This is precisely what occurred a couple of months ago in Victoria where a woman waiting at the level crossing, impatient for the train to pass, for and as soon as the last carriage was past, she ducked under the boom gate and headed across the tracks only to be hit and killed by a train on the opposite track roaring through.
Footplate Padre remembers his years as a locomotive engineman on the New South Wales Government Railways and this scenario was his greatest fear. The two locations of most concern for him was on the main south line on the Southern Tablelands and the Illawarra line.
Port Kembla Locomotive Depot crews worked heavy freight trains to Enfield Shunting Yards in Sydney, and heavy steel trains up the mountain line to Summit Tank and then onto Moss Vale where the main south connected and onto Goulburn.
These heavy steel trains climbed the mountain line at 12mph (18kph) but once on southern tablelands flat and then the undulating topography they ran at high speed and coming through the towns at Talong, Wingello and Bundanoon to name but three, was always dicey when trains were passing in the other direction near level crossings.
Footplate Padre Mark Tronson says that when this occurred, which seemed strangely common, he would hang onto the GM Claxton (horn) or the Goodwin whistle chord (different sounding horn) but with the sound of a train going past, even this was difficult to hear. It was 'heart in the mouth stuff' as the huge diesel with its heavy load rushed past the platform to the level crossing just as the opposite train's last wagon cleared.
Whether country people were most alert to such situations he was unsure, but the Illawarra suburban double line had the same situations. Freight trains along this line were restricted to 40mph (70kph) which ran mostly in the hours of darkness, but there was always a lot of action around suburban platforms. Locomotive crews were never sure whether someone would risk it before the boom gates lifted to give the all clear. Mark Tronson said he had his heart was in his mouth as the Illawarra line had many railway station platforms.
In the article Footplate Padre Mark Tronson said he was reminded of things "converging". This theme of converging also relates to when Jesus came. Notice how the Apostles were able to spread Jesus message of Salvation.
(1) There was a common language (Greek),
(2) A general Peace (Roman law),
(3) Travel was reasonably safe and frequent (Trade Routes), and
(4) The Jewish Religion was licensed (the early evangelists travelled to synagogues to the farthest ends of the Roman Empire with the message of Jesus, who was a Jew as were the earliest disciples).
He explained that there was this 'one occasion' in history when all these factors came together - precisely the time that God gave His only Begotten Son to mankind for their sinning. On Track railway magazine can be found at: