Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our love affair with the train

From the station where you start your journey to your destination you know precisely in what direction you are going and how long it will take. You can make an excursion of it, choosing your route so that you admire the countryside and glimpse cathedral spires from your speeding train window../

My daily journey also reminded me how taking the train keeps you connected to your fellow human-beings. Everyone in Holland takes the train.

You mingle with people from all kinds of background, and everyone seems to look out for one another - helping with heavy bags, offering information, or simply chatting about the weather. The well-to-do and the hard-up travel side by side. It takes no time at all to feel at home with the Dutch as a people when you travel amongst them by train../
BBC News :: Our love affair with the train

Thanks to my dad for the heads-up to this fab article on the BBC's website. I travel to work everyday on the train and get, to a certain extent, the sense of community and mingling that Lisa Jardine speaks of.

I also know, to a certain extent, the alienation that comes from flying...
We feel isolated and at risk, anxiously scanning the faces of our fellow passengers in case any looks strange or suspect. This is the feeling that makes many of us today anxious and afraid of the faceless masses all around us, threatening our way of life.
Fly into Newark and you'll get it. Thankfully... I flew with colleagues. I'm not scared of flying... but I would choose the train over a plane any day. Unfortunately, you can't get the train to NY.

Good article. Check it out.

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