The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

From the Southern Travellers Handbook for 1965/66 #4

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
For the Southern [region], meeting this demand requires a total of 7,000 trains a day running 60,000,000 miles a year. More than a quarter of these trains run in the two short peak periods of each day. A bird's eye view of the south east in the rush hour would show a fascinating picture of green streaks seperated by less than a mile all moving, as if drawn by a magnet, towards the centre.
Between 08.10 and 08.20 no fewer than 37 trains every minute are converging on London, most of them running on a two-minute gap between trains and their timetables worked out to the second - 20 seconds is, in fact, the waiting time allowed at most stations.

No comments :