Streamliners: Locomotives And Bullet Trains In The Age Of Speed And Style – Design You Trust

Streamliners: Locomotives And Bullet Trains In The Age Of Speed And Style

A streamliner is a vehicle incorporating streamlining in a shape providing reduced air resistance. The term is applied to high-speed railway trainsets of the 1930s to 1950s, and to their successor “bullet trains”. Less commonly, the term is applied to fully faired recumbent bicycles.

As part of the Streamline Moderne trend, the term was applied to passenger cars, trucks, and other types of light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicles, but now vehicle streamlining is so prevalent that it is not an outstanding characteristic. In land speed racing, it is a term applied to the long, slender, custom built, high-speed vehicles with enclosed wheels.

Streamliners were a relatively late era development. The period in which trains ruled interstate transportation, the so-called “Golden Age,” occurred between the 1880’s and World War I. Into the 1920’s there was strong recovery, following federal takeover during the war, which persisted until the Great Depression and subsequent economic downturn of the 1930’s. Alas, that event proved a turning point.

As John F. Stover notes in “The Routledge Historical Atlas Of The American Railroads” (New York: Routledge, 1999), every year after 1929 the industry posted annual deficits on passenger services and the depression only worsened the situation. In Gregory Schneider’s book, “Rock Island Requiem,” the author points out that by 1936, 70,000 miles were in receivership or roughly 25% of the country’s entire network. As much as railroads tried, nothing slowed Americans from purchasing their very own automobile, an invention made affordable through Henry Ford’s mass-produced Model-T of 1908. To stem the losses, Union Pacific and the Chicago Burlington & Quincy came up with a new concept; the sleek, fast, and colorful train.

The streamliner was born.

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Richard Branson and US Officials Dedicate Space Terminal
Stunning Photos Of The Installation Process For 5G Network Equipment On The Mount Everest
Stunning Photographs From The Inside Of Russia’s Largest Bitcoin Mine
Beautiful Kodachrome Slides of West Germany Taken By a Nurse During Her Tour of Duty in the Early 1950s
Cool Photos of Boston Girls of the 1970s
Creepy 1970s-Era Posters From An Imaginary English Town
Beautiful Portraits of Vietnamese Girls From the Youth of the Republic, 1961
Captivating Vintage Photos of People in Encampment, Wyoming From Between the 1920s and 1930s
Vintage Family Photos Painted As Large Scale Murals By Mohamed L’Ghacham
Meet Hilda: The America's Forgotten Pin-Up Girl
Amazing Photos Of 1949 Delahaye 175 S Saoutchik Roadster, Which Was Owned By English Blonde Bombshell Diana Dors
This Russian Flying Kamikaze Tesla Car Is Real And Waiting For The Passengers
Amazing Vintage Photos Of Badass Women Riding Their Choppers
1959 Cadillac Cyclone Concept, An Indication Of The United States Obsession With Jet Design And Aerodynamics
This Company Turns a Disassembled Smartphone Into Decor for Your Home
This Guy Came Up With A Plan To Turn Any Backyard Into A Beach
Top Secret USB
Coolest, Weirdest And Fastest Racing And Concept Cars Built In The USSR
Neuno - A New Brutalist-Modern Tablet Stands!
Amazing Photos of the 1961 Ford Gyron
These Beautiful 16th Century Watercolors Illustrate the History of Comets And Meteors
This Miller Lite Beer Can Is A Video Game Controller
Mindblowing, Bizarre and Provocative Collages by Ffo
Vintage Photos Capture People Wearing Masks During the Great Smog in the 1950s