You may remember
the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home.
If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take.
posted by jontyjago
on May 25, 2013 -
"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 -
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has just finished the initial drilling phase of the East Side Access
project to bring the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal. What are they doing with the tunnel boring machine
Giving it a funeral. (NYTimes link, use this if you need to get past the paywall)
Instead of removing the $8 million machine, the contractor responsible for this portion of the project has decided it will be cheaper to leave it in place at the end of the tunnel. This is not without precedent; some of the TBMs used for the Channel Tunnel
were turned off the tunnel mainline and left buried.
posted by spitefulcrow
on Jul 25, 2011 -
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 -
A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.
In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off
to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked
by Phoebe Snow
) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off
, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel
of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned
for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail
. [more inside]
posted by parudox
on Dec 24, 2008 -
The Saluda Grade
is the steepest standard-gauge mainline railway grade in the United States. Built by the Southern Railway, the Saluda Grade consists of a three-mile section of track that rises over 600 feet in elevation with a grade of 4.7% between the towns of Melrose and Saluda, North Carolina
. Take a virtual flyover
of the terrain with Google Earth, then ride along on the adjacent Hwy 176 in an Audi A3
. When you get to the top, don't miss Coon Dog Day
posted by netbros
on Apr 27, 2008 -
The Howling Mob Society. Looking out over the burning Strip District from the safety of his office in Pittsburgh's Union Station, Thomas Alexander Scott must have been humbled. Only days before, as president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Scott famously suggested that impoverished and striking railroad workers be given “a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread.” Now, with the local Pittsburgh militia all but mutinied and the State Militia rapidly retreating, he must have wondered if his hard-line stance had backfired… [more inside]
posted by damnthesehumanhands
on Dec 3, 2007 -
Dead Road - Museum of Communism in the Open
. "It was one of the most ambitious projects of the Stalin era, known as the 'railway of bones'
. At least 10 people a day died during the four years of its construction [actually 1947-1953], but unlike most of Uncle Joe's grand designs it was never completed and now sits unfinished in the tundra, an icy road to nowhere." The transpolar railway
was built by labour camps^
501 and 503 and construction was stopped after the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953; 800km, about half, was built. Some sections are currently in operation, but much is abandoned: depot and locomotives in Dolgoe
, Dolgoe itself
, labour camps
, more spectacular decay
. (Previously: Norilsk
, which was supposed to see an extension of the line.)
posted by parudox
on Aug 27, 2007 -
What would you think if the U.S. government decided to take six failing private companies, combine their assets into one government-operated company, and subsidized it through losses of a million dollars per day? It's something that might not happen today, but on this day in 1976, Conrail (the Consolidated Rail Corporation), took over operations
for six railroads in the northeast, putting an end to the fruitless mergers
and often-massive bankruptcies
that had become common. [more inside]
posted by Godbert
on Apr 1, 2006 -
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 -