I read this in 6th grade, I think. It wasn't long at all (maybe 20 pages). I'm not sure if the story was contemporary (1970s) and used archaic language because the story was set some time ago, or if the story was actually old.
As a 6th grader, I found it a fairly challenging read. Words were used in unfamiliar ways even if the word would be familiar in another context. It would have been something I was assigned because I was an advanced reader. It wouldn't be something typically assigned for 6th grade homework in a US public school.
One man visited the switch operator in his tunnel office a few times even though the two men were strangers at the beginning of the story. Over the visits, the switch operator told of a ghostly vision he had seen before two or three tragic accidents. I specifically remember the visitor suggesting that coincidences are often anything but.
At the end of the story, the visitor thought he saw the vision described by the switch operator. Then the visitor learned that the switch operator had just been killed in an accident in the tunnel.
I remember also not being shocked by the ending. I knew it was going to be something like that, although I did enjoy the story.
It had a vintage Twilight Zone feel.
I have the mental image of the switch operator physically controlling the track with a giant lever or switch. His job was very serious, but boring. He would sometimes do math in his head (algebra was mentioned) to pass the time.
Possibly set in England. Definitely not American old-west.
Ring any bells?