During the heat of the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1960s, both countries experimented with the idea of a turbo jet train. It is debated about which country first came up with the idea, but somewhere in time it was decided that strapping jet engines to a normal rail car was a good idea. What was long thought to be destroyed, a Russian turbo jet train was found on an abandoned back rail line.
This very ominous rusted piece of metal would have been state of the art at its time of construction. The estimated top speed was in the range of 250 to 350 km/h. In fact, the american built turbo jet train is currently still the fastest train ever built in North America.
The design of the train really isn't that complex. As can be noted in the pictures, two standard jet engines, often recycled from airplanes, were attached to the front of the forward most car. With a little aerodynamic re-engineering of the train cars, that's all it took to pioneer this new technology.
As testing continued on what could have been the transportation of the future, it was determined that the expensive jet engines consumed too much fuel. Along with this, one minor problem in the rail line could have caused a catastrophic derailment to the super fast train. These problems put the final nail in the coffin of this design and the last soviet model sits rusting away in back of the Kalinin rail car factory near Doroshikha.
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[Image Source: Cartman]
Some might say this concept was preposterous from the beginning, but often technological advances look weird when first developed. Further development in this industry likely led to the production of maglev trains and modern high speed rail lines. In the mean time, this decrepit piece of technology will sit in its place, rusting away until the turbo jet train is forgotten.
[Image Source: Vintage News]
Written by Trevor English