Trains

IdleRich

IdleRich
I like trains. The most exciting and romantic method of travel. I love stations in the middle of Europe (or even in London in fact) where you can stand and feel something of the magic of countless destinations (and arrivals too giving then an international flavour), to the far East or just to a different country and culture. With planes you can't stand by the windows and run alongside as it pulls out. Dining cars, landscapes, days of travel through changing scenery.
Magic journeys; Orient Express, Trans-Siberian Express, across the Rockies etc Trans-Europe Express... and a handy rule of thumb, songs about trains are pretty much always good. It's a shame that Portugal doesn't properly integrate into the European system except by going ten hours north to Madrid - which means that the Portuguese don't agree with anything I said above.
Never done a really long journey (went from Moscow to Chelyabinsk which is about 44 hours I think - oh and some similar distance in Canada but we slept in a hotel over night which was cheating) but I would love to do one of those luxury ones for about a week in some kind of updated Agatha Christie art deco style but I suppose that that won't be happening any time in the near or even medium future.
 

Leo

Well-known member
love train travel. yeah, Amtrak in the US isn't quite as romantic but still enjoyable, taken it many times between NYC and Boston or Philly/WDC. I love just gazing out the window, can't tell you how many times I've brought books or magazines along and they go untouched. plus, you can get up, walk around, get something to eat or drink, lots more relaxing than flying or driving out of NYC. the trip between NYC and Boston is cool because you get to see lots of ruin porn of long-deserted factories and crappy neighborhoods in Connecticut's bigger cities, interspersed between long stretches of gorgeous fields and beaches along the coastline.

my most adventurous trips was an overnight from Paris to Barcelona, before they had the high-speed train that now takes about six hours. shared a four-person sleeper with some guy and an old woman who didn't speak any English. the guy got off halfway there, then it was just me and the old lady for about five hours. not sure if it's better now but it was a decent train from Paris, then had to switch to a real piece of shit Spanish train at the border. pretty hilarious, thought it was gonna fall apart. the Spanish immigration officers came on board and checked everyone's documents, slightly intimidating. funny how even when you have nothing to worry about, that process can be unsettling. this was back when the ETA was active, the officers carried guns and were right out of a movie.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
I'm in the south where trains are looked at as rank communism, so all my romantic travel attachments are directed at the car. Eating shitty fast food parked in the driver seat while you are gently vibrated inside the warm metal womb is one of my simple pleasures. Cars are also the perfect platform to listen to music/podcasts etc, I find more cool stuff when Im driving reguarly.

Ive got a best case dystopian vision of the future where the globe is turned into essentially an open air Wall-E space craft style system where no one owns homes and cars act as the media modules and every service is provided just like the sonic fast food chain. The population moving about freely in patterns like migratory birds
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
love train travel. yeah, Amtrak in the US isn't quite as romantic but still enjoyable,
Same thing I think... or if it's different it has a huge tradition of it own surely. Hobos train hopping and all that... and before that the rail spreading west was, I understand, a kind of symbol of US taming the wildness. Though yeah, maybe it has been supplanted by the car - US land of the motor car and also of the road movie. But - as you said - you can walk around a train and meet people which has to be bonus.
Though yeah there is something particularly wonderful if you're in central Europe and you could potentially be in I-don't-know-how-many different countries in a few hours.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I'm in the south where trains are looked at as rank communism, so all my romantic travel attachments are directed at the car. Eating shitty fast food parked in the driver seat while you are gently vibrated inside the warm metal womb is one of my simple pleasures. Cars are also the perfect platform to listen to music/podcasts etc, I find more cool stuff when Im driving reguarly.
I feel this too of course... but I think there is something different.... going where you want vs being taken on a specific route.... being trapped in a single seat vs being able to get up and walk around etc both have their magic though I agree. I thought that once I moved to the continent (just about) I would drive more (you can't have a road movie set in the UK, it's too small) and to more countries, but as yet somehow haven't got round to it.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Well in China they have ones that go at like 500km/h or something... several other Asian countries have ones that are superfast and super punctual too so I guess if that's what you look for in a train then that's your answer.
UK ones are certainly unbelievably expensive, if you wanna travel any distance on a weekend and you don't book in advance it's fucking obscene, you'd be better off buying a car.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
That doesn't surprise me in the least. Even without that jiggery pokery it was cheaper to fly London to Glasgow than it was to take the train. To compete they lowered the price at the end stations, but as soon as you were out into the sticks and flying didn't become an option the prices were higher again... it's disgusting really. They properly fucked it up.
That said it's not much better here. It's crazy that to get from Lisbon to Seville on the train you would have to go via Madrid.
 

catalog

Well-known member
I would like to travel on the trains siberian express has anyone done it? I've done two longish distance, overnight ones. One, when I was 18, Kracow to Prague, on a really old school train, hard benches. Two older guys as companions, we chatted about bukowski and they told me a bar in Prague where I could meet them. The conductor was a very large stern woman. Loads of tickets and stamping. Can only remember the view in the morning, was pretty grim.

Another more recently, in India, 18 hours between Bangalore and Bidar. We had a spare bunk in our little carriage, no one got on at bangalore, then at the next stop this bloke got in, turns out he was a cop. He chain smoked for about 3 hours and made the most disgusting nasal retching noises, as he coughed up phlegm, then went to sleep and snored non stop for the whole night.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Another more recently, in India, 18 hours between Bangalore and Bidar. We had a spare bunk in our little carriage, no one got on at bangalore, then at the next stop this bloke got in, turns out he was a cop. He chain smoked for about 3 hours and made the most disgusting nasal retching noises, as he coughed up phlegm, then went to sleep and snored non stop for the whole night.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I would like to travel on the trains siberian express has anyone done it? I've done two longish distance, overnight ones. One, when I was 18, Kracow to Prague, on a really old school train, hard benches. Two older guys as companions, we chatted about bukowski and they told me a bar in Prague where I could meet them. The conductor was a very large stern woman. Loads of tickets and stamping. Can only remember the view in the morning, was pretty grim.
Another more recently, in India, 18 hours between Bangalore and Bidar. We had a spare bunk in our little carriage, no one got on at bangalore, then at the next stop this bloke got in, turns out he was a cop. He chain smoked for about 3 hours and made the most disgusting nasal retching noises, as he coughed up phlegm, then went to sleep and snored non stop for the whole night.
Like i said, I got the Moscow to Chelyabinsk train, I think that then goes on to become the Trans-Siberian express and continues for a week or so more. My girlfriend would really like to get the train to lake Baikal and spend some time there. When we got that train I think you can pay for a seat, a private carriage with a proper bed, or something in-between. We went for the latter and ended up sharing with a Tatar couple for the first night - they were very shy and they didn't speak English, in fact I'm not sure they spoke Russian. Next day we met a guy who was dressed in a kind of string vest and he was really interested in me cos I was foreign (which happens a lot in Russia if you're not in a major hub) and kept wanting to talk and smoke cigarettes and stuff (via Liza). At every stop there are loads of people outside who coming running up to sell gherkins and pies and stuff, there was a particular type of pie I really like and I was looking for it every stop but normally without success.
 

catalog

Well-known member
i've got some video footage of the slow approach to delhi somewhere, it's brilliant, one of the best things i ever shot. just in the open carriage doorway, and the train is going real slow, cos there's people all over the tracks, whole worlds.
 

sufi

lala
i posted a transaustralia train vid like that some time back
this you will find mesmerisingly fascinating or ultra-boring
The Ghan follows one of the world's great rail journeys, taking viewers on an immersive and visually stunning ride on Australia's most iconic passenger trains. Known as the Ghan, it travels for 2979 kilometres over 54 hours from the bottom to the top of the country. It begins in the suburban city of Adelaide, traversing a seemingly endless outback that includes the magnificent red centre, ending in the tropical coastal town of Darwin at the north western tip of Australia. The transcontinental train line led to the development of central Australia and the growth of towns along its path - Port Augusta, Alice Springs and Darwin. It took an epic 127 years to complete and was constructed by local Aboriginal surveyors and early immigrants, including the famous Afghan camel drivers, after whom the train is named.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bq3jnv/the-ghan-australias-greatest-train-journey
 

Leo

Well-known member
mesmerizing. watching is like scrolling on your phone, just a little bit longer to see what's up next...

tons of train porn links on the YT page.
 
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