I met my childhood hero, and it couldn't have been more awesome

I got to meet my childhood hero, and it's everything I dreamed it would be! Yes, by it, I mean a train, of course, given how weird and awkward I am as a human being, this shouldn't come as a surprise. It all happened when I still lived in Asia, more than half a lifetime ago. The Chinese Railways, whatever they called themselves back in the 1990s, bought (or "leased") a set of the X2 (a.k.a. X2000 or SJ 2000) from SJ for services on the KCR (Kowloon to Canton Railway) at 125 mph (the first ever regular service in China at that speed). Granted, being Chinese, they'd also conveniently and inadvertently copied its design, albeit not quite so successfully (see DJJ1).

Xinshisu.jpg
慕尼黑啤酒 - 自己的作品CC BY-SA 3.0链接 (the Chinese X2)

This time around, the X2 also brought me about my first impressions of the friendly Swedes. Judging from the sign of me taking pictures like a mad (or normal) Chinese tourist, not one, but two drivers invited me on a tour of the cab. Finally, not only did I get to see the mighty X2 in person; I also had the good fortune of sitting in the driver's seat and pretend I was a child again.

The word beautiful is an understatement (I'm heavily biased)


As a child, I had never seen anything as sleek and electric. As the adults around me told me, the X2 was not just any train. It tilts in the corners. Wow. The North American in me isn't a stranger to the X2, either. After all, it was one of two contenders to have become the Acela Express (although Amtrak ended up selecting neither).

Stockholm through the cab window

Informed by those who knew, the SJ decided to give these legendary tilting trains a refurbishment once again. As a result, the X2 is likely to be around for many more years to come, and I wouldn't have loved the idea any better. To me, the Christmas of 2016 was truly memorable, one of the few that I'd remember for the rest of my life.

Comments

Steve Boyko said…
I'm glad you got to "meet" your childhood hero! It sounds like you had a great experience. It sure looks like a beautiful train.

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