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What is the odd red circle on the cover of AS?

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unskinned
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If I recall that cover correctly I think it's supposed to be one of the brake lights they use on railroads to let you know whether it's all right to proceed or not. They're in the novel in a couple of places, at the beginning when Dagny has to order the Comet to proceed and at the end when the interlocker breaks down.

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If I recall that cover correctly I think it's supposed to be one of the brake lights they use on railroads to let you know whether it's all right to proceed or not.  They're in the novel in a couple of places, at the beginning when Dagny has to order the Comet to proceed and at the end when the interlocker breaks down.

Ah, I thought it was either a sun or Wyatt's Torch ;). Neither of which made much sense. The brake light is a much more logical explanation. Perhaps it’s meant to depict the part when the Comet goes into the Taggert Tunnel with a steam engine and the ensuing disaster.

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Perhaps it’s meant to depict the part when the Comet goes into the Taggert Tunnel with a steam engine and the ensuing disaster.

Speaking of this scene in the book was the disaster that smoke filled the tunnel and killed the people? This seems the most logical thing to me but the book didn't really make it explicit. If not what was the cause. Sorry this is slightly off topic but it is one thing that I'm not a hundred percent on.

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I believe the deaths resulted from an army train filled with explosives hitting them from behind. They had to stop because of the excess smoke. The tunnel's ventilators could barely even handle a diesel train, so a coal-fired train was much worse.

They stopped because one of the passengers, choking on coal fumes, pulled the emergency brake. The coal engine was going full-steam at the time and the sudden application of the brake killed it. The army special, loaded with munitions (same thing as explosives, I suppose) was running way off schedule and hit the back of the Comet, causing the tunnel to collapse. The only survivor was the Fireman.

In other words, he's right, I'm just nitpicky.

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