Railroad Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 97 quotes )
People nowadays seemed to resent the railroads for abandoning romantic steam power in favor of diesel. People didn't understand the first goddamned thing about running a railroad. A diesel locomotive was versatile, efficient, and low-maintenance. People thought the railroad owed them romantic favors, and then they belly ached if a train was slow. That was the way most people were—stupid.
...better not to do than to do, better to meditate than to act, better his astrophysics, the threshold of the Unkowable, than my chemistry, a mess compounded of stenches, explosions and small futile mysteries. I thought of another moral, more down to earth and concrete, and I believe that every militant chemist can confirm it: that one must distrust the almost-the-same (sodium is almost he same as potassium, but with sodium nothing would have happened_, the practically identica, the approximate, the or-even, all surrogates, and all patchwork. the difference can be small, but they can lead to radically different consequences, like a railroad's switch points; the chemist's trade consists in good part in being aware of these differences, knowing them close up, and foreseeing their effects. And not only the chemist's trade.
What would the new teacher, representing France, teach us? Railroading? No. France knows nothing valuable about railroading. Steamshipping? No. France has no superiorities over us in that matter. Steamboating? No. French steamboating is still of Fulton's date--1809. Postal service? No. France is a back number there. Telegraphy? No, we taught her that ourselves. Journalism? No. Magazining? No, that is our own specialty. Government? No; Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Nobility, Democracy, Adultery the system is too variegated for our climate. Religion? No, not variegated enough for our climate. Morals? No, we cannot rob the poor to enrich ourselves.
If I were to name the one crying evil of American life, Mr. Derrick, it would be the indifference of the better people to public affairs. It is so in all our great centres. There are other great trusts, God knows, in the United States besides our own dear P. and S.W. Railroad. Every state has its own grievance. If it is not a railroad trust, it is a sugar trust, or an oil trust, or an industrial trust, that exploits the People, because the people allow it. The indifference of the People is the opportunity of the despot. It is as true as that the whole is greater than the part, and the maxim is so old that it is trite - it is laughable. It is neglected and disused for the sake of some new ingenious and complicated theory, some wonderful scheme of reorganization, the fact remains, nevertheless, simple, fundamental, everlasting. The People have but to say 'No' and not the strongest tyranny, political, religious, or financial, that was ever organized, could survive one week.
It will be hard James but you come from sturdy peasant stock men who picked cotton and dammed rivers and built railroads and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity You come from a long line of great poets some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said "The very time I thought I was lost My dungeon shook and my chains fell off." You know and I know that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon. We cannot be free until they are free. God bless you James and Godspeed.
Years after I'd seen him for the last time I found myself thinking of him unexpectedly and often. You know how certain places grow powerful in the mind with passing time. In those early morning dreams when I come back to bed after a sleepy pee and fall quickly into the narrow end of the night, there is one set of streets I keep returning to, one dim mist of railroad rooms and certain figures reappear, borderline ghosts.
It feels like ancient history," said Naoko. But anyhow, sorry about last night. I don't know, I was a bundle of nerves. I really shouldn't have done that after you came here all the way from Tokyo."Never mind," I said. "Both of us have a lot of feelings we need to get out in the open. So if you want to take those feelings and smash somebody with them, smash me. Then we can understand each other better."So if you understand me better, what then?"You don't get it, do you?" I said. "It's not a question of 'what then.' Some people get a kick out of reading railroad timetables and that's all they do all day. Some people make huge model boats out of matchsticks. So what's wrong if there happens to be one guy in the world who enjoys trying to understand you?
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.
He told me that in 1886 he had invented an original system of numbering and that in a very few days he had gone beyond the twenty-four-thousand mark. He had not written it down, since anything he thought of once would never be lost to him. His first stimulus was, I think, his discomfort at the fact that the famous thirty-three gauchos of Uruguayan history should require two signs and two words, in place of a single word and a single sign. He then applied this absurd principle to the other numbers. In place of seven thousand thirteen he would say (for example) Maximo Prez; in place of seven thousand fourteen, The Railroad; other numbers were Luis Melin Lafinur, Olimar, sulphur, the reins, the whale, the gas, the caldron, Napoleon, Agustin de Vedia. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated...
When the railroad trains moaned, and river-winds blew, bringing echoes through the vale, it was as if a wild hum of voices, the dear voices of everybody he had known, were crying: "Peter, Peter! Where are you going, Peter?" And a big soft gust of rain came down. He put up the collar of his jacket, and bowed his head, and hurried along.
Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running—that's the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters. And if your cans are redhot and you can't hold them in your hands, just use good old railroad gloves, that's all.
A little muzhik was working on the railroad, mumbling in his beard. And the candle by which she had read the book that was filled with fears, with deceptions, with anguish, and with evil, flared up with greater brightness than she had ever known, revealing to her all that before was in darkness, then flickered, grew faint, and went out forever.
Summer in the trees! “It is time to strangle several bad poets.” / The yellow hobbyhorse rocks to and fro, and from the chimney / Drops the Strangler! The white and pink roses are slightly agitated by the struggle, / But afterwards beside the dead “poet” they cuddle up comfortingly against their vase. They are safer now, no one will compare them to the sea. / Here on the railroad train, one more time, is the Strangler. / He is going to get that one there, who is on his way to a poetry reading. / Agh! Biff! A body falls to the moving floor.
And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, - we need never read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?
American coffee can be a pale solution served at a temperature of 100degrees centigrade in plastic thermos cups, usually obligatory in railroadstations for purposes of genocide, whereas coffee made with an Americanpercolator, such as you find in private houses or in humble luncheonettes, served with eggs and bacon, is delicious, fragrant, goes down like purespring water, and afterwards causes severe palpitations, because one cupcontains more caffeine than four espressos.