Thursday, 25 April 2013

Train journey appreciation post.

I love train journeys. I love the buzz of the people, their conversations, their anticipation for their destination, their variety. I love the views, people's back gardens, back ends of industrial estates, mountains, the sea, fields, school playgrounds, offices, valleys, rivers. I love it when you go into a tunnel and the frequency changes and it's as if you've entered a black hole to arrive on the other side in another universe. I love the gentle lull of the train on its tracks, as it drums you into a daze. I love the warmth of the train and, when you're lucky, the sun finding your face as you move with it, chasing it. I think that the train is the most gentle of transports, its slow and calm journey is soothing as you find comfort knowing that this beastly machine will get you safely to your destination. A train journey is often a very satisfying one to make.

This is why above all the destruction of areas of natural beauty, I am against HS2. I don't believe that the majority of people want to get to Birmingham a whopping time of 20 minutes earlier, because the train journey is an important experience. People can easily get work done on a train, especially with plug points and WiFi. Most people take their train journeys as a chance to relax, finish bits and pieces, read a book, listen to some music, just watch the world go by. I don't see how spending billions of pounds on a train that won't even be able to reach it's full speed will benefit any man or woman. Whether business or not. I am not against change or development within our country and economy, but I don't believe that getting people to cities 20 minutes faster will make much difference. I don't understand this concern with time. We have plenty of time if we only stop for a moment to notice. Efficiency is only usually effective when people are calm and relaxed about doing things and getting to places. If we offer a journey that is supposedly faster, people will be expecting that and when it's not delivered it will only cause angst.

I say no to HS2 because train journeys can be a wonderful experience, and a high-speed train takes away that magic. Trains are the majestic old grandfathers of modern transportation, don't let's ruin that.