SIGNIFICANCE OF "air line".

Bruce Osburn
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SIGNIFICANCE OF "air line".

Postby Bruce Osburn » Tue June 18, 2013, 3:18 pm

While I was searching old newspaper files I came across this item in a March 1888 Kansas publication:

The Denver, Texas & Fort Worth Railroad is completed. There is now an air line from Denver to Fort Worth and thence to the Gulf of Mexico.

I know that the SAL touted itself as an "air line" but just what does "air line' mean?
Bruce Osburn
--We live so long as we are remembered... old German adage.

Jody Meacham
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Re: SIGNIFICANCE OF "air line".

Postby Jody Meacham » Thu June 20, 2013, 3:51 pm

In railroad terms, which predate the Wright brothers, an air line was the straightest, flatest railroad route. Before air travel became possible and popular, there were other railroads in addition to the Seaboard that used "air line" in their names including the Birmingham and Atlanta Air Line Railway, which later became part of the Seaboard, and the Cincinnati and Chicago Air-Line Railroad, which later was absorbed into the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was an early marketing ploy to imply that the particular railroad was the best one to travel or ship on.
Jody Meacham
HHS Class of 1969

Bruce Osburn
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Re: SIGNIFICANCE OF "air line".

Postby Bruce Osburn » Thu June 20, 2013, 7:13 pm

Thanks, Jody, for that bit of info because I was way off in what I thought was the reason for including "air line" in a railroad company name. Being just a little mechanically inclined, I thought the term referred to the braking system. Something like more dependable air brakes as opposed to the hand-crank method I've often seen in old movies.
Bruce Osburn
--We live so long as we are remembered... old German adage.


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