Decades ago, a bus journey from Butterworth to Padang Serai (where my aunty lived) would take us through a little town called Tasik Gelugor (‘半路店’ in Chinese, meaning ‘halfway shop’).
There was a gated railway level crossing at the fringe of this town. For a young boy, the Great Expectation was, hopefully, the bus would arrive in time to witness a train passing. (And many times it happened!) Wow, what a delight to watch the long string of heavy coaches and metal wagons go rumbling by, preceded by several long puffs of the airhorns from the locomotive! Choo-oo! Choo-oo!
There was a railway worker stationed at the crossing, to manually move the gates into positions to barricade the road traffic whenever a train was due to cross. Size did matter – and always had the right of way.