Train Encounter

As one of the most romantic films on record, Before Sunrise begins the story on a train, where an American guy (Jesse) and a French female (Celine) encountered. They were not seating together at the beginning. Celine was reading in a train car while due to the noise of a couple’s quarreling, she moved to another seat nearby Jesse. The two talked intensively with the pleasant farmland scenery passing by in Austria. It is not long before the two strangers connected deeply to each other and Celine was convinced to get off with Jesse in Vienna to spend a carefree day over fourteen hours. What bonds the two so strongly and make the movie so romantic is always related to the uncertainty. As “when you are traveling, you are much more open to experience outside your usual realm”(Linklater and Krizan). The train is a catalyst for the uncertainty. The seat choice is random and the stop could also be random. You meet with strangers just when you meet new cities. This magic experience is related to every one of us.3

Imagine that you are on a train, how would you plan the seat? Along the window to look at the beautiful landscape, in the dining room to have a good meal for your hunger of the trip or on the bed to get rid of your tired from the long journey. A train with different functions can satisfy people’s necessities in the same way as a house. But we should pay attention that a train is still a public place. The benefit is that it offers the opportunities to meet new people and share our opinions about life and death. In this way, a journey becomes partly a way to know better yourself.


In this way, a train is more than merely a transportation to take people to their destination. It is also a magic place where we encounter each other. The design of train should involve with the consideration of treating it as public space to boost communication and bond people’s connections. Some simple changes may work. For example, imagine a train cinema where windows for film-like sceneries in the daytime become a real screen for films at night. A movie may show one’s entire life, and a train may be part of its journey while affects the whole, as when Jesse convinced Celine to get off the train with him in Vienna, to think it in terms of time travel, a chance to find out the roads not taken.

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