Wed Dec 28th, 2005 at 11:56:05 AM EST
back from the frontpage
Railroads aren't just trains and rails. For a start, railway property is often demarcated with various fences, gates and barriers. It's Christmas time, so let's start with something in snow and Santa Claus colors:
A classic level crossing in France (photo by Swiss photographer Walter Studer)
That gate allowed trespassing to cautious pedestrians besides road level crossings, even if barriers were closed. This piece of simple but stylish design used to be ubiquitous in France1. One would feel compelled to see those bent bars as a limitation on utilitarianism forced by the stereotypical French longing for style. But, consider the recognition value of such a unique design! You knew where you are even if drunk.
Check out two more examples below the fold.
- I hope our French readers are either too young to having had gotten too used to it, or old enough to be nostalgic about it :-)↑
Unlike in Western Europe (especially in Germany, as Ritter wrote), property with houses on it are all fenced in in Central-Eastern Europe – to keep out thieves (at least in theory) and lawn-stompers. Railway stations have lots of fences, too. The Hungarian Railways (MÁV) used to have a standard pre-cast concrete fence – see on the right of the picture below:
MÁV [series] Bzmot [no.] 293 railcar at Zalalövő station (along the rebuilt line to Slovenia), with standard MÁV fence (photo from RailFanEurope.net by Helmut Uttenthaler)
Ironically, a problem for industrial properties is theft of – fences. But, again due to a simple but unique look, MÁV has no such problem – I mean, didn't have it before abandoning this standard. Also, on a personal note: as a small child looking out of the family car window, that up-and-down sinus wave instantly signalled the sights I'd be waiting for on a journey...
In France, there was the pedestrian gate, at many other places, pedestrians were forced through a mini-labyrinth of handrails, meant to both slow them down and force them to look in both directions. But here is a much simpler version from Japan (I don't know anything about it, just the picture):
A level crossing between Ebisu and Meguro (from Ambiances Nipponnes, a site on Japan with French photographers' eyes)
Previous Monday Train Bloggings:
- (Premiere/ modern Austrian trains & locos)
- Fast Steam
- Heavy Haul
- Forgotten Colorado
- The Hardest Job
- Highest Speed
- New England Autumn
- Bigger Than Big Boy
- Failed Designs