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A fact from Seaboard Air Line Railroad appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the Did you know? column on 31 May 2008, and was viewed approximately 869 times (disclaimer)(check views). The text of the entry was as follows: "Did you know
What does "Air Line" mean in this context? Presumably it has nothing to do with aircraft. Biscuittin (talk) 10:14, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
"Air Line" is a metaphor for the shortest distance between two points: a straight line drawn through the air (or on a map) between two places, ignoring hills, valleys, and natural obstacles. Hence the similar meaning of the colloquial expression "to make a bee line" or "as the crow flies." Like the Seaboard, a number of other railroads organized in the 19th century also used "air line" in their titles in order to suggest to travelers that their rail route was the shortest one between departure and arrival points; and of course, the shorter the route, the shorter the travel time. Nothing at all to do with aircraft, which weren't invented when Seaboard was organized. Does this help? :-) Textorus (talk) 21:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)