Growing up in the 1930’s, I had a tremendous fascination for futuristic devices and stories. Foremost in my memories are “Buck Rogers” comics, and pulp magazines like “Amazing Stories.” In particular, I would dream about rocket ships and all kinds of above ground transport. In 1945, the Germans were far ahead of us in developing, not only rockets, but all kinds of scientific wonders. My comic and pulp heroes all had overhead rail transport in their worlds. Imagine my amazement when we entered Wuppertal as the Ruhr Pocket campaign was nearing its end.
There it was. Right before my very eyes. A monorail system, complete with actual rocket ship-like cars. Only, sadly, in various states of destruction. The moment was both amazing and horrendous. I cannot tell you how varied my feelings were. My dreams realized, but destroyed. Such an emotional moment.
When Steve and I returned to the Ruhr, I insisted that we go back to Wuppertal and check out to see whether the monorails were back up and running. It was, and still is to me, an important question.
I am happy to report that not only are they up and running, but they have become Americanized in the process. What more could one ask?
Here’s a picture we took of a similar set of rails as those in 1945…
Here’s a picture of the Americanized Rail Cars – complete with graffiti…
Have we become brothers? Whaddya think???