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OFF THE RAILTRACK
by
Mal Brown

With thanks to Michael ( Patter )

There’s work to be had on the railways,
On trains, on the track and the station.
The pay’s not as good
As maybe it should.
That’s due to privatisation.

A youth went for work on the signals
And got to the interview stage.
He was down in the gob
And would do any job
Despite the conditions or wage.

“What would you do?” said the boss man,
“If two trains were due for collision?
What steps would you take
If lives were at stake
And yours was the final decision?

“I’d press,” said the youth, “these two buttons,
And set both the signals to halt.”
The boss said: “Would you?
But what would you do
If both of the lights were at fault?”

I’d pull,” said the youth, “this here lever,
Thus changing the points for one train.”
“What course would you take
If the lever should break
And simply snap off with the strain?”

“I’d go,” said the youth, “to the tool box
And take the crowbar from its stand,
And maybe a jack,
Then I’d run up the track,
And change the points over by hand.”

“What would you do,” said the boss man,
“If they were locked solid with rust,
Or frozen together
In icy cold weather,
Or maybe the crowbar had bust?”

“I’d go up the road for my uncle
And bring him back here in a flash.”
“Why?” said the boss.
The youth said: “Because
He’s never yet seen a train crash.”
 
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