50 years ago, a Japanese scientist dreamed up a rocket-propelled train | Science News

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50 Years Ago

50 years ago, a Japanese scientist dreamed up a rocket-propelled train

Excerpt from the July 6, 1968, issue of Science News

By
7:00am, June 28, 2018
a superconducting magnetic-levitation train in Japan

BUILT FOR SPEED  Superconducting magnetic-levitation trains in Japan smashed a world speed record in 2015 in a test run.  

Next in speedy trains

Future trains, in [Hisanojo] Ozawa’s opinion, will all be powered by rockets and run over rollers instead of rails…. His next model will be equipped with three rocket engines and will aim for a speed of 1,180 kilometers an hour, or 0.996 Mach. — Science News, July 6, 1968.

Update

A rocket-boosted model train from Ozawa, who designed aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Air Force, hit 920 kilometers per hour on a 300-meter course in 1968. But real-world trains get nowhere near that speed. Maybe because none use rockets. Japan’s maglev trains, which levitate on

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