When I dream of travel, I always find myself in the same space. A vast, possibly infinite train station, platforms layered down into the depths of the earth and soaring into the sky, connected by an uncountable labyrinth of staircases. The architecture varies from section to section - lower platforms are modern, high tech, white tiled and close fitted and electric (fig 1), while the middle zones have vaulted Victorian iron arches soaring over the train lines (fig 2), and art deco signage. I do not know what forms occur in the upper stories, as I never venture more than one or two flights above the ground floor, though I often see stairs to higher realms. I suspect that it is not one train station, but all stations, past, present, and future, joined together through a Borgesian conceptual ether (or simply a variant on the better known L-space).
No matter where I come from, or where I am going, no matter the doorway I pass through, I will always arrive on a platform, somewhere in the maze, with mere minutes to find my connection. Trains arrive in apparently random locations at prescheduled times (though short, local routes do generally depart from lower floors), and each platform may have multiple trains arriving and departing at once, from any direction. No information is ever listed on any platform itself. Apart from ferociously desperate eavesdropping, the only way to confirm your boarding information is to navigate to the giant, cavernous central hall, which has a monstrous ever-changing arrival board a hundred thousand lines long and three columns wide. But I can never find this place on purpose - sometimes I stumble across it fortuitously while frantically running up or down marble Escher-like staircases. (Nobody else seems to have this problem - everyone else has always arrived in plenty of time to find their platform and even their carriage*, and moves with leisurely purpose until the train arrives, whereupon they board with such speed that they seem to evaporate).
The final key feature of this space, one which I hesitate to call a universal law (but so far it has held for me) is that if I leave the station heading west I am always, inevitably, on the wrong train. If I leave it heading east, then there's at least a 70% chance things are ok, though it's never clear how many stops lie between me and my destination.
*from this, and the general antiseptic cleanliness of the environment, I assume this Ur-transit space is located somewhere in Germany. Or maybe in a pocket universe run by Germans, which is a frightening thought.
Reference figure 1:
Reference figure 2:
Anyway trains are a neat concept? and they're fun to ride on.
One day I wanna do the ol' Paris-Moscow rail jaunt (pending a non-nuclear resolution to the current hideous conflict in the east). Also Railsea is a fun book what has trains in.