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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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Text Comments (3434)
Mustard (1 year ago)
Thanks for watching! P.s. the little audio fade at the end was supposed to be intentional/joke :)
biggest D (6 days ago)
This video proves the Earth is flat
biggest D (6 days ago)
This video proves the Earth is flat no doubt about it
alpha yun (1 month ago)
the hyperloop is a hovertrain isnt it?
Dank Side of the Moon (1 month ago)
+Vibhu Mathur lmao you are delusional. Scurry along muskrat.
Michael Moorrees (2 months ago)
+John Smith - The primary problem with the current version of the hyperloop, isn't the technical challenges (which still may not be realized), but its management's (Musk) deflection of answering questions. They sound as if they're running a Ponzi scheme. Instead of addressing the question of, say thermal expansion issues, they hold contest on building the prettiest train, and other promotional hype. I'm an engineer, just answer the DAMN QUESTION ! If you're technically serious, you'll let me know, what the solution is, or what steps are being taken to find a solution, in a real (non-hand waving) manner. You'll have the numbers on hand ! Numbers showing the solution, or numbers showing what hurdles that need to be achieved. Engineers are "detail" people, since the details need to be addressed to find a solution. You can't eat "fluff" !
Lodok 4 (8 hours ago)
What about maglevs
DW media (10 hours ago)
There is one of these old trains near my house
Athul Jyothis (11 hours ago)
the way you mocked hyperloop 😂
VelourTV (12 hours ago)
They should make an hovertrain with inversed magnetic power like under the train we put the "-" power and on the rails we put the "+" power so the train will magnetically float
DeathBear (14 hours ago)
Lets go Pueblo btw is the track still there cause if so I might try to pay a visit
David Osaje (16 hours ago)
Good Day I really like watching your videos Thank you for producing these videos What I wanted to say was that could you create the wallpaper versions of the pictures shown on each video before you watch them
rambokhooblall (17 hours ago)
That should be running today.
Daredevil (1 day ago)
Actually, the main reason why radical new ideas are often unsuccessful is because politicians are not putting in enough pressure on the population to consider these new ideas. The world population is growing every second and each second counts. Just sticking to the familiar technology is not enough.
OutOfTheBoxThinker (1 day ago)
The hyperloop is just another idea that's never going to make it. Besides the reasons for failure you already mentioned, see Thundert00t's videos on the matter for which this specific technology just won't make it!
Dawid Czarnota (2 days ago)
Today's english rail ways are very safe
Techs Explained (2 days ago)
"The Problem With Fast Trains: What Happened to Hovertrains?" Oh Yeah, They are on a working visa in Japan
Petter ! (3 days ago)
In 1989 Sweden had the tilting train x2000 in operation 👍🏻
Edelplastic (3 days ago)
Maglev was the Future, but Lobbyists not wanted that..
Sky 201 (3 days ago)
guys im here just for its amazing animation lol
EricLenovo Monotonously Tangerine Orange Edition (6 days ago)
9:15 it must be HYPERLOOP vacuum train
Alexander Tjomsland (8 days ago)
Can that hover train turn?
MadCourier 6 (8 days ago)
This is the most Kerbal thing ever...
Daniel James (8 days ago)
I wish they modernized the commentary to km/h instead.
Ivan W (8 days ago)
One day the US will not totally SUCK at railways
Michael Sanders (9 days ago)
Politicians in America wont let America do to they big oil sponsors. Big wins America loses on new technologies.... case in point Californias high speed rail cancellation after construction has already started.
nobody important (9 days ago)
The Boogie Woogie Choo-Choo Train😂
Joshua Graham (10 days ago)
Mag lev in the UK would be great.
LectronCircuits (10 days ago)
Brilliant training. Cheers!
jim jimmy (10 days ago)
Maglev?? In china is it?
송인관 (10 days ago)
튜브 트뤠인 아이디어는 1960년 대에 유에스에 이미 있었음. 60년이 흐른 뒤에 또 나오는 게 신기 함.
ironcrafterhd (11 days ago)
Wie wärs denn mal mit Transrapid? and ICE at least just talk about and mention those. Transpid would have work unlike the hyperloop
Wallace (11 days ago)
Biggest problem with trains is that 'we' didn't go for Brunel's 7' broad gauge...
anthrax2525 (11 days ago)
Hunting oscillation was what caused Trailer-Train to prematurely remove their Front Runner spine cars from service. They would violently wobble at high speed and were prone to derailing.
Toasty Volvo (11 days ago)
But to take off doesn’t a shoe have to scrape along before lift can occur? If rail would get you anywhere in the states I would go. But there almost nonexistent. It’s sad.
Mr Hadron (12 days ago)
How does it turn?
luka Steens (13 days ago)
Mustard gas
Dai Jeffery (13 days ago)
“That’s brilliant!” -Brilliant
bonk brazool (13 days ago)
y make new technology when oil still sells?
赵是 (15 days ago)
Fast trains did not die; they just became done by a less observed country to whose railway advancement Westerners must kneel 🇨🇳. Yes I know; my grammar is impeccable.
Juan Montoya (16 days ago)
Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! MONO!
azraaell (6 days ago)
Arse rail
Mythical Krystel (17 days ago)
HYDROiD Gaming (4 days ago)
I had the same thought. Everything can go fast in one line but it NEEDS TO TURN FUCKING CORNERS AT A SPEED THAT ISN'T 10 KPH
Maju Sathies (5 days ago)
Repelling magnets and guide rails
donald frazier (6 days ago)
Very slightly over a very long distance.
Ivan W (8 days ago)
Uhhh... oh I know, early curving and slowly turning ninety degrees
Adriano Condorelli (9 days ago)
sean williams (19 days ago)
I feel like the end was a fuck you to Elon Musk 😂
Souma Spiritus (20 days ago)
5:04 looks like an upside down tub sliding
Average Guy (22 days ago)
Hovertrains are now in theme parks instead of being used for public transportation.
Mikey C (19 days ago)
Nah. They require high speed. Very small scale mag lev is probably what you've seen or monorail which can look similar.
Christopher Ramos (22 days ago)
I keep on converting mi. to km. it's quite difficult to watch US based content sometimes...
Jeremy Jahns (15 days ago)
He put all the metric units in the top left corner of the screen
That1NerdyBlackGirl (16 days ago)
Well nowadays most US Youtubers will put the conversion from standard to metric up on the video to help with converting. Which I'm happy to see this myself
superROTV (23 days ago)
Is it me, or does the hover train look like an MP-36 in the front?
NameNotAlreadyTaken2 (24 days ago)
That British prototype that used linear induction is extremely similar to Elon Musk's original Hyperloop concept. The only difference would seem to be the tube. Unfortunately, the follow-on Hyperloop ideas under development now have reverted to maglev track.
Maxim Chau (26 days ago)
GTA SA Train logic
Billy Pate (26 days ago)
They sould build faster trians good ideal.hover
Ross Norton (26 days ago)
Here comes the airplane, I like trains
Nick Garrity (27 days ago)
Hyperloops are going to be real
Akalion (17 days ago)
lol no
Minjeo Tomato (28 days ago)
I can think of 2 hover trains that still exist, hyperloop, and maglev
Wrindwolf (27 days ago)
Hyperloop is not commercially operating and has never achieved the promoted speeds.
Andy Madden (28 days ago)
The RTV-31 Tracked Hovercraft is on display in Peterborough, UK.
D3NCE (28 days ago)
You forgot the transrapid.
Sanjeev Kumar (29 days ago)
Great video. very impressed. Do you have a podcast of your own? if so, pls share the link in the comments.
Ol szymanski (1 month ago)
Is this a old maglev train?
Abilawa andamari (1 month ago)
Lol as somene from a developing countries every first world countries are like the smart kids in class who are always competing against each other while we're just that one kid who doesnt understand anything.
Rodion Makovskiy (1 month ago)
Metric! Metric please!!!
Chill Froge LP/ CRAZY_01 (1 month ago)
Hey Mustaed, I have an idea for an other Video. You could mabey do a video about the Transrapiet.
Jonathan Larock (1 month ago)
why would you put background music over the dialogue? That's like listening to ipod at a concert
4623620 (1 month ago)
"What Happened to Hovertrains ?", they became MagLev (originaly a German invention from more than a century ago), they are faster than trains and safer than airplanes and they run in China Japan and South Korea. The big question now is: Why aren't they built in Europe, America or other countries, is it politics or business that blocks ?
Darth Sagit (1 month ago)
It's simply expensive
Leshay5 (1 month ago)
I’ve heard those things are awfully loud, it rides as softly as cloud.
usquanigo (1 month ago)
Jets are engines. Tesla uses motors.
Mic Edwards (1 month ago)
Awesome video! Love your channel
Marco (1 month ago)
*Sheldon Cooper liked this video*
Impulse (1 month ago)
hos ya
Pikachu M (1 month ago)
What is miles per hour? Isn't that something that ships use to measure distance travelled?
Pikachu M (1 month ago)
+cj ume hmmm. Isn't that kilometres/hour? Yes, actually I'm quite sure that 90% of the world uses kilometres!
cj ume (1 month ago)
Pikachu M cars. Or any object that moves
Nunovia Gottdamnedbizzness (1 month ago)
Canada had a Turbotrain back in the 1970s, it ran between Toronto and Montreal fro. 1968 - 1982 and could reach top Speeds of 170 miles per hour. It used a gas turbine engine ran on regular tracks, but it couldn't run at top speed without serious tilting and a very rough ride.
C R I P P L I N G D E P R E S S I O N (1 month ago)
Hey, could you make a detailed video about the TGV and the French railroad system? The French do have the world's fastest train on tracks
Mustard (1 month ago)
It's coming for sure :)
Josh Simpson (1 month ago)
Japan has a new train which travels a mile in 10 seconds
Rex Remedy (1 month ago)
I like the concept...
R R (1 month ago)
Use the metric system. At least put it as text in your video.
Nicklas Andersen (1 month ago)
He did put it as text: Top-left corner.
Hajji Daoud (1 month ago)
No, convert it yourself peasant.
Joshua Mack (1 month ago)
did anyone try using aerodynamics to make a high Speed Train hover, or esentially fly a few cm ? Like the opposite of a Formula one car that Needs to force itself to stay on the Ground. Im Aware that this can go very wrong a thousand ways, just as propelling a Vehicle via explosions. several intakes would be needed and motors to regulate the airflow depending on Speed i guess. youd optimize it for one Speed and Level out the difference by using engines like with the hovertrain until you reach the Speed you Need.
Sam Sırri (1 month ago)
I'm sure they've thought about it, even though I have not heard or read it yet.
Анатолий Шпалин (1 month ago)
Nice jab at Hyper/f/loop at the end there. Made me chuckle 😁
MrNayger (1 month ago)
I still think that maglev is the way of the future, it's just very expensive. But over time you can build a network, and i don't think there will be a new, better concept soon.
DrawDeath (1 month ago)
if they did invest I wonder though how much would cost maintenance but yeah, it would remove basically any friction, it would have efficient break... so could anyone ask for more?
Rainy - Overwatch (1 month ago)
Lolhi Dibbledap (1 month ago)
Did he just say " alRAILdy" at the last two and a half minutes?
Redwood Aviation Studios (1 month ago)
At lower speeds, they should add deployable wheels
German Lopez (1 month ago)
S3thc0n (1 month ago)
i love how you use music to evoke moods in your videos. every time '80s' or in this case 'Retro' starts playing along with some awe-inspiring technology on screen i feel a rush of euphoria
Kaltenstein Müller (1 month ago)
sad that our german government cut funding to the maglev transrapid after a non design related accident, otherwise we wouldnt have to wait for elon to come up with his hyperloop idea...
Hernandez Arêdes (1 month ago)
I like the American solution the best.
rubberkidney (1 month ago)
nothing about the vacuum tube is new. please do not spread that pseudo science garbage.
rubberkidney (17 days ago)
+Akalion uh oh. we have a 'hyperloop' believer here. i bet you like to science.
Akalion (17 days ago)
Wow you really missed the point didn't you?
MR Dot1 (1 month ago)
cuz they expensive to build, to build the track and to run Maglev train... and cuz rail companies are either run by the state or is private business, non of them want to shoulder the cost, cuz they could not raise the ticket prices as they would need, cu then the people would not use it... so its all about its not cost effective for the entity that runs it..
ACorp Productions (1 month ago)
You r/woooshed sooooo many people with that Hyperloop joke
azraaell (6 days ago)
Like his joke ! Hehe
Scooters Videos (13 days ago)
+zen pi the sound something makes when it goes over your head at high speed.
Andy Raison (26 days ago)
+zen pi it's just a part of having ligma
ChiefVapor (29 days ago)
+zen pi it's when you pee pee poo poo yea yea
zen pi (30 days ago)
What is woosh?
633336 (1 month ago)
It was a conspiracy by the Automotive companies to end it...as they did the steetcar. Big oil had that much sway.
matsv201 (1 month ago)
wasn´t really existing track that offsett maglev... It was massive subsides to the existing network.
Gribbo9999 (1 month ago)
Some mention of metric units might help the rest of us poor suckers. Especially as I doubt the French bother much with "miles". Whatever they are.
UNDERHILL (1 month ago)
The answer to this is simple: Auto industry lobbyists killed (and continue to kill) every other transportation method possible. They destroyed the once stellar city bus services in American and they killed the trains as well. Lobbying for over-regulation of these industries and the purchasing and shuttering of these companies were both tactics that they used to do this. Anyone who was alive before 1960 knows that this is a fact because they bore direct witness to the closing of bus lines and train stations.
jakub rembacz (1 month ago)
vacuum trains are not new
Akalion (17 days ago)
Das the point dog
ObiTrev (1 month ago)
6:42 who was the artist who made this picture?
im playing some rocc sim then y u saw me (1 month ago)
lol japan get rid of the stupid train xdddddd hello maglev
Harsh Adukia (1 month ago)
Hyperloop overtook it
Salman Haider (1 month ago)
Maglev was made years ago....nd still Elon's fan think that it was his idea.
Colt 45 (1 month ago)
Sounds evil, and easy to derail.. Bazinga.. Anything that comes from the French is bad!!!
Glen Parker (1 month ago)
Wow this is incredible just imagine if they put wings underneath the jets then they could do away with the tracks all together and they could go almost anywhere even to places like Hawaii or even Europe but I guess that’s not Green like walking or a Bicycle made from hemp stocks or walking or smoking dope an imagining you’re flying all the while you’re green laying on the floor
Doubtful Guest (2 months ago)
4:20 This is really cute. Unrelatedly, I've never seen Back to the Future.
dogbird (2 months ago)
Hyper loop, lmao
Jackson V. Miguel (2 months ago)
bridges : hold my beer
leberude (2 months ago)
In the US anyway, the flanges are on the outside of the wheels, which are cupped to ride over a convex rail. You showed angled wheels with flanges on the inside.
X Y Z (2 months ago)
What happened? They ran out of air!
Arctic Winter (2 months ago)
Graphics taken to another level. Impressive
Arctic Winter (2 months ago)
mph... hng!
Tribe of Joseph 1600 is 7 (2 months ago)
It’s called greed, monopolies, and the old selfish industries bribing politicians to keep their greedy hands in that market. Just like these parasitic petroleum corporations and their sales of gasoline, diesel and petroleum based products in everything for home, cars, gardens, fast foods , agricultural farms and ranches, to medicines/vaccines/vitamins..etc. The automobiles of today can drive themselves and with internet A.I. thinking , but still using a 150 year old combustion engines. Go figure !