The most insane transport systems that never happened

The most insane transport systems that never happened

Is Hyperloop destined to be the pipe dream of Elon Musk, another failed futuristic transport like these crazy futuristic transports of yesteryear? Hopefully not. But I wish some of these ten awesome inventions existed today.

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Pending approvalOriginal post by Máté Petrány on Jalopnik

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

A bridge to the moon or just a train ride that doesn't take forever? The last two centuries were full of fantastic ideas for mass transportation, but some just couldn't be turned into reality.


10.) The Golden Dolphin

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Italy, 1956.

The engineers at bus maker Viberti of Turin thought the best solution to the lack of high-speed mass transportation is a futuristic, gas turbine-powered bus capable of cruising at 125 mph. Looks like it would worth buying a monthly pass.

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Suggested By: Jonee, Photo Credit: io9


9.) Gyro monorail

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

England, 1909.

Louis Brennan and his friends might be looking happy in the picture, but the idea never really caught on for some reason...

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Suggested By: ZekeStone says hydrogen has no future, Photo Credit: Getty Images


8.) The US High-Speed Rail System

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

USA, nowdays

Only time will tell if the US can ever catch up with the rest of the world in terms of the train service, but Grant Leavitt is highly skeptical:

How about the US High Speed Rail System? Proposed numerous times, always crashed and burned before becoming a reality. I mean, really, Europe and Asia are light-years ahead of us in terms of rail technology, and we are still in the "Iron Age" where gigantic locomotives propel trains and take up precious space that could be used for passengers. Europe/Asia's trains have tiny (compared to our train engines) electric motors powering every fourth carriages' axles. This way, it doesn't struggle to get up hills. Even our most capable "High Speed Train" (Amtrak's Acela service) is capable of over 120 mph, but routinely cruises at only 75mph.

Come on America, build the things already, and get our sorry asses off Middle East Oil when it comes to long trips.

Suggested By: Grant Leavit, Photo Credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism


7.) Transrapid

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Germany, since 1969.

Based on a patent for magnetic levitation from 1934, Germany started the development of a high-speed rail system in 1969. So far, China is the only customer, after being backed by massive loans from the Germans. All other plans got cancelled, just like the project of connecting Munich Central Station and Munich Airport with it.

Suggested By: mycintosh, Photo Credit: Wikipedia


6.) Skybus

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

USA, 1964.

The Westinghouse Transit Expressway was a fully automated, rubber-wheeled electric vehicle program riding on a concrete guideway. A solution to Pittsburgh's transport problems. It worked, but got killed off anyway by the end of the seventies.

Read all about it here.

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Suggested By: VideoPgh, Photo Credit: The Skybus page


5.) Mechanical moving sidewalks

France, 1900.

Doing 6 mph standing still on the sidewalk? Where do I sign?

While the first moving walkway debuted at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, in Chicago, Illinois, the one at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle was in a whole different league. For the first commercial moving walkway, the world had to wait until 1954, when Goodyear built the "Speedwalk" in Jersey City. It was much slower than 6 mph.

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Suggested By: Canuk, Photo Credit: Gizmodo


4.) Aérotrain

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

France, 1965-74.

Forget zee Germans and their fancy (decapitating) propeller trains! What France had was better: jet trains. Hovering jet trains...

BATC42 explains:

In the 60s us French wanted to travel fast from a city to another and a few engineers came up with that. A train guided by a monorail using an air cushion to reduce friction, powered by plane engine. But because of the death of the lead engineer, lack of funding and because the French government preferred the TGV, the project was scrapped.

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Suggested By:BATC42 , Photo Credit: Getty Images


3.) Beach Pneumatic Transit

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

USA, 1869.

The first attempt at giving New York a metro. They had to try again, but that time, the results were remarkable.

Suggested By: dianebrat, Photo Credit: Wikipedia


2.) Ithacus

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

USA, 1966.

Sending our boys up there. How? Like this!

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Suggested By: Richard Bartrop, Photo Credit: Astronautix.com


1.) The Transatlantic Tunnel

The Ten Most Ambitious Failed Utopian Mass Transit Systems

Want your own Eurotunnel? Well, it's not gonna happen. Kate's Dirty Sister explains why:

New York to Paris in just 1 hour sounds nice to you? There are only a few issues:

1. COST: The project cost is expected to be in the billions range – about $175+ billion. How this cost would be split internationally and through private finds would have to be worked out..

2. MATERIALS: The steel necessary for this project would require the output of all the steel mills in the world for 1 year. Floating platforms to lower prefabricated tunnel sections and to house workers would also have to be built.

3. GEOLOGY: The Mid-Atlantic Ridge sits below the path of the tunnel, a region of extreme volcanic activity. (This is the reason why the tunnel cannot be built to lay across the ocean floor and have to “float.”

4. WEATHER: The Atlantic ocean waters are treacherous and the weather windows for construction would be affected by this.

5. STABILITY: Steel tethers, like ones used to hold oil platforms to the ocean floor would be incorporated to hold the tunnel in place. There is concern about whether these will be strong enough to support the tunnel against harsh ocean currents or in the event of a disaster like a collision with a whale.

Suggested By:Kate's Dirty Sister, Photo Credit: Geektracks

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

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