I’ve always loved trains, expecially old, slow, long trains. The window ratio is similar to a movie screen (much more than a car or bus), and I have seen whole countries this way. Like India, whose immense railway system is also a great way to take in the shape of land, the nature and the people. I’ve spent countless hours sitting on the doorsteps of slow trains, smoking, with my legs dangling out. Modern western trains usually aren’t as nice: fast, airtight bullets that want to compete with airlines. Fortunately there are some exceptions, like the amazing Circumetnea (which goes around the Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe) – not to be missed if you’re ever in Sicily.
American trains are becoming more and more similar to European railways, and the days of Hobos are long gone. But they have an interesting rule: night trains that pass through cities have to do it slowly. Combine that with my love for endless tracking shots and you have this video, which has been sitting in my hard disc for five years. This is what you see as the “City of New Orleans”, a train so cool it has its own song by Arlo Guthrie, strolls out of Memphis on its way to Chicago. The music is one of the four tunes included in The Alto Nido Sessions, my EP out on Bandcamp.