Tuesday, July 3, 2012
That's No Duck
High-speed rail travel during the age of steam boasted schedules in America, the UK and Europe in which the vehicles would have been compelled to run at speeds in excess of 100 mph. But Mallard's record stands, though a German train came within a whisker of the record, and various anecdotal, but unofficial claims of higher speeds in the US have been made. However, while the Brits were serious about record setting attempts, and carefully monitored such runs, such endeavors never took place on this side of the pond.
I was traveling from London to Cambridge by train a good many years ago, but post-steam, and I noticed the conductor with his stop-watch checking the passing of mileposts. I asked him what our speed was. "Ninety," he said.
I have a soft spot in my heart, or perhaps it is in my head, for rail travel. I was fortunate enough to have grown up in the era of steam-powered trains. I had the privilege of making several trips by rail back then. I have also travelled by diesel locomotive, by bus, by plane, and by automobile. Just never could stay anchored in one spot. Unlike Immanuel Kant. Yet look who is the more noted.