Rio Tinto mining company now has a self driving train (press release including video):
Map using data from Sounder. Again, haven’t done anything special with the data. Just creating maps.
Download GIS shapefiles for the Sound Transit (Seattle) from soundtransit.org
Very good series of shows from England about “extreme railways” by Chris Tarrant, Channel 5. Link below to the Channel 5 website is the official site for the show, but the episodes are not playable. Following links are from YouTube for the 3 episodes produced.
The flight from DFW to NRT was pretty uneventful. I was on an American Airlines 777. Pretty comfortable, though it seems like it was time for this plane to get it’s interior refreshed. There was nothing wrong with it, but some beige plastics tend to turn yellow and pretty gross looking after a few years. On top of that, some of the lenses over the lights were also yellowing, so really, everything had a tinge of yellow.
There were several babies on board the airplane and it seemed like they wanted to cry when I wanted to sleep, but were perfectly quiet and peaceful when I was awake. I’m sure it’s some sort of conspiracy.
When I arrived at NRT, it was 10am the next day and caught the Narita Express (N’EX) to Tokyo Station, where my hotel for the evening would be.
Japan has several different rail operators and I think they are all private, though I’m not sure. I’ll have to do some research on the Japanese rail industry. For 2,940 Yen (not quite $40), the Narita Express (N’EX), which is run by the East Japan Railway, will take you to Tokyo Station in an hour. My train went non-stop to Tokyo – some of the other N’EX trains over the course of the day have scheduled stops. You also have the option of taking one of the trains run by Keisei Railway. I could have taken a Keisei train to Shinbashi station for 1,280 Yen ($16) and then taken metro to Tokyo station, which would have been another $1.50, but decided to stay with N’EX and go to Tokyo Station, since that was closest to my hotel.
The rolling stock that that N’EX uses went into service in 2010 – It’s quite futuristic looking and really very pretty. The ride itself was smooth and comfortable. I was in economy class, which had very comfortable seats and large windows. The views out the window were beautiful – great way to see the Japanese country side and the suburbs. Along the way to Tokyo, there were several small towns and farms, including a few small rice paddies. In the suburbs, it would seem that where we have SUV, they have large minivans.
Map of the route that the N’EX took from NRT to Tokyo Station:
[map style=”width: 400px; height:300px; margin:20px 20px 20px 20px; border: 1px solid black;” gpx=”http://www.dhuru.org/wp-content/uploads/gpx/2012-10-11_NRT_to_TokyoStn_small.gpx” download=”no”]