America, July 27, 2006
I've seen enough trains to be one
I'm riding the Boston "T" from Logan Airport to downtown, trying to figure out if I am Outbound or Inbound, when I thought to myself, I'd like to write for Live from the Third Rail, a website dedicated to mass transit around the world that I read on occasion.
Why would I, a techno-savvy world traveler already scribbling for this site, Geekcorps, and Metroblogging DC, want to write for a transit-focused website written by a self-proclaimed "team of dedicated transit nerds"?
Maybe because I love me some trains - worldwide!
I sure have enough experience with them. Pieced together, I've taken trains from Edinburgh, Scotland to Hong Kong, China, including the Trans-Siberian across Russia and Mongolia. In Southeast Asia, Thai trains took me to the beach while in South Asia, Sri Lankan trains took me along the beach.
Where ever they go, trains travel at human speed, in Kenya the train goes "pole-pole". You can adjust to time zones, cultural shifts, and fellow passengers with the jarring jet lag and checked baggage intrigue that plagues too-fast modern flight.
Better yet, I also love lowly mass transit systems when I arrive in a cool new city. The Moscow Metropolitan is the most beautiful and for the number of passengers, the most efficient, but I am lucky to live in Washington DC, home of the visual minimalist masterpiece of Metrorail. WMATA's Metrobus isn't so amazing, though the system is improving under the direction of its first General Manager who actually rides Metro, Dan Tangherlini.
So with all that transit background, I fired off an email to LFt3R begging for a spot and guess what? My content production empire expanded today to include transit related posts for them.
Excessively enthusiastic railfans are sometimes referred to pejoratively as "foamers", especially by American railworkers, in reference to the joking notion that they foam at the mouth in their excitement over train operations.Hmm... For the record, I've never foamed at the mouth in excitement over train operations, unless of course you count the times I missed my train in China and screamed Open the F#*%ing Doors! till I foamed in anger.
Still, I guess I may be a closet transit foamer. I sure write about trains enough! And now, with my new LFt3R gig, even more.