Day 51 of 98 – A Tale of Two Cities: Stations of Train

8 Nov

I’m getting behind in my blog posts. This is what happens when my routine gets disrupted. What a strange word, disrupted. Is it possible for one to be “rupted”? I think I’ll call the Apple help desk to find out. Anyway, these past few days have been ones of change and nuance. The rents are visiting from Canada and I had a weekend trip to France with a stopover in western Germany. The goal was to visit with Teams Lyon, Grenoble, and Bonn/Siegburg.

I’d been so used to living in Germany that France felt like a different planet. The train station in Paris (North Gare) is a terminus and not a pass-through like most of the German bahnhofs. France has an amazing train network but it is fundamentally different from the German one. It is more like a unicycle wheel with the hub being Paris and spokes are the rail lines going to the different regions. The German rail system is a grid with trains zipping all over the place.

Pairs has dedicated train stations servicing the different regions of the country (North Gare, Lyon Gare, East Gare, West Gare, South-South-West Gare, etc). So if there is a disruption (reminder: call Apple) on one of the lines, only that region is affected. Because the German rail network is a matrix (not The Matrix – but wouldn’t that be cool!) it is possible for a single incident to cascade and affect different parts of the country.

The stations themselves are also much simpler as there are no overhead walkways or tunnels to get to the main hall. You just walk to the end of the track and over to the next track. London is like this too. In the Netherlands all trains pass through Utrecht Main Station. There was a fire there once and the whole country shut down. In engineering we call this a single point of failure.

And finally, because Paris has no central station it means that one has to take the subway between the different stations to make your connecting train.

I love trains


2 Responses to “Day 51 of 98 – A Tale of Two Cities: Stations of Train”

  1. The Boss is RIGHT November 10, 2011 at 03:35 #

    Great shot of the train’s “cockpit”
    Were you travelling in 1st Class?

    • Die Hard Three November 11, 2011 at 14:28 #

      What? Travel in coach? With the commoners? Of course not. First class all the way!

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