I want to spend more time geeking out about maps, urban geography, trains, and otherwise entertaining the spatial part of my brain! What are some hobbies/games/projects/apps/etc. to try? [more inside]
I recently discovered that apparently tracking ships or trains is a hobby for some people. I'm wondering if anyone has identified the reasons why. [more inside]
Help me find unusual and sublime experiences that others might not think of as 'things to do'. [more inside]
I was listening today to Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground”, which includes the unforgettable line, “the railroad man, he’ll kill you if he can/And drink out your blood like wine”. Who is this guy? Will he? Why? [more inside]
Ms. deadwax and I are taking trains through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in February. We would like to stop at one or two places that are not big cities, go hiking and otherwise get out of town and into nature a bit, probably with 3-5 days parked in one place at a time. If you have been through this part of the world, where would you recommend, particularly in February? [more inside]
Traveling to Japan for the first time in October! We (party of 2) have JR Passes, which apparently means we can board non-reserved shinkansen cars w/o any interaction with ticket booth staff. The question is, is this wise, or are we still likely to find ourselves standing or split up on some trains? [more inside]
I've been reading articles about backlash towards high-speed rail in American cities, and it confounds me because I enjoy rail systems in Europe and Asia. Some people have said it logistically doesn't make sense in America, and I want to why that is. [more inside]
How do you open the doors from the inside on the Boston MBTA commuter rail double decker cars? [more inside]
I just read this comment, and thought this was AWESOME. But unfortunately, it kinda doesn't work. Does your city have an app (iOS preferable, but I can always get a cheap android phone to check it out), that has an AWESOME app for mass transit? Whats the app? "Real time tracker" is what I'm looking for (i think). It need not be awesome in terms of fonts, design, etc. I kinda just want it to be more than a list of schedules. [more inside]
I'm looking for somewhere near NYC where I can go in the next few weeks for a very short vacation, i.e., a weekend or a long weekend. Difficulty level: no car. [more inside]
I'm searching for a movie similar to John Hughes' 1987 classic, Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Something with a warm message and the same kind of comedy. Preferably something with Steve Martin or John Candy, but not necessarily. Recommendations?
There are apps that will tell me precisely what plane is flying overhead. Is there an equivalent that will tell me something about trains I see or hear? (In the U.S.)
I know cell phone providers sell data plans, but my understanding is that these have limited connection speeds - these days many trains offer "free wi-fi" for the passengers (I was even told of a shuttle bus that had wi-fi available). It can't just be standard cell phone data connection right? That would be hopelessly slow if more than a couple of passengers connected. Planes use satellite connections I think. What technology do land based - but moving - wi-fi hotspots use? Thanks
I'm taking the Amtrak to Chicago next month and am planning on taking the Metra out to Naperville after I arrive so my mom can pick me up, but I'm not quite sure how to do it. Can you help me? [more inside]
My wife and I are planning a two-week trip to Peru in November, and though the big pieces of the trip are in place, we need some advice on how to slot things in. Also, lodging help. [more inside]
My family is taking a trip this weekend up on Amtrak from Richmond, VA to New Haven, CT, on the Northeast Regional. My 9-year-old son loves trains, but has never been on Amtrak. How can I make this the Best Trip Ever for him? [more inside]
An unexpected late holiday gift has left me the owner of an amazingly capacious leather toiletry bag (this one to be exact) to replace my previous canvas sack. What can I put in it to make it the best men's toiletry bag ever for someone who travels frequently? I'm already putting in travel toothbrushes and simple shaving supplies, but what else should I include? What unexpected thing has been life-saving (or just really welcome) in your toilet bag? What emergency supplies should I have on hand?
My toddler loves watching train videos on YouTube, and this morning we ran across this one, featuring a kid playing with his new toy train, purchased in "Chinatown". Toddler has now expressed a deep desire to have Santa leave one of those under the tree. I *think* I've IDed that train as the Kids Athority High-Speed Train Set, but no one on the Internet seems to sell it. So, I turn to you, my friends in the green - any thoughts on how someone who's not really near any random Chinatown might acquire one of these in time to have Santa drop it off?
Help me help grandma figure out what's in the passing trains. [more inside]
Looking for the name of a movie about a young woman who gets unexpectedly pregnant and the bookseller she befriends who also makes audio recordings of trains. I'm about 80% sure it's Japanese (with English subtitles). [more inside]
Due to some ill-advised scheduling, we (Americans) are travelling from London to rural Brittany, then back to our reserved room in Paris three days later. Rennes is the closest major city to Plumieux, the village where our friends live. All of the stuff I see online says to take the Eurostar from London to Gare du Nord in Paris, then transfer to Montparnasse to take the TVG to Rennes. From there we would catch a bus to get us near Plumieux, close enough for our friends to pick us up. [more inside]
I've always wondered when you hear a freight train horn blast in the middle of the night: is that an engineer doing something required by law, or is it some guy running a train that is doing it at intervals whenever he personally feels like it? [more inside]
For short haul trips in the Northeast, buses and trains can sometimes be more convenient than flying. But when it's longer than four or five hours, I'll typically take the plane. For those of you who prefer trains over planes for long-distance travel, I'd love to understand the allure of the trains. What do you like about them? What's been your favorite long-distance trip?
During the last year, my long-distance boyfriend and I have gotten used to making the trip between NYC and Rochester, NY for weekend visits. Now I'm moving to Philadelphia, and we need a new plan. What's the fastest, least painful, least expensive way to get between Philadelphia and Rochester? [more inside]
During the Civil War era, what kind of signals guided intercity trains traveling at night? [more inside]
Why don't trams/streetcars have a front bumper that almost touches the street, and slants out like a plow, so that if they hit a pedestrian they'd knock them aside rather than running them over? In fact, why don't trains have this, or even cars? [more inside]
I want to change my train setup from DC to DCC. How do I do that? [more inside]
Okay, you know that "On Top of Spaghetti" song? Can someone cleverer than me think of a second verse for that song that involves the poor meatball and A TRAIN? [more inside]
Can I know in advance when a train will pass by a location? How do trainspotters do it? I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. [more inside]
What's the best way to get from BOS to Hotel Buckminster on Sunday afternoon? [more inside]
(UK) Southwest trains advanced tickets - Ashurst or Brockenhurst to London [more inside]
Considering the huge amount of oil/energy expended driving trucks full of food all over the country, would it make more sense to increase our train infrastructure (is that even possible?) to move more food? That's the question, but not why I've come to Metafilter. [more inside]
I'm in Eindhoven, I have a train ticket from "Any Dutch Station" to Brussels tomorrow. From then I need to get to London. Is there any fun or interesting detour I can make? [more inside]
I need recommendations for books to give my nephews for their 2nd, 4th, and 6th respective birthdays! [more inside]
Am I going to be stranded in Denmark by my American credit cards?! [more inside]
I need to get to Indian River County in Florida from Orlando International Airport. How am I going to do it? [more inside]
I need to figure out what to do at night/early morning in Italy. Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
Belgian MeFites! Or MeFites who have been to Belgium! A question about trains. [more inside]
There's a story I've long accepted as fact, that when the railroad train (or possibly the automobile) was introduced, some people opposed them in the belief that their hair would catch on fire from air friction if they traveled over a certain speed (maybe 35 miles per hour). A while back, I tried Googling this story to find the source, and was surprised to find I was completely unable to locate any reference to this. Did I just dream this one night and forget that it wasn't true?
D.C. to Worcester, MA by train, ca. 1927? [more inside]
I'd like to use this photo on my website, but would like to get permission from its owner first. [more inside]
What should I expect for a 4+ hour "RE" train ride in Germany? Nürnberg to Dresden. [more inside]
In the film "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," Del Griffith (John Candy) is reading a book titled "The Canadian Mounted." Is this a real book or just a joke prop for the film? [more inside]
Travelfilter: Azerbaijan for Eurovision. Recommendations and where to travel afterwards. [more inside]
WoodenToyTrainFilter: What is the difference between all the different brands of wooden toy trains? Are some significantly higher quality than others? [more inside]
What would be the most streamlined/cheap/quickest way to get to go between Rochester, NY and Port Jefferson(Long Island), NY on a semi regular basis? [more inside]
Waking up in moving vehicles sends me into existential crises. What? [more inside]
I loathe Ryanair. I need to get back to London from Berlin next Friday, and I don't want to fly Ryanair, but all the flights on other airlines are hideously expensive. Before I succumb, I was thinking about catching a fast train from Berlin to somewhere in Germany not too far away with an airport, then catching a flight to London from there. Any suggestions on airports within two hours of Berlin on the fast train that have regular flights to London?
I heard the Oil Barons destroyed trains in the 70s in the US. Should I let this get in the way of a trip by train from NYC => Washington DC and back (just one night in DC)? Or are flights + security + not-dodgy company better? I have no idea. A previous AskMeFi thread suggested that in 2008 trains were slow but reasonably enjoyable. What's the Q2 2010 view?
So we're arriving in Rome at 6:50PM, is it reasonable to expect to get to Florence that same night by train? We're also considering a side trip to Stockholm, any secrets to getting there and back? [more inside]