This piece first appeared in Hyperloop’s blog.
Josh Giegel and Shervin Pishevar are co-founders of Hyperloop One.
All views expressed are those of the authors.
GE Ventures is an investor in Hyperloop One.
Hyperloop One has been grabbing headlines with the latest test of its high-speed pod, but America’s fastest locomotive nearly matched its blistering pace more than 50 years ago.
On a clear day in July 1966, New York Central Railroad engineer Don Wetzel and his team boarded a specially modified Buddliner railcar, No. M-497. Bolted to the roof above them were two GE J47-19 jet engines. Wetzel throttled up the engines and tore down a length of track from Butler, Indiana, to Stryker, Ohio, at almost 184 mph, piloting the experimental vehicle into the record books as the world’s fastest jet-powered train. Today, the M-497 still holds America’s speed record. It’s also the world’s fastest self-propelled locomotive.
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