Archive for December, 2010

by Engineman Wook

(With a tip of the wookean lid & striped engineman’s cap to Doc Z, up there at the VoTech in Indian-draped & accursed Old Mankato, MN!  EW)

As gothpapa says in his voiceover to this interesting video made by him from home movies made by his father, of the Chcago Railroad Fair more than sixty years ago, it was the swansong of the American railroad:


The 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair…

…was supposed to herald a great new breakthrough era in North American railroading. 
     With the benefit of hindsight, of course, we now know that the US railroad, especially, was just about to go straight to Hell! 
     It was because of the huge increase after WW II of car sales, and the “Eisenhowser” Interstate Highway legislation of the 1950s.  The excuse for the later was “defense”, and this lingo in turn was a cover for government subsidy of the new focus in American industry.  The American railroads it must be remembered had long suckled at the federal nipple of prebendary subsidence and theft.  Now they were about to be cut off from the graft, O-U-T.
     This post-war market shift is also just how Tee Vee sales in the same period wrecked the American movie, except in the porn-o and Sam Peckinpah slow-motion-violence thriller genres. 
     The pleasures of American cinema and travel in America both were now completely, well, derailed.
     But we do have the rich and wonderful archive of all the memories of our Old Atlantic western greatness…and so — in our Absolute Knowledge, after all, we do have no doubt of this — one day steam locomotives will boil, rumble and thunder over the land again.

Thank you, gothpapa, for reminding us all of this.

[Engineman Wook

[all rights revert to holders

[15 December 2010]


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