Daily Archives: May 26, 2015

Motor Boat Beats Express Train

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Well, that’s the title of this brief film from British Pathé in 1925. The description is “Motorboat beats express train. Over 142 mile run from Albany to New York. Harmon N.Y. the Express changes from steam to electric power, but boat still leads. USA (U.S.A.).” Here we see only 39 seconds, 10 of which are the title, but the rest is a rare reminder of the Albany that was. It starts on the now-gone Maiden Lane Bridge, with crowds gathered on the pier of the Albany Yacht Club to see the racing motorboat take off into the Hudson, while a locomotive steams. Cut scene to the train steaming out of Union Station, over Quay Street and along the curved approach to the Maiden Lane bridge, with St. Joseph’s in the background on Arbor Hill. That part’s a little confusing, until you realize that the Maiden Lane was double-tracked, and the train on the bridge in the first scene must have been waiting for the racing locomotive to come across. That’s my best guess.

The Wikipedia or something tells me that “Pathé” is pronounced “pate,” and that the Brothers Pathé were represented by a rooster bellowing their name, Hoxsie-style: