• Member Since 4th Sep, 2014
  • offline last seen Wednesday


You don't need a vacation, darling. You need a new life.



This story is a sequel to Track Switch - Frankfurt Calling

Modern just in time supply chains require arcane logistics. The people I work for specialise in that special kind of magic. Me? I just make sure stuff gets from A to B. And I'm good at it.
All over western Europe. Always at night. Always alone - just the way I like it.

Included in the Royal Canterlot Library. Now with Nightline character art by LunarFroxy.

Pre-read by CandyCanine
Reading the prequel is a good idea to get to know the other characters in the story, but not strictly necessary. As long as you like ponies on Earth, you're good.

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 131 )

Every engine, every train has its own behaviours. I seems to remember Pacers and Sprinters DMUs, wheere one had a leaky air suspention, so kept nodding off, another some pressure system kept cycling sothere would be asteadily increasing his folloed by a stuttered rapid loss, anothere where the turbo ran harmonics, regularly the engines would be slightly out of synch and so youd end up with the train surging and then pulling back every few seconds, but the one that really got me some months ago, was a DMU with what I beleive to be a flat wheel, as it managed to sound just like the thud thud of a classic steam locomotive, rate with speed.

Overhead electrics all well and good, but noone ever designs the train for when the thing breaks. And in Temperate weather, theres a lot of breaks. Also, why do the cars get on the move embedded charging coils, when such a system fitted between rails means if you short the charging power coil on the bogie, you get the propulsion part of Maglev?

Thanks for making a sequel! :pinkiehappy:

A good sequel to be sure! You delivered well on explaining eurpoean techniques. We dont have much for electric stuff out here, sans the North East Corridor and Amtrak's expresses. Nothing but diesel burning beasts at the head ends of our trains


IT says incomplete, does this mean we get more chapters?

And I loved every second and the music on loop really helped with the energy of the tracks and the train rolling through the land.

Heh, working ponies are coming over to adorably take our jobs! It's the best kind of alien invasion. :twilightsmile:

Hmm, what you describe are failures in maintenance, not a problem of electric locomotives as such.

Overhead electrics all well and good, but noone ever designs the train for when the thing breaks.

Of course.

You really want to make sure that happens as rarely as possible.

And in Temperate weather, theres a lot of breaks.

I remember being stuck on a mainline in baking temperatures because a crow hat been so unlucky to be caught between the pantograph of the intercity train I was in and the overhead line then came down on 200 metres.

Line breaks are very rare in central Europe though and usually happen when trees fall on the line during storms - which is also not so common because of maintenance regulations. They do lead to considerable disruption though when they happen.

The things are very solid (120 mm copper wire in the case of high-speed lines with a small amount of magnesium or cadmium to increase tensile strength for minimising lift by the pantograph). Their overhead suspension is also quite a marvel. They are designed for carrying up to 16 Megawatt and 1200 amp to be able to supply the third generation of ICE trains in double traction. I haven't heard of a any break of one of those yet.

Also, why do the cars get on the move embedded charging coils

What i meant was the coils in the asynchronous motor of the locomotive.

Thank you! a second chapter is forthcoming. The style of the next passage is so different to this one though that I felt it warranted a break between the two. There will also be a pink unicorn involved. I also wrote this one very quickly because I had so much fun with the -literal in this case- pace(ing).


Heh, working ponies are coming over to adorably take our jobs! It's the best kind of alien invasion.

The best thing about it in this case is the serious shortage of train drivers in Europe. In Germany alone there are over 800 vacancies, which has the effect of a lot of freight that could have been put on rails instead of overcrowded roads has no one to deliver it. It's not a hardware problem. Ponies to the rescue of our economy! Deutsche Bahn is probably lobbying to fast-track work visa for railway ponies that can easily be trained due to their basic understanding.

I love this world you've created with your two Track Switch stories !

I've just read this story through for the second time today while waiting at the... train station. I only meant to read the first chapter again but the story pulled me along.

Unexpectedly engaging, I like it.
Would love to see more :twilightsmile:

Thank you! I don't know where this world came from (although I'm sure the Admiral opened the dimensional rift for it), but I'm happy it did.
You reading it at the train station fits nicely with me writing it on the train ;)
Right now sitting at home writing chapter two.

Very nice, the music did indeed fit it well. I look forward to the continuation.

Thank you ever so much for getting "City of New Orleans" stuck in my head all day.

You can have this in return.


Thank you ever so much for getting "City of New Orleans" stuck in my head all day.

Oh, you noticed? :pinkiecrazy:

And thank you for the link, you cruel person. ;)

Haha keep them comin! Love reading this stuff!

Also, the music is every bit of what I thing european transit sounds like. haha

It's a lovely and endearing story, i enjoyed it greatly :twilightsmile:

Another good one! The comradery you showed in this was entertaining and lively. Little more in depth writing of Nightline's life. Very cool and i patiently wait for the next.

Uh I am trying to remember who Justin is?

I don't recall him being mentioned in the story with Penny.

I know the man who met her in the rail station name is Nick.

I like the nickname of Lion.

And glad to see the man finally followed through with the bet and shoes his shoes or boots.

Really enjoyed the chapter and I wish I could have hugged Nightline as well.


I missed the reference, but I love the song City of New Orleans. A sad song.

For me... I would be itching to go to Equestria because... .STEAM TRAINS!!!

I find their is just something majestic about a steam engine idle at the station as it puffed steam, taking on water and coal.

((I have ridden the George Town Loop, Durango and Silverton, the old Blackhawk Central back before I could remember it (They tore it out for more casinos), The 1880s train in South Dakota, All of those, of to use the train to actually travel. and stay overnight in a train hotel.))

Ahem. I am happy to have known that Nightlight worked with steam. And yes, Trains and ships have their own personalities, it is just something. I worked with old Street Cars for a summer, and their is something, even those small cars have personalities, from airpumps and the singing of the wire as it approaches the station.

Anyway, I want to thank you for both the song reminder, and to Celefin, it is amazing, and I want to say thank you.

Their is just something about friends bonding over work and railroad items.

Thank you very much for the amazing story.

Justin is the teacher from Zimbabwe who also works as cleaner. I admit he was only mentioned briefly in the first story. He is the little black boy's father in the tram.

Jan is a lovable Doofus who now will soon have knee problems. :b
And Night deserves all the hugs. And her engine.

Steam trains are indeed amazing and I was lucky to have a railway club close to where I grew up that are still restoring old engines. In the summer they offer steam trips around parts of southwest Germany and sometimes even work with DB and take over the spots of the regular scheduled trains. That's some seriously nice surprise when you expect your everyday boring diesel train and get a huge express steam locomotive with a trailing tender and historical wagons instead ;)

And the reference was The passengers will please refrain... (from opening the windows on the windward side)

Indeed, every large engine has a kind of personality, even the new ones. I'm not really sure what Nightline's cutiemark is, but I'm certain it was misunderstood back home. She has a special talent. Can you call it an engine-whisperer? Maybe it's a weird variant of dream magic. Don't know. It wasn't planned. She just did that all of her own and I rolled with it. I like Trax though, she's a good loco.

Thank you very much for the amazing story.




Oh man.... That would be epic to be waiting for your train. I wonder how many pull out their phones and film as the huffing and puffing of a steam engine.

I have to say, theire is nothing like the clanging of a real bell, the whistle being blown by steam as it huffs into the station and then... it starts again and the conductor yells "All Aboard!" It gives me ghoosebumbs imagining that. ANd at old train stations I can almost still hear those sounds and have the faint smell of steam and coal.

and Thank you for your help with remembering who Justin is. I am sorry I forgot who he was.

I hope Nick does well whatever it is he does.

Railway workers shunt in the night? :duck:

The best steam engine glimpse I remember was a couple years ago, when I was waiting at Sheffield station for my Pacer to Lincoln, when on the far side of the opposite platform, what pulled up, but the Inaugeral Steam Special day trip from the Heritage line terminus in my local town ERL Rawtenstall, heading out accross and down country to Peterborough, because of completing the extention, point and signaling integration with the mainline near Rochdale. I suspect it was going through Lincoln as well due to maintenance depots and supplies. They had a Diesel unit as well of course, at least one of them was expected to breakdown over the 500 mile return journey. Not sure if they had extra tender for self contained running.

Only half as much again as the mainline rail ticket.

I say again - this is an awesome world you've created.

Extra points for bringing in the other characters from your first story in a way that seems natural.


Railway workers shunt in the night? :duck:

Nope, they don't ;)

'old diesel engines and always during daylight hours. It was awful.'

Anyway. Yes these chance encounters are always great. There just isn't anything quite like these beasts.


I say again - this is an awesome world you've created.


What a lovely little story this is. I've always enjoyed ponies on earth stories, and this casual little slice of life is a breath of fresh air after all the apocalypse style fusions.

Thank you! And you're right.
At least there's always the Admiral to go to ;)

Thank you! Sometimes it's strange with writing-music, it can become character defining, at least for me. Chapter two just happened and chapter three is 50% done. That should hopefully also be the last one ;)

These train pony stories of yours are a bit odd, but lovely!

Heh, I agree with you completely. It's been a long time since I enjoyed researching and writing something so much though :)
And thank you!

Everything about this is adorable! Nothing like a bit of cuddling to get past the rough patches, and a friend who's willing to sit and listen doesn't hurt either.

Wow, that was quick! ;)

Everything about this is adorable!


What can I say, practice makes perfect! And I have had entirely too much practice...

It didn't even occur to me that Nightline was female until you explicitly mentioned it in the second chapter. Assumptions!

Have to say I consciously went against my own assumptions there, somehow a train driver has to be male. Hasn't the show only depicted male drivers as well? But that said, from the end of the first chapter...

I look at the knackered blue batpony in the mirror and give her a nod and a little smile.

Sometimes brains have automatic overrides though. :twilightsmile:

I actually appreciate how you didn't go down the clop route back at Nightline's house, and kept it clean.

It would have killed the development of story and characyers, imho. Too many writers would have done it by default.

Just a few good ear scratches and moral support is all you need sometimes.

I hop onto the bed and look over my shoulder. "Join me?"

Yep, that would have been the point where to veer off in that direction, felt that very strongly while writing the scene. It would be completely out of character and pointless storywise. I may write clop one day, but definitively not here.

Just a few good ear scratches and moral support is all you need sometimes.

Truth. :heart:

The trouble with electric traction is that the ride can be so Smooth, its Criminal.:duck:

Why do I get the feeling that letter was the ex informing her of his plans to move to Earth to be with her?

Gdansk in Poland - actually it's Gdańsk. ;) Yes, more weird letters. Next time try Łódź (Boat City I think would be as close as possible to orginal meaning).
But, eh, close enough. :)

Hm... well, for me it was obvious, it just sounded female for me. Also, I'm pretty sure in first chapter was something about bank cards and "Miss Nigh Line" on it...

Anyway, I'm tracking and can't wait for more. Godessess know we need more stories in that style and that good. :)

Haha, brilliant interactions for the gang!

This is really well crafted, just like the previous story. Down-to-earth pony-on-earth

Nice little thing to read before going to class, it makes for a good introduction to the "pony side" of the story.

Bakeries are one of the things where Germany beats all other countries

Debatable, I am pretty sure French bakeries are a few miles ahead. :rainbowwild:

The french have baguette, toast and boring white sandwich-bread. The Germans have everything else ;)
There are enough fields where the French beat the Germans hands down in terms of food.
Put French cheese on German bread and have the best of both worlds. Problem solved. :twilightsmile:


The french have baguette

My point exactly, why have anything else? :rainbowwild:
More seriously, I don't know about German bakeries, but usually the French ones are also pastry and sandwich shop and are very good at both.

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