Tuesday, April 28

Train Travel

I don't see myself as a real train travel tragic, but on reflection I have had some great train experiences.   Compiling a list of them is challenging.

As I lived beside the train line in Adelaide as a child train travel was a constant in my life.  In fact I started going to school on a steam train in when I was 4 years old.  Then train travel was what we did - throughout my first 18 years - travelling from suburban Oaklands to Adelaide, or the Adelaide Hills on a regular basis and for the last year of my schooling it was steam train, and my first two years of employment I caught the train to and from work.

We have lived in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane - and train travel is second nature to me.


Adelaide to Gladstone, SA - many times in the 1950's
Adelaide to Perth - return trip in 1960
Perth to Adelaide - one way in 1962
Adelaide to Mt Gambier - often during 1963 - 66
Shaoxing to Shanghai and return 2008, 2010
Shaoxing to Ningbo 2008, 2010
Melbourne to Adelaide - 2012
Shaxoing to Shanghai on new line 2014
Maglev Shanghai 2014
Brisbane to Rockhampton (Tilt Train) 2014
Caboolture to Gympie - 150th Anniversary of Queensland Rail Steam Train 2014

Train travel in China was always fascinating.  It is so ordered.  When one is about to catch a train, we would line up in a noisy hall near the appropriate gate.  (It was on the ticket) and at the appropriate time there would be an announcement and everyone would line up to go through the gate.  On the ticket it would list which carriage and seat you were assigned to, so you would rush onto the platform and line up where your carriage would stop.  When the train arrived you would in a more or less orderly fashion quickly board the train and try and find your seat.  Most times there would be a Chinese national sitting in your seat, and most disinclined to move making it difficult to get comfortable.  They would often stare quietly! 



There would be a trolley service - noodles, chips etc. and drinks, and the rubbish would be left all around the carriage. Then a trolley would return selling items such as socks, and torches.  Strange.

The Maglev travels from Shanghai Pudong Airport to the city of Shanghai - new stations are being built right close to the city but on the only occasion I caught this massively fast machine, we alighted in an area I did not know, so an expensive taxi followed to get to our hotel.  If you watch the video above you will get an idea of how fast it is.  It travels 19kms in 7 minutes.  


I don't have any photos of my earlier train journeys, but the recent 150th Anniversary Steam Train I certainly did have my camera.





And the next one is..... The Ghan, August 2015.


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