Precious decay: photographs of abandoned Orient Express train

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Dutch photographer Brian Romeijn takes haunting shots of abandoned buildings, but his striking shots of the famed Orient Express train capture the sense of a lost era. Read the rest

Why do trains suck in the U.S.?

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This video explains why U.S. trains are slow, unreliable, expensive, and don't go where people want them to go, and why the situation is not likely to improve. Interesting fact: Amtrak operates 300 train journeys a day, while France's SNCF operates 14,000 train journeys a day. Read the rest

Freight train goes off tracks and hits perfectly-named bar

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Last night in Charles City, Iowa, a freight train car separated from the track as it was changing connections and tipped right into the back of a bar. The name of the trackside tavern? DeRailed.

Nobody was injured.

(KCCI) Read the rest

A little film about the world's largest model train installation

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Some Kind of Quest is an 11-minute documentary short about Bruce Zaccagnino, whose model train installation near NYC is one of the world's largest.

Read the rest

Enjoy the stick figure horror of Metro Los Angeles's grisly new transit safety videos!

Metro Los Angeles created a series of fun and terrifyingly gruesome transit safety animations about how not to get killed!

“Safety is our highest priority for Metro riders," said Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. "These videos are edgy by design because we want these messages to stick,” “A lapse of attention at a rail crossing or unsafe behavior at a station can have dire if not deadly consequences. Let’s all do our part to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip."

Above, "Present or Pulverized?" Below, "Careful or Crushed?," "Dismount or Dismembered?," "Mindful or Mangled"," and the always fun "Heads-up or Headless?"

Read the rest

Rare photos of the subway system in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang

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Elliott was among the first outsiders to be given access to Pyongyang's metro. Previously, only two stations could be visited. He posted a nice big gallery of photos and his reflections on a strange (and beautiful) place.

This may sound mundane, but the previously restricted Pyongyang Metro is surely one of the most mysterious, yet beautiful transit systems on earth, each station uniquely themed in ultra-nationalism, parading North Korea’s revolutionary goals and achievements to impressionable commuters. In many ways, it’s a small museum, most of which formerly hidden from outside eyes and subsequently shrouded in conspiracy theories. Sensationalism aside, here’s my journey in over sixty photos of the beating heart of Pyongyang, the Pyongyang Metro.

There are chandeliers everywhere. Even the trains are museum-pieces - and perfectly looked-after. Previously: Sycophantic Reactionary Foreign Trains Condemned Read the rest

All aboard the railroad at Tokyo Disneyland!

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While the railroad at Disneyland in Anaheim, California is out of service for a year and a half while the route is being changed and “The Star Wars Experience” is being built, I thought it might be fun to take you for a ride on The Western River Railroad at Tokyo Disneyland, which remains exactly the same as it was on park opening in 1983.

While the railroads at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris run around the perimeter of the parks and are a both a method of transportation as well as an attraction (the latter at some parks more than others), the railroad at Tokyo Disneyland is something else entirely.

Because of burdensome government regulations regarding railroad operation which would have prevented a typical Disney-style railroad that circled the park with multiple stations, the executives at The Oriental Land Company (a consortium of well-known Japanese corporations formed specifically to build and operate the Tokyo Disney park) and Walt Disney Imagineering cleverly decided to do something different.

Called “The Western River Railroad,” the attraction has four steam powered trains: The Colorado, The Mississippi, The Missouri, and The Rio Grande. There is only one station, which sits atop the entrance to The Jungle Cruise in Adventureland. It functions solely as an attraction, and so there’s a lot more to see (particularly after the subsequent construction of some major attractions after the park opened).

From the station, the train runs around the perimeter of the Jungle Cruise and then past a small scenic station called Stillwater Junction. Read the rest

Oncoming locomotive encourages slow-moving gentleman to pick up the pace

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It looks like this fellow believed he could stop the train with the power of his mind, but at the last minute realized the train wasn't going comply with his command. He ends the performance by shaking his fist and uttering a curse at the disobedient train. Read the rest

Play it now: Monologue

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You, the mustachioed Wild West villain, have just tied your nemesis to the train tracks. Can you recite your entire evil monologue before the locomotive comes barreling down? You really need them to hear this. Read the rest

Luxury South African safari train where work is forbidden

The 3-day, $2750/person Rovos Rail train safari from Pretoria to Durban is pulled by 1930s steam trains; features giant, luxurious staterooms with their own bathtubs; offers high tea; and, true to its Edwardian time-warp, passengers are prohibited from working in public areas, lest this break the atmosphere of idle wealth and privilege. Read the rest

Japanese maglev train goes 311 mph

The Central Japan Railway Company has invited members of the public to take test rides on its new magnetically levitated train, which goes over 300 mph. Visit the link to watch a video of happy riders. If Halliburton and Goldman Sachs hadn't taken all our money, we could have neat toys like this, too. Read the rest

Transcontinental train ride about the future of food

This summer, my pal Sarah Smith at Institute for the Future took a ten-day transcontinental train trip to explore the future of food systems and wrote about it at National Geographic. In this piece, she profiles how the train's chefs, who considered the experience a “renegade culinary adventure," experimented with waste management, local sourcing, daily food practices, and decadence. Read the rest

Video: camera on train tracks

BNSFME put a GoPro camera on a train tack. If you can't handle the suspense, forward to 1:00. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Mexican artists ride abandoned passenger rails in an Earthbound "spacecraft"

Calling themselves Los Ferronautas (or "railanauts"), Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene documented the impacts of the privatization — and subsequent immediate closure — of Mexico's passenger rail lines. Their home-built vehicle could travel on the rails or on the ground, from Mexico City to the Atlantic.

[Video Link] Read the rest

What it's like to take a 36-hour sleeper train from LA to Seattle

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Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, which it bills as “A Grand West Coast Train Adventure,” is its last remaining full-service sleeper train. The Coast Starlight is home to what would have previously been standard: a dining car, an observation car with floor-to ceiling windows, a movie theater, and a full slate of entertainment options, including the two complimentary wine tastings. Nicole Dieker takes the trip.

Cambodia's creaky, funky bamboo trains: like riding 'a bat'

A norry being operated by Doak Khemra moves down the tracks at the village of Stung Touch. Jesse Pesta/The Wall Street Journal.

Jesse Pesta has a wonderful, colorful piece in the Wall Street Journal about a form of transportation unique to Cambodia: bamboo trains, known locally as "norry." Snip:

In Cambodia, real trains are almost as rare as bamboo trains anywhere else. The impoverished country has a network of tracks left over from French colonial days, but there are hardly any actual trains running anymore. Only one line is in service. The railway never recovered from the horrors of Khmer Rouge murder and war decades ago.

Don't miss his great photos and videos accompanying the article online A six-year-old girl photographed just before her first norry ride is told by her mom that it would be like riding "a bat."

"Creaky Trains Made of Bamboo Still Rule the Rails in Cambodia" [wsj.com]

Read the rest

House for sale, complete with rideable scale railroad and trainyard

Marty sez, "I've seen lots of homes for sale but this one is quite unique. A rideable scale railroad encircles the property, complete with a trainyard, trestles, the works."

“Railway Resort” is Apparently a Thing (An Amazing Thing) Read the rest

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