This evening, I took a break from database work -- essentially a four-hour lunch -- and drove down to Mountain View to attend a meeting of the BayRail Alliance
, a rail-advocacy group of which I am member, although not a very active one. I pay my dues, but I don't do any volunteer work, as Fandom uses all of my resources. But this evening's program was a slide show about the various commuter train systems of the Tokyo area, so I thought I'd stop in and have a look.
The irony of me having to drive to a rail-advocacy group is not lost upon me. And thanks to the awful traffic on I-880 and CA-237 (including one accident on 237), it took me more than an hour to do the 20 miles between Fremont and Mountain View. the BayRail meetings are timed and located convenient to Caltrain, but that doesn't do me any good in Fremont. (My being present was good news for a person who had come from Pleasanton via BART and Caltrain, as I took him back to Fremont BART and saved him a lot of time for his return trip.) Alas, Dumbarton Rail might happen in my lifetime, but I'm unlikely to be living in Fremont when it does finally come to pass.
Which reminds me: I heard this evening that the Sacramento light rail extension to the train station will open this December. More than thirteen years since I moved away from Folsom, there will finally be an all-rail routing from the Bay Area to Folsom, by changing to light rail at Sacramento station.
The Tokyo train slide show was interesting, although it doesn't give me much additional useful information for the Japan trip next year, other than to reinforce the perception that they run trains on streetcar frequencies in Japan, especially in the large cities.
I was struck once again at the similarities between railroad enthusiasts and SF fandom. Looking at the group meeting there at Cafe Yulong
, you could easily have said it was a group of SF fans if only by the mildly dysfunctional personalty types manifesting themselves among the attendees. Saying much more than that would probably be offensive to someone.