Air Cargo Asian Pacific: Air-train model under test
A California, USA group has developed an air-propelled train - currently in model form - that it hopes will change the face of high-speed rail.
Max Schlienger, the owner of Flight Rail Corporation, says its Vectorr model uses vacuum pressure to push magnets through a tube below the train. Because the train also has magnets, it moves as well and at very high speeds due to a lack of friction.
Wheels grip the track at a 45-degree angle to make sure it does not derail. Compared to traditional rail stock that struggles with inclines of more than three degrees, Vectorr is claimed to be able to climb a 10 per cent gradient. Schlienger also said the Vectorr is environmentally sensitive.
"We think these trains could be as green as any trains running," he said, adding that Vectorr would be ideal for inter-city use, such as for shuttles or light freight, and would not need electrical wires connected to it.
Many types of power could be used to power the vacuum tubes, such as electricity, solar or wind, and the power stations could be placed 50 miles apart.
The group now seeks funds to build a full-scale test model of the Vectorr.
The current model is 1/6th scale.