Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Urban Rail Around the World

How ever did we amuse ourselves before we had the Internet?

Well, once upon a time there was this thing called "outside" and we had a lot of fun there.  Really.

But on a day like yesterday when the rain is coming down in sheets and the temperature has dropped to the teens (celsius), curling up on the sofa with a good book and the Mac just seemed like a respectable use of one's time.

So I went a'surfing and one click led to another until I went a click too far (thanks to a "fausse manip") and I found myself watching a video of people riding the subway in Tokyo - a trip to Shinagawa station which is not too far from our old house.  And that got me thinking about the other subways I've experienced in my travels and I went looking for more videos.

I found them all on Youtube:  Tokyo, Paris, London, Montréal, Shanghai, New York City.  I selected the ones that I thought most clearly matched my experiences and I offer them to you here for your viewing pleasure.  If you have any of your own to share, just let me know and I'll add them to the post.

I think you can learn a lot about a city and its people by looking at and riding the public transportation systems.  And when you set them side by side you can make some interesting comparisons.  Check out the Shanghai video, for example, and then watch the one from New York.  Or London versus Paris.

After I completed that task I got a phone call from the family in Seattle.  My father, who wins the family prize for the most travel to some really cool/out-of-the-way/exotic places, told me of a very useful and interesting site called Urbanrail.net.  Check it out - it's a fine resource.  In his words:
It's got maps (although they are like most urban transit maps, not geographical but schematic) as well as some photographs. It's got every city I've been in that has any kind of operating rail transit, EXCEPT Timisoara, Romania, which has trams, including a new line that was under construction when I was there several years ago, and Geneva, which has one tram line out to Carouge. I couldn't remember for sure about Dushanbe, but Wikipedia implies that is has only electric trolleybuses, which are endemic in former USSR.
Tokyo 


Paris


London


Montréal


Shanghai


New York City



2 comments:

Benjamin said...

Victoria Marie!

It's urbanrail.net not urbainrail!

love
benjamin

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Yikes! Sorry about that. Just fixed the link. Thanks for pointing it out, Benjamin.