Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The 1902 Flying Train in Wuppertal, Germany

A Trip Back To 1902

The flying train of Wuppertal, Germany in 1902 randommusings.filminspector.com
Wuppertal, Germany in 1902.
I'm betting that you didn't know they had flying trains in 1902. Well, I didn't know that. But then, I don't live in Wuppertal, Germany. It was and still is called the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn.
It turns out that the people running Wuppertal at the end of the 19th Century decided they needed a modern subway system. However, they had nowhere to put it, because their city was crowded between two mountains and a river ran down the center. So, they got creative and put their subway above the river - handing down from steampunk-style supports. Fortunately, a film of this ride was taken in 1902 by someone who knew what he was doing, and now you, too, can take a ride on the Wuppertal flying train in 1902.
The flying train of Wuppertal, Germany in 1902 randommusings.filminspector.com
It all looks very anachronistic and steampunk to me, like a video game rendition of what 1902 Germany might have looked like with Vincent Price flying around in a giant battleship powered by huge propellers.

Oh, maybe you are wondering as I was, "What does it look like now? Let's make a couple of comparisons. The stanchions were upgraded somewhere along the way so they are wider and sturdier and there isn't a need for as many of them. Perhaps this was done right after World War II when the flying train was partially destroyed by bombing.

Below is a fairly recent capture of Sonnborner Strasse in Wuppertal. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it is at the same bend in the road as the 1902 shot above. Compare them and see if I'm right.
Sonnborner Strasse, Wuppertal, Germany, August 2008
Sonnborner Strasse, Wuppertal, Germany, August 2008 (Google Maps).
Next up is 85 Kaiserstraße, Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia, as seen in 1902.
The flying train of Wuppertal, Germany in 1902 randommusings.filminspector.com
And the 21st Century version of 85 Kaiserstraße, coming up on your left.
The flying train of Wuppertal, Germany in 1902 randommusings.filminspector.com
Wuppertal in 2008 (Courtesy of Google Street View).
Remember, this is an actual film, though the color has been added. Oh, and the flying train is still in operation in Wuppertal to this day and in daily use.
The flying train of Wuppertal, Germany in 1902 randommusings.filminspector.com
If you like history as I do, you'll appreciate this film and how it transports you into another, long-gone world.

Other classic old films of yesteryear, most in color:


2020

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