The Flying Pussyfoot was a luxury transcontinental train. On December 30, 1931 the train was hijacked en route from Chicago to New York by three parties: the Lemures, demanding their leader Huey Laforet's release from prison in exchange for the passengers as hostages; Ladd Russo and his men, intending to kill many of the passengers and crash the train unless the railroad company, Nebula, paid a ransom; and seven members of Jacuzzi's Gang, aiming to steal the explosives Czeslaw Meyer planned to sell to the Runorata Family. Jacuzzi's gang, a stowaway named Rachel, and one of Flying Pussyfoot's conductors, Claire Stanfield, ended up thwarting the Lemures' and Ladd's plans.
The Flying Pussyfoot arrived two hours late at Pennsylvania Station at 2:00 PM, December 31, 1931. In the 2007 anime, the station was changed to Grand Central Station.
The train's greatest distinguishing feature was that it was "independent from the usual railway corporations' operation. It was run by borrowing the rails from the railway companies..."
Design and FunctionEdit
The Flying Pussyfoot was designed after the British Royal Train, even functioning outside of the railways normal operations. However, unlike its model, the exterior of the Flying Pussyfoot was also extravagantly decorated--ornamental features which resulted in the train's association with the nouveau riche. In other words, the train's design prioritized aesthetics over functionality.
One of the key distinguishing features of the Flying Pussyfoot was its system for generating electricity for the train's lights. On the Flying Pussyfoot, electricity was generated from the wheel axles, and the electric wiring for each car was independent. The Flying Pussyfoot's unique system generated more electricity than a typical train's electric system would, and it was technically possible to make the train's interior as bright as day. The generators' exchange switches were located under the cars, something that conductor Claire Stanfield regarded as a design flaw.
Unlike many other trains, the Flying Pussyfoot divided its cars into classes according to their distances from the locomotive. The line-up was as follows: After the engine were three first-class carriages, a single dining car, three second-class carriages, one third-class carriage, three freight cars, and a car with a spare freight hold and the conductors' cabin.
All first-class compartment interiors were embellished with marble and similar materials; the second-class compartments were built in a corresponding fashion.
Except for the dining car, all cars have the corridor on the left (according to the direction of travel).
The Flying Pussyfoot departs as scheduled and the plans of the Lemures, Ladd Russo and his men, and Jacuzzi's gang fall into motion. Jacuzzi's gang, Rachel, and Claire Stanfield prevent tragedy from befalling any of the innocent passengers. In addition, Jacuzzi's gang successfully pull off their robbery. However, all of the Lemures and Ladd and his men, excluding Chané Laforet, Upham, Spike, Lua Klein, and Who, either end up being killed or arrested. The train arrives in New York two hours late, as the authorities were forced to transport the passengers in separate cars due to the heavy damage sustained in the brawl. Nebula and Senator Manfred Beriam bribe countless passengers and officials to cover up the incident and seal the train. Eventually, the Flying Pussyfoot is decommissioned in 1933 and left to waste away, save for a small part of the roof on the back car that was mysteriously torn off.
Remarkably, the train remained at a constant speed throughout the trip, and this may be attributed to Claire Stanfield. Not wanting to be late to a meeting with the Gandors, Claire informs the engineers (a pair of elderly brothers with failing hearing) that there are train robbers on horses trying to hijack the train, and that the two had better make the train go as fast as it is able, rather than slowing down. In the meantime, Claire regularly returns to conductor's car to make the necessary scheduled light signals, ensuring that the train would continue to run.
Characters Involved in the Flying Pussyfoot IncidentEdit
- Claire Stanfield (conductor)
- Fang Lin-Shan (assistant cook; member of Jacuzzi's gang)
- Jon Panel (bartender; member of Jacuzzi's gang)
- Head Chef Gregoire (head chef of the dining car's kitchen)
- Unnamed second conductor (Lemure member)
- Two engineers (a pair of elderly brothers; their hearing loss makes them unable to hear the slaughter in the other cars)
- Several other assistant cooks
Ladd Russo and His Men ("White Suits")Edit
Flying is a slang term that could mean majestic or successful. Being a new transcontinental locomotive, this is fitting. Pussyfoot is another slang term that meant "to walk or go on carefully". Since the train was new, it is also fitting that the name is faring the passengers and crew well and telling them to have a safe trip.