A jet engine powered train… is that a fast train or what?

Tuesday, 7 October, 2014

Soviet Turbojet Train

A Soviet era turbo train, powered by aircraft-like engines, was designed to reach speeds of 360 kilometres per hour (about 220 miles per hour). It managed to reach 250 kilometres per hour during tests, but was never used commercially on account of its high fuel consumption.

That’s too bad really… travelling by a train with an aircraft engine would have almost felt like flying, and without the hassle of having to board a flight.

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Last train for Brighton, just leaving now

Thursday, 5 September, 2013

High speed footage, recorded over a sixty year period, of the train journey from London’s Victoria station to Brighton on the south coast, that takes less than four minutes… what a way to travel to Brighton.

Although the journey has been filmed three times since 1953, in 1983, and then 2013, unless you have a super keen eye for detail, you’ll only discern fairly minor changes along the route.

Blink, and you’ll miss Clapham Junction, on the way out there.

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Why travel by train when you can watch a video of the trip instead?

Monday, 3 June, 2013

Here’s a diversion with a difference, if you have a few, maybe many, spare hours that is… a collection of video clips of trains journeys from across the globe.

Some run for almost ten hours, but this trip, of the train that runs between the Swiss towns of Vevey and Puidoux-Chexbres, clocking in at about eleven minutes, will give you a taste of what to expect. Go full screen for best results.

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When you’re train-hopping the journey becomes the destination

Thursday, 4 April, 2013

Arizona born photographer, turned train-hopper, Mike Brodie has spent much of the last ten years travelling across the US aboard freight trains, and has, needless to say, amassed a fair few photos in the process.

Train-hopping might look relatively carefree, but it would be far from an easy life as this selection of photos shows (one or two images NSFW).

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Model trains, the key perhaps to a model life of happiness

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

Members of the Melbourne Model Railway Society seem to be pretty content with their lives, could their apparently all consuming interest in their model trains be something to do with it?

The world is a foul and meaningless place full of pimps and mutant wolves. And who isn’t fucked up and miserable about that fact? People with hobbies. It’s as though by finding something you love and climbing all up in it until it’s so tight around you that you can barely breathe, the misery can’t squeeze its way in. Maybe I’m oversimplifying it. Or maybe people with hobbies are as morbid as the rest of us but we only ever see their weirdly contented exteriors.

Doesn’t have to be model trains of course. I expect that anything on the up, that keeps the mind away from negative thoughts, would have the same affect though.

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You’ll never be late home if you’re travelling on this train

Friday, 18 January, 2013

Canadian Jason Shron recently built an exact replica of a VIA Rail train carriage… in the basement of his home. Fitted out with original fixtures and fittings, salvaged from a carriage that was to be scrapped, it also has an audio-track mimicking the sound of a train moving along rail lines.

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Think about it, where would you be without London Underground?

Friday, 16 November, 2012

150 great things about the Underground: in January 2013 the London Underground transit system will have been with us for 150 years.

Just for a minute lets forget all the signal failure, the trains that didn’t show up, and what have you, and instead reflect on its positive aspects. And of those there are many. Imagine for instance trying to move across London if there were no tube at all?

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There ain’t been a train through here since sometime last century

Monday, 12 November, 2012

Well if, and only if, the rail tracks in question are no longer in use, and I have to say some of the tracks featured here look to be in pretty good condition considering they’re meant to be disused, then rail riding with a go-kart specially adapted for use on train lines, looks like a fun way to while away a lazy summer’s afternoon.

Aside from trains, or just maybe other go-karts approaching from the opposite direction, you also need to be mindful of obstructions such as rocks or branches along the track, though mowing down overgrown weeds looks like it would add to the excitement.

By the way, there’s a wee bit of coarse language in case you’re watching this at work.

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Last train to Switzerland

Thursday, 23 August, 2012

The Bernina Express, is a rail/tram line that takes travellers from Tirano, in Northern Italy, to the Swiss town of Chur… to have the time to be wandering about Europe finding things like this.

(Thanks Steve & Mandi)

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Mass transit systems, individual by circumstance yet still generic

Tuesday, 22 May, 2012

While the subway, or underground, train systems of many medium to large cities may not have been designed according to any sort of standard plan, or layout, each system is after all unique to the environment it is built in, they nonetheless have a number of common traits, no matter how divergent their individual design.

First, subway networks can be divided into a core and branches, like a spider with many legs. The “core” typically sits beneath the city’s center, and its stations usually form a ring shape. The branches, which are more linear, extend outward from the core in many directions. Second, the branches tend to be about twice as long as the width of the core. The wider the core, the longer the branches. And subway systems with more stations tend to have more branches. The number of branches corresponds roughly with the square root of the number of stations. Last, an average of 20 percent of the stations in the core link two or more subway lines, allowing people to make transfers.

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