Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fast (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

When I was a child, I regularly spend some time each year in England with my parents. During those periods of my life that I remember with great fondness as being filled with fun and adventure, we lived in Beckenham, a Kentish town that's effectively a London suburb -- and just a short train ride from central London, as I came to realize on account of my mother frequently taking me on train rides into central London (and from there on other trains that took me as far north as York or around London via the Underground).

In all likelihood, that's where my fondness for trains -- be they slow or fast -- stem. And I count myself fortunate indeed to over the years have had the experience of being on trains in countries such as Wales, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Austria, the US, Canada and Tanzania as well as England and my native Malaysia -- many of which have been really wonderful and memorable.

Still, if I had to single out the train that I've been the most thrilled to travel on, there really isn't much contest; hence my choice of which to have photographs of in this week's Photo Hunt entry. For even while I do treasure having been on the historic narrow-gauge steam train that goes along the Portmadog-Blaenau Ffestiniog rail route in Wales, I really like the shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) -- that move at a fast-pace but also provide surprisingly smooth rides while doing so -- for providing positive proof that trains have a genuinely practical part to play in the modern world.

And doesn't the shinkansen look so sleek as well? So much so that even when one actually is slowly approaching their stop at a designated railway station, they still look like they're travelling oh so very fast indeed... ;b


Photo Cache said...

that is a great entry for this week's theme. happy holidays.

MaR said...

Love trains and your take on the theme!!
happy weekend.


candi said...

Lovely post. I too enjoy being on trains a lot.
Happy weekend!

Unknown said...

modern trains are pretty amazing! i rode a train from Paris to London and it was quite an experience. love the trains in HK, too...they're very efficient.:p

Carver said...

That is a sleek train. Great take on the theme. I've never been to Japan but the two times I've traveled in Europe, I've been impressed with how easy it is to get around by train. The U.S. hasn't don't as good of a job, in my opinion, with train travel. I have taken trains a number of times in the U.S. but they never seem very convenient or I'd use them more. Happy weekend!

julie said...

hands down, this is fast and I would like to try riding in one :)

Colin Campbell said...

Very cool.

Randi said...

This is a great take on the theme. I love the design of this fast train.

CRIZ LAI said...

Wow! That's one state-of-the-art train. Love them. :)

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! :)

jams o donnell said...

Great shot and a great take on the theme. THat is truly a train that says speed all over it! Happy weekend

jmb said...

I loved the Shinkansen too YTSL as it was a very smooth ride. We had a rail pass in Japan and travelled on it very well.

Happy weekend and holiday season to you.

YTSL said...

Hi Photo Cache --

Thanks, and happy holidays to you too!

Hi Mar --

Glad to learn that you're a fellow fan of trains. :)

Hi Candi --

And you make three (along with Mar and me)! ;b

Hi Luna Miranda --

Paris to London -- does that mean you were in the Channel Tunnel? Super cool if so! And yes, the trains in Hong Kong are great -- and boy, do I take them a lot! :)

Hi Carver --

I know what you mean about trains in the US (especially outside of the Eastern corridor). Because I love trains, I've actually gone on long distance train rides like Denver to LA, Chicago to Washington, DC, and Philadelphia to Atlanta -- but I know a lot of friends in the US who thought I was weird for doing so! :D

Hi Julie --

Hope you get to do so some time. And when you do, try the ekiben! :b

Hi Colin --

Glad you think so! :)

Hi Randi --

Thanks for liking my choice of subject for this week's Photo Hunt. :)

Hi Criz Lai --

Happy holidays to you too -- maybe some time in Japan? ;b

Hi jams --

Thanks for reading as well as looking as usual. :)

Hi jmb --

Travel by rail in Japan sure is great, huh? :b

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Those a great looking trains!
Our great grandad was a conductor on a train, and our grandson loves them! Maybe love of trains is inherited!

magiceye said...


Gattina said...

I passed through Beckenham, my son lived in Norwood junction. I also like trains, they are so practical. Now I can be in London in 1h 45 min from Brussels with the Eurostar, imagine !

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Wow! I wondered if any Photo Hunter would have this. The Bullet Train! Good post! I have been on a train once in my life, and not for very long, either. :(

My Photo Hunt is up! Hope you can visit. Have a good weekend.

Mrs. Mecomber

Scott Law said...

I've heard these are really fast. I would love to ride one some time. I road one in Germany that went around 200 MPH and loved it. great take on the theme.

Unknown said...

Great post and thanks for visiting my site. Sounds like you've had some great experiences. That's wonderful!

YTSL said...

Hi Cats~Quotes~Goats --

Not sure about train love being inherited but do reckon that it can be passed on! :)

Hi magcieye --

Teehee! Fast comment?

Hi Gattina --

1 hour 45 minutes is amazing. I remember it seeming to take forever my (tour) bus and ferry from London to just Ostend! ;)

Hi Mrs Mecomber --

Wow re your having been on a train only once in your life. Are you super private transport-reliant?

Hi Bull Rhino --

From Wikipedia:-
"Starting with the 210 km/h (130 mph) Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the now 2,459 km (1,528 mi) long network has expanded to link most major cities on the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph). Test runs have reached 443 km/h (275 mph) for conventional rail in 1996, and up to a world record 581 km/h (361 mph) for maglev trainsets in 2003..."

Hi Sherry --

Yes, if nothing else, I think I can comfortably claim to having had many great experiences in my life. :)

Isolated Existence. said...

Wow, that has to be amazing to have traveled so much and seen so many types of trains. Thanks for sharing! I love the look of that train, so futuristic. Wonder when our trains are going to look like that, he, he. Enjoy your Christmas and thanks for stopping by my corner :-)

YTSL said...

Hi "Isolated Existence" --

By "our", do you mean American? If so, I'm thinking... maybe never! ;D

Bengbeng said...

funny this is my immediate thought was of the express boats in Sibu when i saw yr high speed trains :)

centuries apart in terms of technology :)

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

The shinkansen is really fun and cool isn't it. We took the Akita Shinkansen to Sendai north of Tokyo and I took the Tokaido shinkansen on a day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and back. They run every few minutes like regular trains and everyone but me seemed so casual about it...mostly business men.

I like that they have their own tracks two stories high so when you look out the window there's enough distance that you don't get dizzy and throw up. Did you like the quick fast woosh noise when one passed you going in the other direction?

One time while waiting for my tain I stood on the platform by the front on the train when it left the the time the last car passed me it was really going fast...

YTSL said...

Hi Bengbeng --

I (also) have taken express boats in Sarawak -- from Miri part way along the river to the Mulu Caves. And yes, I know what you mean about there being quite a difference in technology -- though it's less centuries than decades, to my mind! ;D

Hi sbk --

I took the shinkansen (can't remember which one) from Tokyo to Kokura (on the island of Kyushu). I think my mother and I were the only non-Japanese, even if not the only non-business people, on the train. ;b

Can't remember the noises too much. Just remember at one point, my mother and I thinking... we don't seem to be going that fast... then noticing the countryside scenes moving quickly by us and realizing we WERE going fast -- it's just that the ride was so smooth and seemingly normal for others concerned that it made it all seem deceptively regular -- pace and all! :D