I like trains. I don't want to discourage people from an interest in trains. And I don't want a couple of kids jailed just for a little foolishness. But what they were doing was dangerous. In fact, if Amtrak had been on time that day (it was actually 90 minutes late), the eastbound California Zephyr would have come through while they were there, and I wouldn't have put it past them to shoot at the train. That probably wouldn't have done any harm, but the chances were there on a lucky shot. Anyway, I decided to call the non-emergency sheriff's department dispatch line. After a wait — 911 calls come first! — I described the situation, and the dispatcher said she'd send someone out.
About ten minutes later, a sheriff's squad car rolled up, and a deputy got out and called the boys over and talked to them. I don't know what she told them, but she then drove away, and the boys walked across the tracks to the open field on the far side. This is also dangerous, although not too bad here in Fernley where you can see for several kilometers in both directions on the straight track. A few minutes later, the kids re-crossed the tracks and went off somewhere else.
I didn't want to get the boys into too much trouble. I just wanted someone in authority to impress upon them that they shouldn't be doing what they were doing. I considered going over and talking to them myself, but I feared that (a) they wouldn't pay any attention to Random Old Guy and (b) they might decide that shooting at our windows might be a fun way to pass the time.