Dreaming: Off the Rails

I had a dream last night about a railroad track that doubled as a road for cars and pedestrians. There was no other parallel road; if you wanted to go in that direction, you had no choice but to drive or walk on the railroad track itself. The track was designed more like a Metro track than an old-fashioned train track with wooden railroad ties. There were two parallel steel rails along the edges, and a third rail in the center. A car could drive down the tracks with a tire on each side of the center rail.

This seemed like a risky design, but I had no choice if I wanted to go that way. So I checked carefully in both directions before driving onto the track, and proceeded cautiously down the rails. “This isn’t so bad,” I began to think.

Suddenly, my rear-view mirror showed what I had been dreading. A train had pulled into view behind me, and was quickly overtaking me. I’d been told the tracks featured frequent pull-out areas, just for this occurrence, but I wasn’t sure how long I had to drive to get to one, and whether I could make it in time. Besides, I was on a bridge, and would have to clear the other end before there was any possibility of getting off the rails. I sped up.

As the train grew closer, I drove off the other side of the bridge and was back to solid ground, searching the side of the rails for a place to pull off. I found one and turned onto it, and the train thundered by.

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