17 Comments

  1. I thought their choice of a non-express train was intentional: they are so afraid of flying that they want to make sure they don’t get anywhere near a comparable speed.

  2. One meaning of “flying” is “moving quickly.” An express train flies. A stopping train less so.

  3. The opposite of an express is a local, but that still doesn’t explain it. I’m guessing Kilby is right.

  4. Back in the heyday of rail travel, express trains were often called “The _________ Flyer”. Cannonball, as in the Wabash Cannonball, was also common. If you scroll down to the Trains section on the Wikipedia disambiguation page for Flyer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyer) you can see a few examples.

    If that’s what Hilburn was going for, does that make this a geezer comic?

  5. As Pete, DemetriosX, and others have been pointing out, “flying” has been an expression for moving quickly, often taken up in one form or another by railroads.

    Earlier I misattributed a slogan along those lines to Amtrak, but it was not theirs, which may be why nobody recognized it. The regional rail service around Chicago known as Metra used to use the slogan “The Way to Really Fly” . (I had thought of it as Amtrak since that is a more plausible rival to flying, for air-travel distances.)

    Also worth note is the bit of railroad jargon calling some rail route an “air line”.

  6. I smiled a bit thinking this group of Wallendas is completely risk-averse – not even willing to go by train without frequent stops and slower top speeds

  7. @ “Flyer” – If they think the railway version is too dangerous, they should try a “Flexible Flyer“. At least trains don’t have to worry about trees being in the way.

  8. I hope I’m not the only one who recalls a chubby bird, reclining on the tail of a plane from Western Airlines. His line “Western Airlines – The only way to fly”

  9. I’m partial to the train is not a “Flyer” answer, but it might also be that they are in no hurry to get to their next dangerous gig.

  10. It looks like the conductor is saying “This isn’t the E X Press,” but that doesn’t throw any switches for me either. Maybe it’s on track for someone else.

    Sorry, that’s all I have, which may be a good thing.

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