The first National Train Day
is this coming Saturday. There will be events all over
, and concerts, special guests and lots of train related attractions in four main cities, Washington D.C.
, Los Angeles
and New York City
. The day is May 10th to commemorate May 10th, 1869
when the “golden spike
” was driven into the final tie in Promontory Summit, Utah.
It joined two major railways, ceremonially creating the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. Except that it really didn't.
That did not actually happen until August 15th, 1870, near Strasburg, CO. Colorado State officials list it
(pdf) as Comanche Crossing, saying "An unpretentious white monument
marks the spot". The "drab concrete pylon" was moved from the actual site and now sits in Lions Park. Next to the monkey bars.
posted by cashman
on May 3, 2008 -
[4.4MB PDF - mirror
]: Cooking on train motors, including recipes, cooking vessels (really, plastic bags and Gladware) pictures of where to stash the food, and resulting dishes.
posted by c0nsumer
on Oct 25, 2007 -
From 1853 to 1929 an ambitious relocation adoption program run by the Children's Aid Society, founded by Charles Loring Brace,
sent kids from urban slums and orphanages out to live on Midwestern farms, with mixed results
. Some became state governors, others suffered abuse
or servitude. Even though we use the name Orphan Train, few of these children were true orphans. Some were half-orphans, having lost one parent to disease or accident. Some had both parents but had run away do to abuse or neglect. By 1910, CAS had "placed out" over 106,000 children and the program ran for another 19 years. Also, similar programs were run by the New York Foundling Home (called Baby Trains), New York Juvenile Asylum, and the Boston Home for Little Wanderers. In all, at least, 200,000 children found themselves moved from the city to small towns and farms across the Nation.
posted by Brian B.
on Mar 16, 2007 -
Luigi Colani, Biomorphic Designer
— This prolific master
has been creating organically streamlined planes
, and other wonderful stuff
the kitchen sink
) for some 60 years
. Wherever you need to go
, you can reach your final destination
in Colani style. More designs here
, and here
[Brits and touristas take note: London's Design Museum will host a Colani exhibition, Translating Nature, from March 3 to June 17, 2007. Bibliophiles can check out the book Colani: The Art of Shaping the Future.]
posted by cenoxo
on Feb 18, 2007 -
When is suicide selfish?
Yesterday in Los Angeles a suicidal local man stabbed himself in the chest, slit his wrists, and drove his car up onto train tracks, lost his nerve and hopped out at the last minute, to watch in anguish as not one but two trains collided with his car and with each other, killing 11 people (so far) and injuring almost 200 others. [more inside]
posted by LondonYank
on Jan 27, 2005 -
Having just returned to Paradise
for a little visit, I am reminded just how cool this little place is (not that I needed much reminding *whimper*), and am looking for touristy things to do here without a car. While I was on my way up on the Pacific Surfliner
train, a fellow rider told me about Santa Barbara Car Free
. Awesome! Also props to CalTrans' alliance with Amtrak in California. The trains and service and overall quality of the passenger rail system is quite a bit different from what I've experienced thus far of the stuff handled by Amtrak alone.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Aug 2, 2004 -
The A-Train For Armchair Travellers
The Man in Seat 61, a train-mad Brit called Mark Smith, provides a wonderful guide, with lots of useful information, to train travel in Europe - though obviously catering mostly to British passengers. Choo Choo!
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Mar 16, 2004 -
Ping Pong Pang Pong ...
(MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+
] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+
] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+
]. The very excellent Shonen Knife
used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes
in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
posted by carter
on Mar 3, 2004 -
: images from the sides of boxcars, coal cars, miscellaneous freight cars and a caboose. .
posted by hama7
on Oct 19, 2003 -
. To go with yesterday's post
, today I bring you the hotel's that were built alongside the railway. Some of the gradients were so acute that when the train ascended or descended, the table settings and food flew in all directions. The weight of the cars added to the problem, as they were too much for the locomotives of the day, and the cars had to be left at the beginning of the railway's path up the mountain passes. Obviously passengers needed to be fed so a solution had to be found as soon as possible.
Have you been to any of these hotels, and if so, what was your impression? Do you have any favorite hotels?
posted by ashbury
on Jun 25, 2003 -
is a small railway town on the border of South Australia and Victoria, and was once a means for traders to escape taxes when travelling between the colonies, due to errors made when surveying the state borders. No train has stopped here since 1986, and now only a handful of people remain in the town, a sad downfall that Tom Waits
has immortalized in song. But abandoned railway stations, closed as populations decline or trade routes change, exist the world over
, in the city
and in the country
, and yes, even in France
. They look like great places to explore.
posted by Jimbob
on Mar 19, 2003 -
Bye Bye Amtrak?
"If Congress and the Administration do not appropriate adequate funds for FY '03, Amtrak may be forced to discontinue all long-distance train service
effective October 1." Rail advocacy groups have differing reactions
posted by mrbula
on Feb 2, 2002 -
AMTRAK still off-track
(NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is still
heading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?
posted by ParisParamus
on Jul 25, 2001 -
Yet another rail crash
in the UK, and trains are still not back to normal in the wake of the last one. It will be interesting to see how this increases road travel, something the country clearly isn't prepared for.
posted by methylsalicylate
on Feb 28, 2001 -