Riding the rails can be quite a rush

E-mail from DOWN UNDER

September 27, 2000|By Paul McMullen

One of the logistical pleasures of the Olympics is the rail system, albeit a must in Homebush Bay, where there is no public parking. Along with the Olympic Stadium, several domes and other first-rate facilities, the Sydney organizing committee built a rail terminal that has moved several hundred thousand fans in and out of Olympic Park every day.

It's about a 25-minute trip from Central Station in Sydney to the Olympic Park station, and it comes in handy when there's short notice of a C.J. Hunter news conference downtown. The crowds are orderly and polite, and one night a young group of fans serenaded several cars with a series of soccer chants, some naughty.

People can get into a power walk to catch the next train, however, and at the conclusion of competition every night, there is a mad dash that matches the finish of Ethiopia's Haile Gebrsellassie and Kenya's Paul Tergat in the 10,000 meters.

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