Peter Falk

Peter Michael Falk was an American actor and comedian, known for his role as Lieutenant Columbo in the long-running television series Columbo, for which he won four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. He first starred as Columbo in two 90-minute TV pilots; the show aired as part of The NBC Mystery Movie series from 1971 to 1978, again on ABC from 1989 to 2003. Falk was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for Murder, Inc. and Pocketful of Miracles, won his first Emmy Award in 1962 for The Dick Powell Theatre. He was the first actor to be nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy Award in the same year, achieving the feat twice, he went on to appear in such films as It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Great Race, Anzio, A Woman Under the Influence, Murder by Death and Nicky, The Cheap Detective, The In-Laws, The Princess Bride, Wings of Desire, The Player, Next, as well as many television guest roles. Director William Friedkin said of Falk's role in his film The Brink's Job: "Peter has a great range from comedy to drama.

He could break your heart or he could make you laugh." In 1996, TV Guide ranked Falk No. 21 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list. He received posthumously a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. Born in New York City, Falk was the son of Michael Peter Falk, owner of a clothing and dry goods store, his wife, Madeline, an accountant and buyer. Both of his parents were Jewish, coming from Poland and Russia on his father's side, from Hungary and Łabowa, Nowy Sącz County, Poland, on his mother's side. Falk grew up in New York. Falk's right eye was surgically removed; the artificial eye was the cause of his trademark squint. Despite this limitation, as a boy he participated in team sports baseball and basketball. In a 1997 interview in Cigar Aficionado magazine with Arthur Marx, Falk said: "I remember once in high school the umpire called me out at third base when I was sure I was safe. I got so mad I took out my glass eye, handed it to him and said,'Try this.' I got such a laugh you wouldn't believe."

Falk's first stage appearance was at the age of 12 in The Pirates of Penzance at Camp High Point in upstate New York, where one of his camp counselors was Ross Martin. Falk attended Ossining High School in Westchester County, New York, where he was a star athlete and president of his senior class. After graduating from high school in 1945, Falk attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, he tried to join the armed services as World War II was drawing to a close. Rejected because of his missing eye, he joined the United States Merchant Marine and served as a cook and mess boy. Falk said of the experience in 1997: "There they don't care; the only one on a ship who has to see is the captain. And in the case of the Titanic, he couldn't see well, either." Falk recalls this period in his autobiography: "A year on the water was enough for me, so I returned to college. I didn't stay long. Too itchy. What to do next? I signed up to go to Israel to fight in the war on its attack on Egypt, he transferred to the New School for Social Research in New York City, which awarded him a bachelor's degree in literature and political science in 1951.

Falk traveled in Europe and worked on a railroad in Yugoslavia for six months. He returned to New York, enrolling at Syracuse University, but he recalled in his 2006 memoir, Just One More Thing, that he was unsure what he wanted to do with his life for years after leaving high school. Falk obtained a Master of Public Administration degree at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in 1953; the program was designed to train civil servants for the federal government, a career that Falk said in his memoir he had "no interest in and no aptitude for". He applied for a job with the CIA, but he was rejected because of his membership in the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union while serving in the Merchant Marine though he was required to join and was not active in the union, he became a management analyst with the Connecticut State Budget Bureau in Hartford. In 1997, Falk characterized his Hartford job as "efficiency expert": "I was such an efficiency expert that the first morning on the job, I couldn't find the building where I was to report for work.

I was late, which I always was in those days, but it was my tendency never to be on time that got me started as a professional actor." While working in Hartford, Falk joined a community theater group called the Mark Twain Masquers, where he performed in plays that included The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, The Crucible, The Country Girl by Clifford Odets. Falk studied with Eva Le Gallienne, giving an acting class at the White Barn Theatre in Westport, Connecticut. Falk recalled how he "lied his way" into the class, for professional actors, he drove down to Westport from Hartford every Wednesday, when the classes were held, was late. In

Jaren Station

Jaren Station is a railway station located at Jaren in Oppland, Norway. The station is the terminus for the Oslo Commuter Rail, but is served by regional trains that continue to Gjøvik. Both services are provided by NSB Gjøvikbanen; the station was opened in 1900 as a station on the North Line between Røykenvik. In 1902 the extension from Jaren to Gjøvik was finished, the line changed name to the Gjøvik Line; the branch line to Røykenvik too the name Røykenvik Line. The branch was abandoned in 1957; the restaurant was taken over by Norsk Spisevognselskap on 15 January 1930, but was privatized again from 15 October 1944. Entry at Jernbaneverket < Entry at the Norwegian Railway Club

Rail transport in Benin

Benin has a total of 578 km of single track, 1,000 mm railway. Rail construction began around 1900, with regular services commencing in 1906. Benin does not share railway links with adjacent countries, although at least three are planned, the link into Niger is under construction. Niger possesses no other railways so the new line will provide a first and only rail route to and from that country; the other surrounding countries, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, do have railway networks, but no Benin connections have yet been built. Benin will be a participant in the AfricaRail project; the proposed Benin-Niger railway will be converted to 1,435 mm standard gauge. The first railway in Benin was opened during the French colonial rule in 1906, between the port of Cotonou and Ouidah, by the Compagnie Française des Chemins de Fer du Dahomey, it was 47 km long. By 1936 the line was further extended to Parakou, totalling 437 km and became known as the Northern Line; the full line remains operational. A 1930 stock list shows that the Northern Line was operating 19 steam locomotives from its Cotonou steam shed.

An eastern branch from Cotonou to Pobé was constructed by Chemin de Fer de Porto Novo à Pobé, opening in stages between 1907 and 1912, named the Eastern Line. The Eastern Line was closed in 1990, apart from the section from Cotonou to Porto Novo on which freight services were retained, connecting with numbers of freight and industrial sidings in the capital district; this section was subsequently re-opened to passenger traffic in 1999, although this has since ceased again. A 1930 stock list shows that the Eastern Line was operating 8 steam locomotives from its Cotonou steam shed. A western extension from Pahou on the Northern Line to Segboroué was constructed by the Compagnie Française des Chemins de Fer du Dahomey, opened shortly after the Northern Line; the Western Line is derelict. There are no train services operating on the line, whose regular passenger services last ran in the 1990s. In common with many other former French colonial states, the usual track gauge in Benin is 1,000 mm metre gauge.

However, a number of narrow gauge railways have operated using 600 mm gauge. The longest narrow gauge line was the Chemin de Fer d’Abomey-Bohicon-Zagnanado, operating from Abomey on the Northern Line to Zagnanado, a distance of 49km, it opened in 1927 and closed in 1947. The Chemin de Fer du Mono, operated from Segboroué to Hévé, a distance of 27km, from 1931 until 1947, when passenger services ceased. A 10km section between Segboroué and Comè remained open for freight services from a quarry for several years, but is now closed. A third narrow gauge line operated on the original wharf at Cotonou, using an 0-4-0 steam tank engine. Several other minor industrial lines of 600mm narrow gauge operated at private commercial locations. Operations by the Compagnie Française des Chemins de Fer du Dahomey and Chemin de Fer de Porto Novo à Pobé were nationalised in 1930. Today Organisation Commune Bénin-Niger des Chemins de Fer et des Transports operates services in Benin, aims to operate them in Niger. Freight services still operate regularly.

Passenger services, which were regular and reasonably reliable until about 2006 have become sporadic, although the government is committed to restoring a full passenger service. There have been some experiments with tourist services and heritage trains, including the Train d'ebène, a 1997 heritage railway project using two YP locomotives from India, still under discussion; the Train d'ebène operates luxury tours using two coaches, one the former General Manager's private saloon, the other a former freight vehicle, converted into a bar car. A third coach the Presidential saloon, is undergoing restoration to join the train. In 2008 the government announced planned development of the railway including the purchase of three diesel locomotives to be supplied by Golden Rock Railway Workshop in India, renewed plans for the extension of services northwards into Niger; the three new powerful Co-Co locomotives are numbered CC1301, CC1302, CC1303. In 2005 it was proposed that Gaya, in Niger be connected to the railway network of Benin, with a planned completion date of 2018.

The plans were reaffirmed in 2008, but construction did not begin until 2013. Some construction work was completed, but the project stalled in 2015 due to a legal challenge, from local Beninese company Petrolin, awarded the original 2008 contract for the extension work, but had lost the contract in 2013 to the Bollore group, a company representing a public-private partnership. In March 2018 President Patrice Talon again re-assigned the contract, this time to a consortium from China authorising the anticipated further extension within Niger to Niamey. Despite repeated setbacks, the project is continuing, enjoys widespread regional support, as well as the strong personal backing of the President of Niger. Further extension plans include connections to Burkina Togo. A standard gauge rail connection is planned from Parakou to Ilorin in Nigeria, with some reports that construction work has commenced. Cities of Benin served by the country's railways are: Cotonou - port Porto Novo - national capital P