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I wanna be where you are

On a hazy February day in 2011, a special rainbow-colored train sped down the tracks to celebrate the newly-completed bullet train line spanning the island of Kyushu, Japan, and everybody came out to greet it.
posted by Sokka shot first on Aug 19, 2013 - 19 comments

 

Hyperloop

HYPERLOOP Elon Musk & SpaceX finally reveal their plan for a radical new mass transportation system, Hyperloop.
posted by GuyZero on Aug 12, 2013 - 300 comments

Good News Railfans!

Beginning later this year, Amtrak will begin replacing its 30-year-old fleet of locomotives on the Northeast Corridor and Keystone Corridor with brand new trains. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on May 13, 2013 - 62 comments

Affordable private railcars!

We have previously discussed private railcars on Ask Metafilter, but there is a growing hobby of people owning and running their own railcar speeders. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Nov 15, 2012 - 31 comments

Boss Rail

"The Wenzhou crash killed forty people and injured a hundred and ninety-two. For reasons both practical and symbolic, the [Chinese] government was desperate to get trains running again, and within twenty-four hours it declared the line back in business. The Department of Propaganda ordered editors to give the crash as little attention as possible. “Do not question, do not elaborate,” it warned, on an internal notice. When newspapers came out the next morning, China’s first high-speed train wreck was not on the front page." [How a high-speed rail disaster exposed China's corruption]
posted by vidur on Oct 15, 2012 - 22 comments

US Rail meets the 21st century

It's been a big week for high speed rail proponents and infrastructure hawks. This week, the California Legislature approved startup funds for the $68 billion high-speed line linking San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento and points in between. Today, Amtrak unvelied its $151 billion plan (PDF) for the Northeast Corridor. Both will take decades to complete. Detractors worry about exploding costs and operating losses, while supporters stress jobs, mobility, and international competitiveness. Europe and Japan have lapped us a few times over. However, those who want to do this quickly and cheaply might want to take a lesson from once-ambitious China.
posted by moammargaret on Jul 10, 2012 - 245 comments

The Big Train

"The Big Train" and other classic 1950s and 60s publicity reels from the New York Central Railroad. Lots of footage of trains, railroad infrastructure, well-dressed office minions, teletypes, punchcard machines, men in white lab coats, bubbling beakers, and even an "atomic signal light." [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jun 19, 2012 - 10 comments

Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.

Network Rail virtual archive Original drawings and plans of Britain's railway infrastructure from Network Rail, including the Forth Bridge, Bristol Temple Meads station, the Tay Bridge and lots more.
posted by Helga-woo on Mar 4, 2012 - 6 comments

San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 38 minutes

Does California need the high-speed rail project? The New York Times published six opinion pieces debating the merits of the $90 billion high-speed rail plan that would connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. Streetsblog has a summary of the six opinions. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Jan 27, 2012 - 122 comments

Melbourne to Brisbane in six hours

Australia's federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport has released an initial report into the prospects of building a high-speed rail link joining the eastern states. The report (which may be found here) lists a number of potential corridors joining Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, and gives the total cost of building the system at AUD100bn. The resulting system would allow journeys between Melbourne and Sydney (currently the world's fourth busiest air route) in just under three hours, and Sydney and Brisbane in a further three. Tickets between Melbourne and Sydney would be priced at AUD99 to AUD197, with Sydney-Brisbane tickets being slightly cheaper. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 4, 2011 - 50 comments

Making trails through the Mail Rail

Urban explorers surreptitiously gain access to the Post Office Railway underneath London, take lots of photos.
posted by grouse on Apr 19, 2011 - 37 comments

Snow (1963) — A stunning mix of spectacle, social commentary, and snowbound trains.

Snow is a short film directed by Geoffrey Jones (1931-2005) and shot by Wolfgang Suschitzky [imdb], simultaneously spectacle and social-commentary it can be viewed online (YouTube). Snow was made under the aegis of British Transport Films (wiki) and nominated for an Oscar in 1965; unable to afford to licence his choice of soundtrack—“Teen Beat” by Sandy Nelson—Jones enlisted Johnny Hawksworth to rerecord “Teen Beat” with an altered tempo and effects by Daphne Oram [wiki, BBC]. The result is a masterpiece of sound and image.
posted by nfg on Feb 4, 2011 - 11 comments

High-Speed Rail off-track in Ohio

Depending on who you ask, Ohio's C3 Railroad project is either a) a conventional railroad project that's going to restore slow rail service between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati or; b) it's a visionary initiative of President Obama and Transportation secretary, Roy LaHood, that has the intention of rebooting Ohio's entire infrastructure. [more inside]
posted by vhsiv on Nov 11, 2010 - 49 comments

Better Than Jet Packs

Jet Trains! Jet Trains! The Americans built one, so the Soviets had to build one, too. The Soviet one appears to be in disrepair now.
posted by klausness on Aug 22, 2010 - 16 comments

American railways

High-speed railroading
America's system of rail freight is the world's best. High-speed passenger trains could ruin it [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 31, 2010 - 81 comments

Details, details, book me a train and don't bother me with the details

From London to St. Petersburg with the Man in Seat 61. Actor Kenneth Cranham travels with Mark Smith, creator of worldwide non-air travel resource website without equal Seat61.com (previously). [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Jul 21, 2010 - 24 comments

The state of high-speed rail, August 2009

The Guardian ran a series of articles looking at the state of high-speed rail travel today. France intends to double its length of track over the next decade, and China is planning a massive rail-building programme, including a high-speed line which will halve the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai to 4 hours. In Germany, domestic air travel is rapidly going extinct, and Spain's network has made day trips between Madrid and Barcelona a possibility. The USA, which has long neglected its rail network, is planning up to 10 high-speed lines. Meanwhile, Britain's only high-speed line goes to France, but there is talk of a 250mph line from London to Birmingham and beyond, possibly by the early 2020s. Meanwhile, the CEO of France's rail operator, SNCF, weighs in on what the UK should do.
posted by acb on Aug 7, 2009 - 49 comments

They don't make 'em like they used to.

Beautiful train stations that fell to the wrecking ball.
posted by gman on Jun 23, 2009 - 72 comments

Karma police, arrest this man

GM is struggling to survive, announcing today tens of thousands of layoffs and plant closings by next year, and eliminating the Pontiac Brand. Meanwhile just a few weeks ago, the president announced a high speed rail plan [pdf] between many major cities. An interesting turn of events since the documentary Taken For a Ride uses interviews and public records to argue that GM deliberately killed off transportation via rail.
posted by cashman on Apr 27, 2009 - 91 comments

The Forbidden Railway - a train trip to Pyongyang

In September of 2008, two Austrians traveled 13,000km by rail from Vienna to Pyongyang - without asking permission and going through the official Koran travel agency. [more inside]
posted by dunkadunc on Apr 5, 2009 - 36 comments

Crush, Texas - Town for a Day

The "Crash at Crush" was the intentional head-on crash of two Katy locomotives on Sept. 15, 1896. The results were not quite what Agent Crush had planned. Scott Joplin wrote The Great Crush Collision March [more pictures] to commemorate the event and it was also an inspiration for 'Head-On' Joe Connelly. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Sep 17, 2008 - 45 comments

The Lost Engines of Roanoke

"Looking for all the world like an engine abandoned in the Amazon jungle, M2 class 4-8-0 number 1118 lies forlorn and forgotten at the Virginia Scrap Iron and Metal yard in Roanoke, VA." The Lost Engines of Roanoke website chronicles the history of four steam locomotives that were sold in the 50's to a scrapyard in Roanoke, Virginia. There are plenty of photos of the engines and other train equipment and information on two other lost engines. The news section has been busy of late since one of the engines has been sold to a railroad themed restaurant in Bellville, Ohio. The move was photodocumented.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 25, 2008 - 10 comments

Live Japan Rail Cam

Railway TV. Live video from the front of a train in Japan. [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Dec 10, 2007 - 14 comments

Virgin? I don't think so, you saucy little wench... oh, that's the spot I like, right there.

Virgin Trains embarks on a new campaign. Richard Branson takes a new direction in getting people to think about global warming and using British rail. More here.
posted by parmanparman on Nov 1, 2007 - 40 comments

Infrastructure Report Card

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published their latest Infrastructure Report Card in 2005. America's infrastructure got a D. The ASCE estimate that it will cost $1.6 trillion over a five-year period to bring the nation's infrastructure to good condition. They also have a Critical Infrastructure blog. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2007 - 49 comments

Nuclear waste UK rail hazard?

A timetable of UK trains carrying nuclear waste. (PDF file). The related Greenpeace UK article. UK nuclear waste train route graphic. Mirror tabloid hack plants fake bomb on nuclear waste train. "The gate was open, there were no security guards. I walked up to the train and planted my bomb". The Guardian's take on the story.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 30, 2006 - 16 comments

Station to station

Inside metros. Cities with interesting stations [with links]. Some have works of art. Some are works of art. I notice Sydney, Australia is not on the list - no surprise there.
posted by tellurian on Sep 29, 2005 - 39 comments

metro bits

Metro Bits documents some of the most aesthetically pleasing world metro systems including the art/architecture, logos (variations on the 'M' theme) and views with a good selection of associated photographs and links. [via] (moscow)
posted by peacay on Aug 12, 2005 - 10 comments

Bomb plot threatens rail system in France

Bomb plot threatens rail system in France Give us money ($5M) or we blow up your tracks! And the threat contained hints on where authorities could find samples. Is this the start of a new trend, will the French Gov pay, and why France?
posted by billsaysthis on Mar 3, 2004 - 22 comments

Trains vs. Airplanes

Trains vs. Airplanes. Amtrak has reported record ridership levels for the Thanksgiving season. But the success of the rails is indebted to post 9/11 air-travel anxiety. Maybe, it would be better for travelers to stop fearing hijackings and resume flying planes instead of riding intercity trains out of fear. On the other hand, it could be a good thing that rail travel is getting a second look after years of decline.
posted by gregb1007 on Dec 3, 2003 - 51 comments

Maglev Trains

The superconducting Magnetically-levitated Linear Motor Car is a most promising high speed transportation system in the 21st century. Mechanics and future benefits of Maglev trains.(video) [more]
posted by hama7 on Mar 2, 2003 - 21 comments

The first site to use the "SuperMedia" technology from Rail is up. The new Groovetech.
posted by endquote on Nov 8, 2000 - 20 comments

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