Monday, August 30, 2010

Helsinki-Pasila station - all change please

One of my kids is fascinated by level-crossings, in the wonderful way that only a four year old could be. Indeed, he loves the idea of any two forms of transport somehow crossing or merging; so driving onto a ferry is the height of excitement and amphibious tanks are the coolest imaginable vehicles. Mobile cranes trump static cranes, but best of all are cranes mounted on railway carriages. The idea of a ferry that actually has train tracks on it and hence can take a train across water is about as fun a maritime concept as you could imagine; and if you are going to have a plane on a runway, surely it would be a great idea for the plane to always race a sports car down that runway.

I totally understand this interest, and have always enjoyed the bit of my commute that takes me past the railway sidings in Pasila where, even on a bike, I cross two level-crossings and go past all sorts of interesting, and often somewhat forlorn and abandoned looking bits of railway infrastructure. So it is with certain sadness I note they are starting to rip up the old sidings in preparation for a redevelopment around Pasila station. This is to include all sorts of sparkly new buildings I'm sure, but probably won't do anything to bring out my inner-four-year-old like dozens of sidings and bits of old trains do.

On a siding to nowhere. Old track removal at Pasilä station

More sleepers than a houseful of Russians in a posh American suburb

I realise I've lived in Helsinki for a quite a long time when I think about how much has changed over the years I have been cruising around this town on various bikes, to various houses down the years. I probably shouldn't get nostalgic for some old, never used shunting yards, but as it has been an interesting part of my commute now for four years, I am a little.

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