My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

Become a Fan

« Nine Shift Celebrating 10th Anniversary! | Main | Prediction: Cracks in the Edifice Complex »


D. P. Lubic

Oh, I've got to take note that some people are still faithful to the monorail. Personally, I think it's just a train with an unusual suspension system, and not quite worthy of the praise these fellows heap upon it, but here's some info anyway.

Have fun.

D. P. Lubic

Mr. Draves, I don't know anything about the title, other than the fellow does travel by train throughout the book on his way to speaking engagements and the like (the author was an educator of some note in that time). I don't think he had any "slow down the tide" agenda, don't think too many then would have. Interestingly, some of that seems to have started in the 1950s, as people noticed how bad traffic was starting to get in spite of all the new road construction going on, and also the bad air in places like Los Angeles.

The railroad industry was certainly aware of what was going on, and raised complaints about the subsidy that was going to roads. You might find this video, sponsored by the rail industry in the 1950s to be of interest. Of particular interest are the comments by a rail official starting at about 13:00:

Walt Disney, who was something of a futurist in his day, had some interesting thoughts about transportation. That monorail ride in Disneyland was intended as a demonstrator for the full-sized version as built by ALWEG for Seattle, Washington's World Fair. That ALWEG gear still runs in Seattle today.

Of course, only a year before, Disney had a future of roads program (some of that footage was used in the monorail clip above). In particular, check out the last 10 minutes or so of the complete program linked below. One fellow posting on another forum commented that segment was "like witnessing an LSD trip!" Oh well, it's still fun:

Sit back with Julie and some popcorn and have fun. . .

William A. Draves

What's discouraging is that politicians always follow the word "infrastructure" with "roads," meaning the federal and many state governments will waste billions on new yet obsolete highways that will be used less and keep declining in VMT.

William A. Draves

D.P., well, it won't become "apparent" to the establishment (people over 45) until around 2016, maybe even as late as 2020.

Between now and then:
1)Put costs on taxpayer;
2)Build roads like crazy, something both old Dems and old GOPers can agree on (unfortunately);
3) Try tolls, mileage meters, etc.
4)Stay in denial, even as Vehicle Miles Traveled and car sales all decline and/or trend to older people.

What's hopeful is that "the establishment" in 21st century cities and states already understand the need for light rail and trains and are making big, like really big, plans. Very exciting.

William A. Draves

D.P., thanks for the links to the "I travel by Train" book. Any hint about the title? My limited knowledge is that while auto travel was growing, that passenger trains were still popular. Today "I travel by train" would be thought of as a small, quirky, minority. But not back then. Perhaps he was trying to stave off the auto growth?

cheap bus services

Well personally I don't believe in predictions but Yeah I do believe in Intuition and sometimes I have intuitions also..Well we all believe and hope that this would be great year for everyone.

D. P. Lubic

Out of curiosity, what do you think the reaction of "the establishment" will be when this becomes apparent? Are we even seeing a reaction now, in what appear to be forms of denial, as highway bodies look for ways to economize, or raid general revenue funds?

I do have a book to recommend, although not a direct link to this, and a bit later than the 1912-1913 connections you've been making lately.

The book is "I Travel By Train," by Rollo Walter Brown, published by D. Appleton-Century in 1939. It's a series of observations by the author on what America was like in the latter 1930s. I like it for the travel descriptions in it (and recognize some of the locations, having actually been to some, and even ridden trains on some of the same routes); you may find it interesting for all the social experimentation going on at the time, looking at different ways to organize businesses, at new support groups for communities (keep in mind, this is in the Great Depression era, and like now, the latter part of that decade was one of sluggish economic growth despite a pent-up demand for things that were wearing out and in need of replacement). Some (unnamed) corporations were about as nasty then as now, too, and some of the well-off people in the book sound like the meanest so-called "conservatives" of today. Be forewarned, for some reason the book gets off to a slow start, and it's a little hard to get into it, but you will be rewarded.

Some links on this book:

Have fun, and a belated Happy New Year!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)