[Daily article] February 20: Turboliner

The Turboliners were a family of gas turbine trains built for Amtrak in
the 1970s. They were purchased by Amtrak to update its fleet with
faster, more modern trains. The first batch, known as RTGs, were built
by the French firm ANF and entered service on multiple routes in the
Midwestern United States in 1973. The new trains increased ridership
wherever they were used, but the high cost of operating the trains led
to their withdrawal from the Midwest in 1981. The second batch, known as
RTLs (example pictured), were of a similar design but manufactured by
Rohr Industries, an American company. These entered service on the
Empire Corridor in the State of New York in 1976. The RTLs remained in
service there through the 1990s, supplemented by several rebuilt RTGs.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, New York and Amtrak partnered to
rebuild the RTLs for high-speed service; this project failed and Amtrak
withdrew them from service in 2003. After the settlement of legal
issues, the last RTLs were sold for scrap in 2012.

Read more:

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1685:

French colonists, led by Robert de La Salle, landed at
Matagorda Bay in present-day Texas, which later allowed the United
States to claim the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

1846:

Polish insurgents led an uprising in the Free City of Kraków
to incite a fight for national independence that was put down by the
Austrian Empire nine days later.

1943:

A fissure opened in a cornfield in the Mexican state of
Michoacán and turned into the cinder cone volcano Parícutin, growing
424 m (1,391 ft) in eight years.

1965:

NASA’s Ranger 8 spacecraft successfully transmitted 7,137
photographs (sample pictured) of the Moon in the final 23 minutes of its
mission before crashing into Mare Tranquillitatis.

1988:

The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast voted to secede from
Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the Nagorno-Karabakh War.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

fictive kin:
(anthropology, ethnography) Someone who, though unrelated by birth or
marriage, has such a close emotional relationship with another that they
may be considered part of the family.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Not the least among the arguments whose consideration should
dispose us to welcome among us the peoples of all countries,
nationalities and colors, is the fact that all races and varieties of
men are improvable. This is the grand distinguishing attribute of
humanity, and separates man from all other animals. If it could be shown
that any particular race of men are literally incapable of improvement,
we might hesitate to welcome them here. But no such men are any where to
be found, and if they were, it is not likely that they would ever
trouble us with their presence.  
–Frederick Douglass

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