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Helpful Hints

History

1. Timelines should contain the most important developments in the history of American railroads and be historically accurate.

2a. Possibilities include voice-recognition software, hybrid gasoline/electric cars, flat-screen televisions, and hypersonic jets.

2b. Asimov includes a wide range of predictions: glowing walls that will change color at the touch of a button, underground houses and cities, "automeals" that can be ordered and completely prepared in your own kitchen by your appliances, space-based power stations that harness the energy of the sun, vehicles that travel hovering above the ground or water on compressed air, moving sidewalks in downtown areas, sight-sound telephones where you see the person you're talking to, wall-screen television sets.

Economics

1. Budd developed a way to fabricate stainless steel for train bodies. Kettering developed a lightweight diesel engine.

2. (a) 40 passengers; the solarium/observation lounge; the railway post office (b) refrigerator, car, ice bucket

Geography

1. The distance between Denver and Chicago was 1,015 miles; the time was 13 hours, 5 minutes; the average speed was 77.5 miles per hour; the date was May 26, 1934.

2. Paragraphs should include the name of the train, the route it covered, and the distance, time, and average speed.

3. (a) California Zephyr (b) Chicago and Oakland/San Francisco

Civics

1. (a) The public demanded railroad regulation in response to abuses like stock manipulations, and rate discrimination. (b) It helped cars, trucks, and planes gain popularity at the expense of railroads.

2. Arguments against continued federal support include the idea that railroads, like other businesses, should only exist if they are economically self-supporting. Arguments for continued federal support include the reductions in traffic congestion, pollution, and gasoline consumption that increased use of railroads would provide.

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The Railroad revolutionized American travel. What trains have you been on? Do you have any memories of Streamliners? Have you been in a Pullman car? Share your most memorable train ride.