The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the phrase, “dodge a bullet,” as meaning “to narrowly avoid an unwelcome, harmful, or disastrous outcome or occurrence.”
That’s exactly what happened last week when a train derailed in Swanton, resulting in no injuries or fatalities.
The potential for disaster was undeniable. Suppose, rather than empty containers and consumer goods, the train had tank cars carrying toxic chemicals.
In talking about the incident, Dave Davis, Archbold fire chief, brought up a good point. When one thinks of the 100 trains a day that pass through our communities on the two tracks that bisect the county, it is remarkable there are no more accidents than there are.
Much of that rests with Norfolk Southern. The company maintains a vigorous program of maintenance that prevents derailments.
Of course, that maintenance program is in place to keep the trains rolling and the money coming in – but keeping the general public safe is an important by-product.
We complain about trains blocking our crossings, but we should also be thankful moving freight by rail is as safe as it is.
Thank goodness we’ve never had to dodge the train derailment bullet in Archbold.