Train progress spectacular overseas!

Believe it or not, it’s time to discuss passenger train travel again!
This time around, the talk is on some rather fantastic speeds such as being demonstrated in England and parts of Europe right now with magnetic rails and overhead electric wires to move trains at 240 m.p.h.
Can you remember back when it took two nights and a day to travel by rail to Toronto? That was during the Second World War years, too! Even to reach Mine Centre, as I well recall, the time was four hours—or all morning—to cover only 40 miles.
And in England right now, according to what I learned on TV’s Discovery Channel the other day, it’s expected that by eliminating all friction (by throwing away the wheels and bearings and roaring along simply on magnet power)—well, 1,300 m.p.h. may not be out of the question.
The race is on all over Europe as to which country can offer the swiftest transportation, and crs or airplanes are no longer considered superior there!
Most of us gave up on train travel so long ago it hurts to think back that far. The planes long have been preferred for cross-country or overseas visiting while the auto is recognized as the most convenient way to go wherever the highways beckon.
Personally, I hate to think about reliving our long, dark, and dreary years with trains, and their soot and coal smoke, before we turned to diesel engines, also rather dirty.
Vividly I remember my mother becoming anguished sometimes over the appearance of her fresh laundry when it had hung outside on the backyard clothesline in the coal smoke.
Mind you, the trains were not entirely to blame because many of our homes, the biggest and best, also employed coal for winter warmth.
Now, though, there are many who might not recognize a lump of coal if they were to trip over it. Magnets have come along as an impressive source of power in overseas transportation. There are brilliant minds at work developing and demonstrating how well trains can move on magnetic power alone—and discarding the train wheels to boot.
All of this comes on sounding so zany, I wonder why I bother repeating what I’ve learned on TV, but go to England and find out for yourself.
Our own passenger trains almost have passed into history, but once the new ideas take over on this continent, with its great open distances and thousands miles of track between major cities, it seems inevitable that all railroad hauling as well as passenger services will become adopted completely.
So for those clamouring for better highways and airports, it could be that song will be changing to the quiet music of magnetic power. Remember, nothing in our history has stood still yet when it comes to improving service, be it for faster travel or better fuel to run on.
But are we ready yet to accept travel completely without the use of fuel as we know it?
Magnetic power seems sensible if it can be turned on for our benefit, but millions of dollars must be found to bring it on in force sufficient to move trains.
But trains without wheels? Whoa, there. Such an idea is preposterous to us today, but go to Europe and be thrilled. Then come back to give us the new slant on efficiency of movement.
For one, I’d be happy to sit and listen to more on these ideas. And look at it this way, if you can. We’ve squandered millions of dollars right along on progress of all kinds and frequently less beneficial.
Yes, the world continues to turn, too, and just how much of this everyday experience is already dependent on magnetic power? Just give us time, and then stand back and watch us go.
• • •
TV commercials, far from making us buy their products, have become so long and tedious that the programmers must be getting nervous about us throwing the TV sets right out the window.
If you want to repair your spectacles or work on the corners of your house, watch for the recommended products.
But if you are merely stealing time to catch your favourite programs, do not expect to avoid the time-wasters, which come on nowadays in clusters as if you did not pay for your TV and need all those commercials!
• • •
While we await someone starting an abattoir to make use of district beef no longer accepted in the U.S., where have all our butchers gone of years ago when several of our storekeepers are good with knives themselves?
People like the Belluzes and Bernardis would go out among the farmers and bring back carcasses they would cut up and sell, and we did not even own deep freezes in our own homes.
• • •
Walter Andrusco can make the claim of being our town’s oldest inhabitant, especially after turning 97 in April, according to his brother, Nick, who is merely 87.
A third brother, Emil, between them in age but also a former bandsman, has been gone for several years. According to Nick, Emil was severely mistreated while attending school in Poland before the family came to Canada.
• • •
You think we’ve had too much snow? Well, my daughters in Sioux City, Iowa phoned to report they had 18 inches of snow come there a week ago Monday.
But it vanished almost immediately because unlike our weather, the ground there does not freeze and snow melts away almost immediately.

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