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To All the Trains I've Loved Before


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6 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Not to further poke an open wound but the Pilgrims actually didn’t land in Plymouth first (so not only is the rock a useless plug of American history it’s also not even Pilgrim history).

The Pilgrims first set foot in present day Provincetown on Cape Cod. When they felt that the bay in Provincetown was not suitable and the terrain of the area was too difficult for habitation they moved up to Plymouth.

Let Plymouth  keep it’s rock and it’s tourists. Provincetown does not need them!

I’m glad they left Provincetown for the fabulous folk!

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22 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Not to further poke an open wound but the Pilgrims actually didn’t land in Plymouth first (so not only is the rock a useless plug of American history it’s also not even Pilgrim history).

The Pilgrims first set foot in present day Provincetown on Cape Cod. When they felt that the bay in Provincetown was not suitable and the terrain of the area was too difficult for habitation they moved up to Plymouth.

Let Plymouth  keep it’s rock and it’s tourists. Provincetown does not need them!

I loved whale watching from Provincetown.  It was amazing and you save the entire ride from Boston to get to the good spots.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Jaxson checks out the amazingly rapid growth of Salt Lake City’s light rail system:

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/im-smaller-than-jax-and-i-have-rail-salt-lake-city

It puts the lie to the notion that a medium-sized, low-density city can’t use fixed transit. (In 2021, SLC was the 46th largest MSA with a pop of 1.67m, per wiki).
 

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On 8/18/2022 at 8:18 AM, spenser1058 said:

The Jaxson checks out the amazingly rapid growth of Salt Lake City’s light rail system:

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/im-smaller-than-jax-and-i-have-rail-salt-lake-city

It puts the lie to the notion that a medium-sized, low-density city can’t use fixed transit. (In 2021, SLC was the 46th largest MSA with a pop of 1.67m, per wiki).
 

It was an extremely nice system.  Loved it.

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On 6/21/2022 at 8:32 AM, JFW657 said:

I've ridden MARTA in Atlanta before a long time ago.

It was really nice.

Convenient too.

Friend and I were camping at Stone Mountain about 20 miles or so east of downtown. Caught a bus at the entrance to the campsite, took us to the train station which I believe was/is in Doraville (made famous in song by the Atlanta Rhythm Section) then the train carried us into Five Points in the heart of DTA.

My next system will be MARTA!

Much like @JFW657I found it to be nice & convenient.  Another similarity is that I haven't ridden it in a very long time now because I haven't bothered to visit the ATL in a long time.  It's not one of my favorite cities and is home to my least favorite airport I've ever been to.

 

The MARTA system is 4 lines that run both above and below ground.  In 2009 they switched to color name (Red, Gold, Blue, and Green) but when I was last there they had actual names.  The colors put them more in line with the rest of the planet.  There are really only 2 full lines and 2 spurs, but as I have specifically complained about Boston's spur lines keeping the same line names,  how they do it in Atlanta is how I prefer it to be.  I'm fine knowing I probably want the Blue line if I'm going E/W and the Red line if I'm going N/S but knowing that for almost any trip inside the city center I can also use Green with the Blue and Gold with the Red.

The hours are solid.  The rolling stock are the typical stout wide-body Hitachi/Breda trains that are so popular around the world.  They are generic and provide a generic amount of comfort with a slightly higher capacity than some sleeker rolling stock.  These are the Toyota Camry/Honda Accords of trains.  They won't wow you, but they are everywhere and they do a great job at what they are supposed to do.  Supposedly, they are being replaced with Stadler, who make virtually all the trains in Switzerland and all the regional trains in that general area of the world.  They *can* make a generic stout wide-body rectangular train, but their normal trains are much sleeker and cooler.  Their custom trains in Berlin are the saddest looking ones you'll ever see.

MARTA also runs the Atlanta Streetcar, which I've never had the chance to use.  I've read about it and love the Siemens S70 rolling stock they use.  Those are great trains (Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City) that I've discussed before.  It runs in a 2.7 miles loop around downtown, but they are planning to expand it, but nothing has been funded or designed. 

 

 

 

Atlanta is having a ton of trouble with their huge project called The Beltline which is a multi-use trail that will eventually do a 22 mile loop around the neighborhoods surrounding downtown.  I actually read a lot of the website and it doesn't get a lot clearer because they use a lot of dream words instead of action words.  They are supposed to be making a 22 mile loop around downtown to connect neighborhoods that were cut off from each other.  That sounds awesome.  This project is supposed to connect the 5 most used hiking trails and a bunch of parks in the area via this new loop and there are supposed to be art installations on the entire route.  That also sounds awesome.  There is also supposed to be a streetcar route.  That is another awesome sounding project.  Basically, you could walk, bike, roll, skate, dance, ride a streetcar, or whatever around this 22 mile loop and use it however suits you best.  However, it sounds like instead of being handled by engineers OR hikers OR artists, they hired a hik-ineer-ist  instead.  It's all over the place.  It reads like some of it will be done in 5 or 6 years and it might be complete in about 2075.

The best part is that it could connect to all 4 lines of the subway and the streetcar if they want.

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2 hours ago, HankStrong said:

However, it sounds like instead of being handled by engineers OR hikers OR artists, they hired a hik-ineer-ist instead.  It's all over the place.  

That's what I wanted to be when I was growing up, but no universities in Florida offered a program in it and I didn't want to go out of state.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let us take a journey to the other side of the world.

The Shanghai Transrapid Maglev Train (otherwise known as the current fastest train on Earth)

 

There isn't a ton to write about this experience as it only went from one station in Pudong (where our hotel was) called Longyard Station to the Shanghai Pudong Airport.  As we flew in to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, I didn't get to take the maglev both directions.  It cost us around $10 each for VIP (1st class) seats one-way because you get a discount for having airline tickets which is a bargain.  I believe this is now around $12 one-way and $20 round trip.  It's a few bucks more without an airline ticket, if you just wanted to ride the train.  The train actually goes different speeds depending on your trip.  The slow trip is 300kph (186mph) and the fast trip is 431kph (268mph) and there was a zero-percent chance I was riding the slow one if I had a choice.  I did and we arrived a bit too early for our flight because of it, but I'd rather have what was likely my only shot riding it be on the fast version.

We got out of the station and didn't seem to be moving that fast.  We got around a bend and TOOK OFF.  We were up to 200kph in seconds.  250kph.  300kph.  This is when I got worried that we were misled (not speaking Mandarin) because it stayed solid at 300kph for at least 30 seconds.  I thought we were done.  It turns out we just had to get past some section and suddenly we were hitting 350kph and 400kph in a matter of seconds.  According to the sign in our car our ride capped out at 429kph, but I suppose that's not too bad.

The seats were very comfortable in VIP and unless you are Chinese-sized you might want to consider it.  The train was insanely smooth.  At top speed you didn't feel any vibration and I stood a coin on end on the window sill without it even threatening to fall over.  It definitely didn't go top speed for the bulk of the trip, but I would guess it was about half of the trip.  We took the curves a bit slower and the Wiki page says the average speed is ~250kph and I'd agree with that.  The entire trip was less than 8 minutes long.  I'd guess from boarding to disembarking was ~15 total.  If traffic is bad, this trip is about 45-90 minutes in a car.

The guide/translator we had hired faked me out and told me "Mr. Hank, the train is broken today.  We must drive." because she knew I was extremely excited to go on it.  I was sad and she said (and this is a quote) "Mr. Hank, I have made an Aston Kutcher on you!  You are now punked!"  Even in 2017 this was a very dated reference, but I laughed so hard at it.  The wife thought I was insane for laughing that hard at this joke, but I didn't care.

 

It was an amazing experience that train lovers everywhere will enjoy.

 

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