Traintrackr is a light-up circuit-board map of the London Underground or Boston Metro

Traintrackr is a powered circuit board showing a map of the London Underground, lighting up in real time to show train positions on 333 stations on all 12 main lines. It connects to the tube's API for live location data every second. The board is 400mm x 300mm and sells for £249. (There's also the Boston Metro) Read the rest

A train engineer in California took the Trolley Problem way too literally and did it bad

Around 1pm on Tuesday, March 31, a 44-year-old train engineer named Eduardo Moreno allegedly derailed a train at full-speed, careening it towards the USNS Mercy, a Navy medical ship for COVID-19 patients that was anchored in the Port of Los Angeles. Fortunately, Moreno's train never actually reached the boat and no one was hurt, although did crash through some concrete barriers and leak a substantial amount of fuel into the parking lot.

According to ABC News:

Moreno allegedly told officers and FBI investigators that he deliberately derailed the train because he was suspicious of the Mercy's intentions and thought it was actually part of a government takeover, the complaint said.

"Moreno stated that he acted alone and had not pre-planned the attempted attack," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California. "While admitting to intentionally derailing and crashing the train, he said he knew it would bring media attention and 'people could see for themselves,' referring to the Mercy."

In an interview with FBI agents, Moreno stated that "he did it out of the desire to ‘wake people up,’" according to the complaint.

In other words, Moreno was driven to potential mass destruction by his dogged belief in a conspiracy theory, much like PizzaGate and the MAGA Bomber.

Upon reading this news, I immediately thought of the Trolley Problem, an ethical dilemma used in philosophy discussions where a (hypothetical) runaway train or trolley is on course to kill a certain people, but there is an opportunity to flip the switch and divert the train, which would cause some other sort of damage. Read the rest

Watch: A fast moving train smashes right into a car on the tracks, yet the driver is ok!

On Tuesday, a driver in South Los Angeles turned onto the light rail tracks at the absolute worst possible moment. According to police, the individual amazingly suffered only "scrapes and bruises." From ABC7:

From the video, it appears a gate was down blocking traffic that would be approaching in the right lane, but there was no gate blocking the left side. With normal two-way traffic, that side would be driving into oncoming vehicles in any case.

It was not immediately apparent if there were any flashing lights or bells working at that crossing.

Read the rest

1896's "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" upscaled and smoothed with AI

The 1896 film "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" was not shot in 4k at 60 frames per second, but it gets there in this remastering using neural networks. The result has some uncanny, distracting warping going on, but it's nonetheless detailed and transporting.

Denis Shiryaev:

Upscaled and resounded version of a classic B&W movie: Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, The Lumière Brothers, 1896

For reference, here's the original:

And here's a 2012 "Remake":

Read the rest

Incredible aerial video of a Bangkok market set up on a railway track

This video of Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok was shot in time-lapse but it's clear that people have to shake a leg when a train comes chugging through.

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Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok By @demas . Follow @outofmind #bangkokthailand #railwaystation #foodmarket #trainride #aerialview #transporter

A post shared by OutofMind (@outofmind) on Jan 9, 2020 at 1:23pm PST

From Wikipedia:

The railway became famous for its route through the Maeklong Railway Market, nicknamed (Thai: ตลาดร่มหุบ; RTGS: Talat Rom Hup), meaning the "umbrella pulldown market". It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, and is centred on the Maeklong Railway's track. Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed.

YouTube has a number of ground level videos of the market. Here's one:

Image: Instragram screengrab

[via the New Shelton wet/dry] Read the rest

Trains perform Pachelbel's "Canon in D Major"

Vigilant trainspotters will notice Thomas the Tank Engine sitting in with these real world trains. Delightful editing by Pavel Jirásek using source material from the video below (and elsewhere):

(via The Kid Should See This and Kottke) Read the rest

A freight train's emergency brake is applied at 40 MPH. How long does it take to stop?

This video captures a freight train engaging its emergency brake (about 2m in) and grinding slowly to a stop. Momentum is everything... until it's nothing. Read the rest

Train passenger simulator

BigBread's No Destination is a "game" in the classic spirit of Desert Bus, and you don't even have to make the occasional steering adjustment. Just sit and enjoy the journey, looking out of a train coach at the procedurally-generated hills and woods of wherever it is you are.

It's just the first entry I've checked out from from the 2019 ProcJam -- "Make something that makes something" -- and there are dozens more experiments, artworks and according-to-Hoyle games to enjoy.

An endless train ride, a sitting simulator. Just a relaxing time

Left mouse button to sit in a seat Right mouse button to hide the cursor wasd to move around spacebar to get up escape to quit / close the game

Read the rest

God of Death deployed to enforce railway laws in India

In Mumbai, India, the Western Railway deployed a police officer dressed as Yamarāja, a Hindu god of death, to educate commuters about railway safety and enforce the laws. From Zee News:

Railway Ministry's handle warned the people in Hindi, "Do not cross the track in an unauthorised manner, it can be fatal."

"If you cross the track in an unauthorized way, then Yamraj will be standing in front of you," Railway Ministry added.

In 2018, as many as seven people on an average lost their lives on a daily basis due to carelessness in crossing railway tracks illegitimately. At least 1,476 people had lost their lives while crossing the railway tracks while over 650 people died after falling off the trains.

Read the rest

Gorgeous photos of Soviet subway stations

Photo of a Soviet subway station by Christopher Herwig

Christopher Herwig is a photographer who previously did a fantastic series of photos of Soviet-era bus stops.

Now he's back with a book of photos of Soviet subway stops -- and they are, if anything, even more mesmerizingly gorgeous. The USSR really went in for epic geometric patterns receding into the infinite distance. The book's available here, and his Instagram is here.

Some more photos of stops are below, but here's a bit from a Colossal post talking about how he got exposed to the subject:

Herwig explains that he became interested in the underground architecture of the stations while visiting Moscow and Tashkent. Because many of the metro stations were used as nuclear bomb shelters, they were considered military sites and photographing them was prohibited. “Although I likely could have gotten away with a few images I really wanted to do the series properly and cover all the cities in the former USSR with metro lines not just a few flashy ones in Moscow,” he told Colossal. “With restriction being lifted in many of the cities it meant I could have a go at it.”

Herwig’s images take viewers on a journey through the architectural and political influences of decades pasts. Soviet-era symbols, relief sculptures of significant events and figures, and displays of opulence cover every square meter of the well-maintained subterranean spaces. Often making early morning and late night trips into the stations, Herwig says that many of the otherwise busy hubs appear to be abandoned because of his goal to “use people with purpose and not to distract from the space and design of the stations.”

Read the rest

Watch this mesmerizing spiral of small model trains

Model train hobbyist James Risner creates mesmerizing spirals from HO Scale model trains. His creations remind me of kinetic art sculptures. All aboard!

https://youtu.be/qUZVv0nr2rc

(via The Kid Should See This) Read the rest

Watch a locomotive tear down Vietnam's terrifying "train street"

Hanoi has a train track running down a thin alleyway, immediately adjacent to homes, pubs, cafes and, well, all the tourists there to see if Train Street is for real. Alexatron: "Whilst most people would argue that a train passing through their neighborhood is a crazy dangerous thing, the local Vietnamese people have turned it into a must see tourist hot spot. Trust the Vietnamese to turn a curse into a blessing and a profit.

Previously in alarming trains in Vietnam. Read the rest

Amtrak to launch nonstop Washington D.C. — New York Acela train service, weekdays only, on September 23

Finally! Holy cow this is huge news. Beginning on September 23, 2019, Amtrak will offer weekday nonstop service from the nation's political capital to its financial and media capital. Washington DC to New York and NYC to DC, weekdays only. Read the rest

So this is why train wheels are conical

Watch this short video to understand why train wheels are conical instead of cylindrical and why they have rigid axels. Read the rest

Sightseeing train station has no exit or entrance

A train station in Japan is apparently unique, in that it has no exit or entrance other than the platform. Get off the train, check out the beautiful scenery, and get right back on again.

Called Seiryu Miharashi Eki, which translates to “Clear Stream Viewing Platform Station“, this station has been built so that passengers can stop off and admire the surrounding scenery.

Read the rest

Driver turns back on train, loses it

An Australian locomotive engineer is very embarrassed.

Via Newsweek:

For around 50 minutes, the 1.2-mile locomotive sped along with 268 wagons in tow until authorities decided to remotely derail it from BHP's operations center almost 1,000 miles away in Perth.

The locomotive got free when its driver stepped out of his cab to check on one of the wagons. However, before he could get back in, the train had already set off on its unplanned journey. "While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to run away," the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) explained.

No one was injured in the accident, though the ATSB said the train was badly damaged along with around a mile of track, The Guardian noted.

Read the rest

Relax with this wintry real-time stream from a Norwegian train

Having a great time, wish I was there!

This video produced the NRK TV-program "Nordlandsbanen Minutt for Minutt", which shows ride on the train cabin driver's view through beautiful Norwegian landscape.

(via Kottke) Read the rest

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