Monday, March 8, 2021


trains are cool

We live in the Motor City where cars rule but that doesn't mean my family doesn't think trains are cool. From watching Dinosaur Train and playing with Thomas the Tank Engine as preschoolers to taking Amtrak rides to Chicago and through the Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. subways during their tween years, my son and daughter have a great admiration for these vehicles. Especially when getting the chance to ride one to Hogwarts

Did you know that not only is the Kings Cross Station where Harry Potter discovered the hidden Platform 9 ¾ train route to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry located in London, England but also the world's oldest subway system which opened to the public on January 10, 1863. At first this revolutionary proposal by British member of Parliament Charles Pearson to dig underground railways was rejected. Eventually though it was accepted and the London Underground, also known as "The Tube", has become an essential aspect of city life for Londoners. Unfortunately, Pearson did not get to see his idea come to fruition as he died a year before the work on London's first subway line was completed. Doah!

In the first months of its operation, the London subway had only one line, the Metropolitan, and about 26,000 people traveled on the Tube daily. Today it has 402 km of tracks, and is used by more than 3 million people a day, and 1.171 billion a year. Since the opening of the London Underground, another 116 subways have been built in the world. 


CNN ranked the 10 best subways in the world, ranking first place in Hong Kong's subway thanks to the cleanliness, signage, low cost, frequency and convenience of the system, which connects most parts of the city. There is free Wi-Fi at most stations, disabled access, and services like banks, shops and food stalls. There is no schedule because the trains just arrive every few minutes. And it serves 3.4 million passengers a day.

Next on the list are trains from Singapore and Seoul (7 million passengers a day). The latter offers heated chairs in winter and also a system for protection against falls to the track. The London Tube, which with all the historical respect it deserves, is quite outdated and only recently added to some of the air-conditioned carriages. Also on the list of the best trains: Madrid, whose stations are so large that it is possible to hold mass events (for example, in 2011 there was a fitness festival that lasted three days), and New York, which has double tracks so even if one needs repair, the line Is not disabled. 

bullet train

Most trains are indeed a really sustainable way to travel. Locomotive have evolved from classic steam powered varieties like The NSWGR C38. Today's trains do not emit anywhere near as much toxins into the air as planes and cars. They also offer a lot of benefits for kids as they provide a great view of the scenery they travel through. Some of the most wonderful views while traveling are from a train window. Take the time to realize how cool trains are - maybe you can even plan on taking a train ride on your next trip! 

If you are going to be in Michigan consider jumping aboard a locomotive at The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village in Detroit or Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad in Flint. We always enjoy going back in time by riding these classic steam engines at those local historical attractions. I'm sure you'd be geeked too!

steam engine

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