The Swiss Railway (SBB) system is one of the most intensive in the world and it used to be possible to view a real-time Live Trains Map of the SBB, complete with train identification and train search functionality. The format was like the image shown below.
Whilst the live map is no longer available, the SBB Website offers a range of information and graphics to help the traveller. An example is the section on Stations and Services.
However, all is not lost, as an alternative is out there to provide Swiss fans an opportunity to “watch” local, regional and inter city/national trains busily making their way across the country.
Recently the BBC presented a feature on the Petite Ceinture (“Little Belt”), a historical and defunct railway route skirting the outer edge of central Paris. The feature appeared on its News Magazine Web site and was titled “The wild abandoned railway in the centre of Paris” and included a fascinating short video.
Railways, as we understand them, have been around for the best part of two centuries. The world’s first “modern” railway system was engineered by George Stephenson and used flange wheeled, self-propelled [steam] trains operating on nowadays traditional railway tracks. The railway connected the industrial cities of Liverpool and Manchester and it is on this route we find Liverpool Edge Hill station making railway history.
24 September, 2015: BBC News reported on George Osborne’s recent visit to China. Osbourne is urged Chinese firms to pitch for £11.8bn in construction contracts for the UK’s proposed HS2 rail line. On the same day, The Guardian reported that Osborne intends to invite competition for bids at an event in Chengdu. The aim is to attract Chinese investors to back HS2 and other major UK rail infrastructure projects, particularly across the north of England.
Railway history has demonstrated the corporate fascination with speed and the development of high-speed networks across Europe, including the proposed HS2 addition to HS1 in Britain, illustrate a prevailing theme. One interesting question – which is the world’s fastest railway locomotive?
Railway stations vary greatly in functionality, aesthestics, and appeal; such characteristics can be exaggerated on a cold, wind-swept day and even more so, when you arrive either too early to catch a train, or the train is delayed. If you’re like me, the first objective will be to find a decent coffee bar/cafe/bar (whatever your persuasion!) and pass the time away, hopefully with something to read.
Recently, I have begun to take note of train stations that have an unusual coffee shop or bar; this has been partly stimulated by the TV programmes on railway journeys that appear periodically (e.g. Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys, accompanied by his Bradshaw Guide). So, I thought it would be interesting to try and find out just where the best examples of train station hospitality can be found, in distinctive settings.
Welcome – I extend an invitation to you to join in the WebTrain Savvy railway blog: a new place to talk about what is important to people – in the world of the Web and the world of Trains (especially anything remotely train related). The blog also forms part of my “TheWebTrain” site, where you can also find a dedicated railway image gallery covering both prototype/real world and model railway pictures.