At first reading I didn’t think that this was much of a news item, delayed train, ants… whatever…..
Then I thought of how many ants it would take to make a train slip on its tracks and I thought again.
Think of the largest amount of ants you have ever seen in one place, and then imagine what they could have done to hinder a train. Not much I suspect.
To actually stop a goods train would take an immense amount of ants! I wonder what sort of ants they were. We have some pretty big ants here in Australia, Bull ants (40mm), but still I can’t imagine how many of them it would take to cause an incident like this.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be in that train either. Ants aren’t generally too easy to move on, are they? I can imagine they would be swarming all over the train, furiously annoyed at the disturbance, and if they were Bull ants….. eeeek!
Some of you might remember the wolf posts I did a while ago that taught us all to avoid hungry wolves at all costs, especially if you are a bridal party or in a train.
Well, this time the wolves aren’t attacking a party of people in sleds or a train crew clearing snow. This lot seems desperate enough to have attacked a moving train.
When the wolves swarmed over the engine and coaches the passengers barricaded themselves in and defended themselves with guns, the driver putting on speed to make an escape.
Clearly this group of survivors were a little more chivalrous than the wedding party from this previous post.
Of the over 100 people who were attacked in 1911 only two survived and had done so by sacrificing the rest of the people one by one as they fled.
The final details of this 1922 tale from South Slavia are a little unpleasant though, aren’t they?
“The train put on speed, running over and killing many wolves, and reached Agram spattered with blood and wolves flesh.”
Ick. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one responsible for cleaning that up in time for the next run…
This first article immediately bought to mind a Looney Tunes cartoon. In August 1899 the Manchester Express was passing through Greetland station at full speed when one of the driving wheels detached, and apparently went through the station masters office and along the platform. Eeek!
I suppose this incident could give the stationmaster a good reason to never go to work again.
Imagine if you were waiting for your train when this happened. When you are standing on the platform you wouldn’t really think to look out for stray train wheels moving at high-speed through the building, would you?
If anyone got in the way on that particular day it would probably have been the end of them. Imagine if the station master had been sitting at his desk when the wheel passed through!
This second accident from South Brisbane in 1926 is one we see at the Formula One Grand Prix occasionally. One car trying to overtake, its wheels touching the front car and it all going horribly wrong for the over-eager over-taker.
This car sustained a small amount of damage and the driver, Arthur Neil, got away with only a slight wound from broken glass.
The cars they were driving in 1926 would have had far less advanced safety gear than a modern GP car, although they would have been made of far sterner stuff than the flimsy vehicles we drive today!
Meeks asked me a while ago to look for a particular picture of flooded Melbourne suburbs, I have been searching through the articles but so far have had no luck finding a picture like the one she described.
I have found lots of other pictures of a wet Melbourne that have entertained me though, so here is one she might like that will tide her over until I find another.
Funnily enough, this slightly interesting photo of an old train is a record of something dear to the heart of many Melbournians.
If this photo was in colour the train would be bright red, an instantly recognisable Red Rattler. Red Rattlers were bought into use on the train lines around Melbourne from 1910, when they were hauled by steam locomotives, before being converted to the electric system from 1919.
I remember going on these trains throughout my childhood and can still picture the old fittings, the door handles, the brass luggage racks and the scuffed leather seats. Actually, just writing about them I can almost smell that distinctive smell too.
They weren’t called red rattlers for nothing either, I expect that many a commuter was rocked to sleep, or driven mad, by the noisy rock and rattle of their daily trip. On hot days the sliding doors were held open by rebellious travellers as the trains lurched down the tracks.
They were phased out from the start of the eighties, replaced by the horrible silver cylinders of modern trains. Yuck. I still love those old red rattlers and the slightly newer blue trains that ran alongside them for a time. The noise, and the smell, was irresistible. I still look at those new trains as boring tin cans! 🙂
I did a post the other day about wolves devouring an entire wedding party in 1911 (worst wedding ever). During my searches for more more gruesome facts about that particular attack (more weddings and wolves) I found this article that I though you might like.
In 1933 Europe it was cold. So cold in fact, that a wedding cake in Vienna had to be cut with an axe. I expect that the bride was not wearing a flimsy off-the-shoulder number that day! Luckily for her it seems no wolves caught up with her on her trip home. 🙂
Later in the report I see that cold and hungry wolves attacked the crew of a train while they were involved in a bit of snow clearing in Bessarabia (Moldova).
The crew had the presence of mind to throw meat into one of the train cars, slamming the doors behind the hungry wolves before continuing on their journey.
On arrival at their destination most of the wolves were still alive, unfortunately for them they were then caught in nets and shot.
It sounds a little cruel, but I can’t imagine the railway staff having too much sympathy for the wolves.
I now imagine the train pulling into the station, an unsuspecting attendant opening the door to begin unloading the cargo they expected to be contained within. Growl, leap, EEEEK! crunch…..