Transporting Moments: Mobility, Australian Railways and the Trained Society

It has been suggested that being on the move entails a complex choreography, comprised of an admixture of passenger comportment, signage, announcements, timetables, maps, notices and posters. Employing insights from mobility theory, Transporting moments provides an account of railway culture from the passenger’s perspective. The book uses the context of commuting in Sydney, at a time when elements of its intra-urban rail network were undergoing a radical upgrade, as its principal case study. This upgrade encompassed its rolling stock, infrastructure and linguistic landscape. Understanding the rationale behind the upgrade requires an understanding of the historical and policy context in which the railways of Sydney and New South Wales, are embedded. This is also the case with Australia’s long distance trains, whose operators have fought hard to stave off competition from airliners and automobiles. Transporting moments, therefore, presents a strong case for preserving public transport as a more equitable and sustainable form of mobility. Transport policy makers across the world can use its insights to justify productive investment in their rail networks and public transportation services in general, and for reducing the global addiction to the automobile.

With its invaluable insights into travelling on trains, Transporting moments is a fascinating addition to the growing corpus of literature on day-to-day mobility.