137 posts tagged with trains.
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London transport in real time
posted by mippy on Apr 10, 2013 - 16 comments

Home Movie of Walt Disney Playing with a Model Train in 1948

Ward Kimball's home movie footage of Walt Disney playing with a backyard scale model railroad in 1948.
posted by zzazazz on Apr 4, 2013 - 5 comments

All aboard!

By the creator of the California Rail Map, and inspired by ideas from various agencies and advocacy groups: A Map of the US High Speed Rail System
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 5, 2013 - 85 comments

Don't call it a Station, It's a Terminal

On February 2nd, Grand Central Terminal turns 100. It's full of history, secrets, the location for many movies, and the site of a major squash tournament.
posted by Xurando on Jan 23, 2013 - 6 comments

Railroad Pictures Archive

Come on into the MASSIVE Railroad Pictures Archive for, well, pictures of railroads. Over 3 million photos (!), over 100k locomotive pictures. Browse by railroad (defunct railroads are under Fallen Flags!), or browse by location, or look at rolling stock (over 700k pictures!). Looking for a way in? Check out the Editor Picks and Contributor Picks pages.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 26, 2012 - 8 comments

It's A Pity Only Security See Our Graffiti

As happens all over the world regularly, one night a team of artists got together to paint some art on the sides of trains. This group, however, used their naked bodies... and a fire extinguisher. (SLVimeo, NSFW, via Common Folk Collective.)
posted by knile on Dec 22, 2012 - 44 comments

Everybody live for the music-go-round

Kim Wilde serenades passengers on a train (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 14, 2012 - 63 comments

Gottardo Nord & Sud

Trains in Switzerland's Ticino canton filmed with tilt-shift lenses: Gottardo Nord & Gottardo Sud.
posted by jontyjago on Sep 19, 2012 - 12 comments

Train foamer videos

I DID IT! I FINALLY CAUGHT A HERITAGE UNIT! (UP 5009) is a rail enthusiast video that inspired responses culminating in the Double Trainbow (caution: horns / screams).
posted by stbalbach on Aug 2, 2012 - 74 comments

It's just around the corner, English civil war

The Quiet Carriage (slv). Author Geoff Dyer discourses on the politics of the quiet carriage in trains. Part of the 5x15 initiative.
posted by Lezzles on Jul 7, 2012 - 8 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

The Widening of the American Commuter

Transit Agencies Face the New Calculus of Broader Backsides
posted by Renoroc on Jan 16, 2012 - 51 comments

This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me.

CN Turbo Train Part 2, part 3, 1970 Film‬. Canada Off the Rails: You know the story of the Avro Arrow, now discover how Canada fell from leader to laggard in another cutting edge, vastly profitable, globally relevant transportation industry, where Canadians had held a strong lead, until this Canadian homegrown industry was derailed; high-speed derailed... CN Turbo Train - "3:59" - The Lost Film (the high speed rail flickr pool is recommended viewing). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 14, 2011 - 17 comments

From The Muddy Banks Of The Ottawa

It's smooth, it's stretchy, it's waterproof - Canada's new currency feels a lot like the celluloid film you used to load into your old-fashioned camera. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Nov 14, 2011 - 67 comments

But it's just so American!

AMC's Hell on Wheels is an upcoming series created by Joe and Tony Gayton, centered around the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Joe: "I think what a lot of people think of when they think about the Transcontinental Railroad is the contribution of the Chinese immigrants." "But, it’s just so American". So the show focuses on railroad construction from the East, and the Chinese laborers story? They "ended up getting excised". [more inside]
posted by cashman on Aug 6, 2011 - 69 comments

Europe on fifteen hundred yuan a day.

Evan Osnos joins a tour group from China as they traverse Europe. In the front row of the bus, Li stood facing the group with a microphone in hand, a posture he would retain for most of our waking hours in the days ahead. In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. “Everyone, our watches should be synchronized,” he said. “It is now 7:16 P.M.” He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. “We flew all the way here,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.” [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Jul 28, 2011 - 71 comments

Can I sit down, please?

Can I sit down, please? Elizabeth Carey Smith of The Letter Office charted her progress in the subway while pregnant and presented the results in graphic form. The WSJ is there.
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 10, 2011 - 78 comments

Just hopping freights doesn't make one a Hobo. Tramps, bums, yeggs, criminals and some just plain no goods also ride the rails.

A Hobo is a person that travels to work. A tramp is a person that travels and won't work. A bum is a person that will neither travel or work. Folklore abounds with the irresistible pull or joys of the freight hopping lifestyle: "it'll get in your blood. You're not agoing anywhere. You don't care. You just ride.". The largest hobo population was probably during the Great Depression. There are fewer freight-hoppers and hobos today (around 20,000) than there were in its heyday (over 500,000), mostly because the high speed of trains today makes it dangerous to hop on and off the train. Still, there's no better way to see the world than from the top of a freight train. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Dec 9, 2010 - 38 comments

The six best n-scale train layout videos

After scanning the old 'tube for a long while, I have selected the six most appealing videos that document n-scale realism. The selection is based on realistic impression, detail (landscaping and models), and camera use. N-scale model railroading has gained ground over the years. One reason is that the 1:160 scale, while small, provides superior overall realism. This first example shows a bridge scene at three angles, then an overview shot of the entire part of the layout, and a shot of the prototype scene. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Nov 27, 2010 - 39 comments

Trains, the future, and the past

The US government is trying to blow life into the railroad's passenger services which have been declining since WWII because of production stops during the war, and government sponsoring afterward going primarily to air travel and roads. Meanwhile the French SNCF is going public in catching up with its dark past, in order to get a piece of the investment cake.
posted by Namlit on Nov 13, 2010 - 111 comments

Steam Punk

Captain Sensible travels on the historic Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch steam railway to Dungeness [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 28, 2010 - 18 comments

Rendez-vous auf den Champs-Elysées

In 1957, the year of the Treaty of Rome, founding the European Economic Community and setting the aim of an "ever closer union", the national railway companies of West Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Holland (later joined by Belgium and Spain) launched the Trans Europ Express, a joint network of first-class-only international trains for business travellers. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Oct 10, 2010 - 14 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

All That Mighty Heart

To accompany collections of posters and photographs, the London Transport Museum has recently added a number of short films to its website, including All That Mighty Heart (autoplay) showing a day in the life of London's transport in 1962. (previous 1, 2)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 1, 2010 - 13 comments

From Mountain View to Vladivostok

"The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house." [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Feb 17, 2010 - 18 comments

Lego trains!

Lego trains! "What you say?" Lego trains! "Say it again!" Lego trains! "I can't hear you!" Lego trains! "That's what I'm talkin' about!"
posted by e-man on Feb 13, 2010 - 26 comments

Well since you don't want it any more, here you go.

"You have to put two and two together, and hopefully you come up with a high-speed rail project."
The St. Petersburg Times announced today that the state of Florida will receive funding for a high speed rail project, to be announced today by President Barack Obama in his Tampa visit. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Jan 27, 2010 - 86 comments

"White Death moving down the mountainside"

"It... picked up cars and equipment as though they were so many snow-draped toys, and swallowing them up, disappeared like a white, broad monster into the ravine below." Nearly 100 years ago, on March 1, 1910, the deadliest avalanche in United States history struck the small town of Wellington, Washington. Ninety-six people died as a massive wall of snow struck two Great Northern trains stopped at Wellington to wait for the tracks to be cleared, rolling them nearly 1000 feet into Tye Creek and burying the victims under huge piles of snow, trees, and debris. [more inside]
posted by litlnemo on Jan 1, 2010 - 13 comments

We go from the ground to the mountain, baby! Without walking!

The funicular railway is a kind of cable-based railway that gives me great joy because of its peculiar shape and its uselessness for doing anything other than what it does. A funicular carriage is generally stairstepped or terraced, so you can't repurpose these cars for other uses. They generally work in a particular way, too, as pairs: one goes up the mountain, one comes down the mountain! Maybe this kind of glee is why they seem to be especially popular in Japan today, where they can be taken to many popular sightseeing areas--but a fair number of funicular railway riders are probably there for the journey, not the destination. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Aug 25, 2009 - 64 comments

Alright! Let's go on a journey — through time and space! There are 95 Pokemon stamps! Let's get all of them!

"And much like Christmas, originally about the birth of a religious savior-figure named Jesus, is now about buying things for people and hoping that they buy more things for you, much how Easter, originally about the death of a religious savior-figure named Jesus, is now about receiving rabbit- or egg-shaped chocolates, now and forever Obon is about collecting all of the Pokemon." Japan, trains, marketing, pachinko, hordes of stamp-seeking children.
posted by silby on Aug 7, 2009 - 34 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

High Speed Trains in California

Getting up to speed : "If it can get started, the California high-speed train would almost certainly be the most expensive single infrastructure project in United States history. Judging by the experiences of Japan and France, both of which have mature high-speed rail systems, it would end the expansion of regional airline traffic as in-state travelers increasingly ride the fast trains. And it would surely slow the growth of highway traffic."
posted by dhruva on Jun 14, 2009 - 77 comments

I thought the Train would never come -- How slow the whistle sang --

"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.
posted by ocherdraco on May 15, 2009 - 103 comments

On the Run from Everything but Each Other

We've covered hobo culture before, both historic and modern, but as the story of Smashley and Stogie reveals, the lifestyle of the railway traveler still exists not only for weekend adventurers but as a means of escape for troubled souls. (via)
posted by infinitywaltz on May 13, 2009 - 23 comments

I like trains

Paintings of trains. I like the energy of this one, but there are enough for everyone to have a favorite. [more inside]
posted by winna on May 9, 2009 - 14 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

Cincinnati's Union Terminal is falling apart

Cincinnati's Union Terminal has been named one of the top 50 architecturally significant buildings in America by the AIA. It was a major train station, abandoned, turned into a shopping mall, and now it currently houses the city's Museum Center. One problem, it's falling apart.
posted by Mick on Feb 23, 2009 - 24 comments

For all your infrastructure news needs

Infrastructurist. Although the blog is only a few days old, they've already debunked some of the myths of 24, interviewed Michael Dukakis, and grappled with Amtrak economics.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 5, 2009 - 27 comments

The Lackawanna Cut-Off

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 - 17 comments

Thomas' Pixelated Pickle: Or The Year in Thomas

Just over sixty years ago the Reverend W. V. Awdry told his sick son a series of stories based on real life incidents with trains, which he later wrote up as the Railway Series. Now Thomas the Tank Engine and the other engines of the Isle of Sodor (somewhere between Barrow-in-Furness and the Isle of Man) are a global phenomena, with toys, books and of course the TV series - filmed using model trains on more than 70 1:32 scale 16-by-20-foot sets, and voiced by the likes of Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin. 2008 has been a rough year for Thomas: George Carlin, who voiced the series in the US up until 1998, passed away (previously), as did David Mitton, who had written and directed over 180 episodes (and who has previously worked on the special effects for Thunderbirds). There's changes ahead for Thomas as well - this year saw the faces of the engines, which had previously been cast in silicone and attached with double sided tape, replaced by CGI faces, and from 2009 onwards Nitrogen studios in Canada will be taking over production with an entirely CGI Thomas. Meanwhile a group of British students continues the tradition of model engine-based storytelling with their YouTube based British Railway Series.
posted by Artw on Dec 21, 2008 - 74 comments

NY Subway 1905

Interior New York Subway, 14th St. to 42nd St. (1905) (sound added). In June, 1905, G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, D.W. Griffith's cinematographer, mounted a camera at the front of a train and shot 6 1/2 minutes of footage from 14th Street (Union Square) to the old Grand Central Depot, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt and architect John Snook in 1871. At the time of filming, the subway was only seven months old, having opened in October 1904. Two weeks after completing "Interior New York Subway," Bitzer shot "2 AM in the Subway," a comic short about late-night cavorting in an underground station. In March, 1905, Ray Stannard Baker (author of "What is a Lynching") called New York's new subway "a confusion of wonders" -- "the next step in the evolution of a Modern City." It would have its challenges.
posted by terranova on Dec 9, 2008 - 17 comments

Geared Steam

On a traditional steam locomotive the pistons drive the wheels directly via cranks. An unusual looking series of variants, the geared locomotives, took a different approach - using gears and driveshafts, giving them an advantage in traction at the cost of speed, making them ideal for steap grades and tight curves of logging railroads. The most common was the Shay Locomotive (video), with it's vertical pistons. Other variant included the Climax (video, seen at the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad) and the Heisler, which had it's pistons in a V-formation (video). Many examples of the geared locomotive can be found at the Northwest Railway Museum.
posted by Artw on Nov 8, 2008 - 19 comments

ferroequinology, the study of iron horses

Trains of Russia, photos from Pavoroz.com, a site about the railways of Russia, the Baltics and the C.I.S. (Commonwealth of Independent States). More than 50 000 pictures of steam, diesel, and electric locomotives, EMU and DMU trains, draisines, stations, tracks, etc. The collection is updated daily. The Turkestan-Siberian railway. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 6, 2008 - 26 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

Train in Vain

"This could take exactly 77 hours and 15 minutes, if the trains keep to schedule. Most likely, they won’t." GOOD Magazine takes a cross-country train ride to examine exactly why America's rail system sucks so badly, and where we go (slowly) from here.
posted by 40 Watt on Jul 10, 2008 - 103 comments

Choo Choo Boo Boo

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., Chicago, 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 comments

All Aboard a Train Blog

Dogcaught, a group blog about trains and the train experience. Some of the pictures are nice enough that they almost look tiltshifted. Others are beautiful and alluring. Hang around long enough and you might turn into a foamer. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jan 23, 2008 - 14 comments

This enormous red circular carriage will never fit onto the tracks!

Train tracker.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 21, 2008 - 27 comments

The Great Indian Railways

Mumbai CST (then and now) | Cuttack Railway Station | Howrah (1927) | Gorakhpur Railway Station (then and now) | Chennai Central Station (day) | Trivandrum Central {via} [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Jan 21, 2008 - 10 comments

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