Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Cozy, Nestled Between the Tracks, Says German Man

Hobo being rousted from a train by a rail guard, with a club.

Man run over by two trains escapes with scrapes and bruises

15 May 09 14:35 CET

A drunk man who bunked down for a night’s sleep in a railyard near Erfurt narrowly escaped it being his last. After being run over by two trains he walked away with minor scratches.

The 23-year-old man was lying between tracks in Sömmerda when a train driver travelling from Sangerhause to Erfurt saw a dark lump lying between the tracks, but didn't recognise it as a person until it was too late. A conductor on a regional train coming in the opposite direction on the other tracks also didn’t see the man.

Despite using the emergency brakes, the train could not stop before the man was nearly run over again.

It wasn’t until after the two trains rolled by authorities were able to retrieve the man from the tracks. Despite his violent reaction to the rescue, he was relatively uninjured. He complained to officials that they were interfering with his sleep.

"It used to be a man who was down on his luck could hop a train and ride all the way to Holland, looking for work. Now you can't even sleep between the tracks without getting rousted," said the man, wandering off wearily in search of another place to sleep.

“The officers found a ticket for a fine after searching the individual,” the police said in a statement. Apparently he had been cited in November 2008 for sleeping on train tracks.

The man has been charged, again, with a dangerous interference to rail traffic.

An engineer with the National Railway Company, speaking on condition of polynomial, said it was possble for a slender person to lie down in the apace between the two rails without being hit by a train passing. "But if you're going to sleep you must be careful not to throw your arm over one of the rails nor to roll up on your side." said the engineer

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