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By Karen Baker on

Dogs as level crossing keepers

Librarian Karen Baker shares an entertaining recent find from our collection.

This wonderful article from the May 1952 issue of the Railway Magazine 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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