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The Problem With Fast Trains: What Happened to Hovertrains?

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In 1974, a French train sets a speed record, exceeding 250 miles per hour. But this train is unlike any other before it. Instead of rolling on train wheels, it hovers on a cushion of air. In the 1970’s hovertrains were seriously being considered the solution to slow, antiquated railways, which increasingly had to compete with new superhighways and even intercity air travel. Without the rolling resistance of train wheels, hovertrains promised greater efficiency and much higher speeds. By feeding high pressure air through lifting pads, hovertrains float on a cushion of air much like a hovercraft. One of the most widely known hovertrain prototypes was called the Aerotrain. Lead engineer Jean Bertin and his team in France, designed several versions, including one that could carry 80 passengers. The i80HV was powered by a turbofan sourced from an airliner, producing over twelve thousand pounds of thrust. At the front, a 400 horse power gas-turbine supplied high-pressure air to hover the twenty loaded train a quarter of an inch off its guideway. The British and Americans also experimented with hovertrain technology, incorporating the linear induction motor for improved efficiency. British research led to the development of the RTV-31 Tracked Hovercraft, and the American’s developed several prototypes, culminating in the development of the Urban Tracked Air Cushion Vehicle (UTACV). But like their counterpart the Maglev, Hovertrains failed to revolutionize rail. Hovertrains, Maglevs, or any other innovative alternative to rail has to compete with nearly a million miles of rail line already in existence. With stations and infrastructure built-out in nearly every city in the world. The limitations of conventional railways were overcome not a single innovative leap forward, but by incremental improvements. Existing rail networks were modernized with sections of track that could handle higher speeds. New signaling technologies were developed along with more advanced wheelsets. #Hovertrain #Aerotrain #TrackedHovercraft #YesterdaysFuture The first 200 viewers to sign up at https://brilliant.org/mustard will get 20% off their annual premium subscription Want to help Mustard grow? Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MustardChannel Music (reproduced under license): Intro: "The Future": https://audiojungle.net/item/the-future/13081195?s_rank=41 Main # 1: "Puzzling Discoveries" https://audiojungle.net/item/puzzling-discoveries/21196248?s_rank=1 Main # 2: "Retro" https://audiojungle.net/item/retro-wave/18103181?s_rank=5 Outro: "Cool Funk Stomp" https://audiojungle.net/item/cool-funk-stomp/20849218?s_rank=11 Thanks for watching! Please Like, Comment and Subscribe!
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Mustard (1 year ago)
Thanks for watching! P.s. the little audio fade at the end was supposed to be intentional/joke :)
Chris Goulet (18 days ago)
Love the audio fade joke, like the Hyperloop idea will die like the hovertrain and maglev ideas died, this time due to severe safety and cost issues.
Kyle Scotland (28 days ago)
@A Malaysian Yeah, I love this video, but don't love how it fades out at the beginning of the Hyperloop explanation.
thakrak (1 month ago)
It is a shame you failed to mention Spain, which through RENFE and it's AVE program (Alta Velocidad España, also the Spanish word used to refer to big bird species) operates de LARGEST High Speed Railway network in the whole of Europe. AVE trains have a cruising speed of 310km/h around the aproximately 5000km of railways built throughout Spain.
Deepak Chakraborty (1 month ago)
@Mark Miller aaddgbmml
Deepak Chakraborty (1 month ago)
Xx
reagan sukendro (3 days ago)
That is just a wingless plane😂
Corey Fellows (7 days ago)
Yep...hunfing oscillation....yep
Corey Fellows (7 days ago)
Yea...what ever did happen to those trains??
CoolCar62 (8 days ago)
Hey i just realist, Aerotrain sounds like Aerospace. So is that where they are now?
Kay Uwe Böhm (11 days ago)
Suggestion maglev on wheel rails Attracting upwards to rail head in gap to foot with about 20 to about 1cm gap regulated rectangular e-magnets about 5 • 2 • 10cm 50kg both sides both rails 400t/100m. Magnets set a little angled also for placing sidewards to legs attracting magnets, after remagnatisation of rail head with left/right in driving direction changing of mg. field for linear engine addable from top down to rail attracting regulated down inner curve side or full down or swifel electricity brake only both rails to bend at switches later only partly about 1/8 vacuum much glass tunnel with breakable last s doors and fkexible near touching rib rings against air inflow and/or noise walking for speed over noise addable german pendolino like technology for units top adapted airplane technology (1/4 vacuum) holding the pressure inside and more like first class sleep seats and info entertainment system etc. etc. For china monster city small cabins (4 man) and containers maglev system over streets also multi storey driving touch screen computer optimized to side rails without moving no time switch parts driving before with gliders in U profile open to inner side there mainly attracting upwards and both sides sidewards at switch only attracting to one side against disattrackting magnets going out of U profile at other side holding up against counter field magnetism. China should build less new coal power plants better new turbines efficiency near 100 not 45% most heating environment not using worldwide mistake cooled condensor instead steam back with big centrifugal compressor like used for earth gas cooling all with backflow thermal isolated only electricity no heat out and instead H2O for low heat CO2 for high heat from own HTR types Hg mercury. Add cheap centrifugal filters to chimney channels instead smog just fast rotating cylinder with one blade pressuring all in smoke to wall side open down out with condensed water etc. RBN Th pebble bed HTR zero risk all cases whatever also war and cheap using clean white diamond coal cubic boron nitride isotopes B-11 & N-15 latest with lucky lowest possible neutron absorption about 1/100 of C-12 so only ThO2 refill needed baked as powder or fine granulate in @BN for up to 30 pebble runtime with slowly breeded U233 inside directly used also for endstorage inside stainless steel containers 30m deep in desert or 1000m deep in salt of gorleben germany. RBN is well known cBN hot harder diamond unburnable (with graphite high burning risk if opened and much other problems) insoluble in water combined with tungsten reflector and tubes with holes between pebbles as helium chimney and placeholder for inner stop rods down in 1s with spring if electricity cut from melt, Hg swao or pressure switches and overheat self slow down from increased Th neutron absorbing, all around walls about 1.6m rib steel, earlier melt concrete and tungsten double steel inside Li-7 cooled binding tritium etc. separated to turbines & back. cBN only 100$/kg and isotopes from boran & ammonia production using clean H from D production. About 1 mio. 200g pebbles 200t for guessed only 50 mio. $ each 1kW 1 GWth with new turbine same 1GWe trimmed with pebble mix control stopped under 100W cannot melt. Check hurricane stop letting up big container ship stomache of black cheap soot in hurricane eye into upper invisible system heated by sun until dangerous eye is broken. Fast Na breeder should have core catcher letting SiC or RBN pebbles still closed out of molten cladding on HfC melting 3890°C, TiB2 and MgO topped with more sand than decay heat can melt is very secure and change to Li-7 Th better Na-23 also in new construction with RBN Th pebbles up in 1:6 tungsten core tube down around there separated cooled with Li to turbines adound decay heat concrete melt buffer etc. better molten salt FLiBe HTR. Instead never coming commercial durable hot plasma fusion HTR cold fusion shooting heavy nucleoses out of ring accelerator like small LHC CERN into tubes with D2O causing fusion and (space) ship acceleration without cinsumption of mass until near spead of light after 1 year with 1g also for long time standing in air slow lift up or driving under water of far planet without linear slow down of lead beam dangerous space cannon for starting rockets or munition depot. New Mjölnir tank old haubitze 2000 with vulvano munition first 20km high laser guided from drones and small H2 zeppelin network search with optical day & night rest light, infrared, laser reflection, accustic and copter/jet radar, rheinmetall mantis 35mm and ADS with laser search shield, 700kg MBDA meteor rockets partly with CBN shell etc., about 12 • 2m wheels with electric engine inside driving and waiting under water invisible also for radar or placed on huge submarine top shooting salvo 300• 155mm mix and rockets then diving away etc. You can use 700bar CNG for cars, trucjs, buses, ships  & airplanes made from eternal cheap 1 Cent-€/kWh electricity electrolyse.H2 and air CO2 heavier than N2&O2 out witlh gas centrifuge exotherm reaction to CH4 methane + H2O. Make cheap titanium not like old expensive kroll process over Cl2 over reduction of TiO2 with H2 and heat 600°C and catalysator CaH to TiH2 heated over 1000°C full decomposition to clean Ti + H2 hot directly alloyed, rolled etc. also for TiB2 space rocket aiplane shell with 4 wings outside turnable with rocket engines for CNG, O2 + air. In india the hot air enough energy sucked with centrifugal compressor there dense & hot cooled with CO2 for described turbine then air expanded over compressor turbo cold aircondition and water out of air condensed outside or inside glass green house in india or desert etc. Food is unlimited with cheap energy and vertical artificial light agrar culture inside city towers etc.  kayuweboehm@yahoo.de
SkrIbbLe (12 days ago)
In a word: oil. As long as oil companies keep making trillions of dollars every year we will NEVER see high speed mass transit like this in the US. Big oil wants us enslaved to them. Its only a matter of time before they destroy Tesla - the oil companies fear any technology that replaces fossil fuel, and they will KILL anyone who gets in their way. Research the man who created a hyper efficient carb and combustion chamber for autos. He mysteriously died, and his research materials and prototypes vanished.
Nicolas (12 days ago)
Rothschild , Rockkfellers etc.... make too much money out of oil and cars to let this go down for trains . In the 60 's , GM and other car companies bought inter city bus lines . At first , they gve the same service as old owners . Then , they start reducing hours , number and other facilitating ideas so that peoples said to themselves : I'm better off with a car after all. And that what has happened . Do you realy think that crooked more than hell LBJ , who became billionnaire a few months after becoming US president , who was deeply involved in Texan oil , JFK assassination and Viet Nam false flag war triggers was realy working for train solutions?????? Hell will never be enough warm for peoples like LBJ, such a crooked man , even HRC is not up too.
Pointles S (14 days ago)
Maglevs be like: ok imma copy dis like 30 yrs later and tell no one🤫
Russell Williams (15 days ago)
America used to be the leader of innovation, instead we encouraged others to innovate. We are behind countries, we once saw as 3rd world. Beyond sad. Yet, we choose to re-elect backward thinkers. Way to go citizens!
sam bukowski (17 days ago)
This was influenced in the show The Man In the High Castle!
bjorn joseph (17 days ago)
They had this train on the man in the high castle
thakrak (18 days ago)
It is a shame you failed to mention Spain, which through RENFE and it's AVE program (Alta Velocidad España, also the Spanish word used to refer to big bird species) operates de LARGEST High Speed Railway network in the whole of Europe. AVE trains have a cruising speed of 310km/h around the aproximately 5000km of railways built throughout Spain.
Miranda Bri (18 days ago)
I Still DON'T HAVE a JOB........... 40 years later and counting.......
J S (18 days ago)
SO you talk shit about the USA when WE invented Maglev tech in 1910... AMERICAN CITIZEN Emile Bachelet invented it. French born but American due to that little thing called freedom and the fact that we were far ahead of any other nation. In fact, the USA is responsible for just about every technological advancement in the 19th century and the 20th century into this 21st century. You know, the industrial revolution that started after the USA invented petrol fuels... yeah that was us as well. So, France tried and failed as usual while we, the USA perfected Magnetic levitation that WE invented in 1910.. yeah not impressive France. Oh and that jet board they "invented" is from the USA as well because we also invented Jet engines as well as the fuel to power them. Not to mention the drone technology that is used widely and the computer you typing on. Seriously, show some respect. France would be speaking German right now if not for us, the grand ol USA!!! I have been to France and they can have it. Dirty as can be with water running down the streets to rinse feces down into the city drains.. IT IS SO DISGUSTING! WE have a homeless problem in some cities but there is a huge difference between homeless folks and a national acceptance of shit rolling down the street in EVERY CITY. What you fail to realize is that WE are a nation of every people around the world, they came here in search of freedom and found it. In other words, we are all of you, just the best of you together in one place. Your welcome.
John Pythagoras (19 days ago)
Actually, trains are extremely important still in the USA and Canada, they just are not passenger trains more so cargo trains, but still why ignore that fact?
K9 STAR (21 days ago)
USA we are okay with cars PAK:- we are okay with our donkeys ,and happy.. INDIA:-:- ok we will wait for new technology which are develeped by other country..at last india like pz help us..bcoz in future we gonna be megapower country dream
Mykl Wave (21 days ago)
Definitely gonna be spending some of my Freedom Dividend on Brilliant💪🏼♥️
Pirate Gaming (22 days ago)
So I can thank french idiots for us shitcanning steam trains
aa bb (22 days ago)
Electric trains reach 600km/h these days. No need for satanic evil oil.
Dino Rod (23 days ago)
Y QUE PASA CON LOS MAGNETOS INVERTIDOS? ES MUCHO MAS BARATO QUE LAS TURBINAS PARA MANTENERLO A FLOTE!!!
helenrushful (23 days ago)
Great vid, and good to be reminded of the link between recession and backward-thinking. However, you shouldn't compare the USA with the civilised world....
Victor. liu’s favorites Liu (24 days ago)
I am a fan of high speeds.
speak to bird (25 days ago)
10/10
Blue Stikbots Productions (26 days ago)
*_hyperloop,_*
Michi L. (27 days ago)
8:03
ALI AK (27 days ago)
Im watching this vids just for that 3d models
RocketGaming V (28 days ago)
Planes are better
Jake Ripp (28 days ago)
This is a good Video
M W (29 days ago)
Come on mustard, I can't believe you felt the need to bring up that farce of a hyperloop
João Pimentel Ferreira (29 days ago)
The petrol and automobile industries didn't like these projects and they won: we have a world moved by automobiles.
riptorn (29 days ago)
How bout make a tube you fly in
Craig Carmichael (1 month ago)
Interesting video, thanks! I rode on a Japanese demo maglev train at Expo '86 in Vancouver. Smooth! Now I'm working on high speed transport over water. My evolving Ground Effect Craft design with its latest improvements should be far more seaworthy than previous ground effect craft, flying just over the waves at small aircraft speeds with very low fuel/energy usage. TurquoiseEnergy.com => Turquoise Energy News monthly project newsletters.
Eric Ongerth (1 month ago)
I love the material in this video... but how I wish you would just speak smoothly and normally, instead of throwing in these random weird pauses in the middle of your sentences! It sounds like an attempt to sound somewhat similar to NPR or BBC story readers, but it's hurting more than helping the listener.
draxxion (1 month ago)
You talk about the lack of mag lev trains but then don't mention the Japanese project for linear motor cars but do mention hyperloops?
onceANexile (1 month ago)
They don't even want us with electric cars...they want us in traffic jams and filthy gas. From a Petrolium ins p ector
Emily Summers (1 month ago)
The reason the US doesn't have high speed trains is because automotive and airline companies bribe congress to keep funding away from railway projects. Meanwhile Asia is leaving US in the dust with their trains.
kao the numberblocks fan 2019 (1 month ago)
@5:59 (bottom) that's the first known Mangekyou Sharingan highspeed train brand.
Skullair313 (1 month ago)
Compared to a high speed train it has a lot of disadvantages. The capacity of those units is pathetic compared to a TGV, since the oil crisis operating costs would be increased and not to mention the noise and polution it would take in the city centers. Maglev is a better alternative but only for long distance lines
Rick Van Gog (1 month ago)
kph>mph
Day Light (1 month ago)
How is it that 1960s and 70s was so far ahead than we are today? I mean-yes we have a lot more technology but flying cars and airplanes like concords are still non-existent?
thakrak (1 month ago)
@Mustard It is a shame you failed to mention Spain, which through RENFE and it's AVE program (Alta Velocidad España, also the Spanish word used to refer to big bird species) operates de LARGEST High Speed Railway network in the whole of Europe. AVE trains have a cruising speed of 310km/h around the aproximately 5000km of railways built throughout Spain.
The Watchful lion 101 (1 month ago)
All the tech now is not new its old technology. What if we used hover trains back then etc then we wouldn't be in this mess now.
Sam (1 month ago)
👍so much valuable information in a short video. ... great job...
Seno Seno (1 month ago)
Good job
Amy Mason (1 month ago)
Hey, vacuum tube maglev trains will work great... on a world with little or no atmosphere.
Stephan S (1 month ago)
In the 70s the discuss about replacing the antiquated railways - 40 years later, the whole world still uses them...
NUGGET (1 month ago)
Personally i like the most, and will stick to wheel trains👌
Sid Kemp (1 month ago)
This was very good, but it would have been better if it included what has been developed and come into production in Japan.
Dalek 2150 (1 month ago)
Mono-Rail was also suppose to be thew future, now only seen at Disney.
skiin00700 (1 month ago)
The Hovertrains literally went "UNDERGROUND"!!
Lei296 Plays (1 month ago)
Lol just look at Chinese railways...
magodeluna (1 month ago)
Agora encontrei a origem do tão dito Aerotrem de Levy Fidelix.
GD [LokriTz] (1 month ago)
Thats why imma make a Train With MagnetField
dj1rst (1 month ago)
Transrapid ? Not worthy to mention?
Klopps Army (1 month ago)
china has more high speed trains than the rest of the world put together
Skullair313 (1 month ago)
I doubt that
LoLshark99 B (1 month ago)
Lincoln Continental 😂
gurgy3 (1 month ago)
2:35 Rod Serling may not have been the best narrator choice for introducing a futuristic train. Doodooodooodooo
Rose Jackson (1 month ago)
what about the eurostar @208mph
Jebi Se (1 month ago)
vacuum tubes for trains are not new... they are in fact older idea than aero trains or at least that old.
aftonline (1 month ago)
The problem with high speed trains is not the trains themselves but the infrastructure needed to support them. In theory, vactrains could travel faster than the Concorde over long distances, but nobody can afford to build the vacuum tunnels, particularly across oceans or across mountainous regions. Even maglev lines, which have already been built across short distances such as the Shanghai airport train, would be prohibitively expensive to build over the thousand-mile plus distances where they would really shine. The bottom line is always the bottom line.
Rui Oliveira (1 month ago)
These videos have so much production quality! Congrats!
Jon Doe (1 month ago)
The number one problem? My guess is terrorists! They could easily cause a catastrophe, with a derailment or a blown bridge. My 2nd guess may be money. We've wasted our treasure on meaningless wars and adventures. China has a fleet of 30+ high-speed trains. What do we have? Endless wars and military expenditures.
GSA Architectural & Mechanical Drafting Inc. (1 month ago)
Thank you very much for sharing this information. I have a passion for mechanical engineering
Lewys F (1 month ago)
Arent these things at disney?
TheCaptainsquiggle (1 month ago)
Why do you use a yankie symbol for the mph? Just put the speeds
James Aaron (1 month ago)
Trains are for freight. The US public just isn't interested in high speed trains.
Jebi Se (1 month ago)
really now? they would be extremely interested if main stream media would show them those ideas properly. replace short flights in very densely populated places... faster travel since you just remove moving to and from airport less noise... yeah they would love it.
Galejro (1 month ago)
Cause here in Everyairlines we take great care to eliminate every possible alterantive mode of transportation so that we stay the most profitable whores on the market since we killed Zeppleins. For over 100 years we pride ourselves in expensive tickets and 30 minute check-ups simply cause you HAVE To fly. Remember, here in Everyairlines you are our bitch, fuck you, and fuck your empty wallet ..|.
Dc- 10 (1 month ago)
I love your videos
TheRealCritique (1 month ago)
AMerica is a shit hole country run by a shitshole party called Republicans, who want all money to go to them, and want no money to go to the people. THis is America's curse, these filthy racist thieves.
Syilver Wors (1 month ago)
So, what you're saying, is that developing countries should not build tracks
Syilver Wors (1 month ago)
The Monorail!
BG SOUND (1 month ago)
9:15 What were you going to say about Hyperloops?
Caden Schmidt (1 month ago)
i never knew trains were so interesting. i’m in love with your videos
HA.HA. GoodMeme (1 month ago)
cars > trains fite me
SteveMadeTv (1 month ago)
And NY has the mta..... which is always running late
B F (1 month ago)
Yeah, that "tube train" or Hyperloop is vaporware. It was proposed back in the late 1800's as the "Vacuum Train".
Kweestor (1 month ago)
Please use the proper measuring system. It is easier to understand.
Zoilo Raymundo (1 month ago)
I’m so ready for 2030 What happened to hyper loop?
Jebi Se (1 month ago)
the same as flying cars... it was bad idea
Whutwat (1 month ago)
the idea to have an extremely long tunnel that is depressurized was simply always unrealistic... it's too expensive to pump out the air, too vulnerable to catastrophic failure and vacuum exerts too much stress on the tunnel...
adil khan (1 month ago)
American stuck with stupid cars in there 70s
Joel Voss (1 month ago)
"stupid" ??? You misspelled "their"
Simon Russell (1 month ago)
That's bizarre, the UK's effort - RTV 31 - is located about a mile from me in Peterborough's Railworld museum. You can see it when travelling by train, and I now know what it is.
MEGA Solutions LLC (1 month ago)
A lot of facts and a few fallacies. Adoption was not stunted due to recessions. It was stunted due to lobbying. Airlines don't want more efficient ground travel cutting into their profit margins. That's why in the US, Amtrak is still a government funded service - were it to go fully private, you'd see private investments in that infrastructure. Hyperloop may or may not turn into a thing, but it being private means there is at least a chance of something coming of it. The real concern is whether or not there can be a complete end-to-end solution. A person has to be able to get on whatever and go wherever. That's hard without infrastructure, which costs a lot of money to create. Improving the current rail system is fine and likely way cheaper, but does it make sense for the long term? In a perfect world, we would have capital-to-capital trains with no other stops at highest speeds possible; dirigibles for in-state city-to-city travel (think Sac to Los Angeles, as an example); planes for more expensive (because it's faster) travel to states or international. No city or state capital should be able to refuse to implement any of those three. Just adding back dirigibles alone would likely cut the majority of traffic for commutes.
Jack (1 month ago)
Miles and pounds are not understandable/used by the majority of your Youtube watchers, please use International System units: Km and Kg
LexiByDay (1 month ago)
imagine a world with trains, hovertrains, maglevs, and whatever that last one was. All running together. Each specialised for different speeds and different distances. The fastest used for express lines, the slowest used for lines within the city.
LUIZ CARLOS MENDONCA (1 month ago)
É o Talav fron Brsil Fron FEI Universti From Brasil
Sckozzo __ (1 month ago)
1:16 “only 130 mph” Honda dudes : 🥴
Mazza Ma (1 month ago)
Use the metric system
Rob M (1 month ago)
the russian nuclear train was the best (-;
The Wise Owl (1 month ago)
You had to spoil the video with damned advertising at the end.
The Wise Owl (1 month ago)
The US can spend billions on defense and bribing other countries to be their friends, but our rail lines are terrible. Passenger trains still sit on sidings as the freight trains have priority, but we have a great welfare system.
Prashanth B (1 month ago)
I think even HYPERLOOP will go this way, into oblivion ?
Perth Jap Classics (1 month ago)
Just stumbled upon your channel i love your content!
For Gmaps (1 month ago)
We have been forced to stay with fossil fuels, to the benefit of a few.
TheSulross (1 month ago)
more likely to hit an unexpected obstacle on a track at ground level than a plane would flying at 35,000 ft - and at very high speeds the impact of an unexpected obstacle will only be more devastating
whiteknightcat (1 month ago)
My hovertrain is full of eels!
Priyo Adi (1 month ago)
😂😂😂😂 now who is the most stupid western country . Choose war over scientific development
Communist Trash (1 month ago)
Normal high speed train=go fast Put plane engine on it tho and it go super fast and is better
SC PRIVATEPILOT (1 month ago)
I would rather have a high speed train as presented here, so that can see the countryside. The idea of putting one in a tube underground...forget it!
Terry Karekarem (1 month ago)
Why use imperial system in an educational video?
Tek P (1 month ago)
Great content!