Here's a look at the glorious future monorails offer...
This train was part of the SAFEGE suspended monorail, built in Saran, France in 1959 and discarded a mere decade later. Since that picture was smuggled out of France, the train remains have been recovered and transported to an abandoned military base, where they are under close guard by government officials. (More pictures of a SAFEGE train in disrepair here.)
Deceptively futuristic looking images, common with monorail propaganda.
When operational (or at least as operational as monorails can be) the SAFEGE was featured in the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451 (see right) in order to give both the film and the SAFEGE an air of near-futuricity. Director and crypto-monorailist François Truffaut had the driver crouch down while filming its scenes so as to give viewers the false impression that it operated automatically.
Oddly, French directors seem to have some special connection to the monorail proponents, the significance of which I haven't yet determined. Last April, Seattle's KIRO TV learned that French director Olivier Venturini would be flown into Cascadia to produce TV ads for a $1.3 million pro-monorail propaganda campaign for the extension of Cascadian monorails. When a KIRO investigative reporter tried to ask him questions about the ads he refused to talk, clearly hiding some agenda.
The French were suckered into adopting monorails in the late 1950s, but ended up throwing them away when they became disillusioned with the constant spontaneous combustions and elephant accidents. Ten years -- and who knows how many dead people and circus animals -- from now, will Cascadia's proposed national monorail system end up strewn along the I-5 corridor, providing taxpayer-supported housing for raccoons?
Thanks to "Frenchy" in the guestbook for bringing this to my attention.