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Flashback Friday: Space Age Railroad

by Sean P. Aune | August 9, 2013August 9, 2013 11:00 pm PST

I’ve never quite understood why the United States feels the need to tear up its railways. Yes, we are a car culture, but there is something to be said for the efficiency of railways from the safety to the lower impact on the environment than hundreds of trucks traversing the nation’s highways. Other countries have kept their railways in operation, and even continue to improve them.

There was a time when the U.S. also tested concepts of how to make faster and better trains. While the testing done at the Holloman Air Force Base track wasn’t just about railway technology, it was a factor.

As Elon Musk talks more and more about his upcoming Hyperloop tests, I was reminded of the stories I heard about the Holloman tests. Musk is once again making railway style transportation interesting to people, and I say it’s about time. This film came from 1969, and there just haven’t been many advances in the U.S. since then when it comes to railway technology. When you look at the likes of Japan’s Bullet Train, you wonder why that hasn’t happened here as of yet. Hopefully Musk is on his way to rectifying this.

(Yes, before you say anything, I know that the Hyperloop isn’t technically a railway system, but it’s a somewhat similar concept)

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...