The train they call the City of New Orleans began operations in 1947 carrying passengers from Chicago to New Orleans daily. Although the train service remained popular through the 60's, by 1970 train travel was on the decline. That's when native Chicagoan Steve Goodman and his new bride, Nancy, rode the train down to visit her folks in New Orleans. That trip inspired Goodman to write The City of New Orleans and an American folk/country standard was born. The song would go on to earn Goodman a posthumous Grammy 14 years later. [more inside]
"There is at least one technology in America, however, that is worse now than it was in the early 20th century: the train." Why trains run slower now than they did in the 1920s.
Tech Columnist Andy Ihnatko takes us along for the ride. For a recent trip from Kingston, RI to the East Village, Ihnatko set up a Nikon Coolpix 6000 to take a picture every 30 seconds - out the train window, then around his neck. The result is a great time lapse journey.
“Why the hell the train?” and other questions answered “The real terror is the Three+ Sheltered Old Men, because they don’t sleep and they don’t have normal conversations. They’re completely sporadic: An observation is made, perhaps it is agreed on, then anywhere from two to 45 minutes pass before the next one. That’s the random non-rhythm your brain will feed on... and you’re never going to relax or get any sleep.” As for “train love”? “Ask yourself, do you really want this? Your potential train buddy is travelling by train. What the hell is wrong with this person? After two days on the train... [y]ou’re not at your Personal Best™”