89-year-old Max Schlienger has been obsessed with trains ever since he was a child. Now, as a retired engineer, Max is using his time and his knowledge to create a new and improved method of train travel, right in his Mendocino, California vineyard.
Schlienger's train is actually a one-sixth scale system for a transportation process Max calls the "Vectorr" system. Unlike contemporary trains, Vectorr does not rely on diesel engines or electricity to move from point A to point B.
Instead, the train uses a propulsion method, which separates the locomotive and its fuel from the rest of the train. It then relies on vacuum power and heavy duty magnets to push the train forward.
A 12-inch wide PVC pipe connects to a vacuum power pump. Within the pipe is a thrust carriage, which connects to the train with powerful magnets that are the size of large watermelons. The pump pushes air into the pipe, allowing the thrust carriage, along with the train, to move forward.
Schlienger's system is very similar to a concept that was created in the 1800s by railway engineers called the "atmospheric railway." The concept relied on a piston instead of magnets to connect the thrust carriage and the train.
Unfortunately, the train concept never took off, but Max plans to bring it to life. His backyard prototype is the first stop on the way to realizing his vision.
Check out this video from Wired to learn more about the Vectorr.
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