Have you ever seen?

I was watching an episode of the West Wing last night where one of the characters sees the body of a homeless man. And I recalled something I saw years ago.

I was on a train going to work out in Burwood, standing by the door. Mine was the next stop. There was an announcement of a delay, and we were crawling along. We passed stopped train, then I looked down to the next track, and saw emergency workers… and a body. It was fully clothed, and possibly covered by a blanket — I didn’t see any flesh. Almost more like a pile of clothes than a person.

It’s sad on two counts. It was not a location where you’d find yourself crossing the tracks to make a shortcut. Obviously that person had decided they wouldn’t be turning up to work that day, and decided to end it all. Once a person is in the path of a train, there’s nothing the unfortunate train driver can do. So that driver had their work day shattered.

Not something I’m in any hurry to see again.

I got off at the next station and walked down the street to my connecting tram, telling a lady coming the other way that city-bound trains would be delayed.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Have you ever seen?”

How terribly sad, yes. I’ve never seen the body of a person but my brother has seen a few. One in the harbour of the yacht club he was working at. Said that it gave him nightmares for weeks after to find it and call the police. I know it’s all part of life and then death catches you unawares. But in the case of suicide, there is the awful moment when somebody else must live with your death. For ever after, that moment will be present in their minds. That’s a tragedy I guess, and part of life. Imagine what a grisly discovery it’d be to find Paul Hester’s body? I shudder to think what the person who found him thought. Let’s pray to God that my bipolar never gets that bad.

A friend’s hubby drives trains and he has seen some horrific things. It’s a sad fact that so many suicide, but it’s even sadder for those who have to pick up the pieces afterwards. Would probably not have been the best day for you either!

Yeah, I work with a lady who used to work for the met and she was shocked by the number of people who feel the need to end their lives that way.

what do you mean by “connecting tram”? This sounds like Connex/Yarra trams-speak for “the next one that happens to come along”. Or was there actually a tram there waiting for all the passengers who got off that particular train?
PS yes, very sad about the guy who died.

That occurning does not shatter the train drivers day, it is something they live with for the rest of thier lives.

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