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“Multi-Track Drifting” is a conceptual meme that originated from Densha de D, a parody doujinshi (fan comic) of Japanese street racing series Initial D that replaces automobiles with trains.
A signature of the Initial D series (if not street racing itself) is drifting: an action where the rear of the car swings outward in a turn resulting in a high-speed, controlled skid.
Multi-Track Drifting was accomplished in rail parody Densha de D by the protagonist heading into a double-tracked curve with his train in such a way that the rear wheel bogey jumps the tracks and replaces itself on the adjacent track; making the train appear to be drifting like a car would.
A model railroader at Japan’s Comiket manga convention reenacts the scene:
This video has been removed from Youtube. Instead, here’s a lesser known lego version.
Five additional multi-track drifting YMTNDs were made in 2005. For a list of all six, with up to date views and ratings see the YTMND search results.
Multi-Track Drifting gained more notability through 4chan after a fan translation of Densha de D was released online.
One of the earliest archived instances of Multi-Track Drifting referenced on 4chan is in thread 16972676 entitled Lawls for Kids (NSFW) posted December 8th, 2006. Given the context, it would seem that the meme had been established on 4chan earlier. Considering that there was niche interest on YTMND the same year that 4chan was established, it is possible that references to Multi-Track Drifting have been on 4chan from the start.
Additional info found on Lurkmore Wiki
Listed on TVTropes to define the operation of a vehicle in a way that defies design, limits, and physics.
Google Insights Analysis
The concept of train drifting born from Densha de D has considerably more Google search queries than the manga itself.
In terms of scale, Multi-Track drifting is obscure when compared to many other more well-known internet memes.
The meme itself does little more than serve as a reference to a joke sourced directly from a parody, and little recontextualization or mutation has ever occurred.
For more well-known source materials, these two factors would make it appear to be a basic a basic direct reference rather than a meme. But because the popularity of the joke has exceeded the popularity of the manga from which it is sourced, the idea of multi-track drifting has spread due to exposure to memetic instances online rather than the source material.