Category Archives: Rail

Beyond The Bar Car: 5 Ideas In Themed Rail Cars

The Metro-North Bar Car

The Metro-North Bar Car (Taken by Twitter user @jzaslav)

There’s been a lot of buzz about the end of bar cars on the New Haven line of New York’s Metro-North railroad. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs NYC’s public transit systems, discontinued the booze cruisers last week to make way for newer trains.

Though the idea of the bar car may seem novel, it’s not the first time a train has been re-purposed for commuter activities. Here are five other ways riders and transit operators have switched up their commute:

1. The Singles-Only Car

In hopes of helping Czechs find love in the big city, Prague transportation officials announced a program last summer that would dedicate one car per train for singles in hopes of facilitating some mass transit matchmaking, according to The Atlantic Cities. A spokesman told a reporter that the program would give commuters the time and place to find love amid their busy careers. Continue reading

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Can Trains Go Farther In Michigan?

Where the tracks are.

Where the tracks are.

By Matthew Varcak

Michigan is seemingly divided into two unequal sections, and that doesn’t just mean the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. When it comes to passenger rail service, the bottom half of the Lower Peninsula is serviced by three major corridors, while the rest of the state has none.

But plans are in the works for passenger rail service to reach one northern tourist destination – Traverse City.

While navigating the southern part of the state is fairly simple with the available trains, buses and taxis, the northern half is virtually inaccessible without a personal vehicle or plane. There are few alternatives besides a once-daily bus which departs from Kalamazoo heading north and includes several stops (namely Traverse City) before ending in Sault Ste. Marie, located on the Canadian border.

The lack of passenger rail to the northern half of Michigan will soon change, as the state looks to expand its light rail service.

 “We could possibly have a passenger rail to Traverse City under way in the next five to six years,” said Nick Schirripa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “It may happen sooner.” Continue reading

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