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Old 01-27-2015, 07:47 PM   #22
Marin
Scraping Paint
 
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Mark said.....I like trains too.
So do I.

I've ridden TGVs in France, ICE trains in Germany, and the super-fast train in China whatever it's called. \My first long distance train ride was on the California Zephyr when I was a little kid and the train still had stewardesses (called Zephyrettes). Rode it with my mom from Oakland to Chicago and then at the end of the summer rode it by myself back to Oakland and then got a plane back to Hawaii

I've driven a train (sort of, see photo), and ridden in the locomotive cab across half of Canada on the now-defunct Canadian Pacific train from Toronto to Vancouver. I like trains a lot.

But..... when I'm in a hurry, as I often am, trains suck, particularly across long distances. They're like cruising in an 8 knot boat. I'll take a plane over a train, no matter how fast the train might be.

We do use something we learned from a train on our boat, however. I don't know if this is still the case, but the trans-Australian passenger train traverses the longest stretch of straight track in the world. Not only that, this stretch goes through some of the most desolate country in the world. To ensure that the driver doesn't fall asleep at the throttle, there is a timer in the cab that has to be manually reset every five or ten minutes (can't remember which). If it isn't reset, when it runs down it pulls off the power and applies the train brakes.

This seemed like a smart idea when we first saw it, so we adapted it to our boat. We use a simple oven timer set to five minutes. When it beeps, whoevfer's driving scans the engine instruments and then taps the button on the timer to restart it. Both my wife's and my flying experience has ingrained instrument scans into us pretty well, but on the water in a painfully slow boat it's easy to get distracted by something, like a whale or whatnot. The timer reminds us to not forget about checking the instruments.
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