Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 05:47:35 AM EST
(My first post as a frontpager!)
What’s this here!? The engine broke down?
In a 1934 publicity stunt, men pull the "Pioneer Zephyr" on the rails, to 'demonstrate' the lightweight construction of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific's streamlined luxury diesel multiple unit1
Last week, the theme was state-of-the-art modern rail travel: fast, comfortable, frequent - and uneventful. But sometimes, more often off the mainlines, things don't go according to plan and schedule. So as a contrast: what adventures, strange experiences, funny anecdotes on trains can you tell of?
(Below the fold: a story of mine.)
I often went hiking in the Börzsöny Mountains, north of Budapest. Being the ruins of a one-time volcano, they rise from the surroundings like a single block. Along their eastern foot, there is a decrepit branch-line, which off-season and off-the-peak-hours is served by a single railcar, going up and down the line.
One day 12 years ago, as we were on our way back, already out of the woods and on the open terrain, the wind suddenly got strong. Looking back, we saw a thunderstorm with hailstones descending the mountain! With no cover in sight, we ran for the train station, and caught the train early – in the other direction.
Now we were safe in the railbus, but not unaffected. Half an hour later the train suddenly stopped: as the driver informed us, a wind-torn tree fell across the tracks, also cutting the telegraph lines! What now?
We had to be our own emergency unit: a dozen men – half the passengers – left the train, we tore off the larger branches, then pulled the trunk to the side.
- Copyright notice: You can buy a full-size poster version here.↑