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and for the pope robin this is boston's logan international airport in one end of a modern transportation phenomenon known as the northeast corridor the corridor is only four hundred miles long stretching from washington to boston including new york city and it's the most heavily traveled areas in the united states like all the airports in the corridor lovin is in a constant state of construction trying desperately to keep ahead of it to mean short haul business while
servicing its growing national and international trade and this is an interstate highway number ninety three one of the network of federally supported i was designed and built to provide fast easy access from city center to city center it isn't doing the job the third major form of transportation in the corridor is the role of this train is all too typical of what writers' encounter today it's uncomfortable seemingly always too hot or too cold dirty and for most of today's commuters far too slow an intercity mobility as essential in our present society but in the northeast of a price for this mobility both in dollars and free commuter jumpers is too high many transportation experts believe the answer to this dilemma lies in developing a super efficient ground transportation system that promises of low cost high reliability troubles
david thanks in the air their carriers are obviously not designed for downtown to downtown intercity travel short commuter flights of less than three hundred miles are costly inefficient and too dependent on weather conditions and are staggering burden on an already overcrowded airports excessive ground time between airport and city center also cancels out much of the time saving advantage offered by air travel in the first place the automobile is turning into an equally inefficient means of intercity travel the average vehicle on these trips
carries less than two passengers and is already taxing the budgets of federal state and local governments to build enough highways to handle the volume a frightening warning signal two years ago when a monumental traffic jam on the new jersey turnpike lasted seven hours backing up traffic for forty five miles and completely in mobilizing an estimated one hundred and fifty thousand it's a strange commentary on modern technology when a pair of astronauts can circle the earth in less time than it takes to go from forty second and more i'd like for the white house the federal government is acutely belatedly aware of the growing transportation crisis and in nineteen sixty five signed into law the high speed ground transportation act since then several studies of the problem and you have the same result our only hope lies in high speed ground transportation operating on limited access rights avoid reserved for scheduled traffic
within this prescription several plans have been forwarded including gravity vacuum electromagnetic and positive pressure vehicles operating in tubes under the ground but all of these plans are at least twenty five years away from realization on the problem exists now yet specified the need for a maximum utilization of existing limit the access rights of way to solve the problem fortunately this is the single most distinctive feature of contemporary railroads trains already offer the advantage of travel from downtown to downtown in virtually any weather and a single track can handle twenty five times the volume of a single lane superhighway but for many reasons trains are unattractive leaders city travelers and are very poorly patronize railroad passenger business has been rapidly declining since world war two and in nineteen sixty six the railroad suffered a whopping half billion dollar loss resulting in a desire by many railroads to drop passenger service entirely and concentrate on fright but perhaps these
failures might be erased if new and faster trains could be made attractive to passengers and profitable to the operations within it providing just such a train united aircraft corporation started working on the problem in nineteen sixty three by combining the best in aerospace and railroad technology they have now developed a startling new concept in rail transportation the jet our tour boat or a lightweight high speed vehicles designed specifically for rapid intercity travel the united aircraft designed has been picked by the us department of transportation to demonstrate the turbo train on the tracks of the new haven rule out providing passenger service between boston and new york based on the technology of flight the turbo train is constructed almost entirely of aluminum and is less than half the weight of a diesel powered train it's expected to cost at least thirty percent less to operate than conventional equipment and it can be run on any well maintained existing track
each train has to power don't cars one a beach in carrying wonder for turbine engines of peace each power don't current each of the intermediate cars can hold up to fifty people depending on the individual world's seating arrangement if additional capacity is required to trains can be done together in front of the car is actually and mozart covering automatic couple is after talking passengers can walk all the way through the train the department of transportation has least three car trains for it then the passenger service on the new haven construction has also begun and five seven car trains for the canadian national railroad these were going to service soon on the montreal toronto run the heart
of the turbo training as an aircraft type gas turbine engine the us to use its designed and manufactured by pratt and whitney the engine reduces over five hundred horsepower but weighs only three hundred this section compresses the incoming year he was injected with a year here the result of combustion is a highly energized rapidly expanding gas which is directed to a free turbine here free turbine as fun and a precisely controlled speed by the escaping gas similar to the operation of the window the spinning free turbine is connected through a gear box to the wheels and powers the train the s t six gas turbine engine was developed nearly ten years ago and is being used to power several types of turbo prop planes and helicopters to estes sex is
power does both the thunderbird to a victory in a grueling miami to bimini race or from one to four turbines can be placed in each powered own car depending on the power needed to drive the train of given size and speed one of the engines in each powered own cars used to drive a generator which produces electrical power for air conditioning heating and lighting when necessary such as for operation in new york city travels the turbo train is equipped with electric traction motors and a third rail pick up one of the major engineering innovations in the design of the turbo train is the suspension system instead of two axles at the end of each car the turbo training as a single axel between two cars greatly reducing weight and friction this enables a train to rome kurds with safety at speeds up to forty percent greater than conventional drains the system is mounted on guided axles which
follow the tracks around kurtis this model demonstrates the difference between a conventional car show here and the turbo training know first the difference in the height of the crisis passengers said about a foot and i have lower and the turbo training in the conventional car the center of gravity in the turbo train is much lower than that of a conventional train centrifugal forces caused the conventional car to leave out words on purpose but the terrible drain banks inward like an airplane resulting in much greater passenger comfort this is the beginning of the construction of the turbo train car a
windows are first carefully cut into the aluminum side four of these battles two on each side for meat aircraft like skin of the turbo drive these aluminum beans two of which are fitted into the base of each art form a great story the aluminum parts are carefully woven together this is the underside of an intermediate car it's constructed in an upside down position here the aluminum skin as being at the bottom part of the train is placed in a raid is the first step in assembling the complete dollar yen bulkheads our position
and the body of the car fakes final word to complete the interior after the show was completed insulation wiring and five years old fb is by your work is being done on the underside of a powered dome fortman places strips of aluminum on the streamlined front of the trial as the power don't car nears completion the engines are placed in position at last the train is complete and in the summer of nineteen sixty seven the journey is out on its maiden voyage out of the factory for a run of a few hundred yards
teachers be the combination of aerospace and railroad technology has succeeded in designing and building the train capable of speeds greater than one hundred and sixty mph using existing tracks after a brief shakedown at the factory the train was ready for its final work out before being turned over to the new had my problems before going into scheduled service each of the components and systems must be thoroughly checked over again and again to ensure that the train is completely reliable mechanical it
caroline tight platform dollars to train is also undergoing extensive testing out on the trucks during these running tests the train is loaded with instrumentation which engineers monitored day and night studying the right quality and the performance of the revolutionary try as the high speed runs were performed the turbo train more than lived up to expectations it's desires ahead predictably boston new york turbo train schedule at three hours and fifteen minutes a reduction of one hour over current schedule in a recent simulated passenger run the turbo train traveled from new york to boston in three hours and five minutes ten minutes better than helped
further reductions are expected as experiences gained and signal systems are modified to accommodate the trains great speech the suspension system prove itself to an alternative to the radical new suspension system would be to straighten up occurs between boston and new york the estimated cost of reducing the three worst curves on the track he's a fifty one million dollars bonus would save only five minutes on the schedules but it's been a man who has been involved with the
turbo trained since its conception four years ago is product manager charles david this is our instrumentation the heart of a terrible train has since we've been here provinces waits on the woman undergoing extensive the world in terms of where the er we have years of tv monitors at all times we have tv cameras playing on the suspension systems for a single axel and the blacks suspensions and while we're riding the costly week us we have this is a suspension system under surveillance the cameras are trained well that's right right there where i'm most interested in the action of the suspension system because this is the heart of the right he says that this is the part that transmits any vibrations or having to the passengers in a scene
and they actually were most interested to see that the suspension system and the wheel correll action is as we predicted the design of the program that's really the comfort is in fact a great deal of our instrumentation agency years designed around passenger while we are recording temperatures of turbans and pressures on fuel oil and so forth all week part of the whole programs and riding the trains at the rules on a transportation system what the passenger fee or write characters that senators today well we are primarily interested in the types of motions of passion might feel that while celebrations are good celebration for any you know your emotions that might exist in the training pitching options analysts have occurred earlier woods upheld that's a digital speedometer constantly measuring speed very accurate agree
on the trains and connected to the revolutions of that we would still a festive who definitely were just leaping off two hundred and thirty seven while now on a test that monitors trade between boston problems or don't don't you were largely would require any special package to run that this is an awfully fast know we felt that the on like what the japanese then on to cairo law in effect they built a brand new railroad to accommodate high speed train we have designed a high speed train to accommodate itself to an existing route so there won't be any major changes in the world maintain wrote rip that will accommodate the more time i spent with the train with the testing program the more it seems as though we're dealing with an airplane that a try right and this is what we've tried to do we feel on the passenger's right aircraft because they are they like the amenities of the aircraft we endeavored to resign as many of the
akron like manatees and one very technically though it could have also said is that true yes so for example aerodynamics train with design police train line train you notice that the skin of the train on the exterior is completely smooth or no expressions on the train or windows or doors and artifacts that equipment has the pokemon us federal court that has the equipment hanging below so long as china we have a completely smooth on the belly competitiveness cuts down or turbulent flow between the train and track pants probably will we come down the track we've already raised planters mr llewelyn as the wind tunnel and yes we did we are having something foot model of the train built and tested and probably went on are you carrying through the aircraft motif all the way to the passengers of us to go yes yes we have
serious as we go into the other areas of the china that i wrote for the stage of completion in this that's got no actually onstage and when interest in this changing what we have been other cause an example of the type of amenities they really do look like allen says as they are quite a bit like gail wilensky to david matter of fact the fully reclining seat what we feel are somewhat more culpable as they are whiter and what are you know on the back of the seat we have a pray for a beverage or who are really trying to someone's were not affect want to sit down trial and stay close to your confidence and yes we think it is one to try reclining
it sets up the characters and that isn't completely decorated at this point what's it going to look like monsters or not use your imagination someone you can see and we're still in this and all the testing program and consequently we didn't finish the injuries and train always have enough seats in here now accommodate any oppressions we might have been writing in our testing on that if you look above your head you'll see that from this site more practical the all white baggage rack above our heads an individual reading lamps above the cheat off air conditioning exhaust talks carry op cigarette smoke the window to be fully drain the before the copying here on the floor i'm alongside wall and learned generally a lot about covers the additional and curious here now in the dome cause it will be certain other changes made but the strange going to be traveling well in excess of a hundred miles an hour a great
deal of the time what about the braking system where you don't have any trouble and stopping it no one will be no trouble stopping at the performance of the braking system has been excellent so far it's an electromagnet tie breaker just very rapid response towards electric signal down to train and not the nsa analyst in the past in most conventional of mainline railroad equivalent quality performance so far has indicated that we can stop and much much less efficient says that conventional quote even at the highest bidder the us economy isn't going to stop the coliseum we writers are used to be a real smooth stop following matter of fact you can stand we've demonstrated that we stood in the eye on a train coming down reagan speech really going to see the change in actual operation and where only first train service two months from now on the new haven railroad between boston
new york city on this tiny train to run in a three of our fifteen minute schedule for intermediate stop a lot of the only two round trip today with the equipment with the current government the current schedule of the strain on the waiting room at about four hours and fifteen seconds to trend already about one hour schedule why was the new haven to start the tour with her answers new haven around the reforms the vital function northeast corridor on in operation between boston new york city and for the self the washington aw it was felt that it was it was necessary to demonstrate capabilities and the entire carter as you are well aware the department of transportation program demonstration program is between washington and the recipients of electrified the new haven ruling is not completely electrify his own electrified as far as to say that however this is doesn't preclude the fact that the terrible train could run between boston and washington and washington mutual
the president's new capability capability or will provide an electric what one question on economics is there any reason to believe that these trends will be more expensive to operate and so the standard diesel that we have an operation now but no as a matter of fact it should be a more reasonable operation for the railroads and an overall picture for us of the high performance where you keep mentioning are higher utilization fact that because trains go faster they'll be able to make additional round trip today for example the new haven railroad it the best service that they get out of their cars today is about one hundred and eight aw the shoot because it takes that kind of does that go between the long hauls with this type of equipment it's expected that they'll run two round trip said oh we were doubling utilization of equipment all because of a modular concept component concept on the train the main sports will be low most the component of components on the train the change that within one hour or so cut down
with all of the new equipments and all the new procedures that go along with introducing a new train like those will be engineers need any special training they will need some training but they will not even additional skills we designed the controls in the train to be a rather simple and these controls nearly as simple as they are they're interested in the engine in c the moment like describe someone to say will help control it the hubble the breaking in carmel on the same panel when he turns it into a right wing as our return to him from a life in asbury says and what kind of insulation those visits the palace such information as well about the oil coolers operating when the power's on them walk away turn on a very simple control areas ignition switch similar to an automobile emissions which gives it a push buttons that the
ignition switches on well you notice that there's also a dead man control honest brokers a deal that many people that had one hand on the controller and they have a foot pedal hit now if you have your hands off both we have fought off the handle same time trying to automatically going to emerge others like this we do david we've had a tremendous amount of interest from all parts of the world than the terrible grind the united states and to many application deployment there a population causing spending is far less than say close that's very nice in canada and detroit united states on tour on the west coast from san diego's fire san francisco and we just think there are many applications for this country since it seems as though you've been you set out to believe that a tremendously modern piece of equipment utilizing the latest in both those states and those technologies that can use existing facilities
existing health facilities and obviously control system which uses easily used by people who are trained in the field now yes we leave we don't reach a bright future after the terrible threat and you punch and our ticket to the future iss then about an eight seed in providence rhode island house
Episode Number
The Jet Train Is Here
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
This episode deals with the development of the Turbo-train, a high-speed jet-propelled conveyance designed to help alleviate the serious transportation crisis in the heavily populated Northeast corridor of America. The Turbo-train, built by United Aircraft Corporation under a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is constructed almost entirely of aluminum and weighs less than on-half the weight of a diesel-powered train. The heart of the train ? whose cars carry some fifty passengers each ? is a gas turbine engine developed by Pratt and Whitney for use in turbo-prop- airplanes and helicopters. The construction of the train is shown as are its shakedown test in which it traveled at speeds of over 160 miles per hour. The designers now predict that the Turbo-train will be able to make the Boston-New York run in three hours and fifteen minutes, a reduction of more than one hour over the present travel time. Turbo-trains will soon be in service with the New Haven railroad on its Boston-New York run and on the Canadian National Railroad?s Montreal-Toronto run. SPECTRUM ? THE JET TRAIN IS HERE is a 1967 production of national Educational Television. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
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Spectrum consists of 101-142 half-hour episodes produced in 1964-1969.
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Executive Producer: Prowitt, David
Host: Prowitt, David
Producer: Downey, Peter
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2310222-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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Chicago: “Spectrum; 72; The Jet Train Is Here,” 1967-12-17, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 28, 2021,
MLA: “Spectrum; 72; The Jet Train Is Here.” 1967-12-17. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 28, 2021. <>.
APA: Spectrum; 72; The Jet Train Is Here. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from