TREVOR "The Games Man"

[Games & Puzzlers]

The Great Crush Collision
Photo Puzzle

by TREVOR "The Games Man"

This is dedicated to William Crush, Scott Joplin, and my Pop.*


(sung to the tune of I've Been Working on the Railroad)

"I've been working on the railroad
Ever since last May.
I've been working on this puzzle
Now I'm sending it your way.
Can't you see my green truck drivin',
Cars, train, and red bus, too.
Can you put it back together            
So their order's true?"


The day I bought my brand new green pickup truck, I was so excited that I hired a photographer to snap some pictures of my first trip. How was I to know, as I sat in the parking lot with two cars, a bus, and a train, that this initial outing would end in disaster for all of us?

When I got the pictures back from the photo shop, they were all switched around. Can you put them back in their right order?


The Rules of the Railroad:
1. Standard railroad physics apply: vehicles must stay in the tracks, i.e., no 90° turns at crossroads or any other turns at other intersections (unless the tracks actually go that way, of course), etc.
2. All vehicles move forwards except as noted in Rule 3 below. NOTE: Although the blue car has no apparent differentiation between front and back, it drives as if it does.
3. Exception to Rule 2: Single vehicles (i.e., the truck, cars, and bus) (the train doesn't fit) may back up from either direction through the left branch of the "Y" leading to the dead end siding in the center of photo A where the yellow car is parked.
4. Vehicles may occasionally park for a while at the siding or in the parking lot.
5. Different vehicles move at different — although self-consistent — speeds.
6. The photos are taken at uneven intervals, although the vehicles still all move at their own consistent speeds.
7. You may notice that my little green truck is at the center of each picture.
If you think you've got it right, send your answer to me. If you're correct, you may win a cool but nearly valueless prize.
* In 1896, Missouri-Kansas-Texas RR ("the Katy Line") agent William George Crush staged a head-on train collision as a paid spectator event for over 3,000 attendees. Later that same year, ragtime virtuoso Scott Joplin commemorated the event with his classic ragtime piece The Great Crush Collision. It's one of the Joplin pieces my Pop liked to play back when he was in his ragtime piano phase. Hence the dedication.




[Games & Puzzlers]


PO Box 463, Haydenville, MA 01039