The Mercury Train

In a hurry? Don't like to fly? Don't worry. The future of fast ground transportation is here. The test runs of the new Mercury Train are very promising. With a special rocket-fueled engine, super streamline shape, and smooth gliding action, the Mercury Train breaks all speed limits. At 500/mph it is the fastest form of mass transportation in the world, beating out recent European and Japanese innovations.

Some experts have derided the Mercury Train as the Edsel of trains, saying that no one will want to travel on such a fast machine. It's not the speed that would bother customers the most--it's the stopping that would worry them. How does such a quick train stop in a hurry when it needs to? Parachutes. Like rocket-fueled drag racing cars, the Mercury Train uses huge parachutes to slow itself down. The train employs these in conjunction with its twenty brakes. Each brake has to be engaged by hand, requiring twenty different brakemen in various positions along the length of the train. The railworkers union is expected to back the production of this train vigorously.

Getting the Mercury Train up and running won't be easy. T.O. Express, the company building the train, has encountered problems with community acceptance. The small matter of a high-speed object zipping through quiet neighborhoods like booming thunder and lightning has caused some concern. We interviewed several people living in the areas where the Mercury Train has been tested. They were less than enthusiastic about it.

"If they run that monstrosity through town one more time, I'm going to blow up the track! I've got a shack load of TNT out back just begging to be used." was the response from Ethel Moore, local octagenarian.

Father O'Flaherty who runs the Fordham Crossing Orphanage said, "This was a nice little town. A peaceful place with decent, caring folks. That train runs all day, all night, whistling and squalling like a banshee. Without sleep the people around here are getting more irritable every day. There's even been talk of violence. Let me just say--it's about time! You jerks who built this train--we know where you live! And we don't need any @*%#$#! train to get to you!"

Other similiar sentiments were voiced by the hoe-and-torch-wielding citizens of Fordham Crossing when they called a townhall meeting earlier this week to discuss the problem. T.O. Express has assured us that a few minor complaints are to be expected with any new technology and won't deter the progress of the Mercury Train in any way.

Mercury TrainThe Future of Travel--the Mercury Train
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March/April, 1999