Friday, April 6, 2012

Boss on Land!


It was only a few weeks ago that I started my new job, but along with the new job came a whole new set of changes, including a busier schedule that cuts into my blogging time.  But on the plus side, I finally found an office close to a train station... literally a few steps away!  Finally, my burning desire to ride a train was fulfilled once again.  The train line here has very limited reach, but the ride is cheap and the parking is free -- you can't beat that!

My train fetish started when I was but a young lad.  Many of my friends were fascinated by planes, some by cars and and quite a few loved motorcycles.  The long lines at airports and the tiny airplane seats made me hate airplanes.  Traffic jams made me hate cars, and driving even more!  I grew up in a cold climate most of my life, so motorcycles were also impractical.  That's when my attention turned to the ultimate land vehicle -- the train, the boss on land!!  The train had its own path laid out and came and went as it pleased, just as I did with my life. Traffic jams never deterred trains since they never run into any real traffic to begin with.  And if a train is coming, you better damn well get out of its way!  Cars, buses and two-wheelers have to yield to each other.  The train has to yield to no one.... because everyone else yields to it!  Haven't you ever noticed that there are gated railroad crossings but no gated bus crossings or car crossings?!?!  Now that's power, my friends!


When I'm inside a train looking out of the window, I can't help but have a smug chuckle on my face as I look at the rows and rows of cars fighting to get past each other during rush hour.  Meanwhile, I coolly pass by them all, stress free and traffic free.  Many of these car riders were the same co-workers who would lecture me about the freedom they have driving on their own car and starting to work whenever they wanted.  I don't wanna be tied down to a train schedule!  It's too dam restrictive. I want my freedom, dammit, they would proclaim profusely.  And the very next day, reality would smack them hard in their faces as rows and rows of cars lock up the road, viciously gridlocking these freedom-loving junkies.  And yet, they never learn their lesson!  They continue to drive to the office, full of road rage, oblivious to the fact that there's a train they can take which arrives every 10-15 minutes.


One of my favorite type of trains is the monorail (above).  They ride high above the ground and go about their rounds without getting in the way of traffic.  If I was a train, I'd be a monorail -- I just go about my business and get my job done without getting in anyone's way and without letting anyone getting in the way of mine.  Would be great to have one in a big city with dense population to ease the traffic problems, right?  Unfortunately, Los Angeles didn't think so.  Those dumb-asses turned down an offer to have a FREE monorail system put in their city back in 1963, and they've literally and figuratively been paying for it ever since.  Way to go, LA -- you proved once again that your IQ is less than that of Forrest Gump!


If a monorail is the type of train I am, then the Maglev (above) is the train I want to be.  They are called Maglevs due to the fact that they literally float above the tracks they are on using magnetic levitation.  Not only do they hover using magnetism, they also use magnetism to propel the train.  These babies go up to 581 km/hr.... and without a motor!  Imagine living in Pune and working in Mumbai while having a half hour commute to work every morning!  Well..... we can dream, can't we?!?!

So remember folks, be like a train.  Set your own track, choose your own destiny, and let no one stand in your way! Oh.... there's my train now, gotta run.

14 comments:

  1. Haha...nice to see a post about trains here :)

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    1. haha thanks Sid. Good to hear from you, and to have you as a new follower.

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  2. During childhood train journey always felt like a picnic almost as good as the vacation itself :-)

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    1. Yep they sure were. Glad I could bring back those fond memories. :-)

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  3. interesting blog :-) will be back to read more. all the best. You have a simple subtle style of writing.

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    1. Thanks so much. I liked your blog too, and your writing style is beautifully abstract. Looking forward to more visits, and more comments from you. :-)

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  4. I do wish the train lines here were well-connected. Here where I live, there are about 5 train lines which only partially connect a few parts of the various cities (no one line covers all the areas, and no company provides more than 1 line each, so the fares are not connected in any way). The train is expensive -- in fact, even accounting for wasted gas due to bumper-to-bumper gridlock, driving is still cheaper until gasoline exceeds $12.50 per gallon (this is when I take into account the cost of parking at the station as well, btw). The train service is less frequent (rather than once per 10-15 minutes, it's about 1-2x per hour). And the commute actually takes 10 minutes longer on the train than to drive. Of course, if I go early and avoid the traffic, then the difference is over 45 minutes in advantage of the car.

    Of course, the city realized that people don't take the train very often because of the crappy service. Even on those "special days" that where they made the train and bus free for the day, nobody used them. So their response to this was to actually cut service, expand the number of hours that the train doesn't run AT ALL... reduce weekend service... and increase the ticket prices and parking fees by 50%. Sad thing is, that was actually their official statement.

    Back when I lived in Chicago, the mass transit was beautiful and worked wonderfully, which is why I always took the train to get to school and back. It was always fast, always cheap. And rather than 1 line at most that served your purposes, there were literally dozens of lines, and multiple companies all provided multiple connections. It would be nice to have something of that level existed here, especially because the drivers here in NorCal are infinitely inferior to Chicago drivers. They're just the most incompetent fools who actively take measures to *cause* traffic congestion in the belief that it will do the opposite.

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    1. Well said! The mass transit here in Charlotte isn't a whole lot better either. Buses have limited timings, and the train only runs on the south side of the city, mostly on one road. But the one advantage -- free parking and cheap fares! That's one thing I miss about Chicago. The trains and buses were frequent, cheap and well connected. For the suburbs, you had Metra too.

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  5. knock knock ... where's the next post?

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    1. Coming up soon.... keep an eye out! :)

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  6. I used to love Bombay trains - the sound of the train in motion, the shopping on the train, the camaraderie of the commuters, the cheap fares and frequency. The trains in NZ are few and far between and expensive and they expect us to save on petrol by giving up on cheaper car commutes.

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    1. Yeah Chicago trains were like that too. They had such good reach and they went really far too. *sigh* Oh how I sorely miss those days when I hardly ever drove!

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  7. Lovely post! Enjoyed reading and marveling at your style of writing. Would sure love to keep visiting
    Thanks for dropping by at my space.

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    1. Thank you, that's a great compliment from someone who writes as well as you! :-)

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