Dogs as level crossing keepers

Came across this wonderful article in May 1952’s issue of the Railway Magazine recently. It describes an ingenious use of the family pet by a railway worker on a level crossing on the Montserrat mountain railway in Spain.

When a train approached, the human crossing keeper called one of his dogs (Bo-Bi or Ku-Ki), dressed them in the natty set-up shown below complete with specs (?!), and sent them off to the crossing. The dog raised a sign on a pole – the one below says “I am called Bo-bi” in Spanish – and then, when it was all clear, returned to his human colleague for derobing.

I’m being flippant, but this particular family of humans and dogs took the role very seriously – it was a skill learnt and passed down over generations. It must have been a spectacle worth seeing. If you want to discover more gems from Railway Magazine, we have a complete set of issues in Search Engine, our archive and library centre.

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