26 May, 2007

A Complete Puzzle

In the middle of nowhere, stands an insignificant train station on the periphery of a small, possibly equally insignificant, town of Buechen. The station consists of a nondescript grey cement-walled building surrounded by a slew of railway tracks on both sides. The building has two locked doors, two closed shuttered windows, and no one has been sighted going in or out of the building the last fifteen years.

On the south side of the building there are four railway tracks, but only two of the tracks have platforms. This did not stop the station master from posting a sign bravely stating “Tracks 1-4 in --> direction”. Trains, of course, can only arrive and depart from track/platform #1 or track/platform #4. No train has ever, in the entire history of the station arrived or departed from tracks #2 or #3, because, in essence they are just tracks-passing-in-the-night between the other two tracks.

This false designation of information, makes me wonder what was the self-important train official’s motivation in pulling the wool over the eyes of the central logistic engineering bureau. Maybe the central bureau pays their station masers a salary based the number of tracks they manage.

And that’s not all. On the north side of the train station there are six railway tracks. Can you guess how they are numbered?

The first track/platform is track # 140. Yes, that’s right. And hidden behind a thick hedge, ten yards away from the end of train station, are track #40 and track #41. The other three tracks are not numbered.

For someone who worked as an engineer for twenty years and has lived in Germany for nearly twenty-five years, the Buechen train station is, and will forever remain, a complete puzzle.

No comments:

Post a Comment