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

The Story In Pictures Of The Giant Hughes H-4 Hercules Made Entirely Of Wood In 1945-1947
Beautiful Photos of the Chrysler Turbine Car
Cool Pics Of 20 Great '80s Classic Cars That Time Forgot
Outstanding Color Autochromes from Pre-Revolutionary Russia
A Broken Vintage Piano Turned Into A Unique Analog Hybrid Of 20 Instruments Connected To The Piano Keys
Fascinating Black and White Pictures of New York Street Life in the Late 1960s
Humanoid Robots at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Technology
Explorer’s Stunning Photographs of The Arctic Sun from 100 Years Ago
80 Wonderful Black And White Photographs Of The Famous (And Not So Famous) People Who Have Left Their Mark On History
Beautiful Photos of the 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner
Space Colony Art from the 1970s
Photographs Of 'El Segundo Barrio' Of El Paso In 1972 By Danny Lyon
The Art of Japanese Portrait Photography by Kishin Shinoyama
The Biggest Anamorphic Illusion In The World Has Been Successfully Revealed On The Largest Outdoor Advertising Screen In South Korea
Nike Created A Limited-Edition "Stranger Things" Sneakers Made With Fabric That Can Be Burned Away To Reveal Hidden Details
Head Back To The 80s With Chris Mcveigh's LEGO Retro Desk Kits
Wonderful Photos Of The Sinister 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Cars
Concepts From Future Past: Alfa Romeo Carabo, 1968
The Mandalorian Season 2 Premiere Recreated As Classic Marvel Star Wars Comic
A Restored Chevrolet Impala In Moscow, Russia
Haunting Photographic Self-Portraits by Francesca Woodman From the 1970s
For the Last Decade, Artist and Collector Thomas Sauvin Recovered Discarded Negatives from A Recycling Plant Outside Beijing
Jay Ohrberg’s Bizarre Double-Wide Limousine From the 1980s
Home Office from The Future Past: Maurice-Claude Vidili's Sphère D’isolation, Model No. S2