Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Train Cars

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I don’t know why people think graffiti is so bad. It seems like graffiti is just a call for help. It’s very rare when kids tag something that is pretty or well-run. Even when they do, the people in charge of the pretty thing have it cleaned or repainted. The only graffiti that sticks around stays on things that were ugly to begin with.

Wednesday, when I was driving to work, I passed a long train that was stopped on the tracks. One car had a tremendous graffiti on its side that read, “Pier.” It looked like a huge billboard and it made me think how stupid train companies are. They should sell advertising on the sides of their cars just like buses. I cannot count the times that I have been trapped on a road, just watching the train go by and hoping for the end. That is an advertising opportunity for them that they are just giving away to the graffiti artists.

All the train cars were rusty and in desperate need of painting. The cars with graffiti actually looked better than the cars without. Why is Union Pacific allowing their train cars to fall into such a state of disrepair? How can it be that the graffiti is the prettiest thing on their cars? Sure, the cars are serviceable and function the way that they were intended, but if Union Pacific started selling advertising on the sides of their cars, the graffiti would disappear and they would get extra income. How can it be that they haven’t noticed this potential?

It’s not like the world needs more advertising. Everything everywhere has advertising. We even have vehicles that drive along the highways just to be mobile billboards. They clog our traffic and fill our minds with logos and catch phrases. It’s not like there is a dearth of advertising in the world, but in a world where I can’t turn my head without someone telling me about their new home development or car line, I was surprised when I saw the huge word “Pier” without a phone number to call or a website to access. What does it mean? It means that Union Pacific is dropping the ball, big time.

Advertisement is everywhere. It’s on our clothing. It’s on billboards. It’s on buses. It’s on this website. It’s on television. It’s on the radio. It’s on the sides of buildings. It’s damn near impossible to spend a day without some form of advertising creeping into our lives. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate advertising. I love it. I want to see it on the sides of train cars. I want to see it on the back walls of the warehouses that follow the track of our light rail system. In fact, I’d rather see advertising than rusted out train cars and graffiti. It tends to be prettier.



  1. Hi laura, I was just doing a search on Google to see if anyone has approached the Railways to talk to them about selling advertising, came upon your sight here, did you ever approach anyone about this?


    Comment by Peter — 12/8/2006 @ 4:42 pm

  2. Laura,

    I think there may be real potential with the concept of advertising on the side of rail cars…..I have some advertisers that have shown interest in this concept. Have you learned anything more about the opportunities regarding train car advertising? Is it being done?

    Thanks in advance,


    Comment by Jim — 2/8/2007 @ 1:58 pm

  3. I’m not in the advertising business, so I don’t really know if this concept is being used or not. It’s a great idea, though. Take it and run with it, please!

    Comment by Laura Moncur — 2/9/2007 @ 10:30 am

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