Long-form YouTube: videos of entire long-distance train journeys




You might call it ambient video or ambient entertainment. It is not at all difficult to imagine having a large screen tv showing a video like this all the time, even live perhaps. Eventually still images will seem quaint.

Hold on. I didn’t say any of that. I need to go grab a domain name.

see ya.


It’s the Desert Bus of video. Thankfully it’s okay if you fall asleep.

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And you only get one less point for doing it on YouTube.

Listening Post on Al Jazeera English did a segment on the Norwegian phenomena of Slow TV.

It’s a hobby. 10 years ago I cared for a retired University professor who had a wall of vhs train track tapes from the whole world. All totally fixed camera, no side shots, no narration …just mile upon mile of tracks leading into infinity… kinda zen.


There’s a show on german TV called “Schönste Bahnstrecken” (most beautiful train tracks) at night. Search for it on YouTube and you’ll find hours of mostly german or european train trecks. Will certainly cure your insomnia.

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This started as part of Norway’s Slow TV movement, which began with the Bergensbanen video featured here some years ago. Norway has also done the Hurtigruten (the 134-hour cruise ship film alluded to) and Nasjonal vedkveld, a twelve-hour special on fire, which was just a camera pointing at a camp-style fire with a soundtrack varying between Norwegian country music and Norwegian blues and occasional mild talk about fire and firewood from national experts on the subject.

Hurtigruten minutt for minutt: http://nrk.no/hurtigruten/

Nasjonal vedkveld: http://tv.nrk.no/serie/nasjonal-vedkveld


Really, really nice. Perfect to fall asleep to, or have playing in the second monitor, like a moving picture. Although I’d really like to see some slow tv in a format i can pan and zoom in. Didn’t quicktime virtual allow something along these lines?

Every year here one of the cable channels airs a long loop (maybe about an hour) of a crackling wood fire. Occasionally someone puts another log on the fire from off camera. It runs for a week or so, non-stop.

A friend of mine has that show. On VHS. 4x3 VHS. And she plays it on her 48" plasma.

Ow, it hurts.

Japan also has a lot to offer in this regard: Just search for 車窓 (shasou, train window) or 前面風景 (zenmen fuukei, front view) to find an overwhelming amount of train rides.

I like the audio. I can see myself loading up one of these videos while I study just to have ambient noise that isn’t too distracting. Every now and then I might tab across to see how the scenery is changing.

How 'bout riding a train… in minecraft? (Only a couple of minutes, too)

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