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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Overground trains [20051209|11:24]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Putney station, Platform 1, Tuesday, 20051206, 10:50:15

46 mm, f/5.6 for 1/100 s, ISO 400
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 12:10 (UTC)
The overground trains? Not really. :-P Southwest Trains are among the worst, too.
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2005-12-09 14:32 (UTC)
No silly! They run on electricity.
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2005-12-09 14:06 (UTC)
When I first glimpsed your post, I thought I'd somehow got a message from Strathclyde Passenger Transport about the train services and underground here!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 14:28 (UTC)
Heh. Maybe they're tracking you! *Big Brother stare* Do you have a personal travel card, like the Oyster cards here? Where you can pass it over a scanner when you get on a train or a bus, and have the fare deducted from a pre-pay fund or a week/month/year pass?
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2005-12-09 14:34 (UTC)
No, nothing like that. I used to have a Zonecard though, which was unlimited public transport (any method) within your listed zones. That was very nice :).
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[User Picture]From: moxin
2005-12-09 14:14 (UTC)
England's public transportation system is extremely impressive...if only we could emulate it by 5% it would be an improvement. I took a train from West Sussexx (I'm pretty sure that's where it was) to downtown London, and obviously back again...oh, as well as from Gatwick Airport, and stayed at the Hickstead Inn down there...and nary once was I worried about where to get off and when the trains were running.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 14:46 (UTC)
Well, you have to remember the sheer size of the United States compared to the UK, and the relative populations densities. For instance, here were 244 persons/km2 in the UK as opposed to 30 persons/km2 in the US according to the OECD census in 2001. Also, I think the states in the US exercise a great deal more autonomy from the central government than the counties in England do. A reliable national public transport system in the US would be much more challenging to implement than it is here. The amount of rail track that would be needed, the problems of maintenance and emergency repair, of running trains frequently enough on very long routes through sparsely populated areas in the middle of the country to make using the system a reasonable alternative to driving - these would require a lot of money, manpower, and cooperative planning especially during the initial implementation. I'm not saying I don't think it's worth it, it's just that there are some pretty large barriers to developing a coherent national public transport system in the US.

Also, England's public transport system is definitely not without problems. Aside from the express trains to and from the airports, the overground train companies are nearly always bankrupt. The trains are often delayed and don't run frequently enough during peak hours. The stations are considered to be unsafe after dark because they don't bother to employ security personnel. Underground trains are often down or severely delayed due to signalling problems. The Northern Line should, in an ideal London, run 24/7. The night buses barely run often enough to compensate for its closure at just after midnight. Tube workers are currently threatening to strike over Christmas this year - the unions are in a state of almost constant conflict.
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[User Picture]From: moxin
2005-12-09 14:48 (UTC)
I'd rather deal with ANY of those problems than take another cab ride in NYC!!!!!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 14:53 (UTC)
Heh. True, and I'd rather stand at a bus stop/on a cold train platform, clutching a cup of tea and grumbling with a bunch of other equally cranky passengers, than sit in LA traffic during rush hour ever again.
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[User Picture]From: moxin
2005-12-09 14:55 (UTC)
Were you here visiting or living? Perhaps attending school?

I lived out there in Southern California from 1983 to August of this year. We recently moved to Flagstaff, Arizona because of the traffic situation and the high cost of living. No more...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 15:08 (UTC)
I lived in LA for four years during undergrad, then another two while I did a post-doc.

I don't think I'd move back, at least not to LA. For one thing, the prospects of buying a house in SoCal even when you are dual-reasonable-income are pretty laughable. I take it you're enjoying the change?
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[User Picture]From: moxin
2005-12-09 15:11 (UTC)
Yes, we're enjoying it very much. You're right about the income. My wife and I do pretty well, for any area but Southern California. We sold our house for more than we could afford...I'm just not sure how people are affording homes out there now.
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[User Picture]From: communistgnome
2005-12-09 17:57 (UTC)
We pay over half our net income to the mortgage. That's how we do it.
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[User Picture]From: moxin
2005-12-09 18:32 (UTC)
Only half? Shoot, you're getting off easy!!!!

We bought at the right time, you and I...those days are long gome.
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From: boxofkittens
2005-12-10 10:20 (UTC)
Your thoughts on this are pretty interesting. I think I take for granted the availability of transport in London, such as nightbuses etc., even though I grew up in the country (Somerset) where if you didn't have a car (or could afford a taxi) you really weren't going anywhere fast. Buses to the next town run about twice a day! And it's funny because I hanker after a life in the US but never really considered things like transport (which probably makes me thick, but there we go).
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From: 24db
2005-12-09 14:39 (UTC)
spooky....I'm going to be there tomorrow
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 14:55 (UTC)
Hee. It's supposed to be sunny for most of tomorrow. Good picture-taking weather!
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From: 24db
2005-12-09 14:59 (UTC)
Nah...good 'take my girlfriend out, so I can buy her a coat' weather. Photography comes second these days :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 15:04 (UTC)
Girlfriends are so distracting, aren't they? ;-) But in a good way.
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From: 24db
2005-12-09 15:06 (UTC)
lol...hell I even like all that holding hands bit :)

happy days :)
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2005-12-09 14:50 (UTC)
Oooh, so colorful. Wish our trains had some color (aside from the random, unidentified stains of course).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-12-09 15:01 (UTC)
I think they (Southwest Trains) just re-painted most of their fleet last year. I like 'em too. They're shiny.
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