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Rush hour

74 Comments

Commuters crowd into Tokyo's weekday morning trains.

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Disorderly crowd pictured in an orderly manner ! Railway Staff is missing.

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where are the white-gloved pushers?

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Should be illegal.

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i know which one i want to squeeze in on, hello denim skirt sweetness

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. >>>>>>>>>> YOu got to give the Japanese credit! <<<<<<<<<<< They still remain very well mannered in these over-crowded settings-compared to other places like NY or Shanghai ,,,,

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Haha @ tokyotom!

The guy behind and right of her is defiantly gonna rub on her. It is written in the eyes.

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Great photography concept~

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Now I know why there's so little obesity in Japan ...

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You just don't want someone breaking wind!

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I gave up trying to get on these trains. Its too stressful. I'd rather walk or take some other means of transportation.

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Insane.

How people can get up in the morning knowing that the train ride is going to be like this, I just can't imagine. (as a Shizuoka-ite)

On a related note, I see at least 7 groping incidents just waiting to happen. (maybe that's exactly how the groper gets 'up' in the morning?)

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@ogtob and @dj fuzz: Hah yeah its insane here in OSaka aswell. So nowadays iskip the express and superexpress and jsut hop into the local one. Soooo much more breathing space :) Nice photoconcept btw, where do these pictures get chosen?

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time to grope!

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3 minutes,

3 minutes is all they need to wait for the next train during the peak hours but everybody wants to get ride on the same one with everyone else.

Luckily there JR Kanto Bus that goes to Yebisu entrance of Tokyo station runs by my house so..hehe suckers

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I cant stand the stench.... its mostly the dudes, their stink breath and their suits & briefcases that need serious cleaning.

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the masks still freak me out a bit

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and I know plenty of people who commute more than one hour under these conditions. horrible way to start your day, the stress, suicidal tendencies, sudden bursts make more sense now. NeoJamal, usually the train that comes after 3 mins is similarly crowded. and 3 mins may be 1 min late for work, and you have to take all the crap for that

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The all look so happy and content, don't they? :P - Gees! I wonder why there are so many loons running around in the society?

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That is not crowded. I have been on much much worse. Where are the guys with the white gloves pushing on the people? Those are crowded.

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I like to Tokyo.... to visit. I kinda feel sorry for the people who live there. Gaijin included. I live in an amazing part of Japan. Fukui-ken. In a small town of 50,000 completely surrounded by mountains. I get to see and do things that people in Tokyo have never seen or even heard of. I have a castle outside my window. Rice fields. Cherry trees. I ride my motorcycle into the mountains and visit shrines and temples that pepper the land. On the other hand I have spent countless hours in Kanazawa, Sapporo, Osaka, Toyko, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Hemeji. The list goes on and on. I know Osaka and Tokyo and Kyoto like the back of my hand, but I never lived there, it would be hell. Did I mention I have a 4 minute commute to work. With all that free time I can visit anywhere in Japan. not to mention my rent is only 1 man!!! and I have a 20+ tatami mat (plus full kitchen and bath) apt. I am not trying to rub it in anyones face, but people should not be so quick to leave their lives (in japan) and move to Tokyo. Tokyo is an amazing city. I love it, but its also the loneliest place I have ever been to.

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first sight is, I noticed the girl in the middle with blue jeans. :P

reflected in the photo.. white, black, dark blue are the usual combination color of dressing found in Japan.

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just wait until there an accident onthe tracks, they instead of 6 trains an hour it is 1 train an hour and 6X more crowded. These pix show trains that are not even crowded at all by Japanese standards.

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the bottom middle picture is funny. the train will leave without him..

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I go to work 1 hour early to avoid, idiotic cramming like this. People pushing unnecessarily. A bunch of mun-keys and savage behavior. When it is almost time to leave someone(fellow native man) will probably elbow the lady in the skirt because she's a woman.I gave my seat up for an old lady yesterday and Junior High School kids were shocked, that I did that. " Ahhhhhhhh !!!! "

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Simply supports my belief that most Japanese folks in Tokyo do not actually live life, as much as they just survive it. Over-crowded trains, cramped apartments, near deafening noise level, over-whelming visual polution, and lousy air to breathe to boot. Plus they get the added bonus of living in the world's most expensive city. Can anyone really wonder why the population of Japan is declining? Quality of life is simply non-existent for the average J-guys and J-gals.

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Commuters crowd into Tokyo’s weekday morning trains.

Should change the word train to sardine can or cattle trucks. How could anyone arrive to work fresh and ready to go after being cramped like this??? What gets me is how some people are able to not only read the nespaper but effortlessly (origami style) turn the pages.

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I wonder if the photographer was runover 2 seconds after he snapped the photos....

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Actually the 3 bottom pictures typify the idiots that we have to put up with here in Tokyo. In London people get pushed back off the train for trying to squeeze in when it is already full. Seen it happen.

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I love the photo and its composition - one of the best pics on JT for a long time.

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...and they consider themselves a "developed nation." Anyway, great photo-montage.

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I remember a time when I saw a drunk salary man stand real close to the door inside the train...he was swaying in and out of the door...then the doors closed, and it just clipped his face..and his glasses fell off, right on to the platform, and the doors completely closed, and the train sped off, leaving his glasses on the platform behind. It was the last train. Just classic.

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Having lived for several years in both London and Tokyo I can say that the crowded conditions on the trains and the general unpleasantness of commuting is at least 10 times as bad in London.Toyo is a picnic by comparison.

Trains come regularly so are never so full,very rarely stop for lengthy periods between stations, people are considerate and polite and do not smell too bad,stations are clean and modern, very few thieves and almost no mad people

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Trains come regularly so are never so full,very rarely stop for lengthy periods between stations, people are considerate and polite and do not smell too bad,stations are clean and modern, very few thieves and almost no mad people

I must have been living on another planet. Trains come regularly in London ! Rarely stop for delays ! Stations are clean in comparison to Tokyo !! You've obviously never been to London in your life.

The only thing you are correct about is the thieves compared to London but Tokyo commuters being polite and considerate ? Rubbish. In London people know how to keep their distance and not to push others - it's too dangerous. I've had more bust-ups on the trains in Tokyo than I had in a lifetime in London.

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The main problem with the over-crowded trains is that no one has any consideration for strangers, just in general. Even when the train isn't crowded, the lack of common sense and manners is appalling. When it IS crowded, it's just 20x worse. I've had to endure a half hour train ride with someone's elbow pushing into the back of my neck, pitching my head forward while they held onto one of the rings. I literally could not lift my head up and had to look at the floor, and I wondered just how someone could NOT realize that they were doing this. Don't you realize you're pushing your elbow into something hard?

Perhaps they do realize, but they certainly don't care.

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I had my share of greasy men, smelly women, and groping idiots. No more rush hour for me!

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The Japanese are a group culture... when in a crowded train, you're not an individual with an elbow in your back... everyone is in it together, you're all in a rush, and you need to get where you need to go... you have to realize that you're also inadvertently being a pain to someone else, so if you want to be there, just endure it like everyone else.

Monkeyz> the person probably thought that it was better to inconvenience you with an elbow, rather than step on your foot and fall over on you when the train moved. Think of it as a different kind of "caring".

On a different note, I love this pic, but isn't it bordering on illegal to publicize all these faces without their consent? That said, I would be very impressed if the artist did get their consent somehow.

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All that nonsense about the stereotypically polite people here sends me into fits of laughter everytime I try to board or exit a train during rush hour. Everyone charges on and off completely indifferent to anyone else. And the special reserved seats for pregnant women, the elderly, those with small children and those with physical disabilities are always filled with people who don't fit into any of those categories pretending to be asleep. Commuters here are rude and selfish. That is the norm here.

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Must be the Yamanote Line. The dude eyeing the skirt in shot 13 seems to still be there in shot 16. Round and round and around he goes, what he can touch, pretty girls know.

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Wow! That's absolutely incredible. I take the train once or twice a year, but it's never been like that. I can't imagine getting to work in the morning. I'm totally shocked. And you guys say it's worse sometimes?

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Trapped: Interesting, now that you mention it, that's definitely many shots of the same train. The doorway that you can see the green ad in has a few characters recurring... Did the artist jump on, ride, jump off, snap pics, jump on.... etc???

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Hannari> Japanese people may believe in a group culture but, that group could take the effort hold those handles above their heads so that they aren't falling into everyone else. Also, everyone has a voice, and I thought a brain, yet when getting off the train, you might as well be in a herd of brainless cattle as people start pushing for the door before the door is even open. Hardly ever does anyone say anything to get the person in front of them to move so they can get off. They just push and hope the person in front gives way. Ridiculous!

I'm glad I've changed my work schedule to avoid the rush hour crowds for most of the week. You'll never again catch me standing on a Tokaido line train in rush hour. My back was out of alignment for a week after one ride.

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Town mouse and country mouse.

Tokyoites love it there and miss the pressure when they have to make a brief flying visit to the countryside.

Where I live the house and grounds are 750 tsubo and I pay 85,000 yen a month. Parking space for several cars free. I can make all the noise I like. I can open the windows and enjoy the trees and the birds, with not another house in sight. The airport, shinkansen station and highway interchange are all within 10-15 mins drive. Would I live in Tokyo? Not on your nelly!

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Wow! That's absolutely incredible. I take the train once or twice a year, but it's never been like that. I can't imagine getting to work in the morning. I'm totally shocked. And you guys say it's worse sometimes?

That is what a crowded metro looks like in almost any city anywhere in the morning rush hour. It does not look too bad to me, but I must be used to it!

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These trains aren't as crowded as some other trains I've seen.

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That is nothing like the real Tokyo rush hour. Those photos are a walk in the park compared to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0A9-oUoMug

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now hu cant be tempted to grope? (3rd row, 3rd column).ayayaaaay!, seriously, they know for sure the trains gonna be crammed in the rush hour and yet they still take that time. its prolly one way of getting their upper aside from the coffee, seeing people in a hurry and it will kinda rub on them for the rest of the day.

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hilarious video!

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I am so happy I live in a small town! I have a long commute, but by car or motorcycle. I don't think I could live like that.

Very funny video. Why not ask that last HS student to get out and wait until the next train? Unbelievable. Thanks for the video link, tapetptape.

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Sarge - These trains aren't as crowded as some other trains I've seen.

So true! I don't see any JR employees jamming the people in to get the doors closed. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is, the Japanese people are so proud of this lifestyle. Gawd! Sheep get better treatment where I come from. Just have a look at the expressions on the faces of every person in the photos. Every one is ready to snap or already has.

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LMAO great vid Tapetptape. Ah I've never had that experience myself. I've always avoided big busy cities when I travel.

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Hell on earth - the daily rush hour commute in Tokyo.

The trains used to run on time - but these days, they rarely ever come on time. People crammed in like sardines, smelly salarymen who reek like they havent seen a bar of soap in a week, and who would never dream of using deodorant. Sour faced men and women, who are mostly totally selfish about their space. Outbreaks of violence and rudeness everywhere. Most people do not use the words "shitsurei shimasu" or "sumimasen" anymore - unlike the Japan of decades ago. The politeness has all but disappeared, and when you do hear someone say "sumimasen" it is a shock to the syatem. Never have I seen such silent, lifeless, dull and unhappy-looking people anywhere else in this world, and I have been to many countries, both rich and poor. Tokyoites look miserable and lack colour.

Small wonder, when they have to endure this commuter hell every day, and then go home to their cramped, dark, lifeless and overpriced "rooms." No wonder their is such a large sucide rate here - the qualisty of life of people in Tokyo is abysmal - and I agree with an earlier poster that this is also one of the loneliest and unfriendliest cities on earth. Sad. I remember when it was different.

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Horrible! Anyone who would subject themself to this every day has a peanut for a brain! Myself - I ride my bike to jobs - get healthy AND avoid all those smelly salarymen!

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Pfft, call that crowded? How about a shot of the last train on Keio line or Inokashira line? Now thats crowded.

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Looks like a rush hour train in Singapore ... no difference ...

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Hell on earth - the daily rush hour commute in Tokyo. The trains used to run on time - but these days, they rarely ever come on time. People crammed in like sardines, smelly salarymen who reek like they havent seen a bar of soap in a week, and who would never dream of using deodorant. Sour faced men and women, who are mostly totally selfish about their space. Outbreaks of violence and rudeness everywhere. Most people do not use the words "shitsurei shimasu" or "sumimasen" anymore - unlike the Japan of decades ago. The politeness has all but disappeared, and when you do hear someone say "sumimasen" it is a shock to the syatem. Never have I seen such silent, lifeless, dull and unhappy-looking people anywhere else in this world, and I have been to many countries, both rich and poor. Tokyoites look miserable and lack colour. Small wonder, when they have to endure this commuter hell every day, and then go home to their cramped, dark, lifeless and overpriced "rooms." No wonder their is such a large sucide rate here - the qualisty of life of people in Tokyo is abysmal - and I agree with an earlier poster that this is also one of the loneliest and unfriendliest cities on earth. Sad. I remember when it was different.

I was going to rattle this off but thought the JT gang would hammer me for this.... spot on realist.

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Well, I live in Tokyo and I never ride the rush hour trains. Most of the people who do chose it because they work for traditional Japanese companies. This is one unpleasant aspect of Tokyo that I avoid. Other than that, it's a pretty exciting city ... and not too expensive for me!

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I think these photos are staged. Not one person is playing on their keitai.

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I have lived in Japan for quite a few years, and through luck and my own persistence, have never had to commute on a train ever; I have had times when I have been riding 20km each way to work on my bicycle, but I am a road bike racer, so I treated it as training.

So yeah, this must be hell. My girlfriend does it, and hates it, but I give her a total change of scene when she gets home, which really helps.

Riding a train is actually a novelty for me now, so I don't mind it too much.

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Hey, there's salarimen who don't bathe often enough, or at least to great effect. But there's also gaijin reeking of aftershave or perfume.

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Its a great picture. Maybe now some of you outide of Japan will understand that when we say the trains are packed, we mean it, and that some groping is accidental, and that the real groper really can be the guy behind the guy behind you (bottom, second from left, look at that LONG arm), or there may be no groper at all but just a bag.

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Sheer hell.

I am so happy I don't have to go through this ever again.

Worst time to take crowded trains in Tokyo: December, when all the drunkies go out of their bonenkai.It just reeks of a funny smell and all the shaky salariman zombies are the worst, short time big pathetic w@nker I had the unpleasure to endure for more than 5 minutes. I always had the impression that my clothes were leaking shochu even hours after getting out of these "drunk wagon"

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I live in an amazing part of Japan. Fukui-ken. In a small town of 50,000 completely surrounded by mountains. I get to see and do things that people in Tokyo have never seen or even heard of. I have a castle outside my window. Rice fields. Cherry trees.

What the hell? Fukui-ken? I lived there 16 years ago, and I thought it was the closest thing to hell on earth!!! It rained almost every day, and the people, at least then, LOVED burning stuff, even in the rain. So you had the smoke from the ground going up, and the rain clouds coming down from the mountains and it looked like the whole place was on fire! No, I take my blue skies in Kitakyushu anytime! But I do agree, the crowds, noise, and small places of Tokyo are more of a hell! At least in Kitakyushu, I could afford to buy a second house, with a a view from the most popular mountain area, and NOT have huge traffic jams as the "five cities" here are kind of spread out, and enjoy a life that is affordable. Even when taking the trains, it is fairly common practice to have a seat. Never have I stood up for more than a few minutes. From this perspective, people in Tokyo, must be flippin insane to put up with this.

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Japanese just love to be together in their groups don't they! Who would do this everyday?? The same weak pathetic workers who work 12 hours day, unpaid overtime and have no holidays. In London last year when I visited England on business, I suppose you could say at least they were at least a bit more spirited. On the underground in rush hour I witnessed 2 full blown fist fights. Entertaining at least! Do the japanese go in for fisticuffs too on the Tokyo subway??

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One thing I don't miss is the crowded trains (do miss the not so crowded ones). Once we were coming back from a Giants game & the train was so crowded I got claustrophobic & we had to get out & wait for the next train. And people think the trains into NYC are crowded....

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Ugh. I SO was not in the mood for bad puns this morning.

This reminds me of my evening commute using the DC metrorail. My morning commute wasn't that bad because I got on at the start of the Orange Line. Seats were almost always available then. Going home was a lot like this picture, though. Trains were running late because people were packed in so tight the last few couldn't get completely inside the path of the doors.

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@MistWizard: i do not see any long arm in the panel you mention.. but since you did write about groping.. look at panel 13 from top.. 8 from bottom.. see the woman in the center and her expression.. and how she stands? now look closely over her left shoulder (to the right in the picture) at the only person who is looking at her.. with his eyes turned but not his head.. some times there is no groper.. some times there IS.

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Looks like a rush hour train in Singapore ... no difference ...

could also be rush hour in nyc...just don't step on anyone's shoes, though.

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I think these photos are staged. Not one person is playing on their keitai.

Really!! I also think so. Imagine in a day when none in the train is using Keitai then what will they do?

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I would love to make a print of this. Unfortunately the picture file size is too small to enlarge.

Great pic.

Taka

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I almost thought it was a picture taken from Singapore's weekday morning train ... exactly the same lifeless face, smelly salaryman, inconsiderate people who sometime refuse to move in further, and don't forget we have weather that is average 30 degree celsius all year round, passengers are dripping with perspiration, some people who just forget to brush their teeth early in the morning and are yawning with their mouth wide open, trains that can take up to 5mins to come during office peak hours, trains that can stall in between stations for few minutes "due to technical fault"...etc etc

Oh and I once broke the record of only being able to get onto a train on the fifth train that came... during peak hours...

guess if I were to move to tokyo, it will not take me any effort to get use to their train system... ha!

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Been there done that. In the winter it's not so bad and I always recommend if you can at all get into the end of the car on the first car then it's not too cramped.

As soon as it starts to warm up in Tokyo, say April through Ocotber then it's a sweat-fest and no matter how high they crank the A/C you're still sweatin' buckets. Waiting on the platform for the train in that humid heat ain't no picnic either. Get some sweaty smoker next to you and you start dry heaving.

Then there's the times you get stuck on the line sweating it out forever because some selfish moron has decided to have a look at the underside of an express train on your line. It takes forever for them to clear up the backlog all the while you just sweat buckets in a car packed like sardines. Mmmmmmmm.....

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Is this a composite photograph, or is there a row-stack of trains this close to each other? I want to know while still acknowledging that it is a thought-provoking, artistic photo.

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Jesus! At least the Marta trains here in Atlanta are not this crowded...we just have crazy bi-polar people yelling at old ladies!

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These funny pictures always make me wonder why they don't make trains longer and wider. There just isn't enough space for all of those people. I would be under constant stress to get on and off of that train.

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