The third incident involving a CTrain and a pedestrian in the last seven days has spurred a Calgary Transit worker to share her perspective of such events.
On Tuesday afternoon, a man was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a collision with a train at the intersection of Memorial Drive and 36 Street N.E.
As emergency responders began their investigation, an off-duty CTrain driver was walking by and felt compelled to speak to Global News about her concern for both the person hit and for her colleague driving the train.
Global News agreed to withhold her identity due to risk of professional repercussions.
“Being the operator and having that happen takes a toll,” the driver explained. “I have spoken to others it’s happened to and they can’t sleep at night. It’s embedded in them.
“If you see a train coming, just wait. It takes 30 seconds for trains to cross and if you wait that 30 seconds, your life will be spared.”
She said that while she’s never been involved in a pedestrian collision while driving a CTrain, the potential for a tragic incident weighs on her.
“I’ve had a few close calls. It shakes you up and it’s hard to carry on. It affects your day drastically.”
She said people are often in a rush trying to beat the train or have headphones in and are distracted. Other times people intentionally walk into the path of an oncoming train, leaving drivers helpless.
“People think the train can stop on a dime. We can’t,” she said. “It takes a lot for us to stop. We can’t swerve out of the way and we do the best we can.”