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Unfortunately, we do not have our own pictures of a 'Chiefs', the famous Santa Fé Express from the 1930s. It goes from Chicago to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively, and takes almost 60 hours for the more than 2000 miles (3600 km). This is more than the calculated average of 60 km/h, just because of some stays even at small stations.

For the ascent to the Rocky Mountains, several loops are necessary. Today the trains in the USA are almost exclusively intended for freight traffic, with sometimes only one passenger train per day in both directions. Due to the neglected rail network, the average speeds have declined. The air traffic has passed the rank of the railroad.

At that time the greyhound was hardly faster, the ride with the railroad was unequally more comfortable. There was hairdresser, library, accepting for ironing and an open lookout platform. Nowadays it is probably only a vantage point with a particularly large number of windows, probably for safety reasons.

From New York, however, the Pennsylvania train goes via Pittsburgh to Chicago, initially even a little way electrically and then up the Appalachian Mountains. Even in the 30's, the Grand-Central was a place of unusual tranquility for a train station. A white, marble hall, but no platform to be seen. The platforms can only be reached via sloping ramps.

Grand-Central is currently 100 years old. Jacky Kennedy saved it. Not many buildings are so old in New York. The owners had the plan to sacrifice the Grand-Central to a high-rise building. Approximately 750,000 railway travelers are handled every day. About every minute, a train arrives or departs and the Waldorf-Astoria still has its underground privately access, which was once also used by Roosevelt.

Traditionally, railway stations in large US cities such as today's malls have already been designed. In order to provide themselves, one does not really need to go outside. On the contrary, the inner life of a train station is sometimes so much appreciated that you can go there even if you don't want to travel.

That was not always so. I remember well the 80s, when one had to snake early in the toilets and washrooms by a lot of sleeping homeless. And when you could see the daylight, you were by no means safe in the Grand Central area. If the police are only on horseback ...01/13