- Education and Science
Hovertrains (a UK invention)
Track to nowhere!!
In the 1960's,I was a Jig and Tool Design Draughtsman,and one interesting project the small Company( Geo.L.Scott &Co ,UK) I worked on was ,the experimental Linear Induction motor and track for the first ever prototype- called 'The Hover Train'. (a combination of two British Inventions-The Linear Induction Motor and the Hovercraft)
Professor Eric Laithwaite , from Liverpool developed the Linear Induction Motor. He designed and built a small working model,whilst employed at Manchester University. This successful worlking model,proved of interest to British Rail.
In the late sixties Professor Laithwaite produced a design for a larger working model,whilst at Imperial College London. The trials were very successful,where prototypes reached over 200mph.
Our company was involved in some of the design and development work,including the mile long experimental track in Birmingham UK.
This was all supposed to be highly secret stuff at the time,until one day I noticed a few invited visitors (without mentioning from which country they were from obviouslly for legal reasons,-but it was a far eastern country)in suits with micro cameras taking (what appeared), secret photos of our tooling and engineering drawings in the Engineering workshop.After the Director finding out this (to his dismay),these visitors were promptly told to leave.The following day they were boarding a plane home. So what should have been a week long visit ended up being a couple of days for these visitors.
Needless to say a few years later hovertrains were up and running in this( other country),yet due to a new Government coming into here in UK at the time all funding for this innovative forward thinking British invention was stopped so this wonderful UK project went down 'the swanny river'.So needless to say this eastern country still enjoys this British invention,-The Hovertrain.
Now our Government is talking about having a so called High speed rail system built in UK taking about 15 years to build at a cost of several billions of £££'s. This highly contraversial project is planned to go through some of (whats left of our fast dwindling pristine countryside) in order to save probably 40 mins on a 200 mile journey. Yet due to so much limited thinking and shortsightedness by our 'Powers that be',a much more envronmentally friendly cheaper,faster,system available is still after 40+ years being ignored by OUR Government(s)--The Hovertrain.
I just ask this one question -WHY?