YOU get on board your train for the morning commute – and as you sit down the vehicle’s jet engines start to whine.
The incredible train then rockets forward at speeds more than 300mph – outpacing nearly every public transport system.
8The LIMRV set a speed record of more than 250mph when it was being tested in the 70sCredit: Jerry Dandurand, Pueblo Railway Museum8’The Grumman’ was designed to float off the ground as a true hovertrainCredit: Jerry Dandurand, Pueblo Railway Museum8French designers created this 60-seater floating train carCredit: Jerry Dandurand, Pueblo Railway MuseumLooking like something out The Jetsons, fearless engineers dreamed of bringing this new form of train to the world during the 1970s.
It was a vision of tomorrow’s world, with both the US and Soviet Union plowing money into the futuristic tech.
But as you know if you’ve ever boarded a train, the plan never took off – and we still use railways similar to those from the 1800s.
The dreams of these future-gazing engineers now stand peacefully outside a train museum in Colorado.
Pueblo Railway Museum has in their possession three experimental “rocket cars” which were developed by the US.
The trains were developed as part of funding granted by the US Government in the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965.
The Department of Transport purchased a section of land outside Pueblo were they build the High Speed Ground Test Center.
Test tracks were built for the prototypes with the dream of a new super-fast rail network criss crossing the US.
The three prototypes are known as the LIMRV, TACRV, and TLRV.
Each of these sleek, futuristic vehicles was a test model constructed to hurtle along at hundreds of miles an hour with jet propulsion.
The hovertrain concept was once hoped to completely change the world’s rail network.
Working like hovercrafts, the trains would float on a cushion of air and glide over obstacles.
The vehicles would not suffer from the drag of a wheeled vehicle and could in theory hit incredible speeds.
It meant they could be powered by jet engines or other powerful systems.
8The LIMRV undergoing testing outside PuebloCredit: Pueblo Transportation Test Center8The trains were supposed to be the transport of the futureCredit: Pueblo Transportation Test Center8Could they have really replaced conventional trains?Credit: Pueblo Transportation Test CenterEngineers hoped their hovertrains could exceed more than 300mph.
The museum’s three trains enjoyed varied levels of success on the test track – with the best being the LIMRV.
LIMRV – with its jet engines – achieved a world speed record of 255.7mph while being tested in 1974.
Known as “The Garrett”, the train was equipped with 3,000hp engines and impressive thrust boosters.
It underwent testing until 1978 when the project was shelved.
And there is also “The Grumman” – the TLRV – which has three massive turbofan engines on the top of the vehicle.
It was designed to hit speeds of 300mph – but sadly the prototype never hit these heights.
While “The Garrett” ran on a more traditional track, “The Grumman” was a true hovertrain designed to lift on the ground using a system called “aero-propulsion”.
On a short test track, the train managed to hit speeds of 91mph and there problems with the design.
Its testing programme ended in 1975.
And the final one of the incredible vehicles is “The Rohr” – the TACV – which was first developed in France by engineer Jean Bertin.
The train has now wheels and straddles an inverted T shaped rail, which would guide it along as it flew on its air cushion.
The vehicle was more than just a locomotive, being a fully furnished car designed to car 60 passengers.
It hit speeds of 145mph during experimental runs on a short 1.5 mile test track.
But when it came for further development, the funding was pulled and the train was abandoned in 1975.
Now all three sit in yard outside the Pueblo Railway Museum – relics of a future that never arrived.
And the museum has plans in 2023 to put the three prototypes together in a special display area, with educational placards teaching future generations about their history.
Dave Dandurand, from the museum, told The Sun Online there it is “complicated” as to why the project failed.
He said: “This effort probed the limits of our technical capability, and so some of the solutions ended up being less than practical.”
He added: “Politics and the forces seeking to preserve the status quo (airplanes and existing railroads) ended funding for the projects.”
The world seems to have moved past the dreams of hover and jet trains.
And instead, designers are looking at “maglev” technology such as Elon Musk’s plan for the Hyperloop.
8The comfy looking interior inside ‘The Rohr’Credit: Jérôme Tillier8The controls aboard ‘The Garrett’Credit: Ron Roach, Pueblo Railway Museum
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk