the air. Loud, painful noise was the last sound the young man could hear...
Silence. But no, the phone kept ringing in the snow. Someone was still expecting him home.
Some candles are burning, blending with bright Christmas lights. They are burning next to the path leading across railway tracks and at home where someone never arrived...
13 candles burning alongside railway tracks - one candle for each person dying on the railway this year.
The last month of the year is full of rushing. We want to get everything done and get ready for the coming holidays. We are always rushing. And this is how an accident can happen.
Let us slow down and be more attentive - also while crossing railway. A train cannot change its direction or pull up quickly. The dangers can still be avoided by ourselves, and it does not matter whether we are walking, riding a bike, driving a car or crossing railway somehow else. We have somehow got this wrong idea that it is almost impossible to get hit by a train because there is not much train traffic, they are big, visible and audible. In real life we see something totally different: in 2005 18 pedestrians were killed on the railway, 11 persons were injured. 13 persons have lost their lives on the railway this year and about the same number of people have got serious injuries. Current railway safety campaign "Let the train pass - you are expected home for Christmas!" is envisaged to prevent the situation where we had to lit mourning candles among other Christmas lights and to make sure that both the Christmas and the following year would be safe on railway. We are all expected home for Christmas and it is up to us how safely we can get there.