Thursday, 23 April 2009

Taken for a Ride

Taken For a Ride is a 1996 documentary about the dismantling of North America's early mass transit systems (click to watch). From 5 min to about 25 min deals mainly with streetcars and has some great footage of the old systems in action.

L.A. Streetcars on the heap source

An interesting quote from one of the newsreel-style promo pieces from G.M. in the mid 1950's:

"Before the big change, all but 6 of the city's main arteries are handicapped by streetcar operations..."

Winnipeg, too, got rid of it's streetcar system in that same era and sold off the fleet for $100 a pop.

Winnipeg Free Press ads (click for source)

There's only one known to be left intact, 356 (see below), though the odd decaying body can can be found in cottage country and farmer's fields such as 680 near Inwood (at bottom).


Buflyer said...

Thanks for the film link on GM and streetcars, wow, well documented, and the spillover of all that 'modernization' came to us in 1955.

mrchristian said...

Yes, rid of the handicap of cheap rapid transit ! I assume, given that it was the same year, that the same skullduggery was carried out here. I'll see if I can find anything on the dismantling of the Canadian systems.

Sad to see that big pile of cars in LA or the ones being burned on the film. They really wanted to make sure nobody could assemble a decent set of rolling stock.