Like the hiss of a staticky television or the buzz of a leaky radiator, rumbly wheels provide a kind of industrial drone. It’s as calming to me as the nature sounds that other folks use to to chill out. As neurologist Dr. Christopher Winter explained to HuffPost a few years back, these sorts of sounds are steady, yet unpredictable, leaving our brains captivated but with “nothing there to process.”

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Soothing monotony aside, there’s something else at play, both for me and many other train listeners: memory. For a variety of reasons—some financial, some familial—I spent much of my early life moving across different countries, states, and cities, typically by bus or train. And when I struggled with housing as a fully fledged adult, I found myself spending lots of long nights on buses and trains again.

Taking transit late at night was just part of my daily life back then. It’s a risky move for a woman on her own, but it was also, in some ways, a lot more pleasant than my daily commute now. A 3 a.m. subway ride doesn’t have the deafening roar of that same ride six hours later. The only difference between the two is all the people onboard—which is the real reason we hate the subway.

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Take away the overcrowding, the delays, and the general incompetence of the people in charge, and you’re left with a train that’s rumbling along as pleasantly as the one from the Sleepy Time video above. When I’m angling myself into another cramped subway car, these recordings are a way to escape into my own little world, one of tranquility, of recollection, of wonderful, reliable trains.