Warning: Geek navel gazing follows. The easily bored may wish to dive screaming for the power point and violently rip their still humming computers asunder from their power source of choice. Or not…
There have always been a variety of trains on the Melbourne urban system, or so I gather. The ‘Red Trains’ were before my time, but apparently had extraordinary character and quirkiness, not to mention a great deal of asbestos. D’oh!
For as long as I have had the good fortune to be acquainted with Melbourne’s delightful public transport system (not sarcasm, really! Try getting public transport anywhere else and tell me I’m wrong!) there have been two main types of train: The now-venerable Hitachi’s, and the recently refurbished Comeng trains. These two breeds appear very similar at first, having the distinctive metallic horizontal ridges and recessed automatic-cloing-doors. The most obvious difference is the windows: Hitachi trains have bisected windows which open. Comeng trains have single-pane non-opening windows.
Anyone who has commuted in Melbourne in the past couple of decades will be familiar with the relative merits of these trains: Hitachis are loud and rattly. They have heating but no cooling, and they frequently smell like hot metal. Comeng trains are quieter, slightly more comfortable, and blissfully air-conditioned!
I write all this tedious anorak-clad drivel because I want to briefly sing the praises of a newccomer among the Melbourne trains, and offer a sincere prayer that more of its kind are coming: The Siemens trains.
I’d wildly exhort that they rock except that that’s one of the noteworthy things that they don’t do. They are comfy, astonishingly quiet on the inside, steady and stable. Not to be confused with the rickety rollercoaster that is the X’trapolis.
That’s all I wanted to say about trains.
In a similar vein of pompous unreferenced reviews and opinions, I want to stick in a quick note about Ramen. Ramen is freaking delicious. If you work in Richmond or Melbourne (Victoria, Australia), and you’ve never had Ramen, I suggest you go to either the nameless Ramen bar next door to The Curry Club on Bridge Road, or Ajisen Ramen, near the top end of the Burke Street cinema complexes. This is healthy, tasty, cheap food with non-trivial amounts of cultural heritage.
Ok.. done ranting for now.
p.s. innumerable thanks go to E for correcting my crapulous typing!