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Word Count: 620
The thesis for Schivelbuschs book The Railway Journey seems to be that the railroad altered the travelers perceptions of space time distance nature and the senses Although the means of a quick and reliable mode of transport was and is an important part of industrialization it denaturalized and desensualized the passengers Schivelbusch 20 Shrinking and reshaping the world it touches with industrial fingers and alienating the riders to the world around them With fast and reliable steam power engines replacing previously expensive and unreliable natural sources of energy such as water or animal man is released from the constraints of nature These engines do not succumb to the whims of weather or exhaustion and are reliable enough to keep and daily regulated schedule despite wind or rain Yet by replacing the age-old use of the horse and carriage and through sheer speed they have made the world smaller and more accessible to the people Where in the olden days people experienced every step of the way with their senses now all they have to do is step on a train and step out onto a different place The railroad has annihilated the space and time which were characterized by the old transport technology 36 To the perception of the people who had previously experienced every step of their journeys the world seemed to have shrunk The detachment of man from nature and his perception of nature is finalized in the construction of the railways 20 Since the ideal railway is hard level and straight they were not laid out sympathetically to the landscape but instead cut and carve their way through in a straight line Nothing gets in their way not river mountain or canyon The riders of these straight speeding bullets see nothing but a disorienting sight of the landscape shooting past to quickly for them to focus on The train creates a barrier between themselves and the landscape making them detached viewers
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