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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Air-Propelled Train  
  A silent means of mass transit.  

This quotation comes from the start of the book; the main character, Montag, lives a peaceful and quiet life. His internal life is also peaceful and quiet.

He walked out of the fire station and along the midnight street toward the subway where the silent air-propelled train slid soundlessly down its lubricated flue in the earth and let him out with a great puff of warm air onto the cream tiled escalator rising to the suburb.

Whistling, he let the escalator waft him into the still night air. He walked toward the corner, thinking little at all about nothing in particular. Before he reached the corner, however, he slowed as if a wind had sprung up from nowhere, as if someone had called his name.

From Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
Additional resources -

The use of the word "flue" here is peculiar; the word itself comes from a word meaning "to flow" and does refer to a passageway for conducting a current of air. But the most common use of the word is a reference to a fireplace chimney; this foreshadows the use of fire in the novel, just a little subliminal reference.

There is a prototype for an air-propelled train:

the AEROMOVEL® blowers propel air (under low pressure) through a duct built into the guideway. The pressurized air pushes a propulsion plate attached to the bottom of the vehicle. This propulsion plate acts like an upside down sail, propelling the vehicle forward and helping to stop it when the air flow is reversed.
Read more about it at AEROMOVEL - A pneumatically propelled automated peoplemover (APM) system.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Fahrenheit 451
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Bradbury
  Tech news articles related to Fahrenheit 451
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Bradbury

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