Friday, August 25, 2017

Choo Choos

The new issue of Science Fiction Trails may be known as the choo choo issue.  Not only does it have a train on the cover, but a couple of the stories are train related as well.  Trains are a staple of the west.and of the western.  It was only after the transcontinental railroad was completed that we saw the massive expansion of the American west.  Sure some folks ventured around South America on ships and there were the families lumbering along on the Oregon Trail.  But it was the iron horse that really opened the floodgates of white people colonizing the west.  

Yet, those very rail lines now seldom carry human passengers and are exclusively devoted to the hauling of massive amounts of cargo. For years there have been bottlenecks in the rail system as the railroads struggle to keep up with the strain on their infrastructure.  

So, what's the next big thing in transportation going to be?  The SST was too costly and had serious pollution problems.  Tubes that allowed a new type of train to glide through a vacuum were promised in the golden age of science fiction, but never materialized.  And a Star Trek like transporter--well I haven't seen one open in my town yet.

And now we have self driving cars and aircraft on the near horizon.  Thanks, but I'd rather take the train.

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