Archive for the ‘Rail Travel’ Category

angelsprings Tavio

February 8, 2013


If England is the mother of all railroads, then Japan certainly must be the father.  While we here in the United States struggle with getting even limited passenger train service, and our local heavy rail transit line is only 48 miles long, things are quite different in Japan.  To be sure, all of the necessary elements are present in Japan; short distances between cities, high population density and expensive car ownership.  There are literally hundreds of trains running everywhere throughout Japan.

There are, of course, some cultural differences.  Consider the Japanese pusher:


The Japanese pusher is a station attendant who works during rush hours to literally push people into the trains.  Of course, Westerners are advised by their travel agents and local hotels to stay off the commuter train network during rush hours, for obvious reasons.  Once outside the city, however, Japanese train travel is wonderful, even if the trains look  like spaceships:


The Japanese also have a whimsical streak:


That said, I stumbled across a wonderful video of a Kyoto tram.  What starts off as just another tram ride slowly draws you into a well edited slice of Japanese life.  Take a look, here:


This comes from an artist called angelsprings Tavio.  As of this writing, there have been 128 videos posted by this individual (or company), and they’re nicely done.  Take a look.


Another Great Cab Ride

February 5, 2013

We may be repeating ourselves but here’s another opportunity to be mesmerized in the cab, Gatwick to Victoria Station.

Blackfriars to Brighton

January 8, 2013

Here is a mesmerizing video leaving London on the Thameslink on a trip to Brighton from the train operators point of view. While the going is slow at first navigating through the interlockings, it picks up to 90 mph on powered third rail running as an express most of the distance. You’ll notice a chime sounds in the cab about 100 yards before passing a signal. The train frequency is enough to make a U.S. rail fan weep for what it used to be like on our shores. The man who posted this video, Darren Cafferty, has more videos here.

A Real Train in the Basement!

January 8, 2013

I’ve had some pleasant discoveries on the Web in the last few days. If I didn’t have an HO layout under construction in my basement, I would want to build something like this. Relax in your own coach anyone?

The Royal Scotsman

June 30, 2012

Now here’s a trip to potentially rival Riley’s journey across Canada. It’s not cheap, but it does involve distilled spirits so it may be worth the price. There’s an article about the train that you can access here. The train follows a variety of routes including a circle trip through Scotland, Wales and England. I would love to go to Edinburgh and hear someone call the “all aboard” for me and my bride. Someday, perhaps.