The entirety of the film Snowpiercer takes place on a train—a very special train that I can't stop thinking about. The movie itself is great—we've followed the film here due to its unique distribution plan to be made available on-demand platforms just weeks after being released in theaters—but to be honest, I was most captivated by the train itself.
I'm not going to spoil anything here when I tell you that 18 years from now, due to a foiled plan to save the world from global warming, we've managed to turn the planet into a frozen blob of ice. The few surviving humans are staying alive by circumnavigating the globe on a high-speed train. If the train stops, they'll freeze to death. (I know, it sounds like The Road meets Speed meets The Polar Express—but it works!)
But wait just a second, there. A high-speed train that circumnavigates the globe? Indeed.
Imagine a high-speed rail system that serves many of the world's major continents (except Australia, Greenland and much of Asia—looks like there was some kind of falling out with India and China in 2029). It's extensive and efficient and Hyper Loop-ish and looks like it worked incredibly well before the whole freezing-to-death thing. In the film, it takes an entire year to make the circuit, which is how they measure time.
After I caught a glimpse of the route map about halfway through the film, I kept fantasizing about the potential of a global train running on an infinite loop. Of course the explanation behind the train's perpetual motion is a bit more nefarious (let's just say it's not solar powered) and I don't think any of the passengers cared about the long-term implications of a rail system linking much of Africa. But there I was, dreaming of hopping a train to New York City, by way of Rio and the Caribbean Tunnel.
As previously mentioned, you can head out to the theater to see Snowpiercer today, you might be able to watch it on-demand with your local provider, or you can buy or rent it on iTunes or Amazon. I highly recommend seeing it through whichever delivery method you prefer—the bone-chilling premise is especially welcome on a hot summer day.
Stills via Brent of the Fabulous Wild