Sydney is not only home to the Harbor Bridge, the Opera House and what is probably the world’s most beautiful waterfront city, it also boasts a monorail The monorail links the entertainment districts of Darling Harbor and China town with the shopping and business precincts of the city. The loop is elevated above the city streets offering a great way to get around and a different perspective on this amazing city. The monorail is ran by the city’s Metro Transport and operates from around 7 am until 10 pm in the evening. There are eight stops along the 12 minute loop and a monorail usually comes past each station within about five minutes. The monorail system commenced operation in 1988 in what at the time was a fairly controversial project, but over the 20 plus years of service the monorail has become a familiar and much loved form of transport around Australia’ s largest city taking thousands of passengers every day.
Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world and being so big it has a pretty decent transport system. At times like the morning and afternoon rush hours the trains can become overcrowded, sometimes reaching over 200% capacity. Because of this station employees formally known as “passenger arrangement staff” but nick named “Oshiya” (Pusher in English) are stationed on the platform to direct passengers to empty carriages and to help them into crowded carriages. Watch the video above and you will see what we mean. If you also think there may be a chance of getting felt up while in the packed train well the Japanese have a plan for that as well with special carriages for woman only known as Josei Senyo Sharyo. These carriages will have a image of a woman on the door and often feature a pink stripe along side of them and were put in place as many woman felt uncomfortable in the packed carriages due to the amount of groping incidents (known as chikan).
Now if it is 3 top things we like about traveling it would be fast trains, Disneyland and Las Vegas. Unfortunately you can’t combine all three in the one trip, but that may change in the future according to this Slashdot story. Apparently the Bush administration has approved 45 million in funding towards a 300mph maglev train to link Disneyland to Las Vegas in under 2 hours. Maglev’s have been touted as the future of train travel as their speed is comparable to an aircraft but by being a train can move more people to and from a central city spot. The biggest problem with maglev’s is building the track that allows the train to levitate magnetically is frightfully expensive. The Shanghai system in China (video above) cost around 1.2 million US to build a 30 klm track and experts predict that this money will never be recouped over the life of the train via its fares. Apparently the 45 million set aside for the US system is to pay for environmental studies on the first leg of the project. With the length of the proposed track being around 250 miles we hate to think how much the train will cost if completed. Perhaps Bush’s plan is to make it so expensive GM will never be able to buy it to close it down! What do you think great idea or white elephant? Hit up our comment form below. Read the rest of this entry »
The Trans Siberian Railway is one of the world’s great railroad journeys linking Moscow to Beijing via 9,288 kilometres of track that spans eight time zones. The project to build the rail was one of the most expensive in Russian history at the time the first stage was opened in 1916. Technically the Trans Siberian Railway ends at Vladivostok but branch lines continue to North Korea and via the Trans Manchurian line or Trans Mongolian line to Beijing. The video above has a few good shots of the wonderful Russian landscape, it’s no surprise watching this one that this rail journey is so popular. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most scenic places on earth would have to be Canada’s Rocky Mountains and there is no better way to see it than with luxury train travel. Canada has a large selection of rail options taking in much of the country’s breathtaking outdoors. Some of the carrages are even equipped with glass roofed windows to take in the slendor of the amazing countryside. Sit back and enyoy this weeks You Tube of the week and get a glimpe of the best of Canada on rail.
A video that has been hitting our email boxes recently prompted us to do a bit more investigation on it, it is of a market on a railway line in Thailand where the market stall holders have to adjust their stalls displays and verandas every time the train comes down the track. The video is often miscredited as in Bangkok but it is really located in Samut Songkhram on the maeklong railway. Samut Songkhram sits on the River Kwai just before it exits into the bay of Bangkok. There is no bridge on the River Kwai, well not for trains at least as when you get the river everyone has to hop onto a ferry to continue their rail journey on a waiting train on the other side of the river. Read the rest of this entry »
If you want to see a live performance in New York you don’t need to visit Broadway or a nightclub, all you have to do is hop on the Subway. Once banned, busking in New York’s subway system has flourished since the mid 1980’s, with the subway operators even picking out the better ones and giving them approval to perform in the top spots on the subway, via their Music Under New York program.
Even with all the hand picked licensed buskers there are still plenty of unapproved buskers that range from fantastic to just plain awful. A common occurrence is buskers that ride the trains raking in money from carriage to carriage with performances that range from barbershop quartets to break dancers, so if you are on the subway and some one breaks out into song don’t be alarmed, it’s art. Read the rest of this entry »
The Eurostar is the famous train that takes passengers from Waterloo Station in London to Paris’ Gare du Nord as well as to Brussels South. Travel time between London and Paris has been around 2 hours 35 mins in the past but recently by using a new high speed track in the UK a new record has been broken at 2 hours and 3 min. Previously once the train hit the UK the trains had to slow down to use the British rail network along side other trains. Now the new high speed track brings the trains to a new terminal at St Pancras at the same speed as the French side, proving the British can be as good as the French! If you need to get from London to Paris go the train instead of the plane, its the quickest way to get from the centre of one city to the centre of another. Read the rest of this entry »
The Subway system of Moscow is truly a must see. Mostly built during the Starlin era, the stations are more like museums than subway stations. Many of the Metro stations feature ornate artworks and statues that depict images of the bygone communist era, in a form of artwork often described as Socialist realism. The video above is a few short shots of many stations, hit the next page for a slide-show of various other magnificent stations.