19 Oct 2009
Essential Listening: The Runaway Train
Popped the radio on on Sunday afternoon, and heard an amazing 15 minute programme called ‘The Runaway Train’. It tells the storyof an event in northern Canada in 1987, when railwayman Wesley MacDonald loaded up a train of 50 cars of iron ore, but the brakes failed and before he knew it, he was the only person aboard a runaway train. The discussions between himself and the rail traffic controller about whether to stay on the train or to jump were recorded on tape. The programme is made up of interviews with many of those involved and you can listen to it here for the next 6 days. In some ways it has no relation to usual Transition Culture-related issues, but there is something about how people come together in times of adversity, and the depth of emotion this programme captures, that suggests that as we inhabit our own collective runaway train, the notion that it will inevitably bring out the worst in each of us is at least debatable.