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[test text] In Agatha Christie’s mystery novel “The ABC Murders”, the aclaimed detective Hercule Poirot observes that small boys tend to love trains, tying it to an “undeveloped mind”. While my mind has (hopefully) developed in the recent years, I still haven’t lost my early fascination for trains. If anything, that interest has grown to encompass the systems behind the locomotives: the politics, the economics, the bureacracy. And thus I cheered for Andy “Train Daddy” Byford when he swept New York with his promises of a “world-class transportation system” and shook my fist when Rishi Sunak “bravely” cancelled HS2. Behind all these buildings, there is a story, and I hope to uncover it with you.

My name is Anantesh Mohapatra and I am from New Jersey. That may not sound significant, but New Jersey is a hotbed for trains and transit in the United States. This state used to be crisscrossed by rail lines, and still maintains a comprehensive (if highly flawed) public transit system. Nurtured by NJ Transit and Amtrak, I hope to share my fascination for the evolving public spaces that I encounter.