We have to realize that from the dawn of Creation to the 19th Century, the basic rate of movement for humanity was 3 miles per hour for 8-12 hours a day ... That means 24-36 miles in daily distance. This number considers flat ground and no major obstacles.
The domestication of the horse improved average speeds only if the entire party was mounted. The domestication of MOST beasts of burden did not increase the rate of movement; often the bill-payer for tonnage was speed.
The coming of the Industrial Revolution brought us the railroad and the wide-span bridge (as a common engineering triumph, not a "Seven Wonders of the World" triumph a la the Roman Aqueducts). Even an average speed of 10MPH was a trebling of the basic rate of man. Further, the capability of a train to operate through the 24 hour cycle meant up to a tenfold increase in distance per day (24-36 miles vice 240 miles per day).
As a nation, we advocated railroads as a Governmental policy up to the early 20th Century. Then, the automobile and the airplane vied for and obtained Governmental approval.
As a Nation, we value absolute convenience over conservation of resources. Rail is an efficient means of moving passengers and freight, but if we do not, societally, accept efficiency, we are stuck with the system we have.
The Limiteds once were the basic flagships and 1st tier trains of the railroads fleets. Today, the names are "romantic harkenings" to the past, usable because good buzzwords (The Empire Builder) trump plain English (The Daily from Chicago to Seattle).
At this point, I'll step off the box. Matt's our resident advertiser; he can give us some more about how train names help or hinder the marketing of a service.
~John Perkowski: Moderator: General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment
Assistant Administrator: Railroad.net/forums
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