Chilling in parts, bittersweet in others, 'Life and Death on the Tracks' is a dark short story that documents an ageing train driver's slow demise and the troubles of his anguished wife. Harold has spent his entire working life on the tracks and once his railway line runs into financial trouble, so does Harold. The decline of the railway line unnervingly and unceasingly goes hand in hand with the decline of the man. When the inevitable comes to pass and the line closes for good, the seriously ill Harold goes missing.
Mary struggles in the wake of her loss, unable to properly grieve. Adding to her distress, rumours emerge of a ghostly presence roaming the railway tracks in the days and weeks following Harold’s disappearance. Reported sightings of an ethereal figure standing on the footplate of a phantom locomotive cannot escape Mary’s attention, and although she initially attempts to dismiss the rumours as wild speculation, a product of vivid imaginations, an all consuming doubt remains. The story climaxes as Mary decides that she must know the truth behind Harold’s vanishing act. Mary’s last act is to head down to the railway line as she must investigate the supernatural rumours for herself.