Disclaimer: I do not own Arthur or the characters within, Arthur belongs to Marc Brown. Story subject to editing.
(Added April 5, 2014): Thanks to the advice from one reviewer, I decided to take out the "Nice Reviews or None At All" sentence from my summary, he's right.
David Read is driving his wife Jane and two of his kids Arthur and D.W. to another camping trip. They also bring Buster along and he sits in the middle while D.W. sits behind her mother. Arthur took Pal with him instead of leaving him at home and had Pal sitting on his lap. Grandma Thora was watching Baby Kate. They are now outside of Elwood City. Everyone except D.W. are wearing long pants and everyone has their jackets on. David, Arthur, and Buster are wearing baseball caps while D.W. and
"I can't wait to go on this camping trip," Arthur says.
"I can't either!" says Buster.
D.W. says nothing at the moment and doesn't try to interrupt and spoil the boys' conversation, but will she?
"Sleeping in a tent," says Arthur, "going hiking."
"Going fishing," says Buster, "scary stories!"
"Ahh," D.W. yells," no scary stories please, they give me nightmares!"
"D.W. don't scream in the car," says Jane.
"Yeah Sweetie," David says, "I have to concentrate on the road so we don't in an accident."
"Besides," says Arthur, "you don't always get nightmares."
"How would you know," asks D.W, "you can't see my dreams!"
"I don't always hear you talk about it," says D.W.
"Take it easy back there guys," asks David.
"What I don't look forward to," says Buster, "is having to use a tree or a bush."
"Hey at least you boys have it easier!" says D.W. "I can't go to the bathroom as easily as you guys and Dad do!"
"Thanks for sharing that, D.W." says David.
Arthur and Buster look at each other, cover their mouths, and cannot help but giggle at each other.
"Don't laugh at me!" says D.W.
"Okay," says Jane, "calm yourselves back there."
"Hope we get there soon," says D.W, "can't wait for this ride to be over."
"I can agree with D.W. on this one," says Arthur.
"Same here," says Buster.
"Don't worry," says David, "we'll be there real soon."
Then up ahead is a railroad crossing. The signal lights and gate-mounted lights start flashing and the bells start ringing. Then a few seconds later the gates begin to go down, blocking only traffic approaching the crossing.
"Hang on guys," says David, "a train is coming."
"Awww," says the D.W. "I hope the train doesn't take too long, I hate waiting for trains to go by!"
"I don't know," says Buster, "I like watching trains go by."
"I don't mind it myself," says Arthur, "it can be fun."
D.W. doesn't agree and folds her arms and rolls her eyes toward her window.
David pulls up to the crossing gate and stops about eight feet back from it. As the lights are flashing and fading alternately (except for the lights at the tip of the gates, which are solid,) the train horn blows. Arthur, his family, and Buster look to their left and watch as the train approaches the crossing. The horn blows two long blasts, one short and one long blast and a freight train with three blue diesel locomotives fly by hauling a whole bunch of brown box cars behind them. The train moves at 65 miles per hour. TheF horn does bother Pal a bit making him whimper and yap twice.
"It's okay boy," says Arthur, patting Pal softly, "it's just a train and I'm right here."
Arthur and especially Buster enjoy watching the train pass by. The parents, well their neutral about it but D.W. is impatient as usual.
"Come on train hurry up and pass by already!" she says.
"The train will finish honey," says Jane, "just be patient."
"But when will this train finish?" asks D.W.
"We don't know," says David, "we'll just have to wait it out.
Arthur gets a little infuriated with D.W.'s complaining but Buster seems to be ignoring her as his eyes are fixed on watching the train.
Just a few minutes later the last car of the train passes.
"Finally," says D.W. "Let's go Dad!"
"We have to wait for the gates to go up first, D.W." says David.
"Ohhh," she goes, "go up already gates!"
Fortunately for D.W., the bells go silent and the gates begin to rise.
"Ha," says D.W., "I made the gates go up!"
Arthur decides not to butt in and neither does anyone else. After the gates are completely out of the way, David drives across the tracks and the signal and gate lights turn off once the gates reach their home position.
"I counted 103 cars," says Buster.
"Really?" asks Jane.
"Yep," says Buster, "whenever I have to sit and wait for a train to go by, I like to count the cars and I'm usually good at keeping count. It's a game I like to play with my mom."
The Read family and Buster continue to their camping trip.
Further Information about the story: I wanted to do an Arthur story featuring a railroad crossing just for my enjoyment. This is also something I would like to see on the real show one day before the show gets cancelled and I hope that if there's a season 20, it will come on then, unless I'm fortunate enough to catch it during the Season 18 or 19 episodes, if I live that long to see them, or maybe one of the yet to be seen Season 17 episodes but I doubt it. I'd like to see a railroad crossing on Arthur, not only because railroad crossings are my passion but also because I'd like to see what they would look like on Arthur. I see railroad crossings on some cartoons but a lot of them don't look so good but some really do look good. Last week I wrote a letter to W.G.B.H. telling them this idea and even drew pictures and sent it to them, and requested that if they're the wrong people, they forward it to the proper recipients.
This is only my first railroad crossing story I am planning to do for my Arthur Fanfics and for other fanfics I write.
The Following two Paragraphs are for Fellow Railroad Fanatics (Railfans for short) and other Interested People Only. If you're not interested please do not read this:
If you know as much about railroad crossings as I do and want to know what kind of signals are at this crossing, the crossing warning devices contain two American-style silver-colored mast mounted railroad crossing signals. The crossbucks are white and 90-degree-angled with the words RAILROAD CROSSING in black lettering. The bells are the classic mechanical bells and they are Western Cullen Hayes mechanical bells. Both signals have two pairs of flashing lights, each pair facing both directions like real American signals. The lights are 8" incandescent lights with 20" black backgrounds (for those of you who don't know, the backgrounds are the black circles surrounding the flashing red lights.) And the gate arms are half gates, blocking only approaching traffic as I said, and they are the single-upright bar-type gates, (the other kind I could have used are wooden A-frame gates, also known as wishbone gates) diagonally striped red and white on both sides and have 3 red lights on them, two lights flashing with the signal lights while the third light at the tip of the gate lights up steadily just like real crossing gates. And the gates are 4" incandescent lights.
I plan to use different types of crossing signals and gates. I will do mast signals and cantilever signals, gated and gate-less crossings with lights, very seldom railroad crossings with just crossbucks, although some may come with STOP signs, 8" lights with 20" backgrounds like I did in this story, 12" lights with 20" backgrounds (12x20 lights), and 12" lights with 24" backgrounds (12x24 lights). Some lights will be incandescent like in this story, and some will use L.E.D.s, whether they are existing L.E.D.s or L.E.D.s I make up, I'll explain more on that later. I will use mechanical bells, electronic bells, or both. Most signals will be silver or even black, but very seldom will I do signals in colors other than those two. And my default gates are single-upright bar-type red and white gate-arms with 3 red lights per arm, but I will also do wishbone gates. While I plan to have most of my gates be red and white, I might do some black and white or black and yellow crossing gates, especially on request. And many of my crossing gates will have lights on them and the lights will vary but I can do unlighted gate arms, preferably on request. But I won't explain the major crossing details within the stories. Instead I will do like I'm doing now, wait until after the story to explain them and begin with the last bold line I used so that people who aren't interested or don't care, or want to use their imagination about the railroad crossing(s) don't have to read them.