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Train-Station Goodbye

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"The day's last one-way ticket train pulls in
We smile for the casual closure capturing
There goes the downpour
Here goes my fare thee well"
The Fray, "Vienna"

The classic parting of two lovers at the train station.

The two Star-Crossed Lovers are saying goodbye: who knows if they will ever see each other again. Expect a conductor on the platform shouting "Board!", forcing them apart. As the train starts to pull out of the station, the lover staying behind runs alongside to keep his lover in view as long as possible, while the lover on the train either leans out the window or is pressed up against the glass.

A very effective Tear Jerker. Can be a Downer Ending, but occasionally the lovers are reunited through The Power of Love.

See also Airplane of Love. In a modern North American context, this is an Undead Trope, as railroads have decayed in favor of short-hop plane flights and the automobile. It's more common in media from Japan and Europe, where trains remain a vital mode of transportation. In a story with a more supernatural edge, one may be seeing the other off at the Afterlife Express.

If the lover who's staying is trying to get to the station before the train pulls out, it overlaps with Race for Your Love.


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  • BoBoiBoy: Non-romantic examples, involving friends and family seeing the hero off before his train trip.
    • Because BoBoiBoy is only in Rintis Island for the holiday, his grandfather and newly-made friends are sad to see him go, and wave goodbye from the platform while BoBoiBoy gives his signature thumbs-up from the window. This is in the Season 1 finale, and he moves permanently to Rintis Island in the 2nd season once his parents permitted him at his request.
    • Come the extended version of the very first episode (a Milestone Celebration for the series' 10th anniversary), the prologue has BoBoiBoy seen off by Amato and MechaBot, the former being his father, at the train heading to Rintis Island. He raises his hand to the window towards BoBoiBoy as they say their goodbyes to each other until the train leaves the platform.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Allison and Lillia plays this trope almost entirely straight (with it being a literal Tear Jerker), though it's subverted a scene (and 15-year Time Skip) later.
  • Blue Drop has an interesting variety, in which Mari runs after Hagino's space ship, right before it rams a ship of the invading Arume fleet.
  • At the end of Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura runs by the train to give Syaoran her second teddy bear to signify that they are a couple and that she will wait for him to return.
  • Digimon Adventure ended in a tramway goodbye, where the humans had to return to the human world and part ways with their Digimon. Digimon Frontier ended almost the same way.
  • 5 Centimeters per Second has this as one of its many pivotal moments, because it's one of the last times Tohno sees Akari before they permanently part ways. It's made even stronger since it was after the first time they shared a kiss, and spent the whole night catching up and reminiscing, snowed in at an old shack.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist plays with and subverts this several times between Edward and Winry, finally playing it straight in the finale.
  • The Full Metal Panic!: 2nd Raid OVA used this at the end. Tessa confesses her love to Sagara as he's leaning out of a plane taking off. The music swells romantically and is then subverted when Sagara mishears and thinks Tessa is admitting to being an alcoholic. Tessa is not amused.
  • This comes up at the end of both Galaxy Express 999 movies.
  • In Honey and Clover, Hagumi says goodbye to Takemoto when he is about to leave Tokyo by train after his graduation. Despite Takemoto's feelings for her they are not lovers, but it still leads to a heart-wrenching bittersweet ending, especially when Takemoto opens Hagumi's farewell gift later on.
  • Maiden Rose opens with what should be a by-the-book Train-Station Goodbye scene but then unexpectedly takes out the "goodbye" part which launches off the whole story to follow.
  • Meiko and Namura in Marmalade Boy, complete with Saigo no Yakusoku — a massive Tear Jerker in and of itself — playing in the background.
  • Played with in Moriarty the Patriot: William sees Sherlock off at a train station in Durham, and while they don't kiss like lovers, William does take the chance to be openly emotional with him before the train horn interrupts him and carries Sherlock, leaning off the train, away while William watches with a longing expression and says to himself how nice it will be to see him again.
  • The Satoshi Kon movie Millennium Actress has Chiyoko chasing the mysterious artist to the train station just as the train pulls away.
  • Both played straight and subverted in Neon Genesis Evangelion - Touji and Kensuke show up to say their farewells to Shinji, but Misato's arrival at the very last minute causes Shinji to change his mind.
  • Sentimental Journey - Kaho's episode ends with her handing off a bento box to her (female) best friend who's moving away.
  • The anime and manga series Emma: A Victorian Romance uses the 'just too late' variant when Emma leaves London and William chases her to the station.
  • In Sailor Moon, Ami says goodbye to Ryou this way. Later subverted with Rei and Yuichirou: the train turns out to be a Monster of the Week. Oddly, the actual example (given that Ryou barely appears again from that point) is very light-hearted in tone, while the subversion is a real Tear Jerker episode complete with appropriate Awesome Music.
  • In Muhyo and Roji, happens when Roji leaves on a train for training at the MLS after being temporarily dismissed by Muhyo, which raises the question of whether they will get back together.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, White decides to take on the Battle Subway to learn how to fight. White says her goodbyes to Black from the train window, who muses all that they've done together and how he'll win the League for the sake of both their dreams. Yes, he does end up running after the train while it goes off, but somehow manages to hurl the Pokeball with his Braviary inside to her so that she has three Pokemon to challenge the Subway with.
  • Subverted in Kids on the Slope when Junichi decides at the last second to take Yurika with him.
  • Not lovers, but in Hidamari Sketch, when Yuno's train to take her back after a visit home starts off, her father runs while keeping his upper half erect and visible in the vertical door window.
  • Nate sees the yo-kai Bruff off in one episode of Yo-kai Watch. It's played for laughs considering the melodramatic nature of the episode. Nate even runs after the train and falls down while running.
  • Parodied in an episode of YuruYuri. Akari barely misses a train and chases it futilely as it pulls from the station. After hearing the commotion outside, Kyoko sticks her head out one of the train's windows and acts as though this trope is in effect.

    Comic Books 
  • In Amazing Spider-Man #143 (1974), Mary Jane Watson accompanies Peter Parker to JFK airport from where he and Robbie Robertson are going to fly to Paris for a story. The two had been dating for a while, but it is only now before they are saying farewell that she asks him to kiss her. It is a good kiss, and a major turning point in their relationship, and set up that their love had now grown so strong that not even the introduction of Gwen Stacy's clone (that very issue) could derail it.

    Films — Animated 
  • Played with in Luca. Although usually done as a lover's goodbye, it's portrayed in this film as an homage to the train station scene from Fellini's I Vitelloni. At the train station, Luca learns he can go with Giulia to school, leading to a heartfelt good-bye with Alberto who is staying behind with Massimo until Luca returns in the summer. As the train starts to leave, Alberto runs along side until he reaches the end of the station then jumps out onto the ground yelling congratulations and encouragements to Luca as he pulls out of sight.
  • Near the beginning of Zootopia, Judy says goodbye to her family before she boards a train to Zootopia for her new job on the police force. Cotton, a child bunny who is her favorite niece, brings a slight parody to trope by being the one who shouts "Bye Judy, I love you...Bye...Bye" as the train doors shut and running alongside the train as it pulls away.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Trope Maker is 1944 film Since You Went Away, with Jane and Bill's tearful goodbye at the train station, complete with declarations of love, Jane running after the train, and Bill handing her a keepsake from the moving train window.
  • An early and pretty frosty example can be found in Dodsworth, where the female lead bids the male lead goodbye after telling him she wants a divorce.
  • The Since You Went Away version was parodied in Airplane! with the soldier on the plane, leaning out the hatch as it taxis down the runway, and his lover running alongside yelling her goodbyes whilst colliding with various stuff.
  • Brief Encounter with Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. Starts and ends at the train station in Carnforth, Lancashire, England. No one does any running though.
  • Occurs in the film The Butterfly Effect when the boy and the girl are still in adolescence. The boy holds up a sign reading, "I'll come back for you". He does several years later, but it doesn't end well... at least in that timeline.
  • Casablanca, of course. Although it's a Subverted Trope because no one was waiting for Rick at the station.
  • Far from Heaven: Julianne Moore's character rushes to the train station to say goodbye to Dennis Haysbert. He sees her at the platform but makes no move to get off the train and go to her. The train pulls away from the station with the two of them looking at each other, then Dennis steps back inside the train as it rolls down the tracks.
  • Parodied ruthlessly in Hot Shots! Part Deux. After Topper's fiancee leaves him, it starts raining at the train station...but only on him.
  • In Mr. Nobody, the young hero has to decide whether to leave with his mother (on the train) or to stay behind with his father (at the station). The movie explores both of his possible futures separately.
  • Done with a bus in As One, but otherwise played letter-straight, with Bun-hi being taken away on the bus while Jung-hwa follows along outside, calling out to Bun-hi, reaching for her hand, and giving Bun-hi a ring. Tears are shed.
  • Two Women plays this straight, with Giovanni saying goodbye to Cesira as she leaves Rome, and following along as the train starts to pull away.
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan has the "Saying Good-Bye" scene with Kermit and Piggy.
  • In The Namesake film based on the book, this is messed with viciously. Gogol(now Nikhil) and Moushumi are about to go on a train to see Gogol's parents. Gogol then finds out about Moushumi's affair with her high school sweetheart. Gogol turns away from her in the train station and Moushumi walks away, embarrassed.
  • Inverted in Safety Last!. The movie opens with a scene that appears to show Harold about to be hanged while his family bids goodbye from behind the bars. Then the camera angle shifts and it turns out that it is actually a train station.
  • Another parody occurs in Young Frankenstein, with Madeline Kahn getting caught in the departing train's steam/smoke and coughing her lungs out.
  • Anne of Green Gables (1985), when she goes off to Queens College. "She'll be gone so long, she'll get terrible lonesome".
    • There's another one in "Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story" when Gilbert goes off to war shortly after their wedding. It's the only movie to not follow any canon at all (it's not even in the right time period), but the love scenes are heartwrenching.
    • Subverted at the end of the first installment of the 2016-17 Breakthrough Entertainment trilogy adaptation, where Matthew and Marilla have found a new family for Anne and are about to send her away by train, but as Anne is waiting at the station with Matthew, Marilla has a change of heart and rushes to bring them back.
  • Used in the film The Secret in Their Eyes, which finds the protagonist's lover chasing the train down the platform, even though they've already exchanged "I love you"'s.
  • In Closely Watched Trains, the main character is about to kiss his love interest who's on the last car of a train. The train starts moving before their lips can touch.
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure features a bus depot goodbye as Simone (the waitress he befriended earlier) waves goodbye to Pee-Wee as she goes on her way to Paris, complete with handkerchief.
  • In The Journey of Natty Gann, Natty and Harry have a touching farewell at the bus station, including a kiss, when Harry leaves for California to work while Natty stays in Washington to look for her father. The movie leaves it open-ended as to whether or not they're likely to see each other again, although Natty is shown writing a letter to Harry before the ending.
  • In Carry On Girls, Peter Potter is leaving on a train to Fircombe to help promote a beauty contest. His girlfriend, Paula Perkins, doesn't know about the beauty contest and is there to see him off. She gets miffed when all the pretty girls are also boarding the train. When the train lurches off, Peter loses balance and falls into the cleavage of Dawn Brakes, while Paula is still watching.
  • In A Man and a Woman, Jean-Louis sees his love, Anne, off at the train station. Then he drives like crazy to be in Paris before her train arrives.
  • 1925 silent film classic The Big Parade features a Troop Transport Goodbye, in which the hero has to leave his pretty French girlfriend when his regiment is called up to the front. It's a different vehicle but otherwise, the trope is played perfectly straight.
  • In I Love You Phillip Morris Phillip runs through the prison and out into the prison "garden" to chase after the prison bus Steven was on and they promise they'll see each other again. Steven drops the title of the film in the process.
  • The Leo McCarey classic Make Way for Tomorrow has a Tear Jerker one of these. An old couple is forced to separate when they lose their home and none of their kids can/are willing to take them both in. Things get worse, and finally, Pa has to go to California by train. The kids are discussing the situation and you're left with the hope that they'll find some way to get Ma out there too. But the old couple is certain they'll die before reuniting, and they have a long, heartfelt farewell.
  • Sterne has a particularly harsh Tear Jerker, as the train in question is a cattle car taking Ruth to Auschwitz, being hopelessly chased by the protagonist Walter.
  • Done in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: Rahul runs along Anjali's train to convince her not to leave. The twist is that it plays like the traditional "starcrossed lovers" scene, but Anjali's love for Rahul is unrequited and he shows up at the train station accompanied by his girlfriend.
  • Seen in Michael Collins when Michael and Kitty bid farewell to Harry Boland, who is departing for a trip to America. Kitty kisses her then-beau Harry goodbye.....and is then forced to do the same with Michael when some British officers demand to see her papers. The music that plays over the scene is even titled 'Train Station Farewell' on the soundtrack.
  • At the end of The Front Page, Walter Burns sees Hildy Johnson and his bride-to-be off at the train station, even giving Hildy his watch as a wedding gift. It had been a gift from "The Old Chief," so there's some sentimental value there. After the train leaves, Walter wires ahead to the next station that "the son of a bitch stole my watch."
  • The Chow Yun-fat film, Treasure Hunt ends with Jeff (Chow), having rescued his Love Interest Mei from the corrupt government soldiers who wants to harness her psychic abilities, then bidding Mei a farewell as he boards a train leading him to the city. With Teresa Teng's "The Moon Represents My Heart" playing in the background.
  • Heartwarming moments when Joe sees Katherine off in Fury (1936), including a Memento MacGuffin ring being handed over.
  • At the end of Adele Hasn't Had Her Dinner Yet, Nick Carter is boarding the Orient Express in Prague. He's traveling to Egypt to investigate why the Pyramid of Cheops disappeared. He's saying goodbye to his love Kvetuska – who is sad but understands that he is the only one who can solve "the pyramidal mystery". He's also saying goodbye to Professor Bocek, Kvetuska's grandfather, and his Prague sidekick police commissioner Ledvina.
  • Two of the five film adaptations of the Don Camillo stories end on Vitriolic Best Buds Don Camillo and Peppone saying goodbye at the village's train station; in "The Little World of Don Camillo" the titular priest is Reassigned to Antarctica and in "Don Camillo's Last Round" Peppone is elected to Parliament and Kicked Upstairs. The second time is actually a subversion, as Peppone changes his mind at the last minute and decides to remain as mayor.
  • Played completely straight in My Reputation which has Jess tearfully saying goodbye to Major Scott. He then says that he'll marry her once he gets back from the war front.
  • Before Sunrise. Just... Before Sunrise.
  • Recycled In Space in Queen of Outer Space. Instead of a steam engine, the girl gets buffeted by the blast of the rocketship taking off.
  • No Time to Die has a rather tragic example: James Bond and his Second Love Madeleine Swann are attacked by Spectre in Italy, and Bond thinks Madeleine has something to do with it and parts ways with her at a train station, putting her on a train and wishing they never see each other again. In this case it's the woman running along the moving train carriage to keep Bond in sight as he's standing still on the platform, until he turns his back and the train accelerates carrying her away. It turns out Madeleine had nothing to do with the attack; Ernst Stavro Blofeld was behind it and just did this to either kill him or break his newfound love relationship.
  • In When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Keiko, a geisha, does this with her married lover Nobuhiko as he leaves on the train. Because he's with his family, Keiko can't say all she want to say, which makes the scene all the more heart-rending.
  • Call Me by Your Name: After a formative summer exploring his sexuality with him, Elio sees Oliver off at the train station with a hug.
  • Famously subverted in Desert Hearts, when Cay jumps on the train with Vivian after Cay asks Vivian what she wants and Vivian replies "40 more minutes with you."
  • One of the best tear-jerking versions in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Guy has been drafted, and Geneviève with tears in her eyes sings a song at the train station begging him to stay. He can't, but promises to come back because he still loves her. It doesn't work out.

  • Harry Potter presents us with a variant that offers a touch of foreshadowing. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Ginny runs after the Hogwarts Express to say goodbye to her brothers, and there in the train with them is Harry.
  • Spoofed in the Sven Hassel war novel Comrades of War when Dumb Muscle Tiny falls in love with Battleaxe Nurse Emma. As the train is leaving for the Russian front, he leans out the window shouting that he'll put in for medical leave so he can see her again, only to get hit in the head by a passing pole, whereupon he shouts gleefully, "See, I've got a skull fracture!"
  • Murder on the Orient Express opens this way with Hercule M. Potriot boarding a train from Syria to Istanbul.
  • In the L.M. Montgomery novel Rilla of Ingleside (eighth in the Anne of Green Gables series), Jem and Faith kiss goodbye at the train station before he heads off to fight in World War One

    Live Action TV 
  • Early Edition setup for one of these, but when Gary reached the train station, the girl wasn't there: she'd decided to take an earlier train because she knew if he tried to talk her out of going, she'd probably stay.
  • An episode of Goodnight Sweetheart had Gary running after the Eurostar to say goodbye to Yvonne, only to trip over a luggage trolley. Notably, the 1940s plot was that Noël Coward wanted Gary to have a walk-on in Brief Encounter.
  • Saturday Night Live spoofed this trope, in which a woman (Casey Wilson) continuously chases her World War I-bound lover (Zac Efron) even as the train breaks into full speed.
  • Shown in the Title Sequence of Supertrain, because they were trying to Follow the Leader from The Love Boat rather than because it fit the mood of this ill-fated series.
  • Seen in ER's episode "Union Station", which also averted the Race for Your Love trope when Mark Greene dashed to the train station to declare his love to the departing Susan Lewis and beg her not to leave, only to have her rebuff him and leave anyway.
  • Used in Bramwell, along with Race for Your Love, which had Eleanor Bramwell running to the train station in order to reconcile with her lover.
  • Happens in Glee at the end of "Goodbye" between Finn and Rachel.
  • Father Brown: There is a train station goodbye between Lady Felicia and her New Old Flame at the end of "The Face of the Enemy". He then uses a cloud of steam to pull a Stealth Hi/Bye and board the train.
  • In "A Very Juliet Episode", Psych does this twice; once at the beginning in a flashback where Jules and her college boyfriend swear to meet again, then at the end where they make the same promise.

  • "Penélope", a song by the Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat, is about a Train Station Goodbye. The man, however, returns several years later.
  • The Monkees song "Last Train to Clarksville"
    • Though in this case, the eponymous train is the one she's taking to meet him. He isn't actually leaving until the morning.
  • "Love in Vain" by Robert Johnson (Covered Up by The Rolling Stones).
  • The song "Summer Rain" by Belinda Carlisle contains this in the chorus, as she is "whispering our goodbyes/waiting for a train/I was dancing with my baby/in the summer rain." The music video depicts a Train-Station Goodbye as well.
  • The video for Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time features one at the end.
  • One is implied in the first verse of Styx's "Babe": "My train is going/I see it in your eyes/The love, the need, your tears..."
  • Al Jolson's "Toot Toot Tootsie."
    That little choo-choo train
    That takes me
    Away from you, no words can tell how sad it makes me.
  • "White Room" by Cream has a second verse using this trope, including lines like "Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows/I walked into such a sad time at the station."
  • "Leaving Nancy" by Eric Bogle, which is based on Bogle saying goodbye to his mother at the train station as he left to emigrate to Australia.
  • "PDA" by Scott Helman
  • The interlude of Britney Spears' "Oops! ...I Did It Again" uses some sound effects to give the impression that this is where Britney is saying goodbye to someone, who gives her what's hinted to be the Heart of the Ocean before leaving. The music video, however, depicts them as being on Mars with the guy as an astronaut, even having the "All aboard!" line said by mission control.

  • Seen in the "Dainty June" vaudeville scene in Gypsy, except it ends with June declaring she'd rather stay with her cow than go to the big city. This foreshadows a later scene where the boys bid an unromantic goodbye to Rose and Louise at a train station, with June already gone.

    Video Games 
  • At the end of Milfeulle's route in the first Galaxy Angel game, this occurs when Milfeulle decides to leave the force... even though they're in space. Don't worry, she's not gone for good, from either the Love Interest or the military.
  • Played with in Kingdom Hearts II when, after Roxas merges with Sora at the end of the prologue, Sora cries when he leaves Twilight Town on the train even though he hardly knows the people he is leaving and doesn't seem to be leaving for good.
  • Amnesia: Memories uses this for Ikki's Normal Ending. He's saying goodbye to the heroine because she's moving back in with her father, with his place being a two-hour train ride away. It's played as a very Bittersweet Ending because Ikki makes it clear that he believes their relationship will fall apart, and that her not deciding to move in with him shows her view of things, too, and that any further continuation will come from her side. The ending leaves off on the heroine and Ikki messaging each other about making plans for the next weekend.
  • The end of Persona 4 has your whole group of friends doing this to you as you leave to return to your parents.
    Yukiko: Thank you for everything! Stay well until we meet again some day!
    Teddie: You'll always be my Sensei forever!
    Naoto: Please don't forget about us over there!
    Rise: I love you, Senpai!
    Kanji: I'll do my best! You better not run away too, Senpai!
    Chie: I'll always remember our time together!
    Yosuke: Distance doesn't matter to us! Even if we're separated, we're still friends!
  • A non-romantic example is the ending of the fourth case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, in which Phoenix's sidekick Maya goes to train in the Kurain Channeling technique in her hometown and Phoenix says his goodbyes to her at the station by wishing her the best.
  • Grim Fandango does an alternative take on this with Glottis being unable to go beyond the Land of the Dead with Manny and Meché; whilst it obviously isn't romantic in any way, it's still a potential tear-jerker through Glottis embracing Manny and crying about how he's the best boss he's ever had.
  • An NPC in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door hangs out at the Rogueport train station because she loves the thought of these.
  • Subverted in Final Fantasy VI: Cyan is forced to see off his deceased wife and son as they board the Afterlife Express.
  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F has the song "Time Machine", whose video shows Miku spending a wonderful summer vacation with you (from a first-person perspective). However, all good things must come to an end, and you board a train, with Miku crying as she follows the train up to the end of the platform as you leave.
  • We Happy Few has an extremely dark example. Arthur was supposed to board the train to a Nazi prison with all the other young children, but sent his retarded older brother Percy instead, knowing they would never see each other again. Percy is last seen calling for Arthur to save him as the train pulls away.


    Western Animation 
  • Parodied by The Fairly OddParents!. As Trixie boards a plane, Timmy yells out that she was the one who stole his goldfish to attract his attention. She didn't hear anything due to the noise the airplane's engine was making.
  • The Simpsons did it, and Lampshaded it, of course, in "Lisa's Substitute". Lisa's substitute teacher Mr. Bergstrom — her Precocious Crush and one of the few people with whom she feels a genuine connection — takes a train out of Springfield after spending one episode in her life, leaving only a note to remind her of why things will be alright: "You are Lisa Simpson".
    • The short "Playdate with Destiny" parodies this. Maggie runs after the train that's taking Hudson away, and ends up losing him...except the train in question is a park ride that just loops back around again.
  • A variation happens in The Backyardigans episode "Best Clowns in Town". When Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin help Tyrone catch up to his train, they hug him goodbye...and cause him to miss his train again.
  • Comedic variation: Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam battle for who gets to accompany a bevel of bathing beauties on the Miami Special. Bugs wins, and as the train pulls out, he calls "So long, Sammy...see ya in Miami!"

  • St Pancras Station, in London, has a statue of a couple embracing called The Meeting Place under the clock, which is presumably meant to evoke this trope.

    Real Life 
  • Beatrix Potter, the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit had this happen with tragic consequences in Real Life. Her parents objected to her engagement and insisted she leave with them for the country to wait 6 months to "test" if these feelings were strong enough. Her fiance (Norman Warne) saw her off at the train station while it was raining. He caught pneumonia. Then he died.


Video Example(s):


No Time to Die

Their love now ruined, James Bond and Madeleine Swann decide to part ways at a train station.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / TrainStationGoodbye

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