Letters to the editor (12-10-14)
A safety concern
on the Polar Express
The Polar Express event at the N.C. Transportation Museum is a wonderful Christmas experience for children and adults. Lee Street Theatre and the Transportation Museum Foundation have done a fine job of this event.
I especially like the way children and senior citizens are cast for the production. The actors could not be any cuter. They are all adorable.
The theater is in charge of the production and the actors; however, the foundation operations manager has placed a small child actor in the open doorway of a moving train traveling from the Gift Shop to wave at the public gathered at Barber Junction. The train is moving at a low speed; however that still constitutes a potential safety hazard. The child could be in danger of falling off the train. Trains lunge and jerk unexpectedly, especially when stopping. The people on board are usually told to stay in their seat until the train comes to a complete stop. The operations manager decided it was better for the child to be in one doorway waving to the crowd while she (the operations manager) stands in the next doorway to wave. She is an adult and has train experience and is more capable of protecting herself should the train jerk and her footing become unstable. The child does not have protection.
A potential foreseeable accident is likely to arouse considerable public interest. The theater, the child and the child’s parents I guess had no say in the decision to place the child in an open doorway of a moving train. I have over a year’s experience in Rail Operations at this museum and am cast as a hobo. I told her my concern and she dismissed my safety warning.
I agree they both look very cute waving to the crowd. But when it comes to trains, safety is the most important.
— Jackie Taylor