Originally posted on Ahnentafel:
Bad luck with trains tends to run in our family. Within a span of twenty-five years, four different family members came too close to passing trains, twice with fatal results.
My grandmothers made up the more-fortunate half of this catalogue. Grandma Montgomery’s incident is the one I know the least about. I know she and her mother were riding in a car that was actually struck by a passing train, and I’ve since learned that Grandma always bore a scar on her forearm as a result. Thankfully, both Grandma Montgomery and Grandma Wilson lived to tell this tale.
Grandma Hoffmann was the luckiest of the four, although her story was no less frightening. A neighboring farmer was taking Grandma, her mother, and her sister Marilyn into town. They were riding in an enclosed, horse-drawn wagon, with Lena and Marilyn in the back and Grandma on the wagon seat with the driver. As they approached the railroad tracks, Grandma said, both she and the farmer looked carefully for trains but could see none and so started across the tracks. Then, without warning, a train was nearly upon them. Grandma wondered if perhaps the steam had rolled in front of the engine somehow and blocked it from view. The farmer whipped up the reins, but it seemed the horse would never get across the tracks. He did, finally, but Lena, in the back of the enclosed wagon, was so close to the hurtling train that she could have touched it!