L'aérotrain
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Thread: L'aérotrain

  1. #1
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Icon6 L'aérotrain

    A good while back Matthew (mnm) posted a few pics in the DS appreciation thread of a DS seen with L'aérotrain, I was fascinated with the now reto styling and went looking for more info - there is heaps out there.

    I became more intrigued when I saw this video and found a real connection to the Citroen D



    Here at around 1:07 a familiar sight



    Looking further I found this youtube 6 part documentary, with an American connection. Apparently the last surviving L'aérotrain now is located in a huge rail/air museum in Pueblo Colorado. The story is fascinating for anyone with an interest in mechanics and engineering - some of the prototypes were jet powered, the train was lifted on a cushion of air like a hovercraft - stunning stuff for it's time.

    Each video is around 10 minutes, I found I had to watch the whole documentary in a sitting. The surviving train has an eerie feel, I guess like looking through the wreckage of the Titanic, both failed experiments with so much promise. There are spare parts in original packaging shipped from France still stored on board. Anyhow for those interested. . .


    On a retrouvé le dernier aerotrain - part 1 of 6 (We found the last aerotrain) - YouTube

    On a retrouvé le dernier aerotrain - part 2 of 6 (We found the last aerotrain) - YouTube

    On a retrouvé le dernier aerotrain - part 3 of 6 (We found the last aerotrain) - YouTube

    On a retrouvé le dernier aerotrain - part 4 of 6 (We found the last aerotrain) - YouTube

    On a retrouvé le dernier aerotrain - part 5 of 6 (We found the last aerotrain) - YouTube

    On a retrouvé le dernier aerotrain - part 6 of 6 (We found the last aerotrain) - YouTube

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    Cheers
    Chris
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  2. #2
    UFO
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    There are still remnants of the tracks sticking out of fields near Chartres. A few years ago we drove the then new A19 that runs east west south or Orlean and there is a large segment of the old track just cut away for where the autoroute goes through. Fascinating stuff.
    Craig K
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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Icon11

    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    There are still remnants of the tracks sticking out of fields near Chartres. A few years ago we drove the then new A19 that runs east west south or Orlean and there is a large segment of the old track just cut away for where the autoroute goes through. Fascinating stuff.
    Just like the Yellow Brick Road, 'The wizard of Aus' follow the green stained concrete

    Cheers
    Chris
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    The SNCF used gas turbine power very successfully on the ETG and RTG sets. The same power as a diesel in 30% the weight and 75% the volume. The TGV prototype was gas turbine powered. However the advantage of gas turbine power, cheap low grade fuel was wiped out in 1973. Looks like one of those aerotrains had an afterburner as well.

    Turbotrain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Obviously steel wheel on steel rail is cheaper to build though. It might not be obvious but they have very clever suspension systems too. To walk on to an old Sydney double decker, weighing 50 tons and hear the hiss meaning it is self levelling after 70kg of human walks on is very cool. I remember vividly riding in the first Tulloch trailer in 1964 and being gobsmacked at how well it rode.
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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg C View Post
    The SNCF used gas turbine power very successfully on the ETG and RTG sets. The same power as a diesel in 30% the weight and 75% the volume. The TGV prototype was gas turbine powered. However the advantage of gas turbine power, cheap low grade fuel was wiped out in 1973. Looks like one of those aerotrains had an afterburner as well.

    Turbotrain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Obviously steel wheel on steel rail is cheaper to build though. It might not be obvious but they have very clever suspension systems too. To walk on to an old Sydney double decker, weighing 50 tons and hear the hiss meaning it is self levelling after 70kg of human walks on is very cool. I remember vividly riding in the first Tulloch trailer in 1964 and being gobsmacked at how well it rode.
    On viewing the videos it is remarkable the project got off the ground so to speak, the prototype built in the States to the French design used massive amounts of electric power, so much so that on the test track in Colorado it dimmed the lights at the test facility.

    I just love the old footage, the ingenuity, and the enthusiasm especially the guys interviewed in the states - one of which was an ex US Nuclear Sub engineer suggesting that with the Nuclear plants in France this could still have been a viable project?

    Cheers
    Chris
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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