Just as I got to Chatsworth this afternoon, the news came over the radio that a Metrolink commuter train had collided with a freight train within walking distance of where I keep Ace. Helicopters were flying low and fire engines and emergency vehicles were racing down the streets. In the photograph below, you can see the railroad tracks just south of where the accident took place. The helicopter was one of eight I counted in the sky. I was standing on the ranch on Chatsworth Street where my trainer, Gayle, keeps many of the horses she trains when I took these photographs. The commuter train had just passed this area moments before the crash occurred. If you look at the map here, you can see the railroad tracks as it curves near Stoney Point Park, the actual location of the crash (you may have to adjust the size of the map to see this.)
Right now, the death count is 10 of the 350-400 passengers on the train. It is expected to go much higher.
Despite the noise, all of the horses seemed to be doing just fine. Ace's barn is about two blocks from the railroad tracks, but fire engines and emergency vehicles were lining Chatsworth street and Canoga Avenue. There were policemen forming a barracade to prevent people from getting close to the crash location--even residents of the area couldn't get their cars through.
When I got to Ace's barn (on Chatsworth Street, between Variel and Canoga), after having to go a few blocks out of my way, I was told that the folks there heard and felt the impact. When I left the barn to come home, the street was being blocked off at Variel, so I may actually have trouble getting back tomorrow morning for my lesson.
It was not the afternoon I expected. As John Lennon sang "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."
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