Dug up from the archives of The Museum of Modern Art, a YouTuber has upscaled a video from 1902 depicting a ride in the German ‘Flying Train’ into glorious 2021 detail. The train, which still operates to this day, takes you on a virtual tour over what is now Wuppertal and shows the life of people in the 1900s as if you were there.
Capturing spectacular views of horse-and-carriages, children playing in the streets, and the River Wupper, the footage captured is of great interest to historians, who rarely get a film as detailed as that captured here.
Video credit: Denis Shiryaev, neural.love
The incredible footage was transformed by YouTuber Denis Shiryaev, who is well-known online for colorizing and upscaling old footage to give a modern glimpse into lives lived long ago. Denis is the CEO of neural.love, a company that improves footage quality and increases the smoothness using neural networks and AI. Notable footage they have improved is that of the Apollo 16 Lunar Rover ‘Grand Prix’, and various trips through cities between 1890 and 1930.
The source material was provided by The Museum of Modern Art and is impressive in itself. With not a whole lot of choice when it comes to filming in 1902, the footage was captured on Biograph 68mm stock film, which was extremely detailed for its day. However, everything looks better in 4k and 60 frames per second.
As it flies overhead, the Flying Train (also called the Wuppertal Schwebebahn) travels through what used to be the cities towns of Elberfeld, Ronsdorf, Cronenberg, Vohwinkel and Barmen, explains Denis. These later combined to form the modern-day city of Wuppertal, a large city of around 355,100 people in Western Germany.
The Schwebebahn itself is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world. Opened in 1901, it connected many urban areas together and provided a means of easy public transport, which is credited for the growth into a thriving city today. Alongside this, the city was one of the largest industrial regions in Europe and remains to this day as a major exporter of electronics, vehicles, and more.
While it may have been built many years ago, the train is still operating to this day. In recent times however it received a major facelift, with a modernization of the framework back in 1997 and new cars entering service and started to carry passengers in December 2016.