|I rarely take a picture and afterwards|
think, 'Hey, that's exactly what it
looked like!' But this is exactly what
it looked like.
The train in Austin starts out downtown, heads east for a little way, then swings around to the north, which means that it crosses some streets at an odd angle. Which further means that the signal gates are set pretty far back from the tracks on either side just to cut across the angle safely. Far enough back, in fact, for a car to fit between the tracks and the gate...
Yes, that's what I saw. I don't know if the car just got caught when the gates started coming down (because as I said, there is quite some distance between them; it's totally conceivable that someone might get caught), or if the driver was unwisely sitting on the tracks and didn't get off of them quickly enough, or if he didn't want the gate hitting the top of the car so he stopped behind it. Whatever it was, the nose of the car was right up against the gate (as you would be, if there were a train coming!), and fortunately the train had plenty of clearance, so the car was in no danger. I'm just sad that my camera was put away for the whole thing.
I don't know what the driver did once the gate raised and he was free to continue. He probably went home with this wacky story to tell. I do know if it had been me caught between a signal gate and a train, I would have had to pull over at the nearest open spot and have a lie down before continuing (fortuitously, there is a park very near this particular area). And then I'd have to get up and walk around a bit, thanking God that I was still alive and in one piece. And then I would finish my drive home, carefully avoiding all train tracks.
That's what I would have to do. What would you do?