Inside abandoned ‘Hovertrains’ that could hit 300MPH with jet engines

You board your train for the morning commute – and as you sit down the vehicle’s jet engines begin to whine.

The incredible train then rockets forward at more than 300 mph—outpacing nearly every public transportation system.


LIMRV set a speed record of over 250 mph during testing in the 70sCredit: Jerry Dandurand, Pueblo Railway Museum
'The Grumman' Was Designed to Float Above the Ground as an Actual Hovertrain


‘The Grumman’ Was Designed to Float Above the Ground as an Actual HovertrainCredit: Jerry Dandurand, Pueblo Railway Museum
French designers have made this 60-seat floating train car


French designers have made this 60-seat floating train carCredit: Jerry Dandurand, Pueblo Railway Museum

It was during the 1970s that intrepid engineers who looked like the Jetsons dreamed of bringing this new form of train to the world.

It was a vision of the world of tomorrow with America and both countries the soviet union is investing In future technology.

But as you know if you’ve ever ridden a train, the plan never materialized – and we still use railways similar to those of the 1800s.

The dreams of these future gazing engineers now stand peacefully outside a train museum in Colorado.

Left inside 'jet train' that could run at 220 mph with two huge engines
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Pueblo Railway Museum In his possession are three experimental “rocket cars” that were developed by the US.

The trains were developed as part of funding provided by the US government in the High Speed ​​Ground Transportation Act of 1965.

The Department of Transportation purchased a piece of land outside Pueblo where they were building the High Speed ​​Ground Test Center.

Test tracks were built for the prototype with the dream of a new super-fast rail network crossing America.

The three prototypes are known as LIMRV, TACRV and TLRV.

Each of these sleek, futuristic vehicles was a test model built to run at hundreds of miles per hour with jet propulsion.

The hovertrain concept was once expected to completely transform the world’s rail networks.

Acting like a hovercraft, the trains floated on a cushion of air and glided over obstacles.

The vehicles would not suffer from the drag of a wheeled vehicle and could in principle collide at incredible speeds.

This meant that they could be powered by jet engines or other powerful systems.

LIMRV testing underway outside Pueblo


LIMRV testing underway outside Pueblocredit: Pueblo Transportation Test Center
Trains were considered the future of transportation


Trains were considered the future of transportationcredit: Pueblo Transportation Test Center
Could they really replace traditional trains?


Could they really replace traditional trains?credit: Pueblo Transportation Test Center

Engineers hoped their hovertrain could exceed 300 mph.

The museum’s three trains enjoyed varying levels of success on the test track – with LIMRV the best.

The LIMRV – with its jet engines – achieved a world speed record of 255.7mph during testing in 1974.

The train, known as “The Garrett”, was equipped with a 3,000hp engine and impressive thrust booster.

It was tested until 1978 when the project was put on hold.

And there’s also “the Grumman”—the TLRV—which has three giant turbofan engines mounted on top of the vehicle.

It was designed to hit 300 mph – but sadly the prototype never reached that altitude.

While “The Garrett” ran on a more conventional track, “The Grumman” was a true hovertrain designed to lift off the ground using a system called “aero-propulsion”.

On a short test track, the train managed to reach a speed of 91 mph and there were problems with the design.

Its test program ended in 1975.

And the last one of the incredible vehicles is “The Rohr” – the TACV – first developed in France by engineer Jean Bertin.

The train now has wheels and spans an inverted T shaped rail, which will guide it as it flies on its air cushion.

The vehicle was more than just a locomotive, being a fully equipped car capable of carrying 60 passengers.

It achieved a top speed of 145mph during an experimental run on a short 1.5-mile test track.

But when it came to further development, funding was stopped and the train was abandoned in 1975.

Now all three sit on the patio outside the Pueblo Railway Museum—remnants of a future that never came.

And the museum plans to put the three prototypes together in a special display area in 2023, complete with educational placards teaching future generations about their history.

The museum’s Dave Dundurand told The Sun Online it was “complicated” why the project failed.

He added: “This effort probed the limits of our technical capability, and so some of the solutions proved less than practical.”

He added: “Politics and forces seeking to maintain the status quo (airplanes and existing railroads) ended funding for the projects.”

The world seems to have gone beyond dreams of hover and jet trains.

And instead, designers are looking to “maglev” technology such as Elon Musk’s plan for Hyperloop,

Cozy looking interior inside 'The Rohr'


Cozy looking interior inside ‘The Rohr’credit: Jerome Tillier
Control over 'The Garrett'


Control over ‘The Garrett’Credit: Ron Roach, Pueblo Railway Museum
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