Diversions : On The Fast Track

Baggage screeners could soon be operating on trains, buses and cruise ships around the United States, the nation's new director of maritime and land security said.
On the Sunday Morning Diversions, the next stop is Chicago.

An exhibit at the Art Institute, called "Modern Trains and Splendid Stations," takes visitors on a ride into the future through narrow corridors, designed to evoke the feeling of train travel. And there are no slow trains coming.

"In terms of train design, we have a fascination with speed and technology," said Curator of Architecture Martha Thorne.

Thorne says riding the rails in the 21st century is a fast-moving experience, especially in France, Germany and Japan, where speeds can exceed 200 miles per hour.

"I think we have a ways to go to catch up to our European or Asian counterparts, in terms of recognizing the importance of train travel in general," Thorne explained.

And it's not just trains that have been re-designed. To attract 21st century train travelers, new train stations have to be something more than just depots. They are now part civic center, part airport and part shopping mall.

For rail and architecture enthusiasts alike, this Chicago exhibit may be worth slowing down for.