The closing scenes of Back to the Future III, where Doc Brown appeared from nowhere aboard a time-travelling train to see Marty McFly for one last time, is among the most well-known instances of a flying train. It’s the one that springs to my mind, at least. Certainly, the notion of a train that can fly seems like something that could only happen in a blockbuster film.
Well perhaps we should prepare ourselves because a video materialised recently that showed that the principle of the train could be turned on its head and travel the sky as well as the ground. Whether it is intended to work on existing lines in unclear, though what is shown in this computer-generated video is that there would be a big problem when approaching urban areas – where skyscrapers have an increasing presence. What is clear, though, is that if it did enter operation, train travel is about to get a whole more exciting.
The person responsible for this futuristic vision is Russian engineer, inventor and visionary, Dahir Semenov, a man who sees the “hybrid train and plane” as a feasible form of transport that can carry up to 2,000 passengers. Relying on “an almost unlimited amount of energy” that propels the ‘carriages’ to speeds of 300mph, they are connected to the tracks via a steel trestle that feeds electricity direct from the tracks to power high-torque motors that enable the extraordinary manoeuvres that you see on the video.
According to the copy accompanying the video, four lots of apparatus are currently being worked on, and we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this awesome vision of the future will one day grace the tracks… and the air. Who knows, with the right backing perhaps Dahir Semenov will give Elon Musk and Richard Branson a run for their money ahead of their hyperloop plans? If so, see you in the queue!
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