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Very true they weren't flashy but they got the job done, and still are.
They were flashy in the 1930s. If you wanted to travel across the USA with some speed back then a fast train was the way to go. They were also designed to look fast. Nowadays you have trains in Japan that are by today's standards incredibly fast.
Yeah, but I'm referring to the way people perceive them, and is not often that we see people talking about trains as a "flashy" or "cool" mode of transportation.
Once you had planes capable of crossing great oceans cool and flashy left the trains and went in that direction. As for the way people perceive trains today, well, in Europe and Japan they are seen as cool.
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Rod Marsden says
Love your answer, but your last sentence says it all, Americans, don't know much more about the railroads than the transcon of 1869. Everything you mention is touched apon in grade school but beyond that it is forgotten.
I failed to mention the relatively new television series Hell on Wheels which is a beaut and also the remake of Pelham 123 (2009). There have also been recent documentaries on the building of the underground railway system in New York.
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